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LETTER FROM THE DEAN
She Gator Nation Branding Campaign states The
University ofFlorida is in Gainesville. The Gator Nation is
The second line is especially true for students in the College
B of Agricultural and Life Sciences. Each year, more than 200
x students study, intern or do research abroad, such that 15-20
percent of the CALS graduating class has been abroad during
their academic career. CALS supports 16 study abroad programs
in 14 countries, and we're constantly renewing our portfolio
as global issues and needs change. In addition, many gradu-
1 ate students perform all or part of their thesis or dissertation
S research in foreign countries where they become defacto UF
ambassadors, bringing cutting edge science to areas with great
need for expertise in agricultural, natural resource and life
So why do we do this? Research published in 2008 shows
that students who study abroad grow in many ways. Compared
to those who have not been
A 2003 study showed that even abroad, they have stronger
10-20 years after graduation, people skills, more favorable at
titudes toward other cultures,
who studied abroad in college were better foreign language skills,
statistically more likely to travel abroad and improved confidence
and self image. A 2003 study
again, speak a foreign language, and showed thateven 10o-2o0 years
after graduation, people who
be involved with foreign cultures. studied abroad in college
were statistically more likely
to travel abroad again, speak a foreign language and be in-
volved with foreign cultures. While it sounds a bit far-fetched,
studying abroad is truly a life-changing experience and one that
cannot be replicated on a college campus.
Faculty travel abroad bringing back a wealth of new knowl-
edge each year that enriches their classes and informs their
research and extension programs. Earlier this year when the
tragic earthquake occurred in Haiti, our faculty were there, and
they're still in Haiti helping the rebuilding process. Extending
our expertise globally is not only the right thing to do, it makes
us better back here in Florida.
On the following pages, you'll find more detailed stories
about students who have traveled abroad and taken the Gator
Nation everywhere. Enjoy!
Dr. Mark Rieger
2 CALS CONNECTION Fall 2010
TABLE OF CONTENTS
4 Entomology Student Conducts Research for the USDA
5 Packaging Science Student Gains International Industry Knowledge
6 CALS Leadership Institute Experiences a Sustainable Latin America
7 Agricultural Communicators and Leaders of Tomorrow Win Scholarship to
8 CALS Students and Alumni Serve as Peace Corps Volunteers
9 UF Environmental Horticulture Club Hosts Largest Poinsettia Sale in North
10-11 2009-2010 CALS Scholarship and Leadership Awards
Editor: Laura K. Kubitz
Advisor: Cathy Carr, Director, Alumni and Career Services
Designer: Raghu Consbruck, IFAS Information and Communication Services
Cover photo: Tyler Jones, IFAS Information and Communication Services
Fall 2010 CALS CONNECTION 3
Entomology Student Conducts
Research for the USDA
BY CARLY BARNES
ne UF student is protecting the
food supply from foreign invaders.
Sarahlynne Guerrero, an
entomology and nematology senior, works
with the United States Department of Agri-
culture to help identify insect samples and
research the effectiveness of insect traps to
monitor for exotic invasive species.
Guerrero identifies insect species by
distinguishing between wing characteris-
tics and by extracting the insect abdomen
and viewing the genitalia under a
"The specimens come from surveys
using various types of traps and
pheromones for specific non-native
moths," said Julieta Brambila, national
identifier for the USDA. "The moths
we work with are of quarantine impor-
tance, meaning that they normally do
not occur in the United States, that if
they entered the U.S. may become ma- .,
jor agricultural pests, and may become
invasive, affecting not only agriculture
but damaging native plants." Sa
Guerrero identifies insect species De
from all over the country that are sent sai
to the USDA office in Gainesville. She mC
species. She checks the traps weekly for
"We put in specialized pheromone bait
for male moths,"' Guerrero said. "We extract
the traps every week and basically freeze
them to make sure all of the insects are
dead. I identify all the targets, which in
this case are the corn ear worm and the old
Guerrero uses the same process to
identify insect targets from the traps that
rahlynne Guerrero works with the United States
apartment of Agriculture to help identify insect
mples and research the effectiveness of insect traps to
monitor for exotic invasive species.
standard protocol for future trappings,"
She is involved in all stages of the
research project from setting up traps to
preparing and identifying specimens.
