College of Agriculture & Natural Resources

Departments News

AREC Professors Receive IFREE Grant; Will Study Markets, Commodities, Policies

AREC - 7 hours 21 min ago
Jul 27, 2017Author: Sarah Fielder

The International Foundation for Research in Experimental Economics (IFREE)  awarded Professor Neslihan Uler a grant for $10,000.

Uler applied for the grant along with Professor Stephen Salant, an AREC research professor at the University of Maryland, and Professor William Shobe, of the University of Virginia. The grant will support their research into Government Buyback Programs for Commodity Markets: An Experimental Investigation of the Subtle Effects of Floor Price Changes.

They want to use the grant to further generate funding for laboratory experiments, according Uler. She first became interested in market experiments while at graduate school at New York University.

“We use a laboratory experiment to study how government interventions, in particular buy-back policies, influence commodity prices,” said Uler. “In addition, by conducting a controlled laboratory experiment that mimic the markets closely, we can uncover behavioral factors that might affect individuals’ behavior.”

Results will help refine related theories and market regulations and policies. She hopes that the research will benefit government interventions that influence the supply of commodities in a variety of markets, including agricultural goods, currencies, emission allowances, petroleum and electricity.

The grant will cover the expenses for subject fees in the experiment, according to Uler.

Originally inspired by Mary Caslin Ross and the work of Vernon Smith, a nobel prize winner, the IFREE supports experimental economics research to gain a better understanding of market and personal exchange systems.

In the future, Uler plans to build a strong research agenda to study related topics.

Categories: Departments News

UMD AREC Contributes to International Extension Convention in Scotland

AREC - 7 hours 28 min ago
Jul 27, 2017Author: Sarah Fielder

Agricultural Law Education Initiative (ALEI) Legal Specialist Paul Goeringer and Faculty Specialist Mayhah Suri recently attended the 21st International Farm Management Association’s (IFMA) Congress in the City of Edinburgh, Scotland.

The conference took place from July 2 to 7, and focused on farm management and extension education.

Over 400 people attended the conference, according to Suri. Participants travelled from Australia, New Zealand, the United Kingdom, the United States and from across Europe for the conference.

“The meeting was an enriching experience due to the diversity of my fellow conference-goers," said Suri. "I think I learned more just from chatting with people about their work and perspectives.... Seeing how extension work is done in other countries made me appreciate the strong support we have at University of Maryland extension.”

Both Goeringer and Suri presented posters at the conference. Goeringer focused on the question of how data should be owned, and how there are various challenges related to this prominent issue. In her poster, Suri discussed community-supported agriculture.

“I think the most significant part of the presentation was telling people about ALEI and our mission to provide legal extension education,” said Suri. “Most people I talked to from outside of the U.S. were surprised and impressed that Maryland has a legal extension program.”

The conference was a week long, starting on a Sunday evening. On Tuesday and Thursday, participants went on farm tours.

“The program was interesting because it highlighted a diversity of crops, and the farm tours were fascinating,” said Goeringer.

One farm visited was a Christmas tree farm that also had produce, a restaurant and was near a nature trail, bringing in a variety of people and revenue.

“On the second day of tours, our last tour was about nutrition and production oriented.” said Suri. “There were sheep, potatoes and wheat. The countryside was so beautiful. There were lots of green rolling hills.”

Planners of the conference incorporated the farms tours and cultural events for the participants so that they could learn more about agricultural practices in Scotland.

Scotland extension agencies are different from those within the United States because they are created and controlled by private agents, rather than through universities, according to Goeringer.

The conference also highlighted relevant issues for Scottish farmers, including Brexit. Goeringer stated that none of the farmers know what the outcome of Brexit will be and how it will influence the agricultural trade policies.

“All in all, the conference was a good trip,” said Goeringer. As a result of the trip, he plans to incorporate what he learned about various laws and cultures to improve his farm succession workshops.

Categories: Departments News

Fresh Food for Terps in Need: Community Learning Garden Donates to Campus Pantry

IAA - Fri, 2017-07-21 08:58
Jul 21, 2017Author: Salvador Fawkes and Meredith Epstein

Visitors to the University of Maryland’s Community Learning Garden often ask the question: where does all the food go? Until this summer, the answer has always been the same: the bounty of cucumbers, tomatoes, summer squash, herbs, and more go home with the volunteers who help maintain the garden. Now the garden has become so productive, that often the volunteers cannot eat it all.

The Institute of Applied Agriculture's (IAA) Sustainable Agriculture instructor, Meredith Epstein, has been in charge of maintaining the space as a teaching garden for the IAA since 2013. As the de facto produce distributor for the garden, she can recall numerous occasions when crates full of peppers or salad greens were left after harvest. “I always figured out something to do with it, whether asking random passers-by if they’d like to have salad for dinner or canning chutney for the holidays,” says Epstein, “But we’ve always known there is a better solution – donating directly to those struggling with food access in our community. We just didn’t have a system in place to make it feasible.”

