Purdue Agriculture InFocus
December 2017
Purdue Ag People
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From the Dean
Karen PlautLeadership in Action. That describes so many of those in our college who are leading the way in our efforts to enhance cultural and ethnic diversity. This effort is not an end point, but a journey to continue to build a diverse and inclusive environment in higher education. This month, I would like to shine a spotlight on some of our leaders in this area.
First - Congratulations to Dr. Pamala Morris, Assistant Dean and Director of the Office of Multicultural Programs, who won a 2017 Leadership in Action Award from Purdue’s Susan Bulkeley Butler Center for Leadership Excell-ence. Pam exemplifies leadership in action in everything she does. She has established programs that impact underrepresented populations from middle school through graduate school, and at the faculty level. She developed the Purdue Agribusiness Science Academy that brings middle and high school students as well as teachers to campus to experience the programs of study and career opportunities in agricultural sciences. She is also the driving force behind our “Communicating Across Cultures” course that is offered every year. Pam constantly works to enhance the student experience: Recently, she engaged the Envision Center to build a virtual reality scenario for undergraduates to engage in a deeper understanding of diversity and inclusiveness. That is leadership in action.
Leadership in action is also demonstrated by YDAE graduate student Brandon Allen, a shining example to his colleagues and to us all. Purdue’s One Brick Higher Award is a highly prestigious, rarely given award to recognize faculty, staff and students who go well beyond the requirements of their roles and, through extraordinary effort, improve the lives of those around them. President Mitch Daniels recently presented the One Brick Higher Award to Brandon for his efforts to help the people in Flint, Michigan who were exposed to elevated levels of lead in their drinking water in 2016 and those in hurricane-ravaged areas of the US this summer and fall. He has inspired many to join the effort to make a positive difference in the lives of others.

Another leader is Myron McClure, Assistant Director of the Office of Multicultural Programs, who works tirelessly with our students to enhance their campus experience. Myron recruits under-represented high school students to study agriculture and helps them be successful once they are here. He is a true role model—professional, enthusiastic, engaged, demanding. His office door is literally always open for students who need help or just want to talk. As one of the key leaders for our student group, MANRRS (Minorities in Agriculture, Natural Resources and Related Sciences), Myron helps students reach their full potential. Under Pam and Myron’s leadership, the Purdue MANNRS chapter also has an impressive commitment to social justice: They collect clothes for needy families and have been active in our annual Food Finders food drive.

Finally, I want to highlight the work of Drs. Levon Esters and Neil Knobloch.  These two faculty members in YDAE constantly think about ways to enhance diversity and inclusiveness in higher education. One program in particular, Mentoring @ Purdue (M@P), is designed to improve the quality of graduate education by fostering mentoring relationships between graduate students and faculty or staff members in the agricultural and life sciences, focusing on underserved populations. M@P helps students grow professionally, academically, and personally to become successful individuals in their chosen area of study. Drs. Esters and Knobloch and the M@P team (Yujie Huang, Torrie Cropps, Dottie Vollmer, Brandon Allen, Quintana Clark, Trinity Johnson and Maurina Baker) organize a lunchtime workshop series designed to engage people in discussions that are critical to developing an inclusive environment and navigating academia. They also run a summer workshop bringing in students from across the country to experience Purdue and learn about graduate education.


These individuals and many others are leading our efforts to develop a diverse and inclusive environment for our college and our university. Thanks to each and every one of you for your leadership in action. You are leading the journey for the entire community and your efforts make a difference. 

