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Title: CALS connection /
Physical Description: v. : col. ill. ; 43 cm.
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Creator: University of Florida -- College of Agricultural & Life Sciences
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Publication Date: Spring 2010
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UF Undergrads Make
Medical Advancements for
HIV and Epilepsy Patients


Horse Enterprise
Management Class Hosts
Ropin' in the Swamp Event








LETTER FROM THE DEAN






Making a Difference
T he mission and values statement for the College
of Agricultural and Life Sciences states in part
that the College intends to provide a high quality
education that results in knowledge and abilities for
productive citizenship. In that effort, the College values
scientific inquiry, diversity of ideas, and programs that
are responsive to the needs of students, Florida and the
world.
With 24 undergraduate majors and 22 graduate
programs, CALS is a national and international leader
in educational programs in the diverse areas of food,
agriculture, natural resources and the life sciences.
Students work in classrooms and laboratories on campus
and throughout the state to gain first-hand knowledge
of the latest research and development issues. They
apply new-found skills through internships in business
and industry as well as the public sector. They broaden
their horizons by participating in short- and long-term
international study opportunities. In short, they are
developing and enhancing the skills they will need to be
productive citizens in the global society.
While many undergraduates enter the workforce
upon graduation, more than half will immediately
enroll in graduate or professional school. Graduate
students continue their education or start their careers
in higher education or in the private sector. They are
well-prepared, and they do well. The partnerships they
develop with faculty and within the "real world" during
their studies pay huge dividends. We are proud of all
that they accomplish while students in our College and
throughout life.
It's Great to be a Florida Gator!





R. Kirby Barrick
Dean


With 24 undergraduate majors and 22 graduate

programs, CALS is a national and international leader

in educational programs in the diverse areas of food,

agriculture, natural resources and the life sciences.


2 CALS CONNECTION Spring 2010


























UF Undergrads Make Medical Advancements for HIV and Epilepsy Patients

Miller Lab Provides Opportunities for Undergraduate Research

Animal Sciences Alum Learns International Relations First-Hand

CALS Student Travels the World

New Clinical Human Nutrition Lab Allows for In-depth Research

Horse Enterprise Management Class Hosts Ropin' in the Swamp Event

CALS Awards: Award of Distinction and Horizon Award

Jessica Southard 2010 National Watermelon Queen

Two CALS Alumni are Appointed to the Presidential Management Fellows
Program


Editor: Angie B. Lindsey Advisor: Cathy Carr, Director, Alumni and Career Services
Designer: Raghu Consbruck, IFAS Information and Communication Services
Cover photo: Machu Picchu in Peru was just one of the stops in student Mike Jones' travels. (pg: 7)
Photo by stock.xchng user antoniocrp


.. rChain of Custodl
i NiThiLli .sfiaogra crn, )


Spring 2010 CALS CONNECTION 3


TABLE OF CONTENTS


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UF Undergrads Make Medical Advancements

for HIV and Epilepsy Patients

BY CHRISTINA CALDERAIO


group of University of Florida un-
dergraduates is working to improve
the lives of children affected with
epilepsy or HIV.
The InvestiGators Research Honors So-
ciety members are divided into three teams
that specialize in different areas. Each team
helps patients improve the symptoms of
their illness while collecting important data
that may prevent sickness.
Professor Peggy Borum oversees the
undergraduates in their research.
"A series of interviews are required for
each applicant in order to find the most
qualified students, with majors ranging
from chemistry to psychology," Borum said.
Each student is assigned to one of three
research teams based on his or her ap-
plication and interests. The teams are the
KetoGator Team, the Gator Team and the
Carnitine Team.
The KetoGator Team uses Ketogenic
therapy to decrease seizures in pediatric
epilepsy patients. Ketogenic therapy is a
diet that includes adequate protein and
low carbohydrates and as much as 90
percent of the calories from fat. The team
prepares meals that follow these nutritional
guidelines and educates families on the
importance of the diet.
The team supports the families with
frequent phone calls and follow-up visits.
Based on the results, they determine the
effects of Ketogenic therapy in a variety of
patients.
"Decreasing seizures is the main goal.
Some patients are now seizure-free while
others are stable," said KetoGator Team
co-captain Joann Wong. "A lot of success
has been achieved through decreasing
anti-epileptic medication, which sedates
children and lowers their alertness. Parents
are very happy to see their children more
alert by lowering the medication with the
help of our diet."
The Gator Team works with HIV patients
to prevent mother-to-child HIV transmis-
sions and abnormalities in already affected
children.
In order to prevent mother-to-child
HIV transmission, an infected pregnant