Enter the Community Learning Garden’s first-ever summer intern. Through a collaborative effort between the UMD Arboretum and Botanical Garden, UMD Dining Services, and the IAA, Salvador Fawkes was hired in June 2017 as the Campus Food Garden Intern. A first-year Sustainable Agriculture major at the IAA, he has seen firsthand the necessity of a food bank for students, faculty, and staff. “Quite a few students on campus struggle to afford healthy meals while balancing a budget,” remarks Fawkes.

His daily routine involves caring for food gardens across campus, coordinating harvests and deliveries to the UMD Campus Pantry, and distributing that food to the pantry’s clients. “The most rewarding aspect of this internship is seeing the anticipation from people and knowing the food you grow goes to people that might not have had a meal that day otherwise.”

The harvest changes weekly throughout the season, allowing pantry clients to access a variety of fresh foods and giving Fawkes the opportunity to hone his harvest and post-harvest handling techniques for dozens of different types of produce. First, all harvest tools and containers must undergo thorough cleaning and disinfection to prevent foodborne pathogens. Harvest takes place on Thursdays and is refrigerated overnight at the 251 North dining hall to allow for the freshest quality produce to be distributed at the pantry on Fridays. 

The Campus Pantry opened its doors in October, 2014 under the management of Allison Tjaden, Dining Services’ Assistant Director for New Initiatives. The program is a collaboration between the Department of Dining Services and the University Health Center and receives support from countless campus departments, student groups, local businesses, and alumni. The UMD Campus Pantry’s mission is to alleviate food hardship among UMD students, faculty, and staff by providing emergency food. This is achieved through taking in donations and then distributing goods in a socially conscious manner. Donations in the form of non-perishable goods are accepted weekdays from 8:30 a.m. - 4:00 p.m. at the Dining Services South Campus Administrative Office, South Campus Diner. For fresh food items, pantry manager Larry Tumlin shared that “It’s meaningful to have multiple gardens, as well as Terp Farm, donating local produce to the Pantry for more nutritious options.”

Clients are welcome to access the Pantry on Fridays from 9 a.m. - 4 p.m. in the Helisa Room (0143) on the bottom floor of the UMD Health Center. Clients may choose up to 10 non-perishable items and as much fresh produce as needed. Fresh herbs are often available as seasonings and other veggies and greens provide great ingredients for salads. Clients are provided anonymity when using the Pantry.

IAA Director Glori Hyman is pleased with this new initiative. “This year the University of Maryland became the nation's first Do Good campus, inspiring all of us to do better, to do more, to help each other,” she says. “The garden to food pantry project is one way we can ‘do good.’ Plus it's gratifying that IAA faculty are doing such a good job teaching students to grow their own food that there is an abundance to share.”

For more information visit and

Salvador FawkesMeredith EpsteinUniversity of MarylandCommunity Learning Gardenfood securitysustainable agricultureteaching gardeninstitute of applied agricultureUMD Campus PantryAllison Lilly TjadenLarry Tumlinfood accessUMD Arboretum and Botanical GardenUMD Dining ServicesCampus Food Garden Internfood bank251 North Dining HallUniversity Health CenterSouth Campus DinerGlori HymanDo Good campusIAA Faculty
Categories: Departments News

Nutrition researchers outreach and training

NFSC - Thu, 2017-07-20 12:28
Jul 20, 2017Author: Dr. Jackson

NFSC researchers and students reached out to assist clinicians in a low-income community clinic in Silver Spring, Maryland. 

Image Credit: Dr. Jackson
Categories: Departments News

Visiting Scholar

NFSC - Thu, 2017-07-20 12:23
Jul 20, 2017Author: Dr. Jackson

Dr. Lilly Hsin-I Hsiao, from the Department of Food Science of National Taiwan Ocean University (NTOU) visited NFSC to foster collaboration between herself and her colleagues at NTOU and Dr. Pradhan and other Food Science faculty in NFSC. Dr. Hsiao will also join us for the Food Science Summit that will occur in later October 2017.

(From left to right) Dr. Jackson, Dr. Pradhan and Dr. HsiaoImage Credit: Dr. Jackson
Categories: Departments News

AREC Graduate Dewey receives Sportsmanship Award

AREC - Thu, 2017-07-13 11:38
Jul 13, 2017Author: Sarah Fielder

Hannah Dewey, a 2017 spring graduate from AREC, recently received the Big Ten Outstanding Sportsmanship award.

