On September 5, CALS SAIGE in partnership with CALS International Programs hosted its first speaker in its International Seminar Series. This was the kickoff event for the monthly seminar event. Dr. Rick Brandenburg, William Neals Distinguished Professor in Entomology and Path Pathology, was invited to be the kickoff speaker due to his extensive experience conducting research in Africa.
Dr. Brandenburg has lead projects in SE Asia and Africa since 1989 primarily through projects funded by USAID. He currently works in Malawi and Mozambique on peanut, also known as goundnut, research. Dr. Brandenburg started out the seminar by discussing how he first became involved in international work, which was when he was a new professor at Purdue University when he had the opportunity to travel to Africa. He had never been out of the U.S. prior to then and after that initial visit out of the country, his life and future had changed. Dr. Brandenburg shared pictures of his work throughout the years and told stories of interacting with scientists and residents to help increase peanut yields while battling aflotoxins, which are produced by fungal presence on the plants and are a serious health concern in Africa.
The goal of the monthly International Seminar Series is to bring a human aspect to international research and provides a platform for researchers to share their successes and hardships of working internationally. All CALS graduate students, faculty and staff are invited to all the seminars. This is the first seminar series that not only has a focus on international experience but is also open to all of CALS.
CALS SAIGE, the graduate Student Association for Interdisciplinary and International Global Engagement, hopes the seminar series will bring fellow graduate students, faculty and staff from across CALS to learn from the speaker and engage in dialogue focused on international research opportunities and how to overcome hurdles.
The monthly International Seminar Series is held every first Wednesday of the month from 2:00-3:00 pm. Mark your calendars for October 3 at 3:00 pm in the Stephens Room (Room 3503) in Thomas Hall for the next speaker of the series: Anne Njoroge, Borlaug Fellow, from Kenya.