4 CALS CONNECTION Spring 2010


Members of the KetoGators Team, Katherine Lee, Hannah Allen, Joann Wong, Andrea
Marrugo, Dr. Lauren Jones, and Ruben Ruiz, create meal recipes for the children on
Ketogenic Therapy.


woman is treated with antiretroviral drugs
during the end of pregnancy and during
delivery. After delivery, the baby is treated
with the antiretroviral drugs for six weeks.
The babies are then tested to conclude if the
team was successful in the prevention of
the disease.
The team also educates HIV patients
about special diets that help affected
children maintain normal growth. HIV
often impairs a child's growth in height and
weight, and certain antiretroviral drugs can
add to the negative effect. The Gator Team
works to prevent HIV transmissions and al-
leviate symptoms of HIV-infected patients.








-I







KetoGator Kayley Gilbreath weighs out
heavy whipping cream while creating meals
for epilepsy patients on the Ketogenic
therapy diet.


The Carnitine Team collaborates with
the KetoGator Team and the Gator Team
by applying what is learned in the clinic to
experimental studies conducted on piglets.
Piglets are used as these experiments are
often too invasive to perform on humans.
"Piglets are the best model because their
physiology and anatomy are very similar to
humans," Borum said. "Like humans, half
of the brain develops before birth and half
develops after birth."
The Carnitine Team uses the piglet mod-
els to study the potential use of carnitine
in the treatment of seizures for epilepsy
patients and as a treatment for metabolic
abnormalities in HIV patients. Carnitine is
a nutrient that assists in the production of
energy from the food we eat.
"The Carnitine Team applies the bio-
chemical side of the research by translating
what is done in the clinic and bringing it to
the scientific community," Wong said. "If
the Carnitine Team has an answer, we can
apply it to the clinic."
Through strategic collaboration, the
InvestiGators have worked to alleviate
children's illnesses through medical
advancements. At the same time, these
undergraduate students are using this
opportunity to gain medical insight in their
fields of study to further improve medical
research. O









Miller Lab Provides Opportunities


for Undergraduate Research

BY SAM HOLMES

The Miller Lab provides serious undergraduate science majors the opportunity to boost

their resumes and potentially publish research.


A unique entomology laboratory has
created an open door for undergrad-
uate researchers to gain hands-on
experience and boost their resumes.
The Miller Lab in the entomology and
nematology department enables students
to become involved in research at an early
stage in their college career.
Dr. Christine Miller, who founded the
Miller Lab, is a scientist, teacher and men-
tor. Her work is dedicated to improving the
understanding of natural selection.
"My goal is to advance science as a whole,
especially in the area of animal behavior. I
primarily focus on mate choice and male
competition for mating opportunities,"
Miller said.
The Miller Lab provides serious under-
graduate science majors the opportunity
to boost their resumes and potentially


Ben Anderson and Linhchi Nguyen work in the
greenhouse on a project examining the use of
social information by cactus bugs.


publish research. Fae Nageon de Lestang,
an entomology and nematology senior,
recently presented one of her projects at the
Entomological Society of America's Annual
Meeting. In addition, she has had one
project published and another is in review.
"The experience was rewarding, and I
was glad to have my work recognized by the
scientific community," Naegon de Lestang
said.
Ben Anderson, a recent entomology and
nematology graduate, said the tools learned
from Dr. Miller have been extremely
valuable.
"I feel like Dr. Miller understands what
it means to be a researcher, but she also
understands what it means to be a teacher,"
Anderson said. "She blends the two in such
a combination that learning is inevitable
for her students."