The award is presented by the Big Ten, and recognizes one male and one female athlete from each school for their sportsmanship and competitiveness. At the University of Maryland, Dewey was a team captain of the softball team.

She played for the team for four years, primarily as a pitcher. Dewey was also the president of the Student Athlete Advisory Committee from 2016 to 2017.

After graduation, Dewey plans to play professional softball oversees in Mannheim, Germany for the Mannheim Tornados. She will be in Germany from early July for just over three months, competing against other professional teams across Europe.

“During this time I’m also gaining some work experience remotely in college athletics working with LEAD1, an up-and-coming Political Action Committee focused on improving current policy for the NCAA,” said Dewey.

While at college, Dewey became an AREC major after speaking with her adviser. She wanted a major that combined her passion for economics and data analysis with environmental sustainability. AREC ended up being the perfect fit for her interests.

“AREC has definitely prepared me for my future in many different ways,” said Dewey in an email interview. “It has allowed me to research and come up with new ways to look at various economic models in our ever-changing society. I’ve been able to work on various group projects about key economic agreements involving all kinds of policies from all over the world, and how we could implement them into our own legislation.”

She plans to apply for graduate schools after returning from Germany, and study for a master’s degree in either business or sports administration.

“I’m looking to pursue a career in college athletics, and one day hope to be a Division I athletic director!” said Dewey.

Categories: Departments News

Welcome Geoff Rinehart

IAA - Thu, 2017-06-29 10:15
Jun 29, 2017Author: Glori Hyman

Welcome to Geoffrey Rinehart, the IAA’s new Lecturer and Turfgrass Management Advisor effective July 1, 2017. Rinehart earned two bachelor’s degrees from Virginia Tech, one in Crop and Soil Environmental Science with a Turfgrass Management concentration, and the second in Horticulture with a Landscape Contracting concentration. His master’s degree in Crop and Soil Science is from Michigan State.

He brings over 15 years of turf industry experience with him to the job, including his most recent position as the coordinator of the Grass Roots Initiative. The 1.3 acre Grass Roots exhibit at the U.S. National Arboretum attracts over 25,000 visitors per year and serves as a hands-on site for professional and homeowner educational programs. Rinehart says he will use his years of industry experience and “challenge students to be active learners.” He believes IAA turfgrass graduates must be ready to “effectively develop and adapt management strategies for both warm- and cool-season grass species for golf courses, sports fields, commercial and home landscapes, and municipal settings.”

Geoff RinehartGlori Hymangolf course managementsports turf managementturfgrass managementTurfgrass Career Trainingtwo-year certificateUS National Arboretumwarm season grasscool season grassCrop and Soil Environmental ScienceHorticultureLandscape ContractingGrass Roots Initiative
Categories: Departments News

Class of 2017 Graduation Celebrates Change

IAA - Thu, 2017-06-15 08:59
Jun 15, 2017Author: Glori Hyman

“The IAA literally changed my life,” Joyce Drake told her fellow graduates as she spoke from the heart at this year’s pre-graduation celebration on May 20, at the College Park Marriott. Drake, one of three student speakers and one of 16 IAA graduates, transformed from Baltimore City social worker to urban agriculturalist and entrepreneur. Drake is not the only career changer to graduate this year.

Meg Smolinski successfully transitioned from the art world at the Smithsonian Institutes in Washington, DC, to Volunteer Coordinator for the UMD Arboretum and Botanical Garden where she is applying her horticultural knowledge and skills every day.

Although not as dramatic, the transitions that other graduates experienced through the IAA are still significant. Ruby Fishbein and Joanna Bell became the first Agriculture Forward at Maryland (Ag Forward) students to earn their certificates in Applied Agriculture, and next year they will earn their bachelor’s degrees.

Ag Forward is an accelerated program that enables students to work on their certificate and bachelor’s degree simultaneously. Other IAA graduates opted to complete their certificates first, and then work on their bachelor’s degree. 

This year’s graduates exemplified all the opportunities offered at the IAA. Of the 16 graduates, 7 are continuing their education—5 at UMD and 2 at other institutions; the other 9 graduates already have jobs in their fields.

College of Agriculture and Natural Resources (AGNR) Dean Craig Beyrouty told the audience, “When these students leave here, they have jobs. They are hired. They are highly desired by employers. Employers come here seeking these students.”

2017 Distinguished Alumni, Byron Kline extolled the IAA for its excellence and for the willingness of its faculty to help alumni throughout their careers long after graduation.

