Gordon Philanthropy Seminar Series

The College of Agriculture and Life Sciences is pleased to present the Gordon Philanthropy Seminar Series (GPSS). The GPSS was created to, in some small measure, motivate a new generation of philanthropy. NC State’s tagline is “Think and Do.” Our hope is that the GPSS will stimulate both thinking and doing.

November 5, 2015
Seminar 3
Presented by Josh Mizell
Assistant Controller, Smile Train

Smile Train is an international children’s charity with a sustainable approach to a single, solvable problem: cleft lip and palate. Millions of children in developing countries with unrepaired clefts live in shame, but more importantly, have difficulty eating, breathing and speaking. Cleft repair surgery is simple, and the transformation is immediate. Our sustainable model provides training and funding to empower local doctors in 85+ developing countries to provide 100%-free cleft repair surgery in their communities.

March 25, 2015
Seminar 2
Presented by Torry and Terrence Holt
Founders, The Holt Brothers Foundation

Torry Holt was 10 years old and his brother, Terrence, was six when their mother, Ojetta, was diagnosed with lymphoma. After she passed away, they made a commitment to help children who have a parent with cancer. They founded the Holt Brothers Foundation to deliver on that promise. The foundation supports KidsCan!, an educational and peer empathy program for kids with a parent with cancer, and Camp Kesem, a sleep-away camp for children ages six to 16 who have a parent with cancer.

February 20, 2015
Seminar 1
Presented by Doc Hendley
Founder, Wine to Water

Doc Hendley is the founder and president of Wine to Water, a non-profit aid organization focused on providing clean water to needy people around the world. Wine to Water has worked in Sudan, India, Cambodia, Uganda, Ethiopia, Peru, South Africa, and Kenya. The organization responded to the 2010 Haiti earthquake by bringing a water purification system to implement in disaster areas.

Hendley envisioned the concept of Wine to Water in 2003 while bartending and playing music in nightclubs around Raleigh, North Carolina. He earned a Bachelor of Arts in Communications from North Carolina State University in 2004. In January 2004, the first fundraiser was held at a local bar in Raleigh. With the money raised at the event, Hendley traveled to Darfur, Sudan, to install water systems for victims of government-supported genocide. He then lived in Sudan for about a year. Upon his return to the United States, Hendley focused his energy on developing Wine to Water programs in other countries and received local and national media attention as a result.


Future of Food Seminar Series

The efforts of the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences will have greater significance in the future because of the fiscal and physical realities the planet will face relative to human population and the increasing demand to feed a hungry world. Food production in the future will be confronted with concerns involving energy, water, climate change, and the threat of agro-terrorism. For example, we will need to develop crops that are more drought-resistant and tolerant of a wider range of salinities as access to fresh water becomes more problematic. Animal agriculture will need to adapt to diets composed of atypical feedstuffs. Whether future generations will inherit a world described by Paul Roberts in his books The End of Oil and The End of Food will be in part determined by the policies we pursue in 10-20 years. It is that perspective that served as the genesis of the Future of Food Seminar Series.

March 2, 2016
Seminar 11
Presented by Jack Bobo
Senior Vice President, Chief Communications Officer of Intrexon Corporation

Mr. Bobo is the senior vice president and chief communications officer for Intrexon Corporation. He has significant expertise in the analysis and communication of global trends in biotechnology, food and agriculture to audiences around the world. He has worked extensively to improve the emssaging and understanding of science and technology to help address global challenges related to climate change, sustainabilty, and food security.

He joins Intrexon from the U.S. Department of State where he has worked for the past thirteen years, most recently as Senior Advisor for Food Policy following his postions as Senior Advisor for Biotechnology as well as Chief, Biotechnology and Textile Trade Division. Through these key roles Mr. Bobo was responsible for global outreach to foreign audiences and senior foreign officials across a variety of issues and led or participated in bilateral trade discussions and negotiations.

Prior to his distinguished career at the U.S. Department of State, he was an attorney at Crowell & Moring LLP. He received a J.D. from Indiana University School of Lawand and an M.S. in Environmental Science from Indiana University School of Public and Environmental Affairs.

