SEBS Student Completes Paid Summer Ag Internship With Growmark

Catherine Cincotta in her commercial test corn field at Growmark's facility in Easthampton, NJ, in July 2016.

Catherine Cincotta in her commercial test corn field at Growmark’s facility in Easthampton, NJ, in July 2016.

Plant biology major Catherine Cincotta (SEBS’17) completed a 12-week paid summer internship with industry giant Growmark, Inc., an agricultural inputs supplier and farm cooperative with an estimated $8.9 billion in annual sales. Her internship, a full-time summer experience, was at Growmark’s distribution facility located in Easthampton, New Jersey, in her home county of Burlington.

In August, Cincotta was one of 60 leading college students of agriculture from around the U.S. and Canada invited by Growmark to its headquarters in Bloomington, Illinois. There, she presented the results of her internship project, “Countin Corn: Every 12 Hours,” which focused on amendments that might improve corn emergence under adverse, cold spring conditions.

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Rutgers 250: NJAES All-Star Variety of the Month – ‘Triploid’ Oyster

Farm raised oysters ready for harvest at a Cape May County oyster farm.

Farm raised oysters ready for harvest at a Cape May County oyster farm.

The oyster breeding program at Rutgers University has conducted over a century of cutting-edge scientific research to overcome challenges to the industry from the devastating effects of over-fishing, diseases, and climate change. Professor Ximing Guo explains his research and vision.

Throughout Rutgers’ yearlong celebration of its 250th anniversary (November 2015 to November 2016), NJAES each month highlights one of its all-star varieties developed by its breeding program. Decades of research contribute to superior varieties of plants and shellfish, benefitting and sustaining the future of agriculture (which includes aquaculture) in a number of ways. August 2016 celebrates the NJAES oyster breeding program, which dates back to 1901 when Julius Nelson founded the Rutgers Oyster Investigation Laboratory, which became what we now know as the Haskin Shellfish Research Laboratory—the most productive and prolific oyster research center in the nation.

Professor Ximing Guo.

Professor Ximing Guo.

The Rutgers 250 All-Star Variety for August is the ‘triploid’ oyster! Normal oysters contain two sets of chromosomes, hence diploid, whereas triploid oyster contain three sets of chromosomes. As professor and shellfish geneticist Ximing Guo states, “Triploid oysters have several advantages. One, they grow faster. They’re sterile, so they don’t reproduce. If they don’t reproduce, they’re good for the environment, because they don’t interbreed with the wild populations. If they’re sterile, they also have a better meat quality in the summer.” This is why, when the NJAES oyster breeding program at Rutgers developed a method to produce tetraploid oysters, which can be crossed with normal diploid oyster for production of highly desirable triploid oysters, it created several advantages for oyster growers around the world and thus, has helped to sustain the aquaculture industry. Now, triploid oysters developed at Rutgers are a popular variety in the U.S., France, Australia, and China.

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Rutgers Equine Center Kicks Off “15 Years Of Excellence”

Summer Showcase #12 Group Shot

Presentation of the New Jersey Joint Legislative Resolution by Ann Dorsett to the Rutgers University Equine Science Center. Left to right: Ann Dorsett, Liz Durkin, Sharon Ortepio, Karyn Malinowski , Carey Williams, Brad Hillman, and Wendie Cohick.

The 2016 Rutgers Equine Science Center Summer Showcase was a huge success! Close to 100 people participated in the kickoff celebration of the Center’s 15-year anniversary on July 13th. Welcoming remarks were given by Karyn Malinowski (CC’75, GSNB’80,’86), director of the Equine Science Center, and Wendie Cohick, chair of the Department of Animal Sciences, and Brad Hillman, senior associate director of the New Jersey Agricultural Experiment Station and director of Research.

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A Wildflower Meadow Blooms at IFNH and Cook Campus Gains a New Outdoor Classroom

IFNH Wildflower Meadow. Photo: Jennifer Simon.

IFNH Wildflower Meadow. Photo: Jennifer Simon.

You’re going to have to burn some calories regardless of which direction you approach the main floor of the Institute of Food, Nutrition and Health. But whether hoofing it up a long flight of stairs or a shorter jaunt from the courtyard, you’ll likely be distracted by the view and not even mind the workout. Students, alumni and faculty in the Department of Landscape Architecture (LA) have had a hand in creating the eyecatching views that grace the ascent to the building. First came the alumni-designed EcoWall flanking a long interior staircase. Then came the student-designed landscaped garden along the gentle slope of the courtyard, planted in the spring. And finally, the glorious meadow in summer bloom along the steep slope at the front entrance of the building, designed by an alum and used as an outdoor classroom.

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Turfgrass Breeder William A. Meyer Named the First C. Reed Funk Endowed Faculty Scholar

Dean Goodman & Dr. William Meyer cropped 2William Meyer, professor in the Department of Plant Biology and Pathology, has been named the first C. Reed Funk Endowed Faculty Scholar in Plant Biology and Genetics at Rutgers University. This is a tremendous honor for Meyer and the Rutgers Center for Turfgrass Science, which is celebrating its 25th anniversary. Executive Dean Bob Goodman presented the award to Meyer at the Rutgers Golf Classic Fundraiser at Fiddlers Elbow Country Club on May 2 in front of over 350 golf industry professionals from eight states and Canada. This is an annual event that has raised over $1.5 million for turfgrass research over the past 20 years.