To gain hands-on experience, research
in the laboratory is complemented with
outdoor research, Miller said. Most of the
research is based on the sexual selection
process; however, students can work on
other topics.
The process of sexual selection involves
examining specific traits that help an insect
achieve matings.
"The research explores the costs and
benefits of mate choice, mating behaviors,
and reproduction in general," Miller said.
Students interested in assisting in
research or conducting their own research
should speak with Miller. Basic science
classes are required to be eligible for the
program, but when choosing students for
research, she said that having a passion for
science and a strong interview are more
important than test scores. 0


Fae Nageon de Lestang has written two scientific papers since starting in the laboratory
two years ago. She is an entomology and nematology senior.









Animal Sciences Alum Learns


International Relations First-Hand

BY RYAN DAUTEL


College of Agricultural and Life Sci-
ences alumna is working toward her
goal of becoming an advocate for
farmers by immersing herself in interna-
tional agriculture.
Danielle Brewer, BSA 2009, recently
gained a broadened international perspec-
tive from her internship at a cattle ranch
in Argentina and is planning a second
internship to Vietnam in 2010.
While at the University of Florida,
Brewer focused her education on the ani-
mal science industry, especially beef cattle.
"I knew my internship would take me
somewhere far away from my family, like
the Midwest," Brewer said. "So I figured
why not learn another language while I'm
at it?"
For her internship in Argentina, Brewer
worked with Carlos Ojea, owner of a cattle
genetics consulting company, and Genetica
Global, the second largest genetics com-
pany in Argentina, to set up an internship
with Garruchos, S.A., owned by Hugo
Sigman. Sigman owns 400,000 acres of
farmland, separated into several ranches
around the country, Brewer said.
In order to learn the language, she ar-
rived in Argentina four months prior to her
internship to take intensive Spanish lan-
guage classes at Universidad de Belgrano in
Buenos Aires. After completing language
courses, Brewer left Buenos Aires to begin
her internship in General Belgrano.


The initial plan was for Brewer to divide
her time interning at several of the ranches.
However, after starting work at El Encuen-
tro, Sigman's premiere cattle ranch, she
elected to stay with them for the duration of
her internship. The best cattle from all five
ranches are taken to El Encuentro where
they are prepared for show or sale.
"In Argentina, cattle are shown and
kept much fatter than cattle in the states,"


Brewer said. "There is a distinct variation
between the U.S. show cattle industry
and the commercial cattle industry that
provides the beef that we consume in the
U.S. Cattle in the U.S. are shown more for
their looks, whereas
cattle in Argentina are
shown for how well they
will feed people. The
variation between the
'show cattle' and 'real
commercial cattle' is
a little more subtle in
Argentina."
While working at the
ranch, Brewer showed
21 head of cattle in
the Palermo National,


the largest cattle show in Argentina. At
the Palermo National, about 1,500 head
of cattle are shown annually. One of the
heifers Brewer exhibited placed third best
female in the Hereford breed category.
In preparation for the show, Brewer
worked six days a week at the ranch for an
average of 1o hours per day. Through her
hard work, Brewer built strong personal
bonds with Ojea and fellow ranchers.
"Her stay with us was excellent in
whatever way that you look at an exchange
of culture and language living together,"
said Eduardo Borioni, general manager of
El Encuentro.
Her overseas internship has not only
given her a broadened view of the beef
industry and a different culture, but she
gained new friendships and a greater ability
to speak and understand Spanish.
Brewer is preparing for another interna-
tional internship to Vietnam in May. She


will work for the U.S. Embassy's Office of
Agricultural Affairs. This office is largely
responsible for the trade agreements that
happen between the U.S. and Vietnam.
"I enjoy traveling and spending time
abroad, so the Foreign Service through the
U.S. State Department and the Foreign
Agricultural Service through the USDA
really interest me," Brewer said.
Brewer currently attends law school
at Mercer University's Walter F George
School of Law in Macon, Ga. She is inter-
ested in practicing international relations,
agricultural trade policy and immigration
law. "My main goal is to facilitate agricul-
tural trade and to be an advocate for the
farmer," Brewer said. 0


6 CALLS CONNECTION Spring 2010


"I knew my internship would take me somewhere far

away from my family, like the Midwest," Brewer said. "So I

figured why not learn another language while I'm at it?"