November 18, 2015
Seminar 10: A New Image for Agriculture
Presented by Marji Guyler-Alaniz
Founder and President, FarmHer

Women have always been an important but mostly unseen aspect of agriculture.  In recent years, women are rising to the forefront of agriculture in so many ways; as owner/operators, landowners, workers, mentors and much more.

FarmHer was founded in 2013 to begin to change the image of agriculture – to include women in that image through photographs and stories.  It quickly became clear that women in agriculture not only appreciated FarmHer, but they needed it.  And they asked for more.  Today, FarmHer has grown into not just a gallery of images that are changing the way people perceive a farmer or rancher, but also into an online community built just for women in agriculture. It is a place where this imperative group of women can experience stories about others like them, a place where they can connect with and learn from others in a safe and positive environment and a place where women rise to the forefront of agriculture.

October 12, 2015
Seminar 9: “Uncommon Ground: Surveying the Principal Challenges, Controversies, and Conundrums in Food & Ag Today”
Presented by Mr. Peter Coclanis
Director, Global Research Institute

Peter Coclanis, Albert R. Newsome Professor and former chair of the History department, is director of the Global Research Institute at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. The Global Research Institute, founded in 2009, is a center for scholarly research on key international questions and a conduit through which generated knowledge can successfully be disseminated and applied to problems in the real world.

Previously, Coclanis served as UNC’s first associate provost for international affairs. In this role, he provided leadership for the university’s international endeavors, serving as a spokesman and overseer of international activities. He also had a leadership role in the articulation and continued development of the university’s global mission.

Coclanis is the former president of several large professional organizations, including the Historical Society and the Agricultural History Society. He is the recipient of a lifetime achievement award and concurrent professorship from the Chinese Ministry of Agriculture.

March 3, 2015
Seminar 8: “Looking Back at the Future of Meat”
Presented by Dr. Maureen Ogle
Author, “In Meat We Trust: An Unexpected History of Carnivore America”

November 13, 2014
Seminar 7: “Local Food Grows Up”
Presented by Paul Roberts
Author, “The End of Food,” “The End of Oil”

October 30, 2014
Seminar 6: “The Fragile Generation? Antidepressants, Resilience and Mental Health on the College Campus”
Presented by Dr. Doris Iarovici
MD, Psychiatrist at Duke University
Author, “Mental Health Issues and the University Student”

October 28, 2014
Seminar 5: “Eating Your Frankenfoods: They are Good for You and the Planet”
Presented by Ronald Bailey
Author, “Liberation Biology: The Scientific and Moral Case for the Biotech Revolution”

April 1, 2014
Seminar 4: “Fooling the Nine Billion: Why We Need Good Food, Not More Food, and the Role of Land-Grant Universities”
Presented by Dr. Ricardo Salvador
Union of Concerned Scientists

As the senior scientist and director of the Food & Environment Program at UCS, Dr. Ricardo Salvador works with citizens, scientists, economists, and politicians to transition our current food system into one that grows healthy foods while employing sustainable practices.

Before coming to UCS, Dr. Salvador served as a program officer for Food, Health, and Wellbeing with the W.K. Kellogg Foundation. In this capacity, he was responsible for conceptualizing and managing the Foundation’s food systems programming. He partnered with colleagues to create programs that addressed the connections between food and health, environment, economic development, sovereignty, and social justice. Dr. Salvador also worked as an extensionist with Texas A&M University.

Prior to his stint at the W.K. Kellogg Foundation, he was an associate professor of agronomy at Iowa State University (ISU). While at ISU, Dr. Salvador taught the first course in sustainable agriculture at a Land Grant University, which was distributed nationally via satellite beginning in 1989. He conducted some of the initial academic research on the “community supported agriculture” model of agriculture. He worked with students to establish ISU’s Student Operated Organic Farm in 1992. He worked with other faculty members to develop the nation’s first Sustainable Agriculture graduate program in 2000; Dr. Salvador served as the program’s first chair.
The Union of Concerned Scientists puts rigorous, independent science to work to solve our planet’s most pressing problems. Joining with citizens across the country, we combine technical analysis and effective advocacy to create innovative, practical solutions for a healthy, safe, and sustainable future.

What began as a collaboration between students and faculty members at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in 1969 is now an alliance of more than 400,000 citizens and scientists. UCS members are people from all walks of life: parents and businesspeople, biologists and physicists, teachers and students.

