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USDA NIFA AFRI Funds Undergraduate Research and Extension Fellowship Program

Posted: March 18, 2016

Fellowship program engages undergrads from minority-serving institutions and Penn State undergrads from underrepresented groups in active research and extension projects.

The United States Department of Agriculture, National Institute of Food and Agriculture, Agriculture and Food Research Initiative (USDA NIFA AFRI) has funded an undergraduate fellowship program titled “Plant Friends and Foes: Plant interactions with other organisms as related to plant health, agriculture, and the environment,” with Dr. Tim McNellis, Associate Professor in the Department of Plant Pathology and Environmental Microbiology, as project director.

The three-year project fosters ties between faculty at Penn State and five minority-serving institutions (Alcorn State University, California State University at Monterey Bay, Morgan State University, the University of Puerto Rico at Mayagüez, and Virginia State University).

College of Agricultural Sciences faculty will mentor students each summer during an 8-week, in-residence program of research and extension experiential learning and professional development activities at University Park.  Students will continue their summer research projects at their home institutions during the academic year following their participation in the summer program, continue to receive mentoring from Penn State faculty, and attend a major scientific conference to present their work.  Penn State faculty will receive training on mentoring approaches for students from underrepresented groups.