Our department is a tight-knit, welcoming community of learners united by our passion to develop the next generation of leaders and bring usable, science-based information to the public.

We invite you to learn about the three disciplines in the department and read our strategic plans.

Founded in 1923, the Department of Agricultural Economics and Rural Sociology joined two distinct, yet closely related social science disciplines in common purpose, with Dr. Frederick P. Weaver as its first permanent head. The Department of Agricultural and Extension Education started with a course in teacher training in agriculture in the year 1910-11, with Thomas I. Mairs, professor of agricultural education, in charge.

Read more about the history of each department:

The scholarship in AESE is related to people, society, and economic systems grounded in theory and methods from the social, behavioral and economic sciences. Faculty and students develop and employ rigorous approaches to discover fundamental and applied principles that advance science in their core disciplines and improve the health, prosperity and welfare of people in the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania and beyond. The department offers a variety of undergraduate and graduate degrees, some unique to the three core disciplines while others are organized along overarching themes.

The department has identified three thematic areas to guide our scholarship. "Agricultural and food systems" focuses on the interconnections among producers, distributors, regulators and consumers in a variety of issues related to food choices, markets, pollution and health. "Environment and natural resources" addresses the human impact on fundamental natural assets, such as land, water and air, tackling the challenges that growing populations create for economic efficiency, social equity and environmental sustainability. "Human, community and regional development" focuses on community resilience through civic engagement, leadership and entrepreneurship to support sustainable communities and regional economies. These three themes utilize the respective strengths of each of the three core disciplines while providing an overall collaborative framework for research scholarship, teaching and outreach.

The Agricultural Economics and Rural Sociology programs, as well as the departmental main office are located in Armsby Building. The faculty of the Agricultural Extension Education program is in Ferguson Building.

