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The Jordan College of Agricultural Sciences and Technology

2014-15 Jordan College Highlights

• The Jordan College enjoyed an enrollment of 2,361 students in the fall of 2014 – almost double the 2004 fall total.

• The Jordan College Honors Program was created to provide scholarly, creative and motivated students an education with advanced study and engagement.

• Five of California’s top agricultural lenders have pledged a combined $495,000 to create the Multicultural Scholars in Agricultural Program with a matching $200,000 U.S. Department of Education Title V-Hispanic Serving Institution grant. The 12-student inaugural class will mentor area high school students in pursuing careers in agricultural science and technology.

• At the annual FFA State Conference, Fresno State welcomed 6,000 high school students from around the state and hosted 30 Field Day judging contests and 156 workshops on campus.

• At the World Ag Expo, the student Ag Ambassadors hosted a booth to showcase Fresno State’s offerings to the 100,000 visitors from 70 countries (and also welcomed many at the Fresno airport at their help desk).

• The Jordan College educated 3,500 area third graders about food and agriculture topics at several exhibits at the Fresno County Farm & Nutrition Day.

• Nine Jordan College classes and 348 students were part of the inaugural DISCOVERe program that used mobile devices as the core of classroom instruction.

• The Fresno State Winery was voted #1 in the 2015 Fresno Bee Reader’s Choice Awards, and its 2007 Saviez Syrah won the gold medal in the Pacific Rim and silver medal in the Orange County Fair competitions.

• Agricultural Business alumnus and Wells Fargo Executive VP Rob Yraceburu was selected as the Jordan College’s Top Dog award winner, while Wawona President/CEO William Smittcamp received the event’s Life Award.

• Plant Science professor Dr. Anil Shrestha won the Provost’s Award for Excellence in Teaching in 2014-15.

• Agricultural Business professor Dr. Pei Xu was one of six campus instructors awarded the Promising New Faculty honor in 2014-15.

• Agricultural Operations technician Danny Sexton and wife Kathy presented the Jordan College with a U.S. flag from his service in Afghanistan in 2014.


Student Highlights

• Plant Science majors Sonia Rios and Armando Guzman were the College’s nominees for the President’s Undergraduate and Graduate Medalists in 2015.

• The Agricultural Business Department sponsored a two-week study abroad course in Chile that focused on agricultural and food supply chain operations and visits with U.S. Embassy and USDA staff and port inspectors.

• The 5th Annual Fashion INC. Spring Fashion Show featured +50 designs from eight student stylists and attracted local TV and Fresno Bee coverage.

• The Jordan College hosted 37 Brazilian agricultural students from the University of Sao Paulo before the World Ag Expo. Several of the students will continue to study through the summer and fall at Fresno State in the Plant Science and Viticulture and Enology programs.

• Many of the 30 Jordan College student clubs capped National Ag Week by hosting the Jordan Olympics on campus. 

• The Livestock Judging Team successfully competed at a host of livestock and rodeo show events in Denver, Houston, Louisville, Phoenix and San Antonio.

• Agricultural Business students won the Produce for Better Health Foundation’s national new product competition.

• Dr. Lisa Herzig’s Nutrition 149 Food and Nutrition Communication Class teamed with 60 athletes and five Fresno State athletic teams for the ‘Bulldogs in the Kitchen’ cooking classes.

• Child Development student Karena Tuel won the Davin Youngclarke Memorial Award at the Central California Research Symposium for her research presentation on sleep quality in mothers with infants.

• Four Industrial Technology students claimed top-three honors in the poster contest at the American Society of Ag & Biological Engineers Conference – Vishnu Vardhan Vijayan (1st), Rahul Ranjan (2nd), Frank Baggiolini (2nd) and Joshua Ornellas (3rd).

• Plant Science students Rama Paudel, Julie Pedraza and Mala To won Agriculture Science Awards from 23rd District Assembly Member Jim Patterson for their dedication to the future of Central Valley agriculture.

• The Plant Science Club claimed the Tri-Societies President’s Trophy at the national club speech contest. Sangeeta Bansal and Mala To won American Society of Agronomy conference poster competitions – and Charlie Garcia received a scholarship, as did Sarah Parry from the Weed Science Society of America. Parry and Elizabeth Mosqueda added second and third place in oral presentations at the California Weed Science Society Conference, and Mala To took third in the poster category.

• Viticulture and Enology graduate student Andrew Beebe placed first and second in conference poster competitions hosted by the California Plant and Soil and American Society of Agronomy Conference (California Chapter). He also presented his research at the American Society for Enology Conference, CSU Student Research Competition and Central California Research Symposium.

