May-June 2018

Did you know….

The CALS Study Abroad Office supports faculty and staff that connect undergraduate students with international internships, service learning and research abroad opportunities.  Learn more,

Plant Breeding Seminar

Join Drs. Fred Rattunde and Eva Weltzein, Honorary Scholars in the Agronomy Department. at UW-Madison and former ICRISAT Scientists, as they present Sorghum Improvement in West and Central Africa:  Joint Learning and Progress in a Center of Crop Domestication.


Tuesday, May 22, 2018
3:00-4:00 p.m. (refreshments at 2:45 p.m.)
3140 Agronomy Hall



CSRL Campaign Final Update

We would like to thank everyone that made a financial contribution to the Center for Sustainable Rural Livelihoods Nutrition Education Center Campaign. The campaign raised a total of $17,570 before a 3:1 donor match, bringing the final amount raised to $70,280 from 65 generous donors! We encourage you to stay connected with the ISU Center for Sustainable Rural Livelihoods initiatives in Kamuli District, Uganda by visiting CSRL or following us on Facebook. Financial contributions are always accepted at Thank you!

Dr. Kenneth Stalder Hosts Visitors from Thailand

The Global Programs Department, along with  Dr. Kenneth Stalder, Professor in the Department of Animal Science, have the pleasure of hosting two international visitors from Thailand. Dr. Stalder feels that mentoring graduate students, post docs and research scientists personally keeps his projects moving forward and also helps him write and complete exceptional publications with a variety of viewpoints and knowledge. Dr. Stalder comments, “My success is attributed to the wonderful students and research scientists that I mentor.” He also feels that the exchange builds a nice tie between Iowa State University and the home university of the visitor and hopes that the connections continue to foster more relationships into the future. Click here to read more.

Interested in hosting an international visitor?  Global Programs facilitates the collaboration of visiting scholars and CALS faculty through proposal writing, visitor assistance related to visas and logistics, orientation programs, program/fiscal management. Learn more

CALS Study Abroad Annual Scholarship Dinner

The College of Agriculture and Life Sciences (CALS) Global Programs Department partnered with the Iowa State University Foundation to host the 8th Annual CALS Study Abroad Scholarship Dinner on Tuesday, April 17, 2018. Over 60 students, donors and Iowa State faculty and staff attended the event held at the home of CALS Study Abroad Director, Shelley Taylor.

The annual event is a time for students to share their study abroad experiences with the donors that help make the opportunities available through their financial contributions. Donors in attendance included; Gregg Behrens (Behrens Scholarship for Study Abroad), Chuck and Chris Cornelius (Charles and Christine Cornelius Global Endowment for Faculty Support), Jay and Julie Jacobi (Jay and Julie Cornelius Jacobi Scholarship for Agricultural Study Abroad), Jim and Connie Mohn (Jim and Connie Mohn Scholarship), Jim Patton (Jim and Diane Patton Scholarship), Max and Denise Rothschild (Max and Denise Rothschild Undergraduate Student Foreign Travel Fund), and Dana Robes (College of Agriculture and Life Science Dean's Study Abroad Leadership Scholars).  Visit our website for a complete list of scholarship donors,















CALS Study Abroad in the News

Farm World's Ag College Guide recently published Study abroad is valuable to rounding out ag education, featuring two Iowa State University CALS students who have studied abroad, Connor Bollum (Agricultural Business) and Sonia Carrola (Food Science).  Read more

The Iowa State Daily recently featured CALS students abroad and their experience in Uganda this past spring break. Read the entire article here

CALS Study Abroad - Spring Break 2018!

134 CALS students traveled the globe participating in faculty-led travel courses during Spring Break.  Check out their adventures below!

Agricultural Production, Business and Trade in Argentina
Program Directors: Ebby Luvaga, Sergio Lence, Marshall McDaniel

Soils and Crops of Costa Rica
Program Director:  Lee Burras

Caribbean Marine Biology, Roatan Island, Honduras
Program Directors:  Don Sakaguchi, Jeanne Serb

Natural History of Madagascar
Program Directors:  Steve Dinsmore, Peter Wolter

Service Learning in Uganda
Program Directors:  Richard Schultz, Catherine Swoboda

BREXIT:  Scotland and England . . .History, Political Implications and Possible Outcomes
Program Directors:  Terry Alexander, Amy Brandau, Josh Rosenbloom

Student Spotlight

Rachel Barnes

Major: Biological Systems Engineering & Global Resource Systems • Study Abroad Experience: Uganda

