November-December 2018

Did You Know . . .

ISU faculty and staff can now enroll themselves in CISI, ISU's international travel insurance provider?  Read more . . .


International Education Week (IEW) is an opportunity to celebrate the benefits of international education and exchange worldwide. This joint initiative of the U.S. Department of State and the U.S. Department of Education is part of our efforts to promote programs that prepare Americans for a global environment and attract future leaders from abroad to study, learn, and exchange experiences.

The CALS Global Programs office, established in 1973, welcomes international students and scholars each year as well as sends students on study abroad programs including faculty-led programs, exchanges, internships and service learning programs. During International Education week we celebrate them all.



The CALS Study Abroad Office will be hosting a workshop to help students reflect on the professional benefits of their study abroad experience(s).  "Marketing Your Study Abroad Experience" will be held Thursday, November 8, 4:15-5:30 in 0105 Curtiss Hall. We will discuss how to format international experience on a resume and how to incorporate study abroad into behavioral based interview questions. This workshop is applicable to those that have participated in a faculty-led travel course or a semester-long/exchange program (or any student interested in studying abroad). There will be free Jimmy John's provided! Please RSVP to Anne Dinges by Tuesday, November 6th.

International Visitors



Host Mentor(s)

Host Department

Visit Dates

Suppasit Plaengkaeo

Khon Kaen University

Kenneth Stalder

An Sci

3/6/18 –

Rodrigo Alves de Paula

UNESP: Campus de Botucatu

Antonio Mallarino


7/9/19 – 11/29/18

Joao Carvalho

Federal University of Lavras

Silvia Cianzio


8/10/18 – 1/31/19

Leandro Zuffo

Federal University of Vicosa

Thomas Lubberstedt


8/30/18 – 8/28/19

Erasmus Aduteye

EARTH University
Costa Rica

Nick Howell
Ajay Nair


9/4/18 – 12/20/18

Mariana Acedo

Universidad Nacional de Mar Del Plate

Antonio Mallarino


9/17/18 – 12/15/18

Esther Asimo

Makerere University

Shelley Taylor


10/6/18 – 11/26/18

Ismael Mayanja

Makerere University

Tom Brumm


10/6/18 – 11/26/18

Jalia Nalubaale

Makerere University

Ajay Nair


10/6/18 – 11/26/18

Hui Yuan

Northeast Agricultural University

Susan Lamont

An Sci

10/24/18 – 9/30/19

Visitor Highlights

  • CALS Global Programs hosted 6 visiting students from Northeast Agricultural University in China from September 4 - October 30, 2018 as part of a new educational program agreement. The visiting students worked with mentors in Animal Science and  Food Science and Human Nutrition during the 8-week learning program. Iowa State University mentors include Dr. Hugo Ramirez (Animal Science), Dr. Aileen Keating (Animal Science), Dr. Jason Ross (Animal Science), Dr. Ranga Appuhamy Jayasooriya (Animal Science), Nuria Acevedo (FSHN), and Buddhi Lamsal (FSHN).  Read about one of the visiting student’s experience while working with Dr. Hugo Ramirez in Animal Science here
  • Global Programs also hosted a delegation from National Chung Hsing University in Taiwan, October 15-17, 2018 . . .more
  • João Paulo Carvalho, a visiting scholar from Federal University of Lavras, Brazil, is being hosted by the Global Programs Department in the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences. . .more

CALS Study Abroad Fair

The College of Agriculture and Life Sciences Study Abroad Office held its annual CALS Study Abroad Fair on Thursday, October 11 from 4:00-6:00p.m. in the Iowa Farm Bureau Pavilion in Kildee Hall. Over 160 students, faculty and staff attended the event. The event allowed students to learn about study abroad opportunities in CALS as well as other colleges at ISU, meet with program directors and learn about additional funding opportunities to help offset the cost when considering study abroad.  Also available were several international and ISU students to talk about exchanges and semester-long programs, a representative providing passport information and services offered by the U.S. Postal Services, information on additional international programs offered through Women in Science and Engineering (WiSE), Vermeer International Leadership Program, and the Center for Engaged Learning Abroad (CELA Belize). Attendees also enjoyed ice cream provided by the ISU Dairy Science Club and a travel-themed photo booth.

Comings and Goings . . .Fall Study Abroad Programs

Agricultural Systems of New Zealand
Dr. Leo Timms, Dr. Mary Wiedenhoeft, Dr. Ranga Appuhamy will be leading a group of 22 students to New Zealand to study the agricultural systems and exportation market economy of New Zealand and also gain an appreciation of the history, culture, and geography of the country and its people.