CALS Student Travels the World


BY KRISTEN KOVALSKY

2009 food and resource economics
graduate has traveled to 19 countries
in the past three years to study,
research and explore the world.
Mike Jones took his first interna-
tional trip in the summer of 2006 with
the Lombardi Scholars, a select group of
six incoming freshman that participate
in international and community-based
programs designed to enhance their aca-
demic experience. After the trip to Mexico,
he discovered that he had a passion for
international travel and development work.
"When I went to Mexico, I realized that
I have the physical capability to live in
another country and that I wanted to work
abroad," Jones said.
The following summer, the Lombardi
Scholars traveled to Greece. Jones used this
opportunity to spend an extra eight weeks
backpacking through Europe with four
other students. They traveled through Bel-
gium, France, Italy, the Netherlands, Spain,
the United Kingdom and Vatican City.
"I would finish one summer and then
start to plan the next summer," Jones said.
"Planning my next trip became a hobby."
James Sterns, an associate professor of
food and resource economics, has served as
Jones's mentor for undergraduate study and
research abroad. "Mike continuously dines
at the banquet of life," Sterns said. "He sees
his time at the University of Florida as a
banquet of opportunities."
In addition to Mexico and Greece,
Jones has also traveled to Japan and South
Africa as a part of the Lombardi Scholars
program. He has developed an interest
in development work as a result of these
experiences.
Jones completed his first international
development project in Peru in summer
2008. He performed an impact assessment
to evaluate the effects of credit and exten-
sion service for small-scale potato farming
cooperatives in the Andes Mountains.
Prior to the trip, he learned Spanish so that
he would be able to speak with Peruvian
farmers to collect data. His research was
awarded best paper by the University
Scholars Program and is currently being
submitted for academic publication.


Mike Jones (center) working with potato farmers in Peru.


In summer 2009, Jones worked on a
development project in Egypt, Syria and
Jordan for the International Center for
Agricultural Research in Dry Areas. He
completed an overview of the sage and
oregano markets to help determine ways
that cooperatives can increase shares
to farmers. He traveled with an Arabic
translator to collect data from farmers,
processors and wholesalers in Jordan.
"One of the more challenging things
I've done was navigate through an Arabic-
speaking country," Jones said.
Jones spent the fall 2009 semester study-
ing abroad in Switzerland at the University
of Neuchatel. Although he had never taken
a formal course to learn French, he taught
himself the language prior to the semester
and took six courses at the university, all of
which were taught in French. Jones says
he enjoys the challenge of learning a new
language.
"Linguistic skills are investments for the
rest of your life," Jones said.
He said that the key to learning a


language is to surround yourself with as
many tools as possible. To help learn Span-
ish and French, he changed his cell phone
settings and computer programs to Spanish
and French mode. He also took class notes
in Spanish and spoke Spanish with his
roommate.
"It's more fun when it's not in English,"
Jones said.
Jones wants to work as an agricultural
economist in international agricultural
development for small-scale producers.
"These farmers are good people working
in agriculture, but many just don't know
enough about maximizing the profitably
of their products," Jones said. "The key is
providing local nongovernmental organiza-
tions with the tools they need to develop
agriculture."
Jones plans to continue traveling the
world to work with on-site development
projects.
"Mike has a genuine interest in making
the world a better place," Sterns said. 0


Spring 2010 CALS CONNECTION 7








New Clinical Human Nutrition Lab


Allows for In-depth Research
BY ANDREA DAVIS


Prior to June 2009, visitors to the Food
Science and Human Nutrition Build-
ing often saw hallways flooded with
student researchers and subjects.
A clinical human nutrition lab, the first
of its kind at the University of Florida, has
since taken up residency in Room 227 of the
building.
"Prior to having this lab, students were
actually working in the halls of the building
completing basic clinical tasks such as tak-
ing measurements for height and weight,
as well as taking blood samples," said Anne
Mathews, research assistant in the depart-
ment of food science and human nutrition.
"It did not allow for much privacy."
Since the opening of the lab in June, six
different research studies have already been
conducted, Mathews said.
"The crucial need for this lab was
established many years ago when students
and staff in the department of food science
and human nutrition used to have to travel
down the street to the General Clinical Re-
search Center at Shands to conduct human
research studies," Mathews said.
With the new clinical human nutrition
lab, students and staff are able to focus
and conduct research on topics including
weight management, diabetes and obesity
prevention in a fully equipped lab setting,
Mathews said.


