Sarah Bardsley Capasso, Ph.D. Plant Pathology
Sarah Bardsley Capasso, of Bethel Township, PA, pursued a degree in plant pathology because she wanted to learn more about science and agriculture and get involved in applied research to potentially improve the lives of her community. Her dissertation titled, "Antibiotic resistance in Pennsylvania stone fruit orchards" focused on bacterial spot on stone fruit, the worst bacterial disease of peach and nectarines in the eastern U.S. fruit tree industry. Sarah enjoyed her experience working with the fruit tree growers of Pennsylvania.
When asked what advice she would offer to future graduate students, Sarah said, “Know your adviser’s expectations of you. Set goals. It’s not enough just to do lab work, but get involved in extracurricular activities where you can practice your leadership and team building skills.”
During Fall 2016 Sarah worked as a postdoc with Drs. Kari Peter and María del Mar Jiménez Gasco at the Fruit Research and Extension Center (FREC) examining storage rots of apples and the effect of pH on antibiotic sensitivity. She hopes to continue to use her degree to help improve plant disease management by making disease management strategies more effective, less costly, and safer for the environment, farmers, and consumers.
In January 2017 Sarah will begin work at the University of Pennsylvania as Assistant Biosafety Officer in the Office of Environmental Health and Radiation Safety.
Amy Daffe, iMPS Homeland Security-Agricultural Biosecurity and Food Defense Option
The intercollege Master of Professional Studies (iMPS) Homeland Security-Agricultural Biosecurity and Food Defense Option degree is an online program through World Campus. It offers flexibility and convenience, allowing one to connect with faculty apart from a classroom setting and to work full time while pursuing a degree.
Katherine Dennison, iMPS Homeland Security-Agricultural Biosecurity and Food Defense Option
Katherine sought to complement her nutrition and public health background by pursuing this degree, and desires to address food security concerns across continental regions in addition to keeping the U.S. prepared to identify foreign organisms in crops, livestock, and our food supply in general. She recommends this program to others because she considers it a useful education, highly applicable, and tailored to working professionals in the field. Katherine found that professors were well equipped to share their experience but also learn from their students. Dennison intends to use her degree by continuing in an international setting focused on food and agricultural security that addresses appropriate nutrition and responsible resource management, especially within a changing climate.
Willis Glass, iMPS Homeland Security-Agricultural Biosecurity and Food Defense Option
Susan Menges Hurley, iMPS Homeland Security-Agricultural Biosecurity and Food Defense Option
Susan desired to continuously educate and challenge herself, so her next step was to pursue a master's degree. The Homeland Security program with the agricultural biosecurity and food defense option was an excellent fit. Susan believes she has consequently solidified her place as a professional in her field and recommends this program to others, regardless of which Homeland Security option is selected. She said that given the state of affairs in today’s world, “we need professionals who can be leaders in preventing, mitigating, and responding to threats of any kind.”
Kim Riley, iMPS Homeland Security-Agricultural Biosecurity and Food Defense Option
Kim Riley always wanted to attend Penn State and hopes to advance her career with her Penn State World Campus intercollege Master of Professional Studies (iMPS) in Homeland Security degree. However she admits to just “pure bragging rights.”
Neal Williams, iMPS Homeland Security-Agricultural Biosecurity and Food Defense Option
Benjamin Nason, B.S. Horticulture, Mushroom Science Technology minor