Guerrero also helps with analyzing results
and presenting them at conferences.
The research can be used in any state, not
just Florida, and will help better promote
survey methods for target species, Brambila
Guerrero's research takes tenacity.
"It's pretty overwhelming at times,"
Guerrero said. "Every week you have
to go out to these fields and extract all
these traps, and often times it takes up
a good half of your day."
Working with traps in a real-world
environment also poses its challenges.
Ants and raccoons raid the traps to eat
the moth specimens, and cattle turned
loose in the field can destroy the traps.
Guerrero plans to attend graduate
school and continue to do research
in international aspects of pest
"I'm really proud of the work I do
because I am finding scientific data
most often uses a
stickytrap to collect "I'm really proud of the work I do because I am finding scientific data to
"It's quite a back up what the USDA does, and I'm actually contributing to make sure
nuisance because the
wings get covered that our food system is safe and is not being eaten alive by exotic pests,"
up by the sticky glue
filmthaetis charac Guerrero said. "I'm so glad I have the opportunity to make a difference."
teristic of the trap,"
she said. "It really hinders the process of she uses with her job at USDA, by extract- to back up what the USDA does, and I'm
extracting the abdomen and making that ing the abdomen and looking for wing actually contributing to make sure that ou
clear genitalia speciation." characteristics to make an identification. food system is safe and is not being eaten
Guerrero is also involved in research to "This project is really important because alive by exotic pests," Guerrero said. "I'm
determine the effectiveness of four types of it tests which is the best trap for finding glad I have the opportunity to make a
traps used by the USDA to monitor insect these exotic pests and also establishes a difference." 0
4 CALS CONNECTION Fall 2010
Packaging Science Student Gains
International Industry Knowledge
BY LAURA KUBITZ
Landing an internship or working part-
time are common ways students build
their resumes before entering the
competitive job market after graduation.
For Wesley Taylor, a packaging science
senior, industry knowledge came in the
form of a trip to Italy.
Packaging science encompasses the
research, design, innovation and business
of making sure consumer products safely
complete the journey from the factory to the
store shelf. The University of Florida is the
only school in the state of Florida to offer
this program of study.
In one of Taylor's packaging courses, Dr.
Bruce Welt, associate professor and pack-
aging science undergraduate coordinator,
presented his students with the opportunity
to submit an assignment to the Italian
Trade Commission's "Italian Packaging
Technology Awards." The 10-12 page papers
had to address an innovation in packaging
materials or in the packaging machinery
Taylor was selected as one of eight
students throughout the U.S. and Canada
to travel to Italy for two weeks in June 2010.
Taylor and his travel companions made
their way through Rome, Rimini, Venice,
Milan, Parma, Bologna and Florence. They
sampled exquisite Italian cuisine and im-
mersed themselves in a historic and vibrant
culture, all while gaining real-world experi-
ence and international exposure to the
When the group arrived in a new city,
they would set off on foot to sightsee or
have a guided tour of the historical sections
A gondola is docked in Venice, Italy.
of the area. On travel
days, the group toured
sometimes visiting two
companies a day.
During his free time,
Taylor took the oppor-
tunity to see the Vatican
Museum and Sistine
Chapel in Rome, the
beaches of Rimini, the
leather markets of Flor-
ence, and many famous
central and northern
Italy. Wesley Taylor st
In Rimini, they had
the opportunity to attend Packology, a
packaging trade show where companies
throughout Europe have their latest and
most innovative machinery set up for
"We saw a great number of packaging
machines, some of which I had never even
heard of in the classroom setting," Taylor
said. "It was beneficial to see them in per-
son and have their finer details explained."
Taylor was first introduced to the world
of packaging science as a general busi-
ness major. While browsing for an area of
specialization, packaging stood out to him
because he only needed a few more classes
to fulfill the necessary requirements.
He then realized he would be better off as
a packaging science major.
Taylor's Italian experience helped him
realize how different it is to work in an
international market, not just in the
A new facility for Omas Tecnosistemi SRL, a company th
manufactures packaging machinery, is being put to goo
hands in front of the Roman Coliseum in Rome, Italy.
packaging industry, but across all indus-
tries. His travels taught him that respect
and attention to minute cultural differ-
ences can go a long way when working
with people from across the world. Taylor
believes he will have a different perspec-
tive than most out in the working world,
and he will be able to effectively apply this
knowledge in his career.