Name Title Email Phone
David Abler, Ph.D. Professor of Agricultural, Environmental and Regional Economics and Demography dga2@psu.edu 814-863-8630
Carolyn Adrien M.S. Candidate, Rural Sociology cam5933@psu.edu
Katrina Alford PhD Rural Sociology kda42@psu.edu
Theodore Alter, Ph.D. Professor of Agricultural, Environmental and Regional Economics talter@psu.edu 814-863-8640
Elsie Assan PhD Candidate in Agricultural and Extension Education eza6@psu.edu
C. Daniel (Dan) Azzara, Ph.D. Alan R. Warehime Faculty Chair in Agribusiness dazzara@psu.edu 814-863-2847
Ledeebari Banuna M.S., Rural Sociology lpb5411@psu.edu
Michelle Barnyak Administrative Support Assistant for the Department's M.S. and Ph.D degree program mlf1@psu.edu 814-865-0456
Benjamin Bayly, Ph.D. Assistant Professor in Family Studies, Child, and Youth Development blb339@psu.edu 814-865-7853
Mary Kate Berardi Ph.D. Candidate, Agricultural and Extension Education mkb5001@psu.edu
Sara Bonilla Anariba Ph.D., Rural Sociology seb6192@psu.edu
Kim Boonie Administrative Support Assistant for the Northeast Regional Center for Rural Development iob5@psu.edu 814-863-7684
Kathryn J. Brasier, Ph.D. Professor of Rural Sociology kbrasier@psu.edu 814-865-7321
Mark A. Brennan, Ph.D. Professor and UNESCO Chair in Community, Leadership, and Youth Development unescochair@psu.edu 814-863-0387
Daniel Brent Assistant Professor dab320@psu.edu 814-865-7657
Matthew Brooks PhD Candidate Rural Sociology & Demography mfb5341@psu.edu
Jaclyn Butler PhD Rural Sociology jlb1063@psu.edu
Sizhuo Chen Ph.D., Energy, Environmental, and Food Economics spc5988@psu.edu
Guangqing Chi, Ph.D. Professor of Rural Sociology, Demography, and Public Health Sciences gchi@psu.edu 814-863-8245
Robert Chiles, Ph.D. Assistant Professor of Rural Sociology rchiles@psu.edu 814-863-8626
Joseph Yeo Myung Cho Part-Time Project Support jyc21@psu.edu
Aaron Matthew Cook PhD Agricultural, Environmental and Regional Economics amc521@psu.edu
Sarah Cornelisse Senior Extension Associate, Business Management sar243@psu.edu 814-863-8645
Kevin Curry, Jr., Ed.D. Assistant Professor of Agricultural and Extension Education kxc554@psu.edu 814-863-7069
Kerry Daigle Ph.D., Rural Sociology kjd5825@psu.edu
Kristen Devlin Marketing Communications Specialist, NERCRD krd111@psu.edu 814-863-0575
Weston M. Eaton, Ph.D. Assistant Research Professor eatonwes@psu.edu 616-893-9537
Stan Ernst Assistant Teaching Professor, Agribusiness Management stanernst@psu.edu 814-865-7656
John Ewing, Ph.D. Associate Professor of Agricultural and Extension Education jce122@psu.edu 814-863-7463
Linlin Fan, Ph.D. Assistant Professor of Agricultural Economics lpf5158@psu.edu 814-863-5575
Yining Feng Ph.D. Candidate, Rural Sociology yff5058@psu.edu
Jinglin Feng MS Energy, Environmental,and Food Economics jpf5265@psu.edu
Kaitlin Fischer Ph.D. Candidate, Rural Sociology kmf6106@psu.edu
Karen Fisher-Vanden, Ph.D. Professor of Environmental and Resource Economics kaf26@psu.edu 814-867-2752
Kendra Flood M.S., Agricultural and Extension Education kaf5952@psu.edu
Daniel D. Foster, Ph.D. Associate Professor foster@psu.edu 814-863-0192
Ted Fuller Research Assistant tef4@psu.edu
Mark A. Gagnon, Ph.D. Harbaugh Entrepreneur and Innovation Faculty Scholar mag199@psu.edu 814-865-0469
Jane Gardner Administrative Support Coordinator jsg21@psu.edu 814-865-5462
Elisabeth Garner PhD Rural Sociology & Women's Studies elg154@psu.edu
Halima Therese Gbaguidi Ph.D. Candidate, Agricultural Extension and Education hzg81@psu.edu
Jackie Gibboney Academic Adviser jag545@psu.edu 814-865-6362
Alejandro Gil Aguirre MS Candidate, Agricultural and Extension Education & International Agriculture and Development (INTAD) axg664@psu.edu
Leland Glenna, Ph.D. Professor of Rural Sociology and Science, Technology, and Society llg13@psu.edu 814-863-8636
Stephan Goetz, Ph.D. Professor of Agricultural and Regional Economics sgoetz@psu.edu 814-863-4664
Megan Griffin MS Rural Sociology mag525@psu.edu
April Gunsallus PhD Rural Sociology alg978@psu.edu
Alyssa Gurklis Administrative Support Assistant for the Center for Economic and Community Development azg5380@psu.edu 814-863-3536