• The Bulldoggers Club qualified six individuals for the National Intercollegiate Rodeo Association Finals this June in Laramie, Wyoming as Justin Lawrence (third, saddle bronc) and Billie Holman (third, barrel racing) won buckles at the UNLV regional. Other qualifiers included Tegan Turner (first, barrel racing and regional all-around title), McKenzie Hale (first, breakaway), Jamie Geifer (third, breakaway) and Tyler Foresberg (tie down, team roping).


Research/Outreach Highlights

• The 1,000-acre campus farm utilizes staff, faculty and students to operate +20 enterprises that serve as classrooms and laboratories. Students are exposed to all parts of the ‘Farm to Fork’ concept in campus animal, food processing, horticulture, tree fruit, nut, vegetable, field crop units, vineyards and the nation’s first bonded campus winery.

• The 33rd Annual AgriBusines Conference welcomed 350 attendees to learn about the outlook for California agriculture and other emerging issues from economic, legal, water and industry experts.

• The Center for Agricultural Business and Viticulture and Enology Research Center hosted a group of Armenia wine makers as part of the USDA’s Foreign Agricultural Service Cochran Program, and connected them with faculty and local industry. 

• The International Center for Water Technology received a grant of up to $1.12 million from the Fresno Regional Workforce Investment Board to continue its nationally-recognized research and partnerships with industry and government agencies. It partnered in hosting the BlueTechValley Water Summit that provided constituents in the private, public and academic arenas the opportunity to explore and discuss new innovations, developments and trends relating to water issues.

• The Center for Irrigation Technology’s quarterly Water Cluster meetings connected representatives of the water industry and government agencies to share about advancing technologies to better use and conserve water.

CIT Director David Zoldoske was honored as the 2014 California Irrigation Institute Person of the Year.

• The Rue & Gwen Gibson Farm Market hosted the second annual Helping Hams Campaign that raised $4,782.11 to purchase 159 hams for area families. The market also hosted the eighth annual Farm Festival, and first annual California Raisin and Pistachio Days.

• The Viticulture and Enology Department connected students, faculty, staff and industry by hosting events tied to the community, and welcoming speakers and groups from Armenia, China, France and Spain. Staff and students have also attended conferences around the world, and hosted career fairs to connect students with alumni and professionals. A new variety block will be added this summer that include 4 strands each of 150 cultivars of wine, table and raisin grape varieties, and a new research project was started to study chemistry and management of red wine quality.

Ag One membership has increased 25% over the past 2 years, and fundraising events in Bakersfield, Kingsburg, Madera, Modesto, San Luis Obispo and Santa Rosa have reached out to alumni throughout the Central Valley.

• In the first few months of her newly created position, Coordinator of Internships and Professional Experiences Mary Willis has met with 75 Jordan College students and 95 companies to establish or enhance internship programs. She has also provided 17 professional development presentations in classes, clubs and workshops to 248 students. Besides working with each Jordan College department, she has also teamed with the Craig School of Business, Career Services campus office and the Alumni Association for a “Meet the Professionals” industry/student gathering. More information on the College’s new internship and job posting system is at

• The Jordan College hosted Ambassador Venkatesan Ashok, Consulate General of India (San Francisco) and U.S. Representative Jim Costa and provided a tour of the campus farm, Gibson Farm Market & the CIT/ICWT water management research facility.


Department Highlights

Agricultural Business

• Had 470 students in its major program in the fall - more than twice the number in 2004 - and will graduate one of its largest classes in May 2015 (91).
• Completed a tenure-track search for new professor.
• Coordinated international student abroad trips in 2014-15 to Italy, Chile and China.
• Hosted the USDA and Ag Industry Career and Internship Fair.
German Marquez Alcala was honored as the President’s Medalist  in May 2014 – the university’s top undergraduate commencement honor.
• The department sent 25 students to 2015 Produce Marketing Association Fresh Summit, and its students won the Produce for Better Health Foundation’s New Product National Competition.
• The Ag Leadership Development Course traveled to Sacramento to meet with political and industry leaders.
• The Ag Business Club hosted speakers on campus and arranged multi-day trip to Bakersfield to meet with industry and alumni.
• Junior Heather Dodson won the first scholarship from the Professor Emeritus Dr. John W. Hagen endowment fund .