Meyer joined the Center as director of the Turfgrass Breeding Program in 1996 after 21 years spent as a commercial turfgrass breeder and corporate president. He is widely recognized as one of the world’s leading breeders of cool-season turfgrasses. “Since coming to Rutgers in 1996, Bill Meyer has taken the Rutgers Turfgrass Breeding Program to a whole new level,” said Bruce B. Clarke, director of the Center for Turfgrass Science. “The turf breeding program was already recognized as the top program in the world during Reed Funk’s tenure, but Bill has really raised the bar in terms of developing new turfgrass cultivars with enhanced pest and stress tolerance that require less fertilizer and water.”

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New Landscaped Garden Another Great Reason to Visit the Institute for Food, Nutrition and Health

SEBS Students Planting the IFNH Garden.

SEBS students planting the IFNH Garden.

IFNH Amphitheater Garden Design.

IFNH amphitheater garden design

Besides enjoying a healthy, delicious, responsibly-sourced meal — which is reason enough to visit — now you have something on which to feast your eyes…a beautiful, landscaped garden. In conjunction with the Rutgers’ 250 celebration, SEBS deans Rick Ludescher and Judy Storch supported the creation of this new garden near the outdoor dining terrace. The garden changes the formerly empty space into a gently-sloping grass pathway that descends from the terrace at the IFNH building between curving beds of ornamental grasses and perennials.

Students in Holly Grace Nelson’s Planting Design class in the Department of Landscape Architecture were challenged to create a design to transform the existing lawn amphitheater into a campus gathering area. Each participating student did a design using information from the nursery to make sure that their plant selections were available and within budget.  An exhibition of the proposals was attended by the students and dean Ludescher, associate dean Lisa Estler (Planning and Budget), Pat Harrity (Facilities Maintenance Services), assistant director Tony Sgro (Facilities Maintenance Services) and assistant professor Richard Alomar (Landscape Architecture), who then voted to choose the winning design. [Read more…]

Students, Prospective Health and Wellness Professionals, Participate in Intergenerational Project for Older Adults

SEBS student Linda Dragun, at left, and colleagues Saige Gomez and Morris Kim play a game of modified pong with the senior citizens.

SEBS student Linda Dragun, second from left, and fellow Rutgers students Saige Gomez (center) and Morris Kim (second from right) play a game of ‘modified pong’ with the seniors.

Students from Rutgers, including four from the School of Environmental and Biological Sciences who are pursuing careers as physical therapists, doctors, occupational therapists and nurse practitioners specializing in the aging community, hosted an intergenerational event for Springpoint Senior Living residents at the Loree Gymnasium on the Douglass Campus on April 13.

Susan Kaplowitz, professor in the Department of Exercise Science and Sport Studies, along with 25 of her students, welcomed 30 residents from Monroe Village and Meadow Lakes, both Springpoint Senior Living continuing care retirement communities, for a fun-filled afternoon of physical, mental and creative exercises.

The seniors participated in activities designed by the students, including interactive stations with fitness testing, creative arts, balancing activities, memory games, sport games: Wii bowling, water pong and corn-hole. Tactile exercises using everyday household items included towels, chairs, sand-filled water bottles and rubber bands to stretch and strengthen hand muscles. [Read more…]

All Senior IFNH Student Ambassadors Successfully Matched for Dietetic Internships

From the left: Bill Cornelius, Taylor Palm, Cortney Flynn, and Rebecca Tonnessen

L-R: Bill Cornelius, Taylor Palm, Cortney Flynn and Rebecca Tonnessen

April 3 was the highly anticipated “Match Day” for senior dietetic students to find out whether they get matched for a dietetic internship, a requirement to become a registered dietitian. The Institute for Food, Nutrition and Health (IFNH) Student Ambassadors work diligently over the course of their undergraduate careers to achieve their dreams of becoming dietitians. All the hard work has paid off for the 2016 class of IFNH Student Ambassadors, all four of whom received a match on “Match Day.”

Congratulations to Taylor Palm, who was matched to Sodexo-Allentown Dietetic Internship, and to Bill Cornelius, Cortney Flynn and Rebecca Tonnessen, all three of whom were matched to the Rutgers University Dietetic Internship.

These programs are highly selective and receiving a match is a major accomplishment for dietetic undergraduates who wish to become dietitians. The process is competitive, with the national match rate to a dietetics program at only 52 percent.

Statewide Efforts of Family and Community Health Sciences Gain Recognition

FCHS Chair Kathleen Morgan accepted the Culture of Health Award on behalf of the department. Photo: Jeff Heckman.

FCHS Chair Kathleen Morgan accepted the Culture of Health Award on behalf of the department. Photo: Jeff Heckman.

The work of the Department of Family and Community Health Sciences (FCHS) was recognized by the YMCA Alliance, in partnership with the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, with a Culture of Health Award.

The award, presented at the Culture of Health Conference in New Jersey, “honors individuals and communities that are creating partnerships and deep commitments to drive local change, ensuring all residents have an opportunity to make healthy choices in their schools, workplaces and neighborhoods.”

According to Kathleen Morgan, chair of FCHS, who accepted the award on behalf of the department, these “Culture of Health” communities have worked through the development of deliberate policies, programmatic, environmental and systems changes designed to help each community sustain these changes over time, with the overall goal of improving health. [Read more…]

Rutgers Revolutionary: Cracking the Genetic Code of Plants

Joachim Messing at his investiture as Chair of Molecular Genetics at Rutgers.

Joachim Messing at his investiture as Chair of Molecular Genetics at Rutgers.

Prof. Joachim Messing, among the world’s top experts in molecular genetics, became famous for developing a genetic engineering technique used in laboratories to create plants that have produced disease-resistant crops considered vital to feeding the world’s population. Instead of cashing in on his discovery, he gave this scientific blueprint away for free to his fellow scientists around the world. Read more on this Rutgers Revolutionary at Rutgers Today.