Jayson K. Harper, Ph.D. Director, Penn State Fruit Research and Extension Center (FREC) jharper@psu.edu 717-677-6116
Justin Heasley M.S., Agricultural and Extension Education jih5316@psu.edu
Carolyn Henzi MS Agricultural and Extension Education cmh704@psu.edu
Clare Hinrichs, Ph.D. Professor of Rural Sociology chinrichs@psu.edu 814-863-8628
Michaela Hoffelmeyer PhD Rural Sociology mkh40@psu.edu
Tracy Hoover, Ph.D. Associate Dean for Undergraduate Education tsh102@psu.edu 814-865-7521
Betty Jo Houser Proposal and Awards Generalist bxh201@psu.edu 814-865-0460
Chiu-Lin Huang Ph.D., Energy, Environmental, and Food Economics cph5592@psu.edu
Xuetao Huang PhD Agricultural, Environmental and Regional Economics xuh119@psu.edu
Sovanneary Huot PhD Rural Sociology suh431@psu.edu
Tanji Hwang PhD Agricultural,Environmental and Regional Economics txh427@psu.edu
Patreese Ingram, Ph.D. Assistant Dean of Multicultural Affairs pdi1@psu.edu 814-863-7439
Terra Ingram Administrative Support Coordinator for the Center for Professional Personnel Development terra@psu.edu 814-863-7852
Jorden Jackson Ph.D., Rural Sociology jej5332@psu.edu
Edward Jaenicke, Ph.D. Professor of Agricultural Economics tjaenicke@psu.edu 814-865-5282
Deshamithra Harshanee Jayasekera PhD Agricultural, Environmental and Regional Economics dhw7@psu.edu
Leif Jensen, Ph.D. Distinguished Professor of Rural Sociology and Demography ljensen@psu.edu 814-863-8642
Supriya Joshi Ph.D., Rural Sociology szj165@psu.edu
Matthew Kaplan, Ph.D. Professor, Intergenerational Programs and Aging msk15@psu.edu 814-863-7871
Kathy Kelley Professor of Horticultural Marketing and Business Management KathyKelley@psu.edu 814-863-2196
Timothy Kelsey, Ph.D. Associate Head, Department of Agricultural Economics, Sociology, and Education tkelsey@psu.edu 814-865-9542
Lynn Kime Senior Extension Associate lfk4@psu.edu 717-677-6116
Laszlo Kulcsar, Ph.D. Department Head of Agricultural Economics, Sociology, and Education lzk68@psu.edu 814-865-5461
Anil Kumar Chaudhary, Ph.D. Assistant Professor of Agricultural and Extension Education auk259@psu.edu 814-863-7850
Gabriel Lara Ph.D., Energy, Environmental, and Food Economics grl5035@psu.edu
Carson Letot Ph.D., Agricultural and Extension Education ctl84@psu.edu 814-865-0456
Xiaogu Li PhD Agricultural, Environmental and Regional Economics xql5271@psu.edu
Justine Lindemann Assistant Professor in Community Development and Resilience jlindemann@psu.edu 814-863-8646
Yizao Liu, Ph.D. Assistant Professor of Agricultural Economics yul459@psu.edu 814-863-8039
Catherine MacKenzie Administrative Support Assistant for Entrepreneurship and Innovation cbm19@psu.edu 814-863-4656
Mallen Marlowe Ph.D. Candidate, AEE mlm6943@psu.edu
Leslie A. Martin Administrative Support Assistant lxm60@psu.edu 814-865-5461
Bethany Mathie Program Manager blm157@psu.edu 814-863-7876
Tammy May Administrative Support Assistant for Undergraduate Programs tlm23@psu.edu 814-865-0467
Jessica Michaels Financial Assistant jer36@psu.edu 814-863-5306
Jessica Miller Ph.D., Rural Sociology jam8331@psu.edu 814-865-0456
Melanie Miller-Foster Global Learning Specialist - TeachAg! mjm727@psu.edu
Frans J.G. Padt, Ph.D. Teaching Professor fjp128@psu.edu 814-863-8644
Yuxuan Pan Ph.D. Candidate, EEFE ybp5073@psu.edu
Charlene Paquette Undergraduate Student Services Coordinator / Academic Adviser clp27@psu.edu 814-865-6220
Praharsh Patel Ph.D., Energy, Environmental, and Food Economics pmp5456@psu.edu
Daniel Francis Perkins, Ph.D. Professor of Youth and Family Resiliency and Policy dfp102@psu.edu 814-867-4182
Max Pohlman Ph.D. Candidate, EEFE mip5205@psu.edu
Rama Radhakrishna, Ph.D. Assistant Dean for Graduate Education brr100@psu.edu 814-865-3136
Heather Randell Assistant Professor of Rural Sociology and Demography hrandell@psu.edu 814-867-0107
Elizabeth Ransom Associate Professor of International Affairs exr497@sia.psu.edu 814-867-2792
Asif Rasool PhD, Energy, Environmental, and Food Economics azr496@psu.edu
Josh Reed Ph.D., Energy, Environmental, and Food Economics jjr6312@psu.edu
Shelly Regel Financial Assistant slj4@psu.edu 814-865-0455
Yongwang Ren Ph.D. Candidate, EEFE yfr5035@psu.edu
