Posted: April 12, 2017

Commitment to outreach a major focus of Rosenthal's 2017-2018 NASA Pennsylvania Space Grant Consortium Graduate Research Fellowship.

Image: Michael Houtz, Penn State

Image: Michael Houtz, Penn State

Ph.D. student Emma Rosenthal was selected to receive the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) Pennsylvania Space Grant Consortium (PSGC) Graduate Research Fellowship for the 2017-2018 academic year, which is awarded to outstanding students in fields of study that promote the understanding, assessment, and utilization of space and contribute to NASA's research mission: Aeronautics Research, Exploration Systems, Science, and Space Operations.

Rosenthal's research focuses on the molecular interaction between the bacterial leaf spot pathogen and its lettuce host, a project for which she is co-advised by Dr. Carolee Bull and Dr. Tim McNellis. She hopes that her research will elucidate this plant-pathogen interaction and lead to new avenues for resistance breeding and diagnostic testing. This fellowship will facilitate Emma's pursuit of career development opportunities throughout the course of her research project.

Commitment to outreach is a major focus of the PSGC Graduate Research Fellowship Program, and the funding will support Rosenthal in her work with Extension Educator Maria Gorgo-Gourovitch to identify and address the needs of Pennsylvania's Spanish-speaking farmers and farm workers. Rosenthal believes that unique programming, such as combined English as a second language and agricultural training, provides greater potential for career advancement and engagement with science within the Spanish-speaking agricultural community. As a NASA PSGC Graduate Fellow, Emma will be able to generate program materials and earn necessary certification in order to offer this type of training.