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2015

LaVerne Thomas, former Ag BM instructor has passed away after a 30-year battle with breast cancer.

It is a pleasure to announce the 2015 executive board for the Rural Sociology Graduate Association.

Shannon Monnat, Assistant Professor of Rural Sociology, Demography, and Sociology, has been featured in The Social Science Research Institute's Annual Report for her research project to examine health care challenges that Hispanics face in different areas of the United States. To read more, see pages 27 and 28 of the report.

It is with much sadness that the Department of Agricultural Economics, Sociology, and Education reports the passing of Frederick A. Hughes on Sunday, January 25, 2015.

Congratulations to Rurial Sociology PhD candidate Paige Castellanos who recently was selected for an Alumni Association Dissertation Award!

Researchers in Penn State's College of Agricultural Sciences have received a nearly $1.4 million grant to perform a gender-based analysis of the Honduran horticultural value chain, with an eye toward reducing barriers to participation for women and other marginalized groups, while enhancing family income and nutrition.

Congratulations to two senior CED students for becoming recipients of major university-wide awards! Cara McDonald was the recipent of the Stand Up Award given by The Rock Ethics Institute and Arianna De Reus was the recipient of the Spirit of Internationalization Award given in conjuction with the International Women's Day celebration.

The Veteran Metrics Initiative: Linking Program Components to Post-Military Well-Being (“TVMI Study”) is a longitudinal study that will follow military personnel as they transition out of military service to identify their use of transition and reintegration programs and assess changes in their well-being over the next three years.

It is with much sadness that the Department of Agricultural Economics, Sociology, and Education reports the passing of J. Dean Jansma on Tuesday, March 26, 2015.

Esha Zaveri, Agricultural, Environmental and Regional Economics Ph.D. candidate, has been awarded first prize in the graduate category of Social Sciences for the College of Agricultural Sciences and Gamma Sigma Delta Honor Society's 20th Annual Graduate Research Exhibition. The title of her research is "The Future of Irrigation in India: Crop Demand, Water Supply, and (Un)Sustainability."

It is with great sadness, we share that Dr. Dennis Scanlon, professor emeritus, passed away on April 2nd. Dr. Scanlon positively impacted many lives as a teacher educator, mentor, and friend. He will be greatly missed.

Dr. James Dunn, Professor of Agricultural Economics, was awarded the 2015 Barash Award for Human Service on April 15, 2015. This award is presented annually to a full time member of the University Park faculty, staff, or student body who has contributed most helpfully and significantly, apart from regular duties, to human causes, public service activities, organizations, and the welfare of fellow human.

Congratulations to Shannon Monnat, Assistant Professor of Rural Sociology, Demography, and Sociology, for being selected as the 2014 recipient of the Roy C. Buck Faculty Award in the College of Agricultural Sciences for the publication "Race/Ethnicity and the Socioeconomic Status Gradient in Women's Cancer Screening Utilization: A Case of Diminishing Returns?”

Carolyn McDonald (CED major) have been chosen as a 2015 Stand Up Award honoree and will be officially announced as a recipient Friday, April 24 at the Nittany Lion Inn.

Carolyn Sachs, Professor of Rural Sociology and Head of Women’s Studies Department, has been selected to receive the 2015 Richard P. Haynes Distinguished Lifetime Achievement in Agriculture, Food and Human Values Award. The presentation will be made in June at Chatham University in Pittsburgh, PA.

Sarah Eissler, rural sociology master's degree candidate, was among only 12 students selected to participate out of nearly 100 applicants from universities across the country.

A newly announced research partnership between British author J.K. Rowling's nonprofit children's organization Lumos and the UNESCO Child and Family Research Centre at National University of Ireland Galway -- and including Penn State's UNESCO Chair in Community, Leadership and Youth Development program -- aims to transform the lives of an estimated 8 million children worldwide living in orphanages of whom an estimated 80 percent have living parents or families who could look after them with the right assistance.

Ted Alter, Professor of Agricultural, Environmental, and Regional Economics, has been awarded the Community Development Society’s (CDS) 2015 Ted K. Bradshaw Outstanding Research Award. This award is presented to a CDS member in recognition of a significant stream of superior research that exemplifies and positively impacts community development practice and represents a lasting contribution to the field. The award will presented at the 46th Annual International Conference that will be held in Lexington, KY July 19-22, 2015.

Washington, D.C.-based Generations United has announced that Dr. Matt Kaplan (Professor of Intergenerational Programs and Aging at Penn State) and Dr. Alan Lai (Director of the Intergenerational English as a Second Language Program) are co-recipients of the Brabazon Award for Evaluation Research. This award honors a significant contribution in the utilization of evaluation research in documenting the processes and outcomes of a new or existing intergenerational program.

Stephan Goetz, professor of agricultural and regional economics in Penn State's College of Agricultural Sciences, has received the 2015 Outstanding Public Service through Economics Award from the Northeast Agricultural and Resource Economics Association.

Guangqing Chi, Associate Professor of Rural Sociology and Demography and Director of the Computational and Spatial Analysis Core in the Social Science and Population Research Institutes, is the recipient of a grant from the National Science Foundation to study the interconnection of population and infrastructure in response to disasters.