Rachael Barnes, senior in Biological Systems Engineering and Global Resource Systems (GRS) from Bettendorf, Iowa was recently honored as one of twelve "Women Impacting ISU" by the Carrie Chapman Catt Center for Women and Politics. During the summer of 2016, Rachael participated in the Uganda Service Learning Program and returned to Uganda in 2017 for her GRS internship. Rachael had not considered the service-learning program until she was encouraged by a friend. As a result of the program, she gained an interest in international studies and even added GRS as a second major. Rachael quotes, “Participating in the service-learning program was a hands-on learning experience that helped me realize how I can make a global impact.” She feels that being abroad has allowed her to have a more holistic approach, while being more mindful of different cultures, and looks forward to using these skills in the workforce. “Through study abroad you are able to apply real world experiences to what you learn in the classroom,” reflects Rachael.


Marcus Jansen

Major: Horticulture • Study Abroad Experience: Ireland & Ecuador

Marcus Jansen, a senior in Horticulture from Quincy, Illinois, has been very active during his time at Iowa State University. Aside from being involved in many clubs and organizations including CALS Council, CALS Ambassadors, and Horticulture Club, Marcus also took the opportunity to study abroad. He participated in “Horticulture and Culture of Ireland” in 2016 and “Ecology, Culture and Horticulture of the Ecuadorian Andes”  last fall. During his study abroad opportunities, Marcus most enjoyed being immersed in the different cultures, visiting popular landmarks and experiencing how different production systems operate around the world. He also values the new outlook he has gained for different parts of the world as he realized that, “you don’t get to break perceived notions until you are there and experience the differences first hand.” As a CALS Ambassador, Marcus encourages all students to consider studying abroad as there are an array of opportunities depending on comfort level, interest, and time preference.

CALS Study Abroad Website Features

As we work to revamp the CALS Study Abroad website, we continue to add new features to benefit students, faculty and staff that are considering international experiences. Below are some new features that we encourage you to check out!

CALS Study Abroad Event Calendar
An up-to-date calendar that list program deadlines, informational meeting times, scholarship deadlines, upcoming events and much more!

Student Blogs
Featuring past and present blogs from our students that are participating in an exchange or semester abroad program.

Request Form
We have just implemented an inquire form for students that are interested in learning more about study abroad. Faculty and staff are also encouraged to use the request form to request personal or departmental meetings that would invite someone from our staff to come and talk about study abroad opportunities and answer any questions about leading a program abroad.

Blast from the Past:  Ag Traveler's Survey

Results from a survey conducted by Robert Butcher, Tom Loynachan and Mary Wiedenhoeft and completed in 2015 have now been published.  The article appeared in volume 46 (late 2017) of Natural Sciences Education.  Read the full article here

As an added bonus, Elizabeth Curry Williams’ photo of Bob on the 1980 travel course was featured on the cover of the journal.

CALS Study Abroad Program Director Q & A

Dr. Jack Dekkers, Distinguished Professor in the Department of Animal Science has led 2 two-week study abroad programs to the Netherlands. The first program was in 2013, focusing on dairy science and horticulture, and the second program in 2017, focusing on animal science. Below are some questions that we asked Dr. Dekkers about leading a faculty-led study abroad program.

  • Why do you lead study abroad programs?
    • I am originally from the Netherlands and enjoy the opportunity to show our students my home country. In addition, the Netherlands provides some unique perspectives in agriculture, that are very educational for our students. The Netherlands is very strong in agriculture (# 2 exporter of agricultural products, after the US), which is remarkable, considering that fact that the Netherlands is 1/3 the size of Iowa and has 16 million people. Having so much agriculture production, including animal agriculture, in such a small country with so many people obviously brings some unique challenges with it, including issues related to odor, manure, water quality, and animal disease and welfare related issues. Although these issues are also relevant in Iowa, they are much more at the forefront in the Netherlands. In addition, the Netherlands is also at the forefront of the use of mechanization and technology in livestock production (e.g. milk robots), and in agriculture in general.
  • What is most memorable about leading a study abroad program?
    • Going on bike rides with the students through the beautiful Dutch landscape.
  • Why should other faculty and staff consider leading a program?
    • It’s a unique experience to interact with our students on a one-on-one basis and give them a unique and important educational and life experience. In addition, it is an opportunity to visit, learn, and build or maintain connections with another country (or show students about your home country, as in my case).
  • Why should students study abroad?
    • Study abroad programs provide unique educational experiences that you can’t get on campus. They open your eyes, not only to what you will see and experience in the country you visit in terms of agricultural production methods, challenges, and culture, but also, by contrast, the insight it provides you on practices and culture in your home state or country; it’s not until you see how something can be done differently that you realize why things work the way they do in your home state or country.
  • What do you like to do in your free time?
    • Gardening, projects on and around our lake home, biking (RAGBRAI), and being a grandfather (Opa in Dutch) to our 20-month-old grandson.