Soils, Agriculture and the Environment of Uruguay
Ten students will be traveling to Uruguay through this study abroad program led by Dr. Lee Burras and Bethzayda Matos.  The program will develop an understanding and appreciation of South America's northern Pampas and the Universidad de la Republica, as well as Uruguay as a nation with a unique and vibrant agricultural culture and economy. “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.

Service Learning in the US Virgin Islands
Dr. Gail Nonnecke, Emily Zimmerman and Jennifer Lillo will be leading a service learning program to the U.S. Virgin Islands. The nine students in this program will have an opportunity to work in school gardens, volunteer with the local senior center, help the National Park Service, and aid in food service and distribution at a food bank and meal center. Students will also learn about and experience the beautiful natural resources and rich culture of the U.S. Virgin Islands!

Tropical Agriculture Production, International Business and Trade in Panama
Program Directors, Ebby Luvaga and Hector Bombiella Medina, will be leading a group of eighteen students to Panama during the winter break 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. Students will gain introduction and first hand exposure to tropical agricultural production, economics, international business, culture  and rural life.

Participants of Australian Universities Crops Competition study abroad program completed their study abroad opportunity earlier than the rest of the fall programs! Seven students traveled to Australia to compete in an international crops competition. This program helped students gain an international experience as well as develop their knowledge of crops grown in Australia. The Australian Universities Crops Competition (AUCC) began in 2012 as a competition to test students’ knowledge of practical agronomy.  The competition consists of exercises focused on developing students agronomic and business skills, while letting them interact with industry representatives. This program was led by program director, Warren Pierson.



CALS Study Abroad Program Director Q&A

Lee Burras, Professor in the Department of Agronomy, has been leading study abroad programs since 2002.  Lee has led or co-led a total of 20 classes abroad while at Iowa State University including the most common one “Soils & Crops of Costa Rica”.

What programs do you lead?
Even though I have been leading programs since 2002, it wasn’t until 2006 when I started leading programs annually.  Other programs include, France (2002), Ecuador (2011), Uruguay (2017) and Uganda (service learning in 2006-2008; Soil Formation in 2018).

I plan to lead/co-lead three more this academic year (Uruguay over Thanksgiving Break; Uganda soils in January 2019; Costa Rica over Spring Break 2019).

Why do you lead study abroad programs?
I lead programs because they are easy to do, they are fun to do, and they result in tremendous student learning – both professionally and personally.  They are also highly valued by ISU’s leadership (President, Provost, Deans, etc) and by the students who enrolled. 

What have you learned by leading programs?
I have learned a tremendous amount of technical details about soils, agriculture, the environment, and government by leading courses.  More importantly I keep improving my knowledge of why culture and how the people’s culture of a place must be understood and respected if I want anything I know to be understood, respected and – ideally – used.  Every trip I take also thoroughly reinforces in me that 99.999% of people are smart, kind and interesting.  That applies to our students and in-country hosts, hotel staff, etc. 

What have been most memorable about leading study abroad programs?
The most memorable aspects of my classes have been great people, beautiful and fascinating locales (including impressive soil profiles), wonderful food, and great lodging.   Pretty much the only negatively memorable experience has to do with the stress of getting groups through TSA-type security at airports while making sure we have enough time to catch a flight and no one gets bumped --- but that stress reflects that an airport is pretty much the part of a study abroad experience where a Program Leader has the least influence on what might go on.  Obviously it is a pretty manageable stress, too.  Otherwise I wouldn’t keep leading programs.

What do you like to do in your free time?
In my free time I like to travel with Lori (my wife), try interesting restaurants, read, and now and then take a fitness class.

What advice do you have for someone interested in leading or co-leading a study abroad program?
First, do it!  Second, work with the CALS Study Abroad Office in setting it up. 

What advice do you have for students interested in participating in a study abroad program?
A student should study abroad because it will help her/him understand who she/he really is while also better informing them about what they actually know and where they are from.   As a result, their personal and professional lives gain greater perspective, which seems kind of important if someone wants to be genuinely happy.  Oh – and the student will learn a lot of technical material while also making lifelong friends and eating great food in an exotic setting. 

Aside from leading study abroad programs, Lee was recently highlighted in the most recent “Stories” for his exceptional work in the classroom, Creating the future, teaching to serve.