All the best,
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Purdue Ag People
Hira Channa
The Graduate Research Spotlight highlights graduate students and their work. November’s spotlight is on Hira Channa, Agricultural Economics.
Funmilayo Adebesin
The December Graduate Research Spotlight is on Funmilayo Adebesin, Biochemistry. 
Mark Gee
Purdue Ag student to take on mission to Mars
Mark Gee, an undergraduate student studying bioengineering, biochemistry and plant breeding, will be part of a two-week mission to the Mars Desert Research Station in Utah. The seven-member team, called Boilers2Mars, will take over command of the research station on Dec. 30 and pass it on to the next team on Jan. 14.
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Catherine Bertini
Catherine Bertini to be Fish Fry speaker
Dr. Catherine Bertini, Rockefeller Foundation Fellow and Distinguished Fellow at the Chicago Council on Global Affairs, will be the featured speaker at the Purdue Ag Alumni Fish Fry on February 3. Dr. Bertini is a well-known advocate for agricultural development, educating women and girls, promoting options for women in leadership, and organizational leadership and change management.
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Search begins for next Dean of College of Agriculture

Jay Akridge, provost and executive vice president for academic affairs and diversity, has announced the launch of a national search for the next Glenn W. Sample Dean of the College of Agriculture at Purdue. The search advisory committee has been appointed and has begun the process of seeking input from faculty, staff, students, and administrators, as well as stakeholders across Indiana.

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The Bravo Award
College participates in Bravo Awards Program
Purdue Agriculture is participating in the Bravo Award program again this year. The Bravo Award is intended to highlight the excellence found across all areas and job functions at Purdue by recognizing and rewarding extraordinary achievements on every scale. The Bravo Award is a one-time cash award to employees at all levels in recognition of substantial accomplishments that extend well beyond regular work responsibilities. Click here for more information and FAQs about the Bravo Award. You can find the Bravo Award nomination form here. Please use this form—not any older versions. If you have questions, please contact your business manager.
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Awards and Recognitions
Sylvie Brouder
Thomas Hertel
Sylvie Brouder, Agronomy, and Thomas Hertel, Agricultural Economics, have been awarded the distinction of Fellow from the American Association for the Advancement of Science, the world’s largest general scientific society. Fellows are chosen for their efforts toward advancing science applications that are deemed scientifically or socially distinguished.
Kee-Hong Kim
Kee-Hong Kim, Food Science, was designated a Purdue Showalter Faculty Scholar for 2017. Showalter Scholars are recognized as out-standing professors on an accelerated path to academic distinction.
Pamala Morris
Pamala Morris, Assistant Dean and Director of the Office of Multicultural Programs, received a 2017 Leadership in Action award from Purdue’s Susan Bulkeley Butler Center for Leadership Excellence. More
Andy Tao
Andy Tao, Biochemistry, won Purdue’s 2017 Outstanding Commercialization Award for his development of a method to detect and monitor breast cancer using a simple blood test and bladder cancer using a urine test. Read more.
Animal Sciences students Tanner Wise, Clint Peacock, Sydney Hancock and Lexi Weldon
Brandon Allen, graduate student in Youth Development and Agricultural Education, received a prestigious One Brick Higher Award from Purdue President Mitch Daniels for his selfless efforts on behalf of our fellow Americans in need in Flint, Michigan in 2016 and in hurricane-ravaged areas of the US earlier this fall.
Dane Chapman, Bailee Cooks, Katriel Marks
Undergraduate students Dane Chapman, agribusiness; Bailee Cook, agribusiness and agronomy; and Katriel Marks, plant genetic breeding and biotechnology; are among 10 students nationwide chosen to be 2017-2018 Land O’Lakes Global Food Challenge Emerging Leaders.
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Purdue Agriculture in the News
Gebisa Ejeta
Purdue poised to improve sorghum for millions with $5 million grant
Purdue University scientists led by Dr. Gebisa Ejeta, Distinguished Professor and Director of the Purdue Center for Global Food Security, will develop stronger, more versatile varieties of sorghum that have the potential to reach millions of African farmers, thanks to a $5 million, five-year grant from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation.
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Sepulveda - frog

Widespread chemical contaminants stunt growth of amphibians

A series of synthetic chemicals widely used in household products, food packaging and clothing have a significant effect on the development of frogs, even at low doses, according to a study led by Dr. Marisol Sepúlveda, Forestry and Natural Resources.

