Our Team

Our program operates under the leadership of a diverse and innovative faculty and student team, representing a variety of experiences and backgrounds in international programs. Interested in partnering with us? Are you an international scholar or student who would like to conduct research at NC State?  Are you a NC State student interested in international opportunities?  Whatever the reason, feel free to contact us. We’re happy to connect with you.


JJose Cisneros Headshot (2018)

Jose Cisneros, Director, CALS International Programs
Jose Cisneros has extensive experience in international agriculture and business, and entrepreneurial development and solutions. He has participated in numerous international agricultural projects and has trained farmers, NGO trainers, and government officers from Africa, Asia, Latin America, Eastern Europe. At NC State, Cisneros founded CALS Global Academy, an initiative to train international professionals in agriculture and life sciences. He also developed the most comprehensive database of international activities among peer colleges of agriculture. Cisneros is the founder of AgriFoodGateway and the Global Agribusiness Program at the University of Missouri. As an entrepreneur, he has started six businesses in the horticulture, poultry, consumer retail, and mobile electronics industries. Contact: jose_cisneros@ncsu.edu.

Adrienne LaBranche Tucker, Ph.D., Assistant Director
Adrienne has a background in agriculture and environmental science and holds a Ph.D. in environmental planning, M.S. degree in turfgrass science, and a B.S. degree in ornamental horticulture. Dr. Tucker’s research experiences include investigating plant drought stress tolerance in response to exogenous applications of plant growth stimulants, and alternative water source planning to meet non-potable irrigation needs. Dr. Tucker has worked as a sustainability director in higher education to provide customized training and program development. Prior to joining the CALS International Programs Office, Dr. Tucker lived in France for two years.  As the assistant director, Dr. Tucker oversees and manages the CALS International Programs’ initiatives including Research Pack Abroad, CALS SAIGE and additional programs to increase CALS global engagement.
Contact: adrienne_tucker@ncsu.edu

Lindsay Naumann, CALS Global Academy Program Assistant
Lindsay earned a B.S. degree in Crop Production from NC State and minored in Spanish and International Studies. She has always had a passion for agriculture and international work, and has completed multiple study abroad trips to Latin America where she developed agriculture curriculum for youth. She assists in developing CALS Global Academy international trainings and hopes to one day work in the area intersecting agriculture and peace initiatives in post conflict countries. Contact: lmnauman@ncsu.edu

Mirza Farzana Halim, CREdO Program Coordinator
Farzana holds MS in Parks, Recreation and Tourism Management and Masters in International Studies, both from North Carolina State University. Originally from Bangladesh, her research and project implementation experience encompasses agricultural settings in both developed and developing countries. She examined women’s entrepreneurial challenges and opportunities in diversified farm households across North Carolina as part of her thesis research. With an undergraduate degree in Business Administration she also has experience of conducting value chain analysis in addressing market inefficiencies in agricultural sectors in her home country. Her educational and professional experience combined lends a unique lens to analyze agricultural challenges and tailor systemic solutions in various parts of the globe.  Contact: mfhalim@ncsu.edu

Mara Cuebas-Irizarry, Graduate Student Faculty Database Coordinator
Mara is a PhD student in Microbiology, and previously received a MSc and BSc in Industrial Microbiology from University of Puerto Rico.  Mara serves the office as two roles: as the Faculty Database manager and as a Graduate Student Trainer for CALS Global Academy. “One of my goals as a “Latina” is to be an active listener to our “latinx” community members’ ideas and concerns in order to develop research goals. Being able to work as a trainer with groups of Venezuela, Ecuador, Perú and Ghana, has given me an opportunity to learn about other cultures, and problems that they are facing in agriculture. I feel that I am actively learning about new topics natural resources, food systems and sustainability.  This has been a great opportunity to grow as a scientist and educator.”
Contact: mfcuebas@ncsu.edu

Alex Gordon, Student Communications Intern
Alex is an undergraduate student enrolled in the College of Humanities and Social Sciences, specifically in the English major with a concentration in Rhetoric and Professional Writing, as well as a minor in Japan Studies. Alex currently holds the position of Student Communications Intern within CALS International Programs and hopes to use writing experience to report on events held by the department.
Contact: tagordo2@ncsu.edu

Rick Brandenburg, Ph.D.
Wm. Neal Reynolds Distinguished Professor
Departmental Extension Leader
Commercial Turf and Peanuts
Associate Director of Global Extension
Contact: rick_brandenburg@ncsu.edu


Lina Quesada-Ocampo, Ph.D.
Associate Professor
Management, diagnostics, population genetics, and genomics of vegetable pathogens
Program Director of WolfPack Colombia
Contact: lmquesad@ncsu.edu 


Peter Ojiambo, Ph.D.,
Epidemiology and integrated management of plant diseases
Program Director of CREdO Kenya
Contact: pojiamb@ncsu.edu