The IAA is proud of this year’s graduates:

Joanna Bell
Sustainable Agriculture

Colby Dean
Agricultural Business Management

Tad Dinan
Golf Course Management

Joi Drake
Sustainable Agriculture

Ruby Fishbein
Sustainable Agriculture

Justin Hipp
Sustainable Agriculture

Lillian Kahl
Sustainable Agriculture

Maggie Popp
Agricultural Business Management

Ben Prigg
Sustainable Agriculture

Becky Remsberg
Agricultural Business Management

Evan Richter
Golf Course Management

Cory Schuch
Agricultural Business Management

Andrew Small
Sports Turf Management

Meg Smolinski
Ornamental Horticulture

James Thomas
Agricultural Business Management

>> View and download IAA Graduation Celebration photos.

sustainable agricultureagricultural business managementornamental horticultureLandscape Managementsports turf managementgolf course managementturfgrass managementGraduation 2017institute of applied agricultureIAA TerpsGlori HymanCraig BeyroutyAgriculture Forward at Marylandag forwardCertificate in Applied AgricultureCollege of Agriculture and Natural ResourcesUniversity of MarylandCollege Parktwo-year programByron Klinehigh employment rateJoanna BellColby DeanTad DinanJoyce DrakeJoi DrakeRuby FishbeinJustin Hippcareers in agricultureLillian KahlMaggie PoppBen PriggBecky RemsbergMaryland agricultureEvan RichterCory SchuchAndrew SmallMeg SmolinskiJames ThomasCongratulations, class of 2017!Image Credit: Randie Hovatter
Categories: Departments News

The Economic Cost of Leaving the Paris Climate Agreement

AREC - Fri, 2017-06-09 15:29
NPR Interviews UMD AREC Professor Roberton WilliamsJun 9, 2017Author: Katherine Faulkner

University of Maryland Professor Roberton Williams, of the Department and Agricultural and Resource Economics, was interviewed Wednesday, May 31st, on National Public Radio.

Jeremy Hobson of the NPR news show Here & Now hosted the segment entitled "The Economic Cost of Leaving the Paris Climate Agreement." The following day, President Trump confirmed that he is withdrawing the United States from the accord.   A recording of the interview is available from the NPR affiliate station WBUR. AREC
Categories: Departments News

AREC Sophomore Awarded Scholarship

AREC - Mon, 2017-06-05 12:00
Jun 5, 2017Author: Sarah Fielder

The American Farm Publications Inc., publisher of the Delmarva Farmer and the New Jersey Farmer, recently awarded AREC sophomore Brian Glenn a scholarship; he was one of five recipients.

To qualify for the scholarship, Glenn had to be a resident of Maryland, Virginia, Delaware or New Jersey, have above a 3.5 GPA or above, and had to write an essay describing his experiences in agriculture and why he decided to pursue this career field.

“I’m more interested in making a difference at the policy level and making sure agriculture gets fairly represented in today’s political climate,” said Glenn. “There are so many factors that are affecting agriculture in this modern day, like the issue of feeding a growing population and combating world hunger or adapting to a changing climate.”

Glenn came to the university as an AREC major, knowing he wanted to study the business side of agriculture. Within the major, Glenn is focusing on two fields of study, international agriculture and business management.

“Agriculture is an interdisciplinary field that requires fresh thought and new minds to help tackle the issues for this next generation of farmers,” said Glenn.

Glenn has been involved in agriculture since an early age. He grew up on a small farm in Howard County. Both of his parents also have doctorates in the agricultural field, with his mother having a Ph.D. in animal science, and his father having a Ph.D. in plant science.

“They have been huge proponents of agriculture their whole lives and that has rubbed off on myself, my brother, and my sister,” said Glenn.

He also has been involved in 4-H, raising dairy heifers and beef steer to show at the Howard County Fair, which also fostered his love for agriculture. In 2016, Glenn also received the Howard County Fair Association scholarship.

“These experiences have made me the person I am today, and because of them, I knew I wanted to start a career in agriculture,” said Glenn. “Even more than that, agriculture is one of the most important industries in the world and I want to start a career and serve as an advocate for the industry.”

Glenn is also a AGNR student ambassador and has been involved Block and Bridle.

Categories: Departments News

Sam Norris selected as AGNR Commencement Speaker

AREC - Mon, 2017-06-05 11:45
Jun 5, 2017Author: Sarah Fielder

AREC student Sam Norris was the commencement speaker at the AGNR spring 2017 graduation held on May 20 at the Reckord Armory.

When Norris first arrived at the university, he had plans to apply to the business school. However, because he enjoyed his economics classes, Norris researched various majors and found AREC. The major would allow him to focus on economics, but also concentrate in courses about business management.

“The course material, as well as smaller class sizes made AREC a great fit,” said Norris.

As an AREC student, Norris was active on the AREC student advisory board, and helped organize several events. He also had a minor in sustainability studies.

His speech focused on the Tarzan Method, which is a theory about the journey people take to reach their goals.

