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Internships earn awards for College of Agricultural Sciences students

Posted: October 31, 2016

Ten Penn State students have been selected as College of Agricultural Sciences Alumni Society 2016 Internship Award winners. The award, which includes a $1,000 stipend, was established to encourage students to participate in a credit or noncredit educational internship program that relates to their field of study.

"Students are developing new skills, gaining real-world experiences and discovering new career possibilities through their internships," said Naomi Knaub, the college's assistant director of alumni relations. "These are important opportunities that will help position them for success in a competitive job market. The Alumni Society encourages students to pursue these work experiences and is pleased to recognize and support the outstanding internship performance demonstrated by this year's award winners."

Internship Award winners are chosen on the basis of an internship plan, a final report, an employer evaluation and a letter of recommendation from their academic adviser. Following are the 2016 award recipients:

--Brittany Ayers, a biological engineering major from Mountain Top. A graduate of Crestwood High School, Ayers was an environmental water resources intern for two summers with Whitney Bailey Cox and Magnani, a civil engineering firm headquartered in Baltimore, Maryland. Ayers worked with firm engineers to perform inspections and assessments of best management practices used for regional stormwater management. She also used geographic information systems software to help delineate drainage areas for engineering projects. 

--Nettie Baugher, a plant sciences major from Aspers. A graduate of Biglerville High School, Baugher was a plant breeding intern for Monsanto Co.'s agricultural operations on the Hawaiian island of Maui. Baugher collaborated with entomology and agricultural experts and conducted an integrated pest management research project on local pests, including the corn planthopper. She also took part in community outreach programs and projects related to plant pollination and plant hybrid evaluation. 

--Amber Gabel, an animal science major from Newport. A graduate of Newport High School, Gabel was an intern for the Council on Dairy Cattle Breeding in Bowie, Maryland. Gabel completed a research project on fertility traits used in genetic evaluations for cattle breeding strategies in the dairy industry. She also interfaced with researchers within the council and at the USDA's Animal Genomics and Improvement Laboratory. 

--Olivia Healey, a community, environment and development major from Columbia, Maryland. A graduate of Atholton High School, Healey served as an organizational development and learning intern for the Federal Reserve System's Board of Governors office in Washington, D.C. Healey collected and compiled data for a staff-engagement survey administered to Federal Reserve employees. She also assisted the human resources team with hosting an executive coaching summit and developing staff resources, including a value-proposition program. 

--Simon Itle, a food science major from Loretto. A graduate of Penn Cambria High School, Itle worked at EcoLab Inc. as a food and beverage intern for the technology company's regional team that serves eastern Ohio, western Pennsylvania and West Virginia. Itle participated in food processing plant sanitation-training modules and conducted a project on efficiency recommendations for water, energy, time and chemical resources used in food manufacturing plants. He also visited the company's St. Paul, Minnesota, headquarters to present his findings. 

--Erika Kraus, a community, environment and development major from Aliquippa. A graduate of Hopewell High School, Kraus served as a summer intern for the Greater Pittsburgh Community Food Bank in Duquesne. She organized the food bank's summer food and service program and developed community outreach efforts to spread awareness of the program. She also conducted youth education programs on nutrition and healthy eating at several of the food bank's distribution sites. 

--Katie McLaughlin, an agricultural science major from Mifflintown. A graduate of Juniata High School, McLaughlin was a press intern for the Pennsylvania Department of Agriculture in Harrisburg. Working in the department's press office, McLaughlin developed written materials such as press releases, media advisories and letters. She also helped promote agricultural events and initiatives, including the launch of the state Farmers Market Nutrition Program, and took event photos for the department's social media pages. 

--Sharon Mummert, a food science major from East Berlin. A graduate of Cowanesque Valley High School, Mummert was a food-service research and development intern for the J.M. Smucker Co. facilities in Orrville, Ohio. Mummert organized research projects that analyzed the suitability of natural ingredients as replacements for various artificial colors and flavors. She also conducted sensory analysis on ingredient flavors and collected consumer research that assessed public viewpoints on common food ingredients.

--Gretchen Seigworth, an agribusiness management major from Brookville. A graduate of Brookville High School, Seigworth served as a vegetable program intern for the Cornell Cooperative Extension office in East Aurora, New York. Seigworth assisted with planting and maintenance activities for the vegetable trial plots and prepared materials for public outreach events such as fresh market vegetable field days. She also participated in research projects and wrote a variety of educational articles for the program's vegetable-grower newsletter.

--Madeline Winn, an animal science major from Carlisle. A graduate of Carlisle High School, Winn was a visitor-education intern for New England Aquarium in Boston. Winn served as an educator at the facility's exhibits, fielding questions and providing information on marine life and ocean conservation topics to the aquarium's daily visitors. She also developed and delivered formal educational talks including live animal presentations and programs on the connections between sustainable food systems and coral reef conservation.