Susana Milla-Lewis, Ph.D.
Turfgrass Breeding & Genetics
 Program Director of CREdO Peru
Contact: susana_milla-lewis@ncsu.edu

Graduate Trainers

Josh HenryHorticultural Science  & Crop Sciencejbhenry2@ncsu.edu
“I have always considered international relations to be a crucial aspect of agriculture that is often overlooked. Among all countries and cultures, the need for agriculture is one of the primary commonalities we all share. It is essential that we work together to learn how to protect our environment and natural resources while optimizing production practices and feeding the world. In the short time since starting as a graduate trainer, I have had the amazing opportunity to work with fellows from China and Ghana. These experiences have given me a better idea of what issues these counties face in agricultural production, ranging from regulation to resource management. This program provides an excellent opportunity to share knowledge and expertise, benefiting all involved. I sincerely appreciate working with our international visitors and gaining personal experience and knowledge regarding other cultures. I am so happy to be a part of this program and am determined to continue developing and cultivating international relationships throughout my career.

Janel MartinCrop and Soil Sciences – jlmart17@ncsu.edu
“I am a first year PhD student in Soil Science in the College of Agriculture and Life Science. I have a M.S. in Agricultural Science and a B.S in Sustainable Agriculture and Food Systems from the University of New Hampshire. I am deeply committed to the working toward a more sustainable and equitable food system. I am a classically trained chef and prior to returning to school I worked in the hospitality industry for 20 years. As owner and operator of the Wakefield Inn, I was an active member of the New Hampshire Sustainable Lodging and Restaurant Association, and due to the changes I made in reducing the environmental impact of the 200 year old structure and the daily operations, my establishment earned the highest level of sustainability as an Environmental Champion. I believe in making an impact by being part of the conversation, whether that be to advocate for a change in our food system or to help create professional development training that more inclusive, robust and pertinent to the needs of today’s graduate students regardless of the career path. I am honored to be part of the Council, and hope that my industry, business, and community service skill can add to the conversation.”

Jenny Lautzenheiser – Agricultural and Resource Economicsjnlautze@ncsu.edu
Prior to graduate school, Jenny was a manager with Palladium, an international development firm in Washington, DC.  Her portfolio stretched across different sectors (health, agriculture, economic development) and continents (Africa, Asia).  Jenny came to the office eager to learn and be involved in what the International Programs team was doing.  Jenny also loves to travel and because she can’t do much of it whilst in school, she’s grateful for the opportunities of rich cultural exchange with groups she encounters in her role as a Graduate Student Trainer.

Laura Kraft Entomology and Plant Pathology –ljkraft@ncsu.edu
Laura first came to NCSU in 2017 to get a PhD in small fruit crop integrated pest management in the department of entomology. She is originally from Georgia and got her joint Bachelor’s/Master’s degree from the University of Georgia, also in entomology. She loves traveling the world and has had a few experiences in agriculture abroad, including working on a coffee farm in Ecuador and working at the largest organic producer in Southeast Asia and Zenxin Organic Farm in Malaysia. She is passionate about science communication and teaching. She loves being a graduate student trainer because it allows her to learn more about other cultures and be able to practice her Spanish and Portuguese.

Shaddy Alshraah Crop and Soil Sciencesshalshra@ncsu.edu

Richard Hendley Crop and Soil Sciencesrhendle@ncsu.edu

Saba HosseinzadehPhysiology, Poultry Scienceshossei2@ncsu.edu

Shepherd StearnsAgricultural and Extension Educationsmstearn@ncsu.edu

Lionel Wehiong-Bassega – International Studieslwehion@ncsu.edu

Past Staff and Graduate Trainers

Past Staff

Jennifer Terlouw
Amber Beseli
Sara Guiti Prado Sara Prado

Katie Dungan

Sydney Robling

Mackenah Simmons

Nat Mansfield

Emily KennedyEmily Kennedy

Chelsea GarrisonChelsea Garrison

Marisol MataMarisol Mata

James FreemanJames Freeman





Past Graduate Trainers

Manal AskarManal Askar

Shannon BannerShannon Banner

Amarilys D. Irizarry

Mahmoud ShehataMahmoud Shehata


Hande Ulus Hande Ulus

Redife A. UcarRedife A. Ucar

Seyit YuzuakSeyit Yuzuak

Emily KennedyEmily Kennedy

Kelsey Hample

Amanda Clayton

Marcus Reason

Olivia Pearson

Mike Jones

Chelsea GarrisonChelsea Garrison

Luis Artioli

FemiAdioFemi Adio

Thiago Marino


Chen Jiang


Travis Hootman

Contact Us

Campus Box 7642
13 Ricks Hall
1 Lampe Drive
Raleigh, NC 27695
Phone: 919-515-1240
Email: cals_international@ncsu.edu