"Wesley is a very strong student and has
tremendous potential to make it far in the
packaging industry," Welt said.
After graduation, Taylor wants to start
out at a large company such as Procter &8
Gamble Co. or Kraft Foods to gain valuable
package engineering experience.
In the future, he hopes to open his own
package consulting firm that will work to
ensure that the products we use and con-
sume become more sustainable, efficient
and safe. 0
A pharmaceutical labeling machine
at is on display at the Packology
d use. Trade Show in Rimini, Italy.
CALS Leadership Institute Experiences
a Sustainable Latin America
BY SARAH DELOACH AND LAURA KUBITZ
As the plane began to descend, faint
green mountaintops appeared in
the distance and the lush, tropical
forests of Costa Rica sprawled for miles.
In August, members of the College of
Agricultural and Life Sciences Leadership
Institute traveled to Costa Rica to learn
about sustainable agricultural practices
used in international markets and to expe-
rience Latin American culture.
"My first impression of Costa Rica was,
'Oh my, I've finally reached paradise,'" said
Rusty Hartline, agricultural education
and communication senior and CALS LI
CALS LI is a sustainable leadership
development program for undergraduate
students currently enrolled in CALS. The
17-month program requires students to
participate in workshops, attend confer-
ences, complete a 50-hour practicum
with a personal mentor and participate in
lo-day study abroad trip.
The students who traveled to Costa Rica
will be the first to complete the CALS LI
curriculum. They will officially be done in
December while the second group began
their program in August.
The curriculum is designed to challenge
students and prepare them to be global-
ready leaders in an expanding international
One of the main objectives during
the trip was to take part in sustainable
agricultural programs created by EARTH
University. EARTH University is a non-
profit international institution dedicated to
developing a sustainable world. Students
from all over the world come to EARTH
University to study sustainable practices
developed by the institution.
"My favorite part of our trip was visiting
EARTH University," said Johanna Wilkes,
food and resource economics senior.
"While there, we were able to visit families
in the surrounding community. It amazed
me how happy and grateful these families
were with so little. It was an experience I
will never forget."
CALS LI, with recycled products and
materials bought by EARTH University,
built a biodigestor for a Costa Rican family.
Inside the biodigestor, microorganisms
break down biodegradable material, such
as manure from a cow, in the absence
of oxygen. It then traps the methane gas
produced by the manure and sends the gas
through a hose to the house to be used for
For Jason Davison, agricultural educa-
tion and communication graduate student,
it was the most rewarding part of the trip.
"The biodigestor will save the family
about $20 a month, which is a lot of money
there," Davison said. "It is really going to
improve their quality of life. They were very
appreciative of our hard work."
The group also had the opportunity to
take in the sights. The group went zip lining
through the rain forest, took surfing lessons
and hiked to the base of a volcano. CALS LI
students also attended a cultural event and
learned about Latin American culture.
"Spending time in Costa Rica was one
of the most exhilarating and rewarding
experiences of my life," Davison said. "I
would love to go back, spend more time at
EARTH University and experience more of
the culture." 0
Agricultural Communicators and Leaders of
Tomorrow Win Scholarship to Conference
BY ANDREA DAVIS AND LAURA KUBITZ
The University of Florida Agricultural Communicators and Leaders of Tomorrow Club
was the winner of the Yamaha-Agricultural Communicators of Tomorrow Scholarship
Program. It was the second straight year the club came away with top honors.
Yamaha Motor Corporation challenged
individuals and clubs to incorporate ATV
and side-by-side safety messages in a com-
munications medium, such as a brochure
or press release.
ACLT members submitted a package
with three marketing pieces on the topic.
Their application included graphic design
components, a feature story and a video
"The effort was completely student
driven," said Dr. Ricky Telg, ACLT adviser.
"I handed them the application, and they
did the rest. If they wanted their traveling
costs lowered they would have to do the
work. They stepped up to the plate and hit a
As the winner of the scholarship, UF
ACLT received financial assistance to
help eight members of the club attend the
Agricultural Media Summit, the largest
gathering of crop and livestock media
professionals in the country.
