LSU College of Agriculture News for Spring 2018

Tobie Blanchard  |  6/14/2018 4:29:55 PM

Ecology junior gives TEDx Talk on coastal land loss

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Two million Louisiana residents have homes along the coast, and their livelihood is threatened by the encroaching Gulf of Mexico, said Madelyn Smith, a junior in natural resource ecology and management in the College of Agriculture and one of 12 speakers during the TEDx Talks on campus in March.

Smith spent two years documenting and photographing the stories of threatened and soon-to-be threatened Louisiana coastal communities. The project resulted in “Louisiana Gone,” a book filled with black and white photography accompanied with short stories aiming to humanize the experience of Louisiana's biggest challenge: coastal land loss.

The book was the focal point of Smith’s TEDx Talk in which she told of the struggle for some coastal communities to survive. A staggering 40 percent of the world’s population lives within 60 miles of a coastline. “Ultimately, the stories of Louisiana's disappearing coastline are not just Louisiana stories, they are American stories. They are global stories,” Smith said.

College honors students, faculty, alumni at awards ceremony

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The College of Agriculture recognized outstanding alumni, faculty, students and donors at a ceremony on April 12. From left to right, below, are Chinmay Tikhe, Claudia Husseneder, Tara Smith, Jeff Hoy (in back), Madelyn Easley (in front), Michael Salassi, Reynold Minsky, Meghan Roberts, Krishna Paudel, Jerry Peters and Emily Kraus.

Outstanding Alumni awards were presented to horticulture alumnus Reynold Minsky, owner of Minsky Pecan Market and Providence Foods LLC., and dairy science alumnus and farmer Jerry Peters.

LSU AgCenter Northeast and Central region director Tara Smith received the Early Career Outstanding Alumni award. Smith received her doctorate in entomology from LSU in 2006.

Natural resource ecology and management senior Meghan Roberts received the Gerald and Norma Dill College of Agriculture Alumni Association Outstanding Senior Award.

Agricultural and extension education junior Madelyn Easley received the K.C. Toups Memorial Les Voyageurs Award. Easley is the Les Voyageurs social chair and public relations officer and president of Collegiate FFA at LSU.

Chinmay Tikhe, entomology alumnus and postdoctoral researcher at John Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, received the LSU Alumni Association Distinguished Dissertation Award in Science, Engineering and Technology. Tikhe received his doctorate in entomology from LSU in 2017. This award goes to the top dissertation at LSU in the science, engineering and technology category.

Entomology doctoral student Emily Kraus received the Ray and Dorothy Young Endowed Assistantship in Louisiana Row Crop Integrated Pest Management.

Other awards went to Claudia Husseneder, entomology, the Paul K. Adams Professorship; Krishna Paudel, agricultural economics, the Gilbert Durbin Professorship; Jeff Hoy, plant pathology, the Floyd S. Edmiston Sr. Professorship; and Michael Salassi, head of the Department of Agricultural Economics and Agribusiness, the A. Wilbert’s Sons Professorship.

College offers mentoring program

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Mia Baker, a senior majoring in nutrition and food sciences, was one of the participants in the College of Agriculture’s new mentorship program, which pairs students with alumni and supporters of the college for professional development and networking opportunities. Tara Smith, LSU AgCenter Northeast region director, served as Baker’s mentor and introduced her to career opportunities in the AgCenter. Baker visited Smith in Winnsboro, Louisiana, at the Sweet Potato Research Station, where she met AgCenter nutrition agents and learned about the sweet potato industry. Baker will be working as an intern in community nutrition with the AgCenter this summer.

Students spend spring break in Nicaragua

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College of Agriculture students spent spring break learning about agriculture in Nicaragua, and they visited the Laguna de Apoyo water crater. Back row, left to right, are faculty members Kristin Stair and Mike Kaller and students Chloe Christmas, Brooke Comeaux, David Baudoin, Preston Dumont and Adam O’Malley. Front row, left to right, are students Olivia Soler, Caitlin Holder, Hayley Jackson and Ashlyn Sak and John Russin, director of LSU AgCenter Global Network. The trip, organized by Go Abroad Nicaragua, was aimed at freshmen in the college from any major to give them an initial week-long international experience with the expectation that they would take part in another international experience later in college.

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