March-April, 2018

Did You Know . . .

The CALS Spring 2018 enrollment includes 263 international students . . .104 undergraduate students from 30 different countries and 159 graduate students from 42 different countries.  See more detailed information here

2018 GCHERA World Agriculture Prize Call for Nominations

The World Agriculture Prize is an international award of the Global Confederation of Higher Education Associations for the Agricultural and Life Sciences (GCHERA).  For 2018, the prize is doubled to $100,000 USD and 2 recipients will be awarded. The focus of these prizes is to encourage the global development of the mission of higher education institutions in education, research, innovation and outreach in the agricultural and life sciences by recognizing the distinguished contribution of an individual to this mission.  The prizes are generously sponsored by the Education Development Foundation of Nanjing Agricultural University and Da Bei Nong Group.  Nominations for 2018 should be submitted no later than 17:00 GMT on April 30, 2018.  Find more information and online submission here

CSRL Nutrition Education Campaign

The Center for Sustainable Rural Livelihoods (CSRL) is seeking support for the start-up of a new Nutrition Education Center to be managed through the ISU-Uganda Program in Kamuli District, Uganda. Contributions on FundISU, the crowdfunding site on the ISU Foundation website, will help purchase construction materials, provide ingredients for a nutrient dense porridge and fund training program supplies. The goal is $7,500 and the campaign runs through March 30, 2018. Click here to learn more or to make a financial contribution.

CALS Faculty Travel the Globe

Borlaug/Cochran Programs Provide Collaborative Research/Training Opportunities

The Borlaug Fellowship Program promotes food security and economic growth by providing training and collaborative research opportunities to fellows from developing and middle-income countries. Borlaug fellows are generally scientists, researchers, or policymakers who are in the early or middle stages of their careers. Each fellow works one-on-one with a mentor for 8-12 weeks. The U.S. mentor will later visit the fellow’s home institution to continue collaboration. Fellows may also attend professional conferences and events within their field, such as the annual World Food Prize Symposium. Research and training requests may focus on a wide array of agriculture-related topics, including agronomy, veterinary science, nutrition, food safety, sanitary and phytosanitary issues, natural resource management, agricultural biotechnology, agricultural economics, and agricultural policy.  These Notices of Funding Opportunities are expected to arrive with very short lead times, but Global Programs-CALS can assist in meeting these deadlines. Please email your expression of interest, along with a short description of your research areas of expertise to Tammi Martin, Program Coordinator, and you will be notified of any potentially appropriate matches.

The Cochran Fellowship Program provides short-term training opportunities to agricultural professionals from middle-income countries, emerging markets, and emerging democracies. The goals are to help eligible countries develop agricultural systems necessary to meet the food and fiber needs of their domestic populations; and to strengthen and enhance trade linkages between eligible countries and agricultural interests in the United States. Cochran fellows come to the United States each year for 2-3 weeks for hands-on training to enhance their technical knowledge and skills in various areas related to agricultural trade, agribusiness development, management, policy, and marketing. PI’s typically host small scholar groups of between 6-12 people. USDA announces eligible countries and topics each year based on current trade issues. Formal requests for proposals are anticipated in the coming weeks. To express interest or for more information, contact Tammi Martin, CALS Global Programs.

Spring Break 2018:  CALS Faculty/Students Prepare for Global Experiences

Soils and Crops of Costa Rica
Lee Burras (Agronomy) will be leading 26 students on a study abroad trip to Costa Rica to study tropical soils, crops and their environmental impacts. At each site, in-depth discussions will be held by a combination of Costa Rican experts and ISU faculty.

Natural History of Madagascar
NREM faculty members, Steve Dinsmore and Peter Wolter, will be leading a group of 14 students to Madagascar to study the natural history of the country with an emphasis on tropical rainforest and arid spiny forest habitats. Students will place Madagascar biology in the context of evolutionary time, and will examine human impacts and exploitation of natural resources that contrast with a growing ecotourism industry.

Caribbean Marine Biology
Donald Sakaguchi (GDCB) and Jeanne Serb (EEOB) will lead a group of 13 students to Honduras to provide students with a unique field marine biology experience. Program highlights will include on-site lectures at the Roatan Institute for Marine Sciences by local experts and extensive diving/snorkeling activities in a variety of marine habitats on the world’s second largest barrier reef system.