"We also had the opportunity to speak
with representatives from Yamaha, get our
group's picture taken with the representa-
tives and view some of their new products,"
said Tiffany Dale, agricultural education
and communication senior.
The annual conference is held in various
cities throughout the United States and
brings together agricultural professionals
and students for networking and educa-
tional opportunities. This year, it was held
in St. Paul, Minn., July 24-28.
"Around 600 agricultural professionals
and students were atAMS this year," Dale
said. "It was a great opportunity to network
and meet with professionals in the agricul-
They met individuals representing John
Deere, Syngenta and Bayer CropScience, as
well as students from other universities.
The Agricultural Communicators and Leaders of Tomorrow cruise down the Mississippi River
for the welcome party of the Agricultural Media Summit in St. Paul, Minn.
"It was interesting to meet these
students and professionals, knowing
that one day, we will all be colleagues
in the agriculture industry," said Sarah
DeLoach, agricultural education and
It wasn't all work and no play for the
members of the UF ACLT. They had
the chance to cruise down the Missis-
sippi on a riverboat at the conference's
welcome party, as well as shop and
explore the Mall of America, famously
dubbed the largest mall in the U.S.
"We had a great time bonding with
our fellow ACLT members and made
memories to last a lifetime," DeLoach
said. "AMS was one of the highlights
of my summer." 0
The Agricultural Communicators and Leaders
of Tomorrow had the opportunity to meet-and-
greet with representatives from Yamaha Motor
Corporation, USA due to their winning design for
Yamaha's ATV safety contest.
Fall 2010 CALS CONNECTION 7
CALS Students and Alumni Serve as
Peace Corps Volunteers
BY LAURA KUBITZ
In 2010, the University of Florida re-
mained the largest recruiter of Peace
Corps volunteers in the Southeast and
became the fifth largest recruiter in the
nation among large universities.
College of Agricultural and Life Sciences
students are among those who strive to
make a difference overseas.
Since 2007, about 25 CALS students
and graduates have or will volunteer with
the Peace Corps, and there are nine more
students expecting to receive their invita-
tions by spring 2011, said Amy Panikowski,
UF Peace Corps recruiter.
"Food and resource economics, agri-
cultural education and communication,
wildlife ecology and conservation, and
Settled in the mountains of Morocco, Jenny
environmental science, all CALS majors,
are the most common areas of study among
UF Peace Corps volunteers," Panikowski
Panikowski is so busy that it is difficult
for her see walk-ins, but she doesn't like
to turn anyone away. She even encourages
freshmen who are interested injoining the
Peace Corps to come by and talk about how
they can prepare to apply when they get
ready to graduate.
Panikowski strives to be highly accessible
to her students, mentoring them through
the entire application process from pre-
application process to making sure they are
8 CALS CONNECTION Fall 2010
ready mentally and emotionally for their
service. She even corresponds with them
while they are overseas.
Dr. David J. Sammons, dean of the UF
International Center, served in the Peace
Corps from 1968-1970 in the Philippines as
a science education teacher at the elemen-
tary level. He also helped to improve food
production by performing demonstrations
on how to grow rice. Sammons joined
the Peace Corps because he believed in its
mission of peace and healing.
Whether it's having a knack for human
nutrition or a passion to help protect the
environment, students within CALS have
the skills the Peace Corps looks for in
their volunteers, Sammons said. In turn,
Jenny Haddle (second from right) surveys the fields with
volunteering with the Peace Corps will help
CALS students focus their interests and be
in tune with their strengths.
"They will come away with a better sense
of their professional interest and goals;'
UF students who have volunteered or
plan on volunteering with the Peace Corps
find they can lean on each other for support
and guidance from the time they begin
the arduous application process until they
come home after 27 months of serving
overseas, Panikowski said.
"The Peace Corps, although a challenge,
is one of the best things that you will ever
have an opportunity to do," Sammons said.
"You will make a difference in the lives of
others, have a thrilling experience, learn a
lot, challenge yourself in important ways
and leave something of yourself behind
after two years."
Jenny Haddle, an interdisciplinary
ecology doctoral student, served in the
Peace Corps from 2001-2002 in Morocco.
Haddle worked with local schools to create
environmental education programs, and
served as a health volunteer, organizing
vaccination drives and distributing birth
The cultural differences between
Morocco and America became apparent to
Haddle right away.