“Basically, the path between where you are now and where you want to be is typically thought of as a straight line,” said Norris. “The reality is more similar to Tarzan in the jungle. There is no straight line; instead, you grab whatever vine is in front of you and you swing.”

According to Norris, the biggest lesson he learned from college is to not be complacent, and to take action if something does not feel right.

“The point is to take risks at this time in our lives, and not to necessarily wait for the perfect opportunity, but to take a good one that'll move you a little closer,” said Norris.

After graduation, Norris plans to take the summer to travel and apply to various jobs.

Categories: Departments News

AREC recognized at AGNR Convocation and Awards Ceremony

AREC - Mon, 2017-06-05 11:16
Jun 5, 2017Author: Sarah Fielder

Sophia Wilcox, an AREC professional track faculty member, and Dave Newburn, an AREC assistant professor, both received awards at the AGNR 2017 Convocation and Awards Ceremony held on May 23, 2017.

Wilcox received was the On-Campus Professional Track Faculty Award. She was hired in 2013 and served as the regional site manager for the Afghanistan Agricultural Extension Project (AAEP). She lived full time in Afghanistan and managed a team of approximately 20 local Afghans.

“Thank you to my wonderful team and the University of Maryland, especially Dr. Hanson, the PI(Principal Investigator) on the project for guiding me and allowing me to make my own mistakes anyway,” said Wilcox at the event. “Thank you for my team backing me up. It’s a group award.” 

Pictured here are team members Taryn Devereux, Melekte Truneh, Sophia Wilcox and Professor Jim Hanson.

She led the development of the AREC department’s international Women in Agriculture (WIA) approach, which focuses on women-led demonstration farms and Farmer Field Schools (FFSs).

Newburn received the Integrated Research and Extension Excellence Award. He created a extension and research program that addresses problems related to Maryland agriculture, collaborating with both regional and national organizations. As a result, Newburn has become a leader in stormwater management and land use. 

“I want to thank my mom, who got me interested in agriculture, playing in creeks in Columbia, Maryland,” said Newburn after receiving the award. “I came to the University of Maryland, and have been here in Maryland a long time; the college gives me an opportunity to work with land use research.”

Truneh, who is director of financial services at AREC, also received a Years of Service Award for 5 Years of employment by the university.

ARECImage Credit: Edwin Remsberg
Categories: Departments News

Climate Change: Are Marylanders in favor of a Carbon Tax?

AREC - Fri, 2017-06-02 15:01
UMD AREC students administer questionnaire at Maryland Day 2017Jun 2, 2017Author: Louise Baltodano, Michael Fangmeyer, Brian Glenn, Peter Kim, Ke Lan, Chuanmudi Qin, Lucia Tarantino, and Noam Weintraub

Inspired by Michael Greenstone’s article “Americans Appear to be Willing to Pay for a Carbon Tax Policy” (published in the New York Times on 15 Sept. 2016), students in Anna Alberini and Jeff Hunt’s AREC 454 –The Economics of Climate Change developed a brief questionnaire to elicit the public’s support for a carbon tax and administered it to a sample of Maryland Day attendees on 29 April 2017. Pictured above, left to right, are Peter Kim, Brian Glenn, Louise Baltodano, Mudi Qin (in the front), Ke Lan, and (in back at right) Michael Fangmeyer.

In addition to eliciting opinions about climate change, energy and emissions, the questionnaire briefly described a “tax on fossil fuels or electricity that was generated using fossil fuels.” It also explained that if such a tax was adopted, utilities that use coal or natural gas to produce electricity would pay that tax, and consumers would also pay a portion of that tax based on the kilowatt-hours they consumer. Respondents were reminded that “the goal of this tax is to encourage utilities and consumers to switch towards energy produced with renewable sources, such as wind or solar.”

Each respondent was then asked if he or she would be in favor of this tax if the tax implied that his or her electricity bill would increase by $X each month. The exact dollar amount $X ranged from $2.20 to $15.70 a month and was assigned to the respondents at random. We computed the dollar amount on the basis of the consumption of electricity for the average American household and the average level of CO2 emissions per kWh of electricity for four hypothetical carbon tax levels ranging from $7 to $50 for each ton of CO2.

Recent research in public economics suggests that people may or may not be aware of certain taxes, depending on how visible and “salient” these are to them (Chetty et al., 2009). Many people do not know how many kilowatt-hours of electricity they use at their homes and do not know their  electricity tariff(s) either, so we crafted an additional question that asked respondents whether they would be in favor of the same carbon tax if it implied a certain increase in the price of gasoline. The increase ranged from 6 to 45 cents per gallon.

The students were able to gather 201 completed questionnaires. Eighty-five percent of the respondents were Maryland residents. “We approached people at four different location on campus, and found that people sitting on benches to rest or standing in line for food or one of the many Maryland Day attractions were very cooperative,” says Brian Glenn, one of the students who participated in this project. “We also explained that were UMD students doing a final project, and that helped.”     