"A group of students is currently working
on a whole grain study that will demon-
strate the effect of whole grains in middle
school kids," said Wendy Dahl, assistant
professor in FSHN. "We currently have
over 50 undergraduate students working on
this specific study."
Other studies are also being conducted


on topics such as the effects of dietary fiber
on gastrointestinal health and whether
glucomannan fiber beneficially affects
glycemic response in women at risk for type
two diabetes, Mathews said.
The construction of the new lab was
funded by State of Florida Public Educa-
tion Capital Outlay funds, which allow
for building construction on university
campuses.
"Most of the equipment in the lab
itself, however, was funded by faculty
who chipped in and each bought different
pieces," Mathews said.
Lab equipment and instruments include


machines that measure anthropometrics,
which include height, weight and waist
measurements, as well as a bioelectrical
impedance spectroscopy machine that
measures one's body composition.
In addition to these machines, the lab
also contains a metabolic cart, which mea-
sures a person's resting energy expenditure


and an automated blood pressure monitor.
"We would not be able to do any of this
research without this lab," Dahl said. "The
lab is vital, and without it, we would not
have this [research] funding either."
Since June 2009, more than $i million
has been raised for the lab and around 400
subjects have been used in the lab's various
research studies, Dahl said.
Thanks to this new lab, the UF com-
munity can continue to look forward to
groundbreaking clinical human nutrition
research from the students and staff of the
department of food science and human
nutrition. 0


The Food Science and Human Nutrition building now houses a new clinical
human nutrition lab in Room 227 that allows for research projects focusing
on areas such as diabetes and weight management.


8 CALS CONNECTION Spring 2010


"Prior to having this lab, students were actually working

in the halls of the building completing basic clinical tasks

such as taking measurements for height and weight, as

well as taking blood samples." -Anne Mathews


-I


The main room in the clinical human nutrition lab houses
lab equipment as well as food items being used for current
research studies.









Horse Enterprise Management Class


Hosts Ropin' in the Swamp Event

BY JENNA ECKERSEN
www.jsphoto.com


students in the University of Florida's
spring 2010 Horse Enterprise
Management class worked diligently
all spring semester in planning the fifth
annual Ropin' in the Swamp event held on
Saturday, March 28.
Ropin' in the Swamp was held at the
IFAS Horse Teaching Unit on Saturday,
March 28. This year's event carried a Cow-
boy Gator Nation and wild west theme.
Activities at the event included a team
roping competition, activities for children,
silent auction and lunchtime demonstra-
tions from Horses Helping People.
"The competitors were all complimen-
tary towards the students and commented
on how professional the roping portion of
the event was run,' said Dr. Lori Warren,
assistant professor in animal science and
instructor of the course.
The event is a major class project devel-
oped and organized by students in a semes-
ter. The course comprises the main points
of running a business, including record
keeping, networking, time management,
marketing, money management, delegation
of responsibilities and donations.
www.jsphoto.com



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The fifth annual Ropin' in the Swamp event was
Enterprise Management class.