Interested in learning more about leading a faculty-led travel course? Want to learn more? Contact Mr. Jodi Cornell in the CALS Study Abroad Office, (515) 294-1851.




Where are CALS Faculty/Staff Traveling?





  • David Acker, CALS Admin, Greece, project collaboration
  • Raymond Arritt, Agronomy, Austria, invited presentation at international conference
  • Carmen Bain, Sociology, Italy, lead student travel course
  • Denise Bjelland, CALS Global Programs, Uganda, project collaboration
  • Julie Blanchong, NREM, Tanzania, Uganda, lead student travel courses
  • Tom Brumm, ABE, Uganda, lead student travel course
  • Diana Cochran, Horticulture, Guatemala, training
  • Joe Colletti, CALS Admin, Italy, lead student travel course
  • Samuel Cook, ABE, Argentina, lead student travel course
  • Kathleen Delate, Agronomy, Italy, project collaboration
  • Steve Dinsmore, NREM, Tanzania, lead student travel course
  • Benjamin Drescher, Animal Science, United Kingdom, lead student travel course
  • Kevin Duerfeldt, Horticulture, Brazil, Uganda, lead student travel courses
  • Steve Freeman, ABE, Georgia, present workshop
  • Aaron Gassman, Entomology, Italy, invited presentation at international conference
  • Katherine Gilbert, FSHN, Uganda, project collaboration
  • David Grewell, ABE, Germany, participate in international conference
  • Ramesh Kanwar, ABE, India, research; conference planning
  • Jacek Koziel, ABE, Korea, research; project collaboration
  • Laurie Kruzich, FSHN, France, lead student travel course
  • Thomas Lawler, Agronomy, Ghana, research
  • Sergio Lence, Economics, Italy, lead student travel course
  • John MacDonald, Horticulture, Italy, lead student travel course
  • Dirk Maier, ABE, China, Brazil, keynote speaker at international conference; lead student travel course
  • Dorothy Masinde, Horticulture, Uganda, lead student travel course
  • Derrick Mayfield, Seed Science, Austria, participate in international conference
  • Wyatt Miller, Plant Pathology, France, invited presentation at international conference
  • Ken Moore, Agronomy, Puerto Rico, keynote presentation at international conference
  • Gretchen Mosher, ABE, Georgia, present workshop
  • Gail Nonnecke, Horticulture, U.S. Virgin Islands, Uganda, research; lead student travel course
  • Benjamin Pease, Horticulture, United Kingdom, invited presentation at international conference
  • Kurt Rosentrater, ABE, France, lead student travel course
  • Max Rothschild, Animal Science, United Arab Emirates, participate in international conference
  • Patrick Schnable, Agronomy, China, graduate committee; meeting presentation
  • Richard Schultz, NREM, Peru, Uganda, lead student travel courses
  • Angela Shaw, FSHN, U.S. Virgin Islands, research
  • Yuh Yuan Shyy, Seed Science, Germany, participate in international conference
  • Josie Six, CALS Admin, Uganda, project collaboration
  • Jodi Sterle, Animal Science, United Kingdom, lead student travel course
  • Walter Suza, Agronomy, Brazil, project collaboration
  • Catherine Swoboda, Horticulture, Brazil, lead student travel course
  • Robert Turnbull, Agronomy, Italy, project collaboration
  • Maria Valenzuela-Castro, EEOB, China, invited presentation at international conference
  • Mark Westgate, Agronomy, Costa Rica, lead student travel course
  • Jeffrey Wolt, Seed Science, France, invited presentation at international conference
  • James Wright, ABE, Georgia, present workshop
  • Hongwei Xin, ABE, United Kingdom, participate in international conference
  • Curtis Youngs, Animal Science, Kosovo, project collaboration
  • Emily Zimmerman, Horticulture, Peru, lead student travel course

May, 2018

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

June, 2018

Friday, June 1, 2018  Application Deadline:  Culture and Economic Diversification in the United Arab Emirates (LAS Program)

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."