Animal Sciences and Agricultural Education

• Partnered with industry and community to host the Meat Industry Appreciation Dinner, Red Wave Livestock Sale, Bulldoggers Rodeo and Colt Starting Challenge
• The Bulldoggers Rodeo Team qualified six individuals for the National Intercollegiate Rodeo Association Finals this June in Laramie, Wyoming as Justin Lawrence (third, saddle bronc) and Billie Holman (third, barrel racing) won buckles at the UNLV regional. Other qualifiers included Tegan Turner (first, barrel racing and regional all-around title), McKenzie Hale (first, breakaway), Jamie Geifer (third, breakaway) and Tyler Foresberg (tie down, team roping). 
• Recent alum Levy Randolph won the National Farm Bureau Collegiate Discussion Meet.
• The department sponsored 14 clubs, including a new swine judging team.
• Four students from Professor Henson's 172 Meat Technology class in the Student Product Showcase received Meat Industry Appreciation Dinner cash awards from sponsor Harris Ranch (1st - Rebecca Beltran; 2nd, Richard Kuan, 3rd - Shannon Range, 4th - Vincent Amparano).
• Sent 12 student and staff to the International Production & Processing Expo in Atlanta.
• Sent staff and/or students to three poultry conferences: the California Poultry Federation conference in Monterey, Pacific Egg and Poultry Conference in Anaheim and University of Georgia Poultry Ventilation and Welfare Clinic.
• Hosted chicken and turkey disease clinic for 30 poultry science and pre-vet students in cooperation with Foster Farms.
• The livestock judging team competed in Central Point (OR), Denver, Louisville, Phoenix, Porterville and San Antonio. 
• 10 students and staff from the Meat Science Club attended the Reciprocal Meat Conference in Madison.
Dr. Rosco Vaughn received the distinguished service award at the Western Region American Association for Agricultural Education and Dr. Steven Rocca won first place in poster competition at the event.
Dr. Steve Rocca received the FFA Field Day Dedication Award at the Jordan College Faculty and Staff Recognition Ceremony.
• Deborah Russell received the Jordan College's 2014-15 Distinguished Service Award.
• The California Agricultural Teachers’ Associations recognized 14 students with agricultural education credentials
• Students, faculty and staff volunteered locally at the Community Food Bank, sought donations for the neonatal unit at Childrens Hospital of Central California and later taught Dairy Science (milk and ice cream making) to patients of the hospital, conducted the Wag and Wash as a fund raiser that offered low cost vaccinations and dog washes to the community. 
• Routinely conducted class field trips to visit industry locations to better integrate classroom learning; horse barns and stables, poultry facilities, professional conferences and meetings as part of club or class activities, and various area off-site locations such as Harris Ranch Feed Yard.
• Hosted National Junior Red Angus Association on campus.
Farm tour guides escorted more than 2,500 elementary age school children to all the animal units on campus, in an effort to provide an educational opportunity.

Child, Family & Consumer Sciences

Dr. Lizhu Davis’ manuscript "Religiosity and Retail Store Choices: Exploring U.S. Christian Consumers’ Apparel Shopping Behavior" is accepted for publication in International Journal of Business Anthropology, 6(2).
Dr. Amber Hammons received the Jordan College's 2014-15 Outstanding Research and Scholarly Activity Award. She is a Co-Principal Director on a National Institute of Food and Agriculture-USDA Grant titled “Improving the Health of Hispanic Children and Their Families with a Community-Based Curriculum: ‘Abriendo Caminos’”, awarded April 2015. She also taught a special topics course on Childhood Obesity in Spring 2015 that is part of a National Institute of Food and Agriculture-USDA grant, titled “Transdisciplinary Obesity Prevention Research Sciences Program”. The goal is to develop a curriculum focused on the contributors to obesity and the curriculum will be disseminated freely to Universities and Colleges nationwide.
This summer she will presen research in collaboration with Children’s Hospital at the 8th Biennial Childhood Obesity Conference.
• Dr. Jessica McKenzie was invited to write a Feature Article for the Society for Research on Adolescence website on her research project in Thailand that was funded by the SRA Innovative Grant Award. Her article will appear on the SRA website in June 2015.
Dr. Kathie Reid-Bevington was featured as a speaker at the Central Valley Teen Parent Conference on ways to improve infant cognitive activity through children’s books.
Dr. Aimee Rickman will presen research on rural adolescents’ involvement in social media at the International Communication Association Annual Meeting and at the Social Media and Society Conference this summer. She appeared on local (CBS47) and national (Univision) news three times this year as an in-studio expert and as part of stories examining youth and social media.
Alma Major did a webinar called “Cognitive Development: The Play Years” that was included in the Home Economics Careers and Technology Professional Development Project’s activities for the 2014-15.
Kabeljit Atwal presented a mini-workshop at Parlier Migrant Child Care Center on April 10th. The topic focused on “The Child Care Consultation Model.” The goals of the mini-workshop focused on infant and toddler caregivers to gain a sense of increased self-perception and self-efficacy through the use of a “reflective practice” approach. In addition for caregivers to construct effective strategies for helping young children achieve body mastery and emotional regulation. 
• Two CFS Students, Karena Tuel and Chee Thao, presented research at this year’s Central California Research Symposium that they participated in with faculty. Tuel won the Davin Youngclarke Memorial Award for her research on sleep in mothers with infants, and Thao presented research about research on the relationship between religion and curiosity.
• Four top-performing seniors in our department received prestigious Student Achievement Awards: Seema Prakash, Sarah Tsutsui, Karena Tuel, and Lisa Vang.
• The Fashion Merchandising student club, Fashion INC. hosted its 5th annual Spring Fashion Show that featured eight student designers and stylists and was featured by local TV stations and the Fresno Bee.
• Dr. Davis' classes utilized showcase displays in the Family and Food Science Building to promote various student projects on fashion, culture, etc.