Student Spotlight

Connor Bollum

Major: Agricultural Business  • Study Abroad Experience: Greece & Argentina

Connor Bollum, a junior in Agricultural Business from Austin, Minnesota returned last spring from a travel course to Argentina on the topic of agricultural production, business and trade. This is not the first study abroad experience for Connor as he has also completed a travel course to Spain and a semester abroad in Greece at the American Farm School-Perrotis College. During his recent visit to Argentina, Connor appreciated the structure and cultural immersion that comes with a faculty-led travel course as they were able to experience opportunities that most people wouldn’t be given. For example, while in Argentina the group visited the farm of Sergio Lence, ISU Professor in Economics and program director. They were able to interact with Sergio’s family members who are residents to Argentina, while enjoying a native home cooked meal of roasted lamb. Studying abroad for a semester in Greece helped Connor become more independent and confident while conquering situations on his own. He also enjoyed attending classes taught by professors from 4 different continents and unique perspectives. While working as a Student Travel Consultant in the CALS Study Abroad office, Connor can’t express enough on how great of an experience study abroad is for any student considering the opportunity. Aside from studying abroad, Connor is also an active member of the Agricultural Business Club, Agricultural Marketing & Management Organization (AMMO) and Agricultural Entrepreneurship Initiative. Connor's Blog.

Bridget Halat

Major: Communications Studies • Study Abroad Experience: Costa Rica & Argentina

Bridget Halat a junior from Genoa, Illinois, majoring in Communications Studies and minoring in International Agriculture and Advertising has participated in several study abroad programs through the CALS Study Abroad Office. Although Bridget had never traveled internationally before and her major isn’t in the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences, she was persuaded by her friends in the college to apply for a study abroad experience. Bridget first studied abroad to Costa Rica with the Department of Agronomy and enjoyed her experience so much that she added International Agriculture as a minor and applied for a second faculty-led travel course with a focus on agricultural business, production and trade to Argentina this past spring. Through both of her study abroad experiences, Bridget didn’t know anyone in the groups, but found it to be a great opportunity to make new friends and network with her peers and the program directors leading the course. Bridget also feels that she has become a stronger leader as a result of studying abroad and enjoyed being truly immersed in the culture. Studying abroad has also been a topic of conversation at career fairs and interviews as Bridget feels companies are looking for people with global experience and the ability to step out of their comfort zone. During her internship interviews, Bridget felt, “studying abroad helped me standout and showed a difference between myself and the other candidates.” Bridget is the marketing and communications intern this summer for the National Swine Registry in Indiana, but will return this fall and hopes to participate in another faculty-led travel course through the CALS Study Abroad Office. During her time at Iowa State, Bridget is also an active member in Bacon Expo and serves at the President of the Swine Interest Group within the Block and Bridle Club.