"In Morocco, they speak an unwritten
Jenny Haddle and her site mate were
given mint tea and bread by hospitable
neighboring Berbers while exploring the
sand dunes of Morocco.
Berber dialect, which is something I have
never dealt with before," Haddle said.
Despite the challenges, Haddle has
already been nominated to return for a
second tour with the Peace Corps. This
time she hopes to go to southern Africa and
work in forestry.
With an education in agricultural and
life sciences, Haddle feels more prepared
for her second round with the Peace Corps.
"I think food security is a really big issue,
and the knowledge we gain in CALS will be
very applicable there," Haddle said. 0
Haddle trained in the village of Douar her training group and teacher.
UF Environmental Horticulture Club Hosts
BY LAURA *ar ,fl;~jpr i2r
^est ^w Pynetaw ()in c9V2/T(zYerca
Nothing sparks the holiday spirit
more than a crisp, cool breeze, a sip
of hot cocoa and the vision of pink
and red poinsettias.
Since 1996, the University of Florida En-
vironmental Horticulture Club has hosted a
poinsettia show and sale. The event attracts
attendees from Orlando, Jacksonville and
Dr. Jim Barrett, a professor in the
environmental horticulture department,
inspects the poinsettias.
Daytona and is the largest poinsettia show
in North America. Last year alone, the club
sold 2,500 plants to more than 800 visitors.
The show originated as a poinsettia
research trial and open house for the com-
mercial industry. The poinsettia sale began
when people from outside the industry
came to the open house and the club des-
ignated an extra day for the public to come
and enjoy the plants. They then decided to
make a fundraiser out of the show and offer
plants for sale.
The club uses the profits from the sale to
take an international trip each May to see
horticulture in places such as Costa Rica,
France, Holland and British Columbia.
This year, the club is planning a trip to
The poinsettias are planted the first week
of the fall semester to be ready in time
for the sale. Environmental Horticulture
Club students work in rotations, including
weekends and holidays, to water the crop.
"Producing the large number of varieties
and making them all reach their peak for
the sale date is a challenge," said Dr. Jim
Barrett, a professor in the environmental
horticulture department. "The students
may not have much information on the
Since 1996, the University
of Florida Environmental
Horticulture Club has
hosted a poinsettia show
and sale. The event is the
largest poinsettia show in
particular growth and flowering charac-
teristics on many of the new varieties of
The 2010 Poinsettia Show was held in
the greenhouse complex behind Fifield
Hall on Hull Road on Dec. 9 from 8 a.m. to
In the show portion of the event, the club
conducts a survey to determine which new
varieties of the poinsettias are the most
popular among the attendees. Poinsettias of
continued on page 11
Fall 2010 CALLS CONNECTION 9
2009-2010 CALS Scholarship
Alumni and Friends
ated with a B.S.
degree in food
with a nutritional
Ponte Vedra Beach, Fla., native worked
as a research assistant for the past two
years with Dr. Wendy Dahl, food science
and human nutrition assistant professor.
Foster's honors thesis focused on vitamin
D absorption in college students. As an
undergraduate, Foster was an active leader
in Delta Delta Delta sorority, the American
Medical Student Association and the Gator
Green Team. She helped establish Greeks
Going Green which has expanded to 11
Larry J. Connor Medal of
graduated with a
B.S. degree in bot-
was involved in a
variety of activities
and in the com-
munity. She was the founding president of
Students Working for Educational Equality
and participated in a project makeover for
Marjorie K. Rawlings Elementary School.
Wainwright was also a member of the
English Language Institute and the Lakes,
Vegetation and Landscape Faculty Senate
Committee. Wainwright attended summer
programs at the University of Chicago and
the University of Notre Dame.