BREXIT:  Scotland and England-History, Political, implications and Possible Outcomes
Department of Economics faculty members Terry Alexander, Amy Brandau and Josh Rosenbloom will be leading a group of 28 students to explore the history and government in both Scotland and Great Britain. The group will visit Scottish and British parliaments, national museums and other historical sites in Britain, from Roman to modern day.

Agricultural Production, Business and Trade in Argentina
Sergio Lence (Economics), Ebby Luvaga (Economics), and Marshall McDaniel (Agronomy) will be leading 25 students to Argentina to learn about the history, culture, politics, geography, soils, agriculture, economy and trade of Argentina. Students will analyze production, agriculture, business and trade in Argentina in comparison with the U.S.

Service Learning in Uganda
Program directors, Richard Schultz (NREM) and Catherine Swoboda (Global Resources Systems), will be leading a group of 9 students to Uganda with a focus on agroforestry. ISU and the Center for Sustainable Rural Livelihoods (CSRL) have been invested in improving the food security and quality of life for people in the Kamuli District of Uganda for the last 10 years. This spring break study abroad program will offer students the opportunity to become familiar with the ISU programs and enable students to directly contribute to improving the quality of life of the people of Kamuli, particularly the children.

Upcoming Study Abroad Opportunities

Tropical Agriculture Production, International Business and Trade in Panama
December 28, 2018 – January 10, 2019
Program Directors:  Ebby Luvaga, Hector Bombiella Medina

Application Deadline:  Sunday, April 15, 2018

Students will gain introduction and first-hand exposure to tropical agricultural production, economics, international business, culture and rural life.  Students will have an opportunity to learn about Panama's strategic location and also experience the Panamanian culture while also learning about how history and culture play a key role in shaping the relationship between Panama, the United States and other countries of the world.

Soils, Agriculture and Environment of Uruguay
November 13, 2018 – November 23, 2018
Program Director:  Lee Burras

Application Deadline:  Sunday, April 15, 2018

“Soils, Agriculture & the Environment of Uruguay" examines the soils, agriculture and environment across Uruguay via a series of visits to farms, forests, rivers and parks.  The program will develop an understanding and appreciation of South America's northern Pampas and the Universidad de la Republica, as well as Uruguay's unique and vibrant agricultural culture and economy.

Agricultural Systems of New Zealand
November 9, 2018 – November 24, 2018
Program Directors:  Leo Timms and Mary Wiedenhoeft

Application Deadline: Monday, March 26, 2018

Through visits to farms, industry, and cultural sites, students will study the agricultural systems and exportation market economy of New Zealand, while gaining an appreciation of the history, culture, and geography of the country and its people. Students will explore the animal (dairy, beef, sheep, and goat), crop (pasture and row crop), and horticultural (apple, blueberry, grape, and kiwi fruit) industries, visit with ag researchers, gain an introduction to bio-security issues, and have the chance to visit an ecological reserve, a Maori cultural area, glow worm caves, geothermal fields, and many other exciting sites.

Semester Along the Nile: Learning in Uganda
August 28, 2018 -December 14, 2018
Program Directors:  Catherine Swoboda and Gail Nonnecke

Application Deadline: Wednesday, March 23, 2018

Students participating in a semester-long service-learning program in Uganda will experience a new culture while assisting in agriculture development initiatives through the Iowa State University - Uganda Program. College of Agriculture and Life Science students in sophomore or above standing are eligible to enroll in full-time coursework with potential for independent projects related to crop production, animal science, environmental science, and development. Students seeking to improve global food security will find this to be an incredible opportunity to gain hands-on skills while advancing their education.

EARTH Service Learning Program, U.S. Virgin Islands: Semester Long

Fall Semester (September 5 to December 7, 2018)

Application Deadline: Wednesday, March 7, 2018

Spring Semester (January 17 to April 27, 2019)

Application Deadline:  October 20, 2018

Summer Semester (May 17 to June 29, 2019)

Application Deadline:  January 12, 2019

Program Directors:  Gail Nonnecke, David Minner, Hannah Darr

Undergraduate students will learn about the culture of the people of the Caribbean and U.S. Virgin Islands agriculture and ecosystems, while assisting with teaching about food and agriculture (horticulture, soil science, culinary science, nutrition, environmental science, and sustainability) at a preK-12 school. Program activities for school children help them learn how to grow, prepare, and appreciate the many facets of agriculture and food and the environment. University students have the chance to assist with EARTH program outreach and development and explore the U.S. Virgin Islands ecosystems and National Park during scheduled activities and free time.