Warren enjoys teaching students how to
run the event every year.
"It [the class] provides the opportunity
for the students to put their knowledge and
skills to the test by running a real business,"
Warren said. "This event allows them to see
how their decisions affect the bottom line,
as well as how a business can be affected by
the local economy."
This year's class overcame the challenge
of managing an event in a down economy.
"It was a struggle to get sponsors and
donors to commit to helping support the
event this year because the economy has
caused them to tighten their purse strings,"
Warren said.
Despite the struggle, the sponsorship
committee raised $1,660 in cash and $5,900
in in-kind donations.
"[The down economy] taught the stu-
dents that they would have to work harder
to sell the event to local businesses to
garner their support, as well as be creative
about getting businesses involved, even if it
was at a lower sponsorship level," Warren
said. "They also learned to be patient and to
follow through with each client."
The class is known for being a


planned by students in the spring 2010 Horse


memorable event. "Students from previous
years usually come back and watch because
they have an appreciation for the hard work
that goes into putting the event together,"
Warren said.
The Horse Enterprise Management
class includes students from different
backgrounds, and even students that are
not familiar with the sport of roping.
Despite their different backgrounds, the
class encourages students to work as a team
in order to put the event together.
"Ropin' in the Swamp helped with learn-
ing a proper chain of command to make
sure everyone was doing their part and that
things were done in a timely manner," said
Amber Van Denzen, a spring 2010 Horse
Enterprise Management student.
As the event involves coordinating many
different details, past students of the class
remark on how the project provided them
with valuable lessons that serve them well
in their careers.
"As an IFAS Livestock Extension agent, I
still utilize the planning skills that I learned
in that class when planning my programs,"
said Lindsey Wiggins, UF alumna and
continued on page 11



Spring 2010 CALLS CONNECTION 9









CALS Awards

2009 Award of Distinction


DONALD T.
BENNINK,
a Cornell Uni-
versity alumnus
,?. and lifelong dairy
enthusiast, is a
strong advocate
for the land-
grant system and
IFAS mission.
Bennink is a managing partner of North
Florida Holsteins, a 7,400-head operation
he helped found in 1980. Through North
Florida Holsteins, Bennink has cultivated
a unique relationship with the UF Depart-
ment of Animal Sciences and College of
Veterinary Medicine. Bennink has served
on the CVM Advisory Council and assisted
with the process of merging the UF animal
and dairy sciences departments. He resides
in Bell with his wife Marianne and was
nominated by UF Department of Animal
Sciences Chair Geoff Dahl.


CARROL
WAYNE
HAWKINS
earned his
bachelor's degree
in agricultural
economics in 1960
and has dedicated
his 40-year career
to helping Florida
growers unite to survive and thrive in an
increasingly competitive environment. In
1984, Hawkins was selected by the National
Academy of Sciences to represent the U.S.
tomato industry on a 16-day goodwill
mission to China. In 1999, his friends
established the Wayne Hawkins Agricul-
tural Scholarship Fund in his honor to
support UF students majoring in food and
resource economics. And, in 2007, he was
inducted into the Florida Agricultural Hall
of Fame. Hawkins resides in Orlando with
his wife Carole and was nominated by his
son Drew.


H. E. "ED"
JOWERS
.. earned a bach-
elor's degree
in agricultural
education in 1964.
He served in the
U.S. Air Force for
five years and was
named an Out-
standing Transportation Officer in 1968
and 1969 for his service in Southeast Asia.
After separation from the Air Force, he
returned to UF, earning a master's degree
in 1972. Jowers' work includes expanding
the Suwanee County 4-H program and
forming the North Florida Regional Swine
Producers Association. He became known
for his expertise in peanuts in Jackson
County and, under his leadership, a new
agricultural office complex with a state-of-
the-art conference facility was constructed.
In 2008, he was inducted into the Florida
Association of County Agriculture Agents
Hall of Fame. Jowers retired in 2008, fol-
lowing a 37-year career with Extension. He
resides in Marianna with his wife Sally and
was nominated by former IFAS Senior Vice
President Jimmy G. Cheek.


2009 Horizon Award

SHARON SPANN earned her bachelor's
and master's degrees from UF in agricul-
tural education and communication in
2000 and 2002, respectively. She resides
in Tallahassee where she is employed with
the Florida House of Representatives,
specifically representatives Jennings,
Mealor and Dorworth as the primary
legislative researcher and analyst for
each representative. A former CALS
Ambassador, Spann was a member of the CALS Alumni and
Friends Board of Directors from 2005 to 2008. She is an active
volunteer for Florida 4-H and FFA and received the 2005 Walter
B. Arnold, Jr. Youth Hall of Fame Award for 4-H alumni. Spann
joined the Florida 4-H Foundation Board of Directors in 2004 and
serves as treasurer of this group. She is a past president of Florida
Agri-Women and has served on the Central Florida Leukemia and
Lymphoma Society's Board of Directors. Spann was nominated by
Debbie S. Clements and 0. Patrick Miller.