The data collected through this pen-and-paper questionnaires were entered into a spreadsheet and subsequently statistically analyzed by the entire team—Louise Baltodano, Michael Fangmeyer, Brian Glenn, Peter Kim, Ke Lan, Chuanmudi Qin, Lucia Tarantino,  and Noam Weintraub.  The results of the study are summarized in Figure 1 below.

Figure 1. Percent of respondents support a carbon tax.

Economic theory and common sense suggest that the likelihood of supporting the carbon tax should decrease as the actual tax level increases. As shown in Figure 1, when the carbon tax was framed as an increase in the electricity bill, many respondents were in support of it. The percentage of respondents in favor of the tax was more than 70% for a carbon tax level up to $25 per ton of CO2, and declined to 53.70% (still a majority) for $50 per ton of CO2. The percentage of respondents in favor of the carbon tax when framed as a gasoline tax was about 3 to 8 percentage point less than that estimated from the electricity bill question.

At least at the levels of the carbon tax that we experimented with, there was therefore considerable support for such a policy tool to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. Caution is of course necessary when interpreting these findings. Noam Weintraub warns us that the sample of respondents intercepted at Maryland Day has relatively high household income levels: the median household income was $100,000, which is well above Maryland’s median household income ($69,200) and the national median household income ($51,900). They are also highly educated, with 75% of them indicating that they have a college degree or higher educational attainment. Brian Glenn also noted that some of the respondents were very eager to participate in the survey because they had to miss the climate change march scheduled for the same day in Washington, DC. As a result, the sample may be somewhat biased towards persons who are very concerned about climate change and whose willingness to support a carbon tax is higher than the average citizen’s.

The students generally enjoyed the experience. Ke Lan said that she send a picture of herself at Maryland Day to her parents in China, and that both she and her parents were very excited by her participation in this campus-wide event.

Categories: Departments News

2017 ENST Departmental Awards

ENST - Thu, 2017-06-01 11:14
Jun 1, 2017


Faculty Awards

  • Excellence in Teaching Award (Tenure Track) – Lance Yonkos
  • Excellence in Teaching Award (Non Tenure Track) – Shannon Pederson
  • Excellence in Research Award – Martin Rabenhorst
  • Excellence in Extension Award – Reginal Harrell
  • Outstanding Post-Doctoral Research Associate – Meredith Bohannon
  • Excellence in Mentoring Award – Martin Rabenhorst

Staff Award

  • Outstanding Staff Excellence Award – Ali Djamshidi

Student Awards

  • Outstanding Undergraduate Student Award – Kristine Persing
  • Outstanding Undergraduate Student Award – Elizabeth O’Keefe
  • Outstanding Graduate Student Award (MS) – Diane Leason
  • Outstanding Graduate Student Award (PhD) – Christine Maietta
  • Outstanding Graduate Student Award (PhD) – Megan Saunders

Distinguished Service Award – Kintija Eigmina-Chemali


Categories: Departments News

Congratulations to the 2017 Dietetic Program Graduates

NFSC - Tue, 2017-05-30 19:42
Go Terps!May 30, 2017Author: Dr. Margaret Udahogora, RD DPD Director Related Photos:  2017 DPD GRADUATES

The Dietetic Program in the NFSC Department is proud to share the achievements of the senior dietetic students. We congratulate our new Alumni!  GO TERPS!

My wish for you All is success on your new dreams.  Continue to embrace life with passion and keep reaching for your star. You have what it takes to do it and look forward to hearing about your great accomplishments. Please stay in touch.


Dr. Udahogora

Image Credit: Photo courtesy of Dr. Udahogora
Categories: Departments News

Congratulation graduates

AREC - Fri, 2017-05-26 16:10
May 26, 2017Author: Katherine Faulkner

The Department of Agricultural and Resource Economics congratulates all of our recent graduates.

Pictured above are doctoral graduates and dissertation advisors: assistant professor Sebastien Houde, Aaron Adalja, Romina Ordoñez, former assistant professor Vivian Hoffmann (now at the International Food Policy Research Institute), Ziyan Yang, and associate professor Ken Leonard. Aaron will be an assistant professor at Cornell, Romina has been working for the Inter-American Development Bank since she completed her Ph.D. last fall, and Ziyan will be an assistant professor at Xiamen University. Zheng (Jen) He, and Andrew Brudevold-Newman will also be graduating this summer. Jen will be a senior consultant for Ernst & Young and Andrew will be a development economist with the American Institute for Research.