Deanna Miller, 2015 AEE graduate with an INTAG minor, has accepted a position in New Jersey. The link below will take you to an article which indicates in Ms. Miller’s own words, the impact and the value of the collaboration between the Office of International Program and our Agricultural Teacher Education Program.

This Interlochen public radio article features Carolyn Sachs, Professor of Rural Sociology

Penn State researchers assessed the effects of changing climate conditions on agriculture, tourism, infrastructure, water resources, forestry, energy and human health in the 2015 Pennsylvania Climate Impact Assessment Update, released by the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection, and made recommendations to help Pennsylvanians prepare and respond.

"Over 1.3 million adolescents abused prescription opioids within the last year," said Shannon Monnat, assistant professor of rural sociology, demography, and sociology, Penn State. "With this number of adolescents there are major implications for increased treatment demand, risk of overdose and even death from these opioids."

According to project co-investigator Guangqing Chi, associate professor of rural sociology and demography and faculty director of the Computational and Spatial Analysis Core at the Population Research Institute and Social Science Research Institute at Penn State, people born and raised at high elevations (above 8,200 feet) exhibit distinct physiological characteristics such as increased blood viscosity caused by higher hemoglobin content.

In a combined course and cultural engagement experience, senior Agricultural Science major, Alexandra Dutt explored indigenous peoples’ understanding of their environment -- and how it could inform her own through Exploring Indigenous Ways of Knowing, a course that included an end-of-semester trip to the Ojibwe communities in northern Minnesota.

The Department of Labor reported there were 62,400 florists in 2012 and prediction indicate this number will decrease by 8% over the next ten years. Florists say the industry is slowly dying, as the workforce ages and a new generation of workers is not posed to take the reins. Carly-Jean Schaeffer, a recent graduate of the Agricultural and Extension Education program, has ambitions to bridge the gap. Carly-Jean teaches students at Derry High School the art of floral design, as well as floral shop business management through hands on experience and practice.

Rob Chiles, assistant professor of rural sociology, joins the first group of faculty recruited to expand the University’s national leadership in ethics research and ethical literacy.

Awarded at the Fall 2015 Ag Council Delegate Meeting held October 8, 2015.

As a PhD student in Rural Sociology and International Agriculture and Development (INTAD), Eissler is working with Gender and Climate Change team & local partners to design and implement "Gender Background" report.

One of 10 students selected for competitive award.

"Heroin abuse is still relatively rare in the United States," says Shannon Monnat, assistant professor of rural sociology, demography, and sociology at Penn State. However, while recreational drugs such as LSD, cocaine, crack, and meth have been more prominent in the news in recent decades, heroin has once again surged into the spotlight.

U.S. media and popular culture historically portrayed drug abuse as an urban problem, but in recent years, there has been more media attention on rural drug issues. Part of this growing attention pertains to the growing epidemic of narcotic painkiller abuse in rural America. Co-author Shannon M. Monnat, Assistant Professor of Rural Sociology and Demography, finds that although all areas of the country experienced increases in painkiller prescribing, abuse, and mortality over the past two decades, the increases have been most pronounced in small towns and rural areas and that this rural drug epidemic requires immediate attention from policy makers and practitioners.

Energizing the U.S. Economy: Rural America at the Epicenter of America's Energy Future: As decision makers consider policy methods to advance America's energy and economic future, it is critical to be aware of the structure and economics of rural energy impacts for landowners and local communities. Wind, solar, and shale gas development each have labor, leasing, and financing implications for the local, regional, and national energy economies.

Leland Glenna, associate professor of rural sociology and science, technology, and society, and his wife, Esther Prins, associate professor of education, established the Luther R. Glenna Graduate Fellowship in Rural Sociology in memory of Glenna's father. Students in the College of Agricultural Sciences who are candidates for a graduate degree in rural sociology and who have exhibited academic excellence are eligible for the fellowship.

Olivia Murphy-Sweet & Miranda Kane, Agriculture and Extension Education and Arianna DeReus, Community, Environment, and Development Major among ten students honored.

Communities with more self-employed workers can better withstand economic shifts caused by imports than communities that have fewer self-employed people, according to Penn State economists. In a study of how recent Chinese imports affected the U.S. labor force, the researchers found that counties with higher rates of self-employment suffered fewer negative effects, such as reduced job growth, from increased imports than counties with lower self-employment rates, said Stephan Goetz, professor of agricultural and regional economics, Penn State and director of the Northeast Regional Center for Rural Development.

Recognizing the need to improve food security and enhance the well-being of rural populations in developing countries, a new Penn State project will provide intensive training for researchers that will help them to integrate gender-related dimensions into international agricultural research. According to project leader Carolyn Sachs, professor of rural sociology and women's studies, the Penn State project will support the consortium's gender strategy, which commits Consultative Group for International Agricultural Research (CGIAR) — commonly known as CGIAR — and its Consortium of International Agricultural Research Centers research programs to develop agricultural technologies, farming systems and policies to support rural women in improving agricultural productivity and their livelihoods.