Published on 04/20/16

UGA College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences recognizes international service and scholarship

By Merritt Melancon

From rice fields in western Africa to sheep pastures in Uruguay, students in the University of Georgia College of Agricultural and Environmental sciences travel the world each year to learn how to build a more food-secure future.

This international engagement not only builds their understanding of global agricultural systems, but also helps students make connections between their classroom education and the global goal of doubling the world’s food supply by 2050.

Sam Pardue, dean and director of CAES, challenged the students gathered at the college's International Agriculture Reception to finish the job started during the green revolution in the 1960s and 1970s.

Because of improved crop varieties and planting practices, farmers reduced the percentage the of the world population who suffer hunger from one-third of the human population to one-tenth of the population between the 1970s and the 1990s.

“I’m excited by many of you in this room who will be a part of the next green revolution,” Pardue said. “And one day, just like we’ve eradicated diseases, we will be able to eradicate hunger from this world. It’s a mission that we all can embrace, and I am looking forward to seeing what the next 20 or 30 years of your efforts will bring.”

CAES faculty, students and administrators gathered Tuesday to celebrate the college’s international mission and accomplishments at the sixth annual International Agriculture Day reception.

Keynote speaker Ann M. Steensland, deputy director of the Global Harvest Initiative, told students and faculty that successful solutions for feeding the world’s hungry have to be created in concert with the farmers and community members on the ground in developing countries and in our own backyard.

“As we’re looking at meeting the challenge of 2050, we need to think locally as well as globally,” Steensland said. “We need think creatively. We need to be flexible and we need to listen as much as we talk. And if we do that, and we really work with and respect the people we’re working with in the field, I think we have a real chance to meet this challenge and to bring a lot of people along with us.”

The students and faculty members gathered at Tuesday’s event exemplified this idea of global citizenship and cooperation.

The CAES Office of Global Programs, which hosts the International Agriculture Day Reception each spring, honored some of the college’s most globally minded students with travel grants, scholarships and awards. Students who will graduate this year with UGA’s International Agriculture Certificate were also recognized.

Students honored Tuesday include:

International Agriculture Certificate
International Agriculture Certificate students expand their global perspective by participating in internationally focused coursework, language study and a hands-on international internship aligned with their academic and career goals.

  • Brock Boleman, master’s degree in agricultural and applied economics
  • Erin Burnett, bachelor’s degree in agricultural communication
  • Chris Reynolds, bachelor’s degree in agribusiness
  • Emily Urban, master’s degree in agricultural and environmental education
  • Rachel Wigington, master’s degree in agricultural leadership
  • Jessica Wolf, bachelor’s degree in geography

Graduate International Travel Awards
These awards will be used to fund an international activity that supports the student’s interest in international collaboration and in global issues. The award covers round-trip air fair to an international conference or research site.

  • Diego Barcellos, doctoral degree candidate in soil science
  • Alexandra Bentz, doctoral degree candidate in poultry science
  • Emily Urban, master’s degree candidate in agricultural and environmental education

William A. Corbett Purpose and Passion Scholarship
This award is given by Jean Corbett Fowler in memory of her father, William A. Corbett, and supports graduate student participation in international education, internship or research experience.

  • Alexander Morán Chávez, master’s degree candidate in agricultural and environmental education

Kanemasu Global Engagement Award
This award recognizes a student who goes above and beyond in internationalizing his/her academic program at UGA.

  • Jillian Gordon, master’s degree candidate in agricultural and environmental education

CAES Global Citizen Award
This award recognizes an undergraduate student in the College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences who has embraced global citizenship through participation, promotion and leadership of international initiatives during his/her collegiate career.

  • Lynae Bresser, pursuing a bachelor’s degree in environmental economics and management

Ag Abroad Photo Contest
This contest is open to all CAES students and encourages them to share images of agriculture from around the world.

  • First place, Martina Buchholz, Indian Mustard Field — India
  • Second place, Ali Halalipour, Paddy Field Goes Beyond All Restrictions — Iran
  • Third place, Amanda Miller, Passion, It’s Universal — Uruguay

To view all of the photos in the contest please visit

For more information about the CAES Office of Global Programs

For all the photos from this year’s reception visit

Merritt Melancon is a public relations manager with UGA's Terry College of Business and previously served as a public relations coordinator for the UGA College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences and UGA Extension.

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