Information about upcoming travel courses, semester long programs and exchange groups can be found at

Student Spotlight

Taylor Wilkins

Major: Agricultural Education and Studies • Study Abroad Experience: Germany & Poland

Taylor Wilkins, a recent Iowa State University graduate in agricultural education and studies from Brooker, Florida, was awarded the CALS Council Outstanding Ambassador of Agriculture and Life Sciences Award. Taylor will be continuing her education at Iowa State University as she plans to pursue a master’s degree in agricultural education. During her time at Iowa State as an undergraduate, Taylor participated in a travel course to Germany and Poland through the CALS Study Abroad office. As a future agriculture educator, Taylor understands that all students come from different backgrounds, diverse cultures and learn through different methods of teaching and said, “studying abroad helped broaden my horizons to different cultures and backgrounds.” She also feels that studying abroad helped her stand out when applying and being accepted for an internship with the American Angus Association. Taylor would encourage any student that is considering to study abroad to just go for it. 

Lauren Sendelbach

Major: Agricultural Business & Economics • Study Abroad Experience: The Netherlands

Lauren Sendelbach, recent Iowa State University graduate in Agricultural Business and Economics from Henry, Illinois, was awarded the CALS Council Leadership Excellence Award. Lauren participated in an international internship with Kramp, a technical wholesaler organization in the Netherlands. Lauren accredits her internship opportunity for helping her find a career path as she accepted a job offer and is working full-time with the organization in the Netherlands. In college, Lauren never thought that she would gain international business experience and feels that, “studying abroad really opened more doors than I ever dreamed.” In the near future, Lauren will be helping the company expand into the United States and is looking forward to applying many of the skills she learned during her time at Iowa State. Lauren would encourage any students thinking about studying abroad or participating in international individual studies while abroad to, “open the door yourself and don’t be afraid of where it will take you. People are as interested in you, as you are in them.” 

Blogging from Abroad

Keep up with the following CALS students as they spend spring semester abroad!

Heidi Fichter (Junior, Ag/Life Sci Educ), American Farm School/Perrotis College, Greece

Blake Hoover (Junior, Ag Business), University College Dublin, Ireland

Jill Kessenich (Junior, Ag Business), University College Dublin, Ireland

CALS Study Abroad Office Awards 2018 Scholarships

The CALS Study Abroad office has awarded scholarships to 134 students studying abroad during the 2018 spring term. These students received a total of $70,550 from scholarships established by the following 14 different donors.  Donors have allowed the CALS Study Abroad office to offer scholarships to offset the costs of international experiences for undergraduate students. More

  • Jay and Julie Cornelius Jacobi Scholarship For Agricultural Study Abroad
  • Louis M. Thompson Study Abroad Scholarship
  • Max and Denise Rothschild Undergraduate Student Foreign Travel Fund
  • Jim and Connie Mohn Scholarship
  • Simply Manufacturing Study Abroad Agricultural Business Scholarship
  • James N. and Cleone B. Warner International Agriculture Development Fund
  • Robert H. Maxwell International Service Learning Scholarship Fund
  • Jerry Benning Study Abroad Fund
  • Wanda Cornelius College of Agriculture and Life Sciences Study Abroad Scholarship Endowment
  • CALS Study Abroad Account Scholarship
  • Dwight  and Marilyn Conover Study Abroad Scholarship
  • Behrens Scholarship For Study Abroad
  • Study Abroad Scholarship Endowment
  • College of Agriculture and Life Sciences Dean's Study Abroad Leadership scholars





Where are CALS Faculty/Staff Traveling?