March 25, 2014
Seminar 3: “Feeding 9 Billion: Maintaining the Planet”
Presented by Dr. Jason Clay
Senior Vice President, Market Transformation, World Wildlife Fund

“Our goal is to figure out how to produce more with less land, less water, and less pollution, so we won’t be the only species left living on this planet.”

Dr. Jayson Clay gets things done on a global scale. His ideas are changing the way governments, foundations, researchers, and NGOs identify and address risks and opportunities for their work. He brings people together to improve environmentally sensitive practices in agriculture and aquaculture. Dr. Clay’s goal is to create global standards for producing and using raw materials, particularly in terms of carbon and water. He has convened industry roundtables of retailers, buyers, producers, and environmentalists to reduce the key impacts of producing soy, cotton, sugarcane, salmon, shrimp, mollusks, catfish, and tilapia. “We now have 10 to 25 percent of global production and buyers sitting at the table for each commodity.”

Dr. Clay ran a family farm, taught at Harvard and Yale, worked at the U.S. Department of Agriculture and spent more than 25 years working with human rights and environmental organizations before joining WWF in 1999. His favorite flavor of ice cream is Ben & Jerry’s Rainforest Crunch, which he helped create- with sustainability harvested ingredients- after meeting “Ben” at a fundraiser featuring the Grateful Dead.

November 6, 2013
Seminar 2:“The Future of Food”
Presented by Dr. Jayson Lusk
Oklahoma State University, Department of Agricultural Economics, Professor and Willard Sparks Endowed Chair
Author, “The Food Police: A Well-Fed Manifesto About the Politics of Your Plate”

Dr. Lusk’s research has primarily focused on predicting and understanding consumer behavior as it relates to food. Since 2000, he has published more than 120 articles in peer-reviewed scientific journals on a wide range of topics ranging from the economics of animal welfare to consumer preferences for genetically modified food to the impacts of new technologies and policies on livestock and meat markets to analyzing the merits of new survey and experimental approaches eliciting consumer preferences. He has been listed as one of the most prolific and cited food and agricultural economists of the past decade and given lectures at over 30 universities in the US and abroad. He served on the editorial councils of seven academic journals including the American Journal of Agricultural Economics and the Journal of Environmental Economics and Management. In addition, he has been elected to and served on the executive committees of the three largest U.S. agricultural economics associations, including the Agricultural and Applied Economics Association.

In 2007, he co-authored a book on consumer research method with Jason Shogren published by Cambridge University Press and co-authored an undergraduate textbook on agricultural marketing and price analysis with Bailey Norwood published by Prentice-Hall. In 2011, he released a book co-authored with Bailey on the economics of farm animal welfare published by Oxford University Press and co-edited the Oxford Handbook on the Economics of Food Consumption and Policy. His most recent book, The Food Police: A Well-Fed Manifesto about the Politics of Your Plate, was published in April 2013.

October 8, 2013
Seminar 1: “National and Global Obesity: Changing Dynamics and Challenges in How the World Eats, Moves and Attempts to Prevent Adverse Health Effects”
Presented by Dr. Barry Popkin
William R. Kenan Jr. Distinguished Professor, Department of Nutrition, UNC Gillings School of Global Public Health
Author, “The World Is Fat: The Fads, Trends, Policies and Products that are Fattening the Human Race”

Dr. Popkin developed the Nutrition Transition concept (the study of the dynamic shifts in dietary intake and physical activity patterns and trends and obesity and other nutrition-related non-communicable diseases). His research program focuses globally on understanding the shifts in stages of the transition (see He is primarily funded by a large number of NIH R01’s, including long-term US research on the economic and physical environment with CARDIA as the major cohort studied and the UNC Food Research Program (evaluating the impact of global food company changes in product formulation as it impacts the diets of Americans) and internationally (large-scale longitudinal surveys in China and Russia and national surveys in countries such as Brazil, Mexico, the United Arab Emirates, and India). He is involved in national and global policy formulation for many countries, particularly Mexico and China. He has published over 350 refereed journal articles, is one of the most cited nutrition scholars globally (8,600 citations), and wrote, “The World if Fat” (January 2009, Avery-Penguin Publishers), which is translated into nine languages.