 Over 30 undergraduate students graduated. One of the student speakers for the AGNR commencement was Sam Norris. Hailing from Frederick County, Maryland, Sam was an AREC major specializing in Business Management with a minor in Sustainability Studies. During his time at Maryland, Sam strived for success in all that he did and looked for every opportunity to get more involved with the Department. As a member of the AREC Student Advisory Board, Sam planned multiple events to promote the major and provide his fellow students with the resources they needed. This year, Sam moderated the long awaited and much anticipated return of AREC Alumni Career Panel Discussion. After graduation, Sam plans to take what he has learned and use it to follow his passion for conservation and sustainable community development, wherever that may take him.
Categories: Departments News

Farewell to Kevin Mathias, a “Jewel at Jull Hall”

IAA - Fri, 2017-05-26 16:10
May 26, 2017Author: Rob Ballenger

Kevin Mathias’s first day at his new job at the Institute of Applied Agriculture came shortly after New Year’s Day in 1979. This auspicious beginning for the young lecturer was initially met with cynicism from an industry colleague: “How long will you be there?” Mathias says IAA faculty turnover in his field – turfgrass instruction – was considered high back then, which made turf specialists hesitant to recommend it to prospective students. Mathias predicted he would be at the IAA for no longer than the length of the Ph.D. program he had just begun at the University of Maryland.

That doctoral program in entomology wound up lasting longer than expected, as did his IAA career. Mathias is retiring after 38 years of teaching and advising IAA students. “The longer I was here,” Mathias says, “the more I enjoyed the [golf/turf] program and wanted to stay – the more I wanted to strengthen the program.”

And strengthen it he did. IAA Director Glori Hyman credits Mathias “for single-handedly elevating the reputation of the IAA's golf/turf program. His success is due to his deep commitment to the students – academically, professionally and personally. Once you take a class with Kevin, he considers you a student for life.” His commitment to students is reflected in large part by the student scholarships he’s helped make possible.

Mathias is especially proud of helping raise money through the Shields Memorial Golf Tournament in coordination with IAA alumnus R. John Shields, Jr. (class of 1975). Inaugurated in 1980, the annual event has funded 113 scholarships for IAA Golf Course, Turfgrass, and Sports Turf Management students. Mathias is particularly happy that more scholarships will be awarded long after he retires. “Since the tournament began here, we’ve raised $200,000 for an endowment,” he says. In addition to scholarships, the fund has helped send IAA students to national competitions, such as GCSAA’s Collegiate Turf Bowl.

^ This 1983 photo shows John Shields (left) presenting the first Shields Memorial Golf Tournament check to then-Director of the IAA Dr. Ronald Seibel and Dr. Kevin Mathias.

Mathias also helped launch TESCO’s endowed scholarship fund, which has been supporting IAA students’ education since 2003.

Under Mathias’ leadership, several IAA Turf Bowl teams have made their mark – including a first-place finish in 2014. That success elevated the IAA golf/turf program’s reputation, Mathias says, as shown by the many congratulatory letters that soon arrived from industry professionals and proud alumni.

The IAA’s rise to Collegiate Turf Bowl fame began nearly two decades ago thanks to Mathias’ ambition for his students to compete and succeed. Mathias’s first team consisted of only two UMD students, including Steve Evans (class of 2001). As Evans recalls, “we had no idea what we were doing” at that first competition in New Orleans in 2000. Nonetheless, under Mathias’ leadership they finished in 7th place out of 45 teams. “That was a success,” Evans says. “Our next year at the Turf Bowl, we had a four-man team and finished 5th.” Over the years, Mathias’ teams have consistently placed in the top ten.

^ Dr. Mathias with his first-place Turf Bowl team in 2014. The "Turf Terps" consistently rank in the top ten at national turf quiz bowl competitions.

Around the time of the IAA’s first Turf Bowl, Mathias planted another seed that would grow into an annual event for his students. Evans remembers Mathias saying that he’d always wanted a golf tournament with a turf program rival, much like Penn State has with Michigan State. When Mathias told Evans that he wanted UMD to compete against Virginia Tech, Evans told him about a contact he had in that school’s program. “So I said let’s do it,” according to Evans, “and this became the Mid-Atlantic Challenge Cup.”

“I want to emphasize,” Evans adds, “that through the Turf Bowl & Mid-Atlantic Challenge Cup, I got to compare my education with other people’s. I came to find out that my education on insects was superior to every other program. Most other [programs’] courses might spend a couple of weeks on insects, whereas Kevin gave you the whole semester and a thorough working knowledge of turfgrass insects. That’s one of the things that set our IAA program apart.” 