10 CALS CONNECTION Spring 2010








Jessica Southard 2010 National

Watermelon Queen


j,


Horse Management Class
continued from page 9
former Horse Enterprise Management
student.
The Horse Enterprise Management is
a capstone course for students interested
in the equine industry. Started in 2005,
the goal of the course is to bring together
the biological and business aspects of
managing horses. Managing an event
allows students to have hands on business
experience in a short amount of time.
"I feel the event prepared me for many
aspects of a professional career. Working
with businesses, seeking donations and
collaborating as a team are direct skills I
will use after graduation. To see the event
take place and run smoothly was a great
accomplishment for the entire class',
said Tayler Hansen, a spring 2010 Horse
Enterprise Management student. O


Two CALS Alumni are Appointed to the

Presidential Management Fellows Program


BY RYAN DAUTEL
wo College of Agricultural and Life
Sciences alumni have completed a
highly competitive application pro-
cess and have been appointed to a program
that seeks promising federal employees.
The Presidential Management Fellows
Program is a federal succession program
begun to ensure leadership continuity with
federal service.
CALS alumni Amy Daniels gradu-
ated with a doctorate in interdisciplinary
ecology and John DeLuca graduated with
a master's in wildlife ecology. Daniels and
DeLuca first competed for spots in the two-
year PMF program during their final year
of graduate school at UF Once selected
as finalists, they were required to pass a
nationwide exam in order to be appointed
as PMFs.
"The greatest advantage of the Presiden-
tial Management Fellows program is that
it cuts through the layers of bureaucracy
in the federal hiring process and brings


you face to face with the hiring
supervisor," said PMF appointee
Daniels.
Roughly 7,000 people took
the exam, but only 755 passed,
out of which only 150 applicants
were actually hired.
Daniels and DeLucajoin a
select number of UF students
in the program. Less than lo Amy Dan
UF students have ever been ac-
cepted into the PMF program.
As Fellows, Daniels and DeLuca were
invited to ajob fair in which they were able
to interview with different federal agencies.
Currently, Daniels is working as a
climate change specialist at the U.S. Forest
Service's Research and Development
Office. Specifically, her position is with the
Global Change Research Program, which
looks at forest management adaptation and
mitigation issues related to climate change.
DeLuca works as a natural resource


iels


specialist at the U.S. Forest Service where
he looks to restore and maintain fire-
dependent ecosystems. DeLuca received his
wild land firefighting certification and is
currently training in prescribed fire.
During their two-year term as Fellows,
Daniels and DeLuca must complete 80
hours per year ofjob-related training and
a four- to six-month rotation on a career-
related mission of their choosing. 0


Spring 2010 CALS CONNECTION 11


Communication and leadership devel-
opment junior Jessica Southard was
crowned the National Watermelon
Queen in February in Dallas. The three-day
competition was comprised of judged events,
including a panel and video interview, a pre-
pared speech and knowledge of the industry.
Southard serves as an ambassador for the
National Watermelon Association, which
includes an extensive domestic and interna-
tional travel schedule. She makes appearances
at trade shows, conferences, fairs, promotions
and festivals informing and educating about
the watermelon industry and the nutritional
benefits of watermelon.
"Accomplishing my ultimate goal felt amaz-
ing. I have been involved in the watermelon
industry on a local level since I was 12, and my
passion for this industry has gotten me this
far," Southard said. 0






UT UNIVERSITY of
UF FLORIDA
College of Agricultural
and Life Sciences


NONPROFIT ORG
U.S. POSTAGE
PAID
GAINESVILLE FL
PERMIT NO. 94


PO Box 110270
Gainesville, Florida 32611-0270


For more information on CALS, visit our website at cals.ufl.edu




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