Fco. Alfredo Reyes Ph.D. Candidate, Rural Sociology & International Agriculture and Development (INTAD) far5137@psu.edu
Carolyn Reyes PhD, Rural Sociology cfb132@psu.edu
Daniel Robotham M.S., Agricultural and Extension Education djr6131@psu.edu 814-865-0456
Matthew Royer Director, Agriculture and Environment Center mzr154@psu.edu 814-863-8756
Jana Russell M.S. Candidate, AEE jlr896@psu.edu
Kai Schafft Associate Professor of Education kas45@psu.edu 814-863-2031
Claudia Schmidt, Ph.D. Assistant Professor of Agricultural Economics cschmidt@psu.edu 814-863-8633
Cristy Halerz Schmidt, MPPM Applied Research Educator, Center for Economic and Community Development cah215@psu.edu 814-863-7428
Christian Kelly Scott Ph.D. Rural Sociology and International Agriculture & Development cks8@psu.edu
Jonathan Seaman Program Manager jts250@psu.edu 814-865-6987
Kathleen Sexsmith, Ph.D. Assistant Professor of Rural Sociology kjs95@psu.edu
Cecil James Hampton Shelton, M.S. PhD Agricultural and Extension Education cecil@psu.edu 814-865-7521
John Shingler, Ph.D. Research Associate jxs10@psu.edu 814-863-8653
James Shortle, Ph.D. Distinguished Professor of Agricultural and Environmental Economics jshortle@psu.edu 814-865-8270
Daniel Perdana Simandjuntak Ph.D. Candidate, EEFE dsp5776@psu.edu
Emily Southard MS Rural Sociology & International Agriculture and Development (INTAD) ems617@psu.edu
Abbie E. Spackman Pennsylvania AgrAbility Project Assistant aes5450@psu.edu 814-867-5288
Patricia Spears-Taff Program Manager and Adviser for CEDEV pjs40@psu.edu 814-863-5884
Maria Spencer, MBA, PhD John and Patty Warehime Entrepreneur-in-Residence mtk15@psu.edu 814-865-6944
Richard Spicer Student rks5111@psu.edu 814-380-8997
Forrest Stagner Ph.D. Candidate, Rural Sociology fws11@psu.edu
Marianne Stevens Assistant To The Department Head mbs2@psu.edu 814-865-5121
Julie Stringfellow Administrative Support Assistant, Community and Economic Development Graduate Program jls1007@psu.edu 814-865-6223
Johann Strube PhD Rural Sociology jcs80@psu.edu
Lina Tami-Barrera MS Rural Sociology & International Agriculture and lmt50@psu.edu
Zachary Teti M.S. Candidate, EEFE zft5050@psu.edu
Brian Thiede, Ph.D. Assistant Professor of Rural Sociology, Sociology, and Demography bct11@psu.edu 814-865-2561
Kaila Thorn MS Agricultural and Extension Education kvt5218@psu.edu 321-412-7550
Zheng Tian Postdoctoral Scholar zzt36@psu.edu
Adrian Timms Assistant Teaching Professor of Agribusiness Management apt5453@psu.edu 814-867-0109
Abdelmoumine Traore PhD Energy, Environmental, and Food Economics abt66@psu.edu
Jonathan Tuthill, Ph.D. Associate Teaching Professor jwt4@psu.edu 814-863-5949
Mollie Van Loon, Ph.D. Senior Project Associate, CSIS mev2@psu.edu 814-863-8654
Martina Vecchi Assistant Professor of Agricultural Economics mmv5343@psu.edu 814-863-7105
Hazel Velasco Palacios M.S. Candidate, Rural Sociology hgv5008@psu.edu
Maria Vivanco Salazar PhD Rural Sociology mzv7@psu.edu
Robert D. Weaver, Ph.D. Professor of Agricultural Economics rdweaver@psu.edu 814-863-8632
Nicole Webster, Ph.D. Associate Professor of Youth and International Development and African Studies nsw10@psu.edu 814-863-2695
Chrystal A Wheeler Academic Adviser cav151@psu.edu 814-863-7449
Hannah T. Whitley PhD Rural Sociology & Human Dimensions of Natural Resources and the Environment htw3@psu.edu
Walt Whitmer Senior Extension Associate, Economic and Community Development wew2@psu.edu 814-865-0468
Grace Wildermuth PhD Rural Sociology gvw5117@psu.edu
Suzanna Windon Assistant Professor, Youth and Adult Leadership, Penn State Extension sxk75@psu.edu 814-863-3825
Douglas H. Wrenn, Ph.D. Associate Professor of Environmental and Resource Economics dhw121@psu.edu 814-865-9216
Yuxiang Zhang Ph.D., Energy, Environmental, and Food Economics ybz5440@psu.edu
Yiwen Zhao Ph.D., Energy, Environmental, and Food Economics yxz5798@psu.edu
Shuai Zhou PhD Rural Sociology & Demography szhou@psu.edu
Pei Zhou PhD Energy, Environmental, and Food Economics puz42@psu.edu
Karl Zimmerer Professor, Department of Geography ksz2@psu.edu 814-865-3094
Katherine Y. Zipp, Ph.D. Associate Professor of Environmental and Resource Economics kyz1@psu.edu 814-863-8247