Where are CALS Faculty/Staff Traveling


  • Denise Bjelland, Global Programs, Uganda, project collaboration
  • Madan Bhattacharyya, Agronomy, India, invited presentation at international conference
  • David Blystone, Agronomy, India, invited presentation at international conference
  • Charles Burras, Agronomy, Uruguay, lead student travel course
  • Joel Coats, Entomology, Canada, participate in international conference
  • Greg Curtzwiler, FSHN, Canada, invited presentation at international conference
  • Nicholas Gabler, Animal Science, South Africa, research
  • Aaron Gassmann, Entomology, Canada, project followup
  • Arka Ghosh, Statistics, Italy, participate in international conference
  • Cynthia Haynes, Horticulture, Peru, invited presentation at international conference
  • Ranga Jayasooriya-Arachige, Animal Science, New Zealand, co-lead student travel course
  • Ramesh Kanwar, ABE, Ghana, faculty advisor for international student project
  • Kevin Keener, FSHN, Ireland; China, research; invited presentation at international conference
  • Jae-Kwang Kim, Statistics, Canada, invited presentation at international conference
  • Dawn Koltes, Animal Science, South Africa, participate in international conference
  • Susan Lamont, Animal Science, France, research
  • Anabelle Laurent, Agronomy, France, research
  • Judith Levings, Ag Ed & Studies, South Africa
  • Jennifer Lillo, Horticulture, U.S. Virgin Islands, co-lead student travel course
  • Ebby Luvaga, Economics, Panama, co-lead student travel course
  • Anthony Mahama, Agronomy, Burkina Faso, project followup
  • Dirk Maier, ABE, Germany, invited presentation at international conference
  • Bethzayda Matos, Entomology, Uruguay, co-lead student travel course
  • Greg Miller, Ag Education & Studies, South Africa, present workshops
  • Manjit Misra, Seed Science, India, participate in international conference
  • Nrusimha-Nath Misra, CCUR, India, invited presentation at international conference
  • Daniel Nettleton, Statistics, Italy, invited presentation at international conference
  • Kizito Nishimwe, ABE, Germany, invited presentation at international conference
  • Gail Nonnecke, Horticulture, U.S. Virgin Islands, co-lead student travel course
  • Cassandra Nunez, NREM, Canada, project followup
  • Michael Owen, Agronomy, Honduras, research
  • Alison Robertson, Plant Pathology, Canada, project followup
  • Farzad Sabzikar, Statistics, Italy, participate in international conference
  • Kevin Schalinske, FSHN, Canada, participate in international conference
  • Angela Shaw, FSHN, U.S. Virgin Islands, project collaboration
  • Johnathon Shook, Agronomy, India, invited presentation at international conference
  • Yuh Yuan Shyy, Seed Science, Japan, project collaboration
  • Asheesh Singh, Agronomy, Brazil, invited presentation at international conference
  • Catherine Swoboda, Horticulture, Uganda, project followup
  • Leo Timms, Animal Science, New Zealand, co-lead student travel course
  • Arnold Vanderwalk, EEOB, South Africa, invited presentation at international conference
  • Keith Vorst, FSHN, Canada, invited presentation at international conference
  • Mary Wiedenhoeft, Agronomy, New Zealand, co-lead student travel course
  • Hongwei Xin, ABE, Canada
  • X. B. Yang, Plant Pathology, China, invited presentation/lectures
  • Curtis Youngs, Animal Science, China, participate in international conference
  • Hongwei Zhang, Agronomy, China, research
  • Emily Zimmerman, Horticulture, U.S. Virgin Islands, co-lead student travel course





November, 2018

Thursday, November 8, 2018  11:00-12:00 p.m.  Informational Meeting: ISU on the Mediterranean: Summer in Valencia, Spain, 3112 Pearson

Thursday, November 8, 2018 4:15-5:30 p.m. Marketing your Study Abroad Experience, 0105 Curtiss Hall

Thursday, November 8, 2018 5:10-6:00 p.m. Informational Meeting: Rome: Dean's Global Food and Agriculture Leadership Program, 2253 Food Science

Friday, November 9, 2018 Application Deadline: Study of Pork Industry in Japan and Thailand

Sunday, November 11, 2018 Application Deadline: Creating a School Garden: Service Learning in Uganda (Summer 2019)

Monday, November 12, 2018 Application Deadline: Ag Study Abroad Trip to Poland

Monday, November 12, 2018 Application Deadline: BREXIT: Scotland and England. . .History, Political Implications and Possible Outcomes

Monday, November 12, 2018, 5:00-6:00 p.m. Informational Meeting: Port Wine, Olive Oil and Cork: Agriculture of Portugal over the Centuries, 0019 Curtiss Hall

Thursday, November 15, 2018 Application Deadline: EARTH Service Learning Program. U.S. Virgin Islands

Wednesday, November 21, 2018, 2:00-3:00 p.m. Informational Meeting: ISU on the Mediterranean: Summer in Valencia, Spain, 3112 Pearson

Monday, November 26, 2018, 4:10-5:00 p.m. Informational Meeting: Cathedrals, Castles, Culture and Cuisine-sustainable, Safe and Nutritious Food in France, 2315 Food Science

Tuesday, November 27, 2018, 4:10-5:00 p.m. Informational Meeting: Port Wine, Olive Oil and Cork:  Agriculture of Portugal Over the Centuries, 0108 Curtiss Hall

Tuesday, November 27, 2018, 5:10-6:00 p.m. Informational Meeting: Cathedrals, Castles, Culture and Cuisine-sustainable, Safe and Nutritious Food in France, 2311 Food Science

December, 2018

Saturday, December 1, 2018 Application Deadline: Agriculture, Food and Natural Resource Systems of Brazil (GLOBE)

Saturday, December 1, 2018 Application Deadline: Port Wine, Olive Oil and Cork:  Agriculture of Portugal Over the Centuries

Saturday, December 1, 2018 Application Deadline: Cathedrals, Castles, Culture and Cuisine-sustainable, Safe and Nutritious Food in France

Saturday, December 1, 2018 Application Deadline: Rome: Dean's Global Food and Agriculture Leadership Program

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