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Purdue Center for Regional Development Logo

Purdue study clarifies, quantifies Indiana’s ‘digital divide’

As Indiana legislators weigh options for increasing high-speed internet access in the state, a new report by the Purdue Center for Regional Development shows the economic benefits of expanded broadband service could outweigh the development costs and generate up to $10 million in growth for some counties over the next 15 years.
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Thomas Hertel

Carbon’s economic damage costlier than thought based on current science

The data used to calculate the damage that an additional ton of carbon dioxide has on the global economy has long relied on outdated science. Recent updates modeled by Dr. Thomas Hertel, Agricultural Economics with colleagues at the University of California, Davis raise the calculations of those costs significantly and change the outlook on climate change from a positive for agriculture to a negative.

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Purdue apples

Purdue-affiliated apple gaining popularity for organic production in France

A French company has obtained worldwide exclusive rights to Juliet, a Purdue-affiliated apple gaining popularity for organic production. Benoit Escande Editions SARL has obtained exclusive rights to the Juliet apple, a product of a cooperative breeding program involving Purdue, Rutgers University and the University of Illinois.

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Center for Plant Biology plant

Purdue Center for Plant Biology members receive seed grant funding for research

Seven teams of Purdue Center for Plant Biology faculty will receive seed grant funding for various projects aimed at advancing basic plant biology. The PCPB’s first seed grant competition encouraged collaboration between researchers. Each proposal was anonymously reviewed by six PCPB members, who provided constructive feedback and determined the awardees through a ranking system.

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Opiod bottles

Statewide symposium to address opioid crisis in rural Indiana

Purdue Extension is one of the sponsors of a statewide symposium focusing on the significant impact of the opioid crisis in rural and farming communities. The symposium is scheduled for Jan. 5, 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., at the Boone County Fairgrounds, 1300 Hwy. 100 S, Lebanon. 

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Forest fungi boost invasive plants, choke out native species

According to a study led by Dr. Songlin Fei, Forestry and Natural Resources, certain types of tree-associated fungi make a forest a welcoming environment for invasive plant species, crowding out natives, including high-value trees such as oaks.

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In Memoriam

Richard A. Bentlage, Botany and Plant Pathology

Donald D. Rhine, Agricultural and Biological Engineering

Gerald E. Wilcox, Professor Emeritus of Horticulture

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Dates and Deadlines

December 16: Fall Semester ends

December 17: Commencement

December 25-January 3: University Holidays/Winter Recess

January 8: Spring Semester begins

February 3: Purdue Ag Alumni Fish Fry

For more dates and deadlines, check the Purdue Agriculture calendar.
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University News

Purdue ranks 4th for international student population at public universities, places 23rd for study abroad

Purdue has the fourth-largest number of international students among U.S. public institutions and is eighth overall among the more than 4,500 public and private institutions, according to a report issued Nov. 13 by the Institute of International Education.

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New STEM lab facility, microscope and other items gain trustee approval

Purdue’s Board of Trustees on Dec. 8 approved moving forward on a project to construct a new STEM teaching lab building and the purchase of a state-of-the-art electron microscope to advance nanotechnology research and education on campus.

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No increase again for Purdue room and board rates at WL, PNW campuses; PFW weighted average decreases

For the sixth consecutive year, students at Purdue University’s West Lafayette campus will see no room and board rate increase for the next academic year. The 2018-19 rates will actually be lower than those of 2012-13. In combination with a sixth consecutive year of zero tuition increase, this means that the total cost of attending Purdue will be less in 2019 than in 2012.

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Boiler Up Against Hate and Bias Graphic
Report Hate and Bias
Purdue University is a community where diversity is valued and incidents of hate and bias are not tolerated. Students, faculty, staff, and campus visitors who feel that they have been the victim of a bias related incident (or who have witnessed a bias related incident) are encouraged to report it online at www.purdue.edu/report-hate or to contact the Office of Student Rights and Responsibilities at 765-494-1250. Your report can remain anonymous if you wish. Remember, if it is an emergency situation that requires immediate medical or emergency services attention, please call the Purdue University Police Department at 911 or 765-494-8221.
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Purdue Agriculture InFocus
Editor: Dinah L. McClure (dmcclure@purdue.edu)
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