Mathias brought his expertise to students in his Insects of Ornamentals & Turfgrass course, as well as other courses including Business Management Practices for Turf Facilities and Irrigation & Drainage Practices for Turf. Mathias’ curriculum at the IAA benefits his students the moment they enter their professions. “You can tell that he cares about teaching students things that they will apply in the field,” according to former student Michael Bostian (class of 2003), “and everything is relevant during his program.” Bostian, the course superintendent at Waverly Woods Golf Club, says Mathias “stays on top of research and new techniques in the field being applied by current superintendents, and he makes sure his students can put their best foot forward when they land their first job out of school.”

^ Dr. Mathias' commitment to researching industry trends is often acknowledged. His IAA curriculum benefits students the moment they join the workforce.

After so many years of preparing IAA students for a variety of turf jobs, Mathias heads into retirement with bittersweet anticipation. “I’ll miss the interaction with students, which I’ve always enjoyed,” he says. “Teaching is like performing in theater: when something goes well, you get a great sense of satisfaction – everything connects. You can say, ‘I hit a home run on that one’.” Despite retirement, Mathias isn’t completely done taking some home run swings. “I would still like to do some part-time teaching,” he says – “I’ve got to keep busy for the next four to five years.” With a lighter teaching role, though, “I will have time to smell the roses,” Mathias says with a smile.

While he enjoys retirement at his newly built home in central Virginia, Mathias’ legacy will endure at the IAA. It continues through the scholarship endowments, the golf tournaments, and the careers of hundreds of IAA graduates. As alumnus Steve Evans observes, “the professionalism that the IAA is turning out is very unique. There are lots of things Kevin has done for the turf industry as whole and the golf industry specifically. He’s a jewel at Jull Hall.”  

kevin mathiasGlori HymanRob Ballengerinstitute of applied agricultureUniversity of Marylandgolf course managementsports turf managementturfgrass managementagronomyentomologyShields Memorial Golf TournamentGCSAACollegiate Turf BowlSTMATESCOIAA Turf BowlTurf TerpsSteve Evansinsects of ornamentals and turfgrassBusiness Management Practices for Turf FacilitiesIrrigation and Drainage Practices for TurfMichael BostianMid-Atlantic Challenge CupDr. Kevin Mathias is retiring after 38 years of teaching and advising IAA students.
Categories: Departments News

2017 Research Day--Dietetics Internship

NFSC - Thu, 2017-05-18 10:57
May 18, 2017

Please click here for full story!

Categories: Departments News

IAA Boasts Outstanding Educator and Top Student Leader

IAA - Tue, 2017-05-16 15:35
May 16, 2017Author: Glori Hyman

An Institute of Applied Agriculture (IAA) alumnus once described Roy Walls as a “big boy scout,” which aptly fits his trustworthy, prepared, and helpful nature. This year, the Student Council of the College of Agriculture and Natural Resources (AGNR) described him as “outstanding,” which is equally well-deserved.

On May 10, Walls was named 2017 Outstanding Educator by the AGNR Student Council at its annual banquet. Walls has over 40 years of teaching experience, 27 of them with the IAA. Students praise Walls for his endless patience and willingness to work with students outside of class hours. Many students express true amazement after learning to weld, wire electrical circuits, and work with metal in Walls’ Agricultural Mechanics class.

One of those students is Rebecka “Becky” Jones, a first-year Agricultural Business Management major at the IAA. Jones, who was also recognized during the banquet, proudly shared her welding story with the audience as she presented Walls with his award.

Outstanding in her own right, Jones currently serves as President of the Collegiate Farm Bureau at the University of Maryland. The Collegiate Farm Bureau at UMD is an advocacy group that helps students gain a greater understanding of the Maryland Farm Bureau, as well as the important role students play in ensuring that campus and government officials are aware of key topics and challenges within the agriculture industry. In addition to presiding over the University’s farm bureau chapter, Jones is the incoming President of the AGNR Student Council, making her the first IAA student to hold the position.

Congratulations to Roy Walls and Becky Jones, two outstanding members of the IAA family!

Roy WallsRebecka JonesBecky JonesAGNR Student CouncilCollegiate Farm BureauUniversity of MarylandMaryland Farm BureauGlori HymanOutstanding EducatorRoy Walls and Becky Jones: an outstanding educator and a top student leader.
Categories: Departments News

Congratulations to Dr. Solverson!

NFSC - Tue, 2017-05-16 10:57
May 16, 2017

Dr. Solverson Patrick (Dr. Castonguay's Ph.D. student) was taking first place in the American Society for Nutrition’s “Emerging Leaders in Nutrition Science Poster Competition” under the Dietary Bioactive Components research interest section. The title of his poster was “Seven Day Blackberry Feeding Lowers the Respiratory Quotient in Males And Improves Insulin Sensitivity.” The cash prize for first place is $300.

The following hyperlink will take you to the award announcement by ASN:


Congratulations to Dr. Solverson!

Categories: Departments News


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