  • David Acker, CALS Admin, Uganda, training center opening
  • Dong Ahn, Animal Science, Mexico, invited presentation at international conference
  • Terry Alexander, Economics, United Kingdom, lead student travel course
  • Gwyn Beatie, Plant Pathology, Italy, invited presentation at international conference
  • Madan Bhattacharyya, Agronomy, India, keynote presentation at international conference
  • Denise Bjelland, CALS Global Programs/CSRL, Uganda, training center opening
  • Amy Brandau, Economics, United Kingdom, lead student travel course
  • Charles Burras, Agronomy, Uganda, Costa Rica, teach, lead student travel course
  • Alicia Carriquiry, Statistics, Uruguay, departmental review at University of Uruguay
  • Nick Christians, Horticulture, Canada, invited presentation at international conference
  • James Dickson, Animal Science, Canada, attend training
  • Stephen Dinsmore, NREM, Madagascar, lead student travel course
  • William Doepke, Agronomy, Puerto Rico, soybean breeding
  • Jennifer Hicks, Agronomy, Chile, soybean breeding
  • Jessica Juarez, Animal Science, Ghana, project collaboration
  • Brandon Kleinke, Plant Pathology, Chile, research
  • Dawn Koltes, Animal Science, Mexico, invited presentation at international conference
  • Kendall Lamkey, Agronomy, Uganda, serve on advisory panel
  • Sergio Lence, Economics, Argentina, lead student travel course
  • Judith Levings, Ag Education and Studies, Mexico, international meeting
  • Xianran Li, Agronomy, France, participate in international meeting
  • Ebby Luvaga, Economics, Argentina, lead student travel course
  • Dorothy Masinde, Horticulture, Uganda, ISU-Uganda project, prepare for student activities
  • Marshall McDaniel, Agronomy, Argentina, lead student travel course
  • Bradley Miller, Agronomy, Austria, participate in international meeting
  • Daren Mueller, Plant Pathology, Chile, research
  • Gary Munkvold, Plant Pathology, France, participate in international meeting
  • Warren Pierson, Plant Pathology, Chile, research
  • Josh Rosenbloom, Economics, United Kingdom, lead student travel course
  • Max Rothschild, Animal Science, Canada, project collaboration
  • Donald Sakaguchi, GDCB, Honduras, lead student travel course
  • Patrick Schnable, Agronomy, France, participate in international meeting
  • Richard Schultz, NREM, Uganda, lead student travel course
  • Brian Scott, Agronomy, Puerto Rico, research
  • Jeanne Serb, EEOB, Honduras, lead student travel course
  • Arti Singh, Agronomy, Japan, project collaboration
  • Asheesh Singh, Agronomy, Chile, Japan, project collaboration, research
  • Catherine Swoboa, GRS, Uganda, lead student travel course
  • Katherine Taylor, ABE, Costa Rica, co-lead student travel course
  • Jianming Yu, Agronomy, France, participate in international conference
  • Adam Vanous, Agronomy, France, participate in international conference
  • Peter Wolter, NREM, Madagascar, lead student travel course
  • Zhengyuan Zhu, Statistics, Italy, participate in international meeting


March, 2018

Tuesday, March 6, 2018 5-6 p.m. Informational Meeting:  Tropical Agriculture Production, International Business and Trade in Panama, 360 Heady Hall

Wednesday, March 7, 2018 Application Deadline:  EARTH Service Learning Program, US Virgin Islands, Fall 2018

Wednesday, March 21, 2018 4-5 p.m. Informational Meeting:  Tropical Agriculture Production, International Business and Trade in Panama, 3158 Pearson Hall

Friday, March 23 2018 Application Deadline:  Semester Along the Nile:  Learning in Uganda

Monday, March 26, 2018 Application Deadline:  Agricultural Systems of New Zealand

April, 2018

Sunday, April 15 2018 Application Deadline:  Soils, Agriculture and the Environment of Uruguay

Sunday, April 15, 2018 Application Deadline:  Tropical Agriculture Production, International Business and Trade in Panama

May, 2018

Tuesday, May 1, 2018 Scholarship Deadline for Fall 2018 Programs

Tuesday, May 22, 2018, 3-4 p.m.  Plant Breeding Seminar:  Sorghum Improvement in West and Central Africa, 3140 Agronomy

Global Update, a newsletter to keep Iowa State University College of Agriculture and Life Sciences faculty and staff informed of international activities and initiatives, is prepared bi-monthly. To subscribe, send your name, e-mail address and the message "Global Update subscribe" to  To unsubscribe, send "Global Update unsubscribe."