E.T. York, Jr. Medal of
Melrose, Fla., is
is a member of
the Army ROTC,
Golden Key International, Collegiate Farm
Bureau, Ag Communicators and Leaders
of Tomorrow, and Alpha Gamma Rho fra-
ternity. In addition, he serves in the Florida
Army National Guard and is a member of
the Keystone Heights City Council. As part
of the Student Leadership University, he
has also mentored teens around the country
for the past five years. Rollins has received
numerous awards for academic achieve-
ment, diplomacy, leadership excellence and
J. Wayne Reitz Medal of
S of Gainesville,
..~ graduated with
...,: a B.S. degree in
food science and
with a nutri
specialization. She was a member of the
CALS Honors Program Advisory Board
and was secretary for Alpha Epsilon Delta
pre-professional organization. In 2009, she
presented her research with the Univer-
sity Scholars at three different national
conferences. Dr. MaryBeth Horodyski,
orthopaedics and rehabilitations associate
professor writes, "I know that Stephanie
has the drive, discipline and professional-
ism needed to be successful as a physician
and work in the research and academic
Jack L. Fry Award for
Teaching Excellence by a
Ph.D. from the
received a B.E. in
and M.Sc. in agrifood engineering from
University Laval, Quebec, Canada in 2000
and 2002, respectively. Pelletier's talent in
the classroom is reflected by the outstand-
ing comments from student evaluations, as
well as recognition from faculty and staff.
Dr. Dorota Haman, agricultural and bio-
logical engineering chair said, "William's
teaching has been outstanding because of
his dedication to and love of teaching, his
mastery of the subject matter and, above
all, his willingness to go the extra mile."
Adviser of the Year
a professor and
director of the
Master of Science
ship Program in
the food science
ment. Kauwell strives to develop students'
competence, self-confidence, problem
solving and critical thinking skills. Peers
cite Kauwell's work ethic, constant drive
for improvement, unwavering enthusiasm
and caring spirit as keys to her success as a
graduate teacher and adviser.
10 CALS CONNECTION Fall 2010
and Leadership Awards
of the Year
FOGARTY is an
in the department
of family, youth
she leads teaching
programs in youth
development. Fogarty advises 50 under-
graduate students and is faculty adviser
to Collegiate 4-H. Her expertise in youth
development and non-formal education
has fostered her growth as an academic
of the Year
services in the
food science and
as the adviser to
more than 300 students and co-advises the
Food Science and Human Nutrition Club,
which has grown substantially in the num-
ber of members and variety of activities
under her guidance. Underhill was also the
2009-2010 university-wide professional
staff adviser of the year.
of the Year
sor. She teaches
AEC 3413, Work-
ing with People:
Leadership Skills and AEC 3414, Leader-
ship Development. She strives to prepare
students for leadership roles in their careers
and community. Experiential learning is a
key element of her classes, including case
studies and interactive simulations sup-
ported by technology, including Facebook,
Twitter and Second Life.
of the Year
SMITH is an
-sor specializing in
ment and family
relations in the
family, youth and
A UF faculty member since 1988, Smith
was instrumental in launching the family,
youth and community sciences academic
program. Current students, alumni and
peers value Smith's professional dedication
and personal compassion.
Jimmy G. Cheek Graduate
Student Medal of Excellence
received his Ph.D.
from the depart-
ment of agricul-
nication with a
teacher education. As a graduate student,
Thoron served as a teaching assistant for
eight different courses, supervised teach-
ing interns, developed curricular units for
the Scientific Thinking and Educational
Partnership, and served as graduate adviser
to Collegiate FFA. Dr. Edward Osborne,
agricultural education and communication
chair, described Thoron as an "exceptional
graduate student who has excelled in every
graduate student role."
Poinsettia Sale continued from page 9
different shades of red and pink and plants
with different flower forms are displayed
to visitors find out what they are interested
in. The information gathered in the survey
is given to plant breeders, wholesale
growers and retailers to help them decide
which types would be best in commercial
Chris Hill, UF Environmental
Horticulture Club vice president, is in
charge of the poinsettia operation. He
meets with Barrett each week to discuss
how the poinsettia crop is doing and to
decide which further action to take.
He manages the 15-20 club members
who care for the plants on a daily basis, and
he also has a pesticide applicator license
that allows him to use pesticides and
growth regulators to keep the plants healthy
and within target growth ranges.
"This experience is teaching me what it
takes to grow a great crop of plants and how
to manage a crew of workers," Hill said.
"My goal is to be in some type of manager
role in my future career and this is a great
experience that I can present to potential
Fall 2010 CALS CONNECTION 11
UWF UNIVERSITY of
PO Box 110270
Gainesville, Florida 32611-0270
For more information on CALS, visit our website at cals.ufl.edu
PERMIT NO. 94