Food Science & Nutrition

• To re-engage FSN department’s Advisory Board, the department submitted a revised Advisory Board Bylaws along with the contact information of recommended board members for approval. The purpose of the Advisory Board is to promote the fields of culinary science, food science, nutrition and dietetics by providing practical, relevant, and timely advice related to program curriculum, research foci, and professional development.
• The department’s Dietetic Internship program prepares graduates to be eligible as Registered Dietitian/Nutritionist. Interns complete supervised practice experiences in a variety of facilities in the Central San Joaquin Valley, including a veterans' hospital, a state prison, school districts, food banks, private hospitals, an out-patient diabetes program and cooperative extension. Last year our interns provided over 10,000 service hours to the industry through partnerships. The program received full re-accreditation in 2014 by the Accreditation Council for Education in Nutrition and Dietetics.
• The department provided student-athletes with training on basic cooking survival skills, safe food handling and nutrition specific to the athlete. The week-long Bulldogs in the Kitchen program partnered senior dietetic students with student-athletes to teach them how to prepare a healthy and fun menu that included crepes, waffles, chicken tacos, and guacamole.
• To emphasize experiential learning, the department faculty and students created a host of food products (pasteurized milk, ice cream, jams, jellies, sauces, dehydrated foods, etc.) that were sold at the Gibson Farm Market. In the product development and production process, students gained practical experience by working in the Dairy Processing Enterprise and the Food Processing Enterprise on campus.
• For facility improvement, the department obtained additional laboratory space for new food processing operations and are scheduled for culinary laboratory renovation in the summer of 2015. A portion of this facility improvement was based on a USDA grant for capacity building and the Agricultural Foundation of CSU Fresno support to provide additional space to house the growing departmental programs.
• The department hired a new Professor and Department Chair with strong research expertise. In addition, two faculty search committees have been established to fill new tenure-track positions in human nutrition and culinary science. The hiring will help the department to further develop its undergraduate and graduate courses to meet upcoming program accreditation and approval requirements. Also, it will enable our department to more fully participate in the rich outreach opportunities in the San Joaquin Valley.
Applied Research:
• The department has established a food safety research program to engage undergraduate and graduate students in applied agricultural studies. The initial goal of the program is to build laboratory capacities as well as the capability of our students to conduct world-class research. An USDA grant was awarded to evaluate Salmonella contamination in the food supply and two industry sponsored foodborne pathogen studies for improving fruit and fruit product safety are ongoing.

Industrial Technology

• Partnered with industry at annual banquet to honor student award winners and connect students with professionals in field.
• Celebrated four students placing top three in poster contests at the American Society of Ag and Biological Engineers conference - graduate students Vishnu Vardhan Vijayan (1st), Rahul Ranjan (2nd), and undergraduate students Frank Baggiolini (2nd), Joshua Ornellas (3rd).
• Student Frank Baggiolini presented his research poster on orchard and vineyard removal protocol at the Central California Research Symposium.
Dr. N.P. Mahalik presented his research on interdisciplinary technology systems for agriculture and military applications at the President's Showcase of Excellence.
• Added Precision Technology minor that combines agricultural machinery, GPS, GIS and futuristic agricultural sensor and control skills and study.
• Hosted Ag Engineering and Science Job Fair in September.
• Department students and staff won the Jordan Olympics in March 2015.

Plant Science Department

Dr. Anil Shrestha won Excellence in Teaching and Outstanding Advisor awards from Provost Zelezny.
• Dr. Bruce Roberts received the Nicolas Salgo-Noren Excellence in Teaching Award at the Jordan College Faculty and Staff Recognition Ceremony.

• Hosted Western Plant Health Association Dinner to connect students and professionals together.
• One of 14 Fresno State conference delegates, Armando Guzman won the President’s Trophy for his speech at the Agronomy-Crop Science Society of America - Soil Science Society of America International Annual Meeting at Students of Agronomy, Soils and Environmental Sciences speech contest.
Sangeeta Bansal and Mala To won the graduate and undergraduate poster competitions at the American Society of Agronomy conference.
Sarah Parry received a scholarship from Weed Science Society of America for her organic lettuce and weed research project.
Sarah Parry, Mala To and Elizabeth Mosqueda placed third in the oral presentation at the California Weed Science Society Conference.
• A student team won the Weed Identification Challenge at the 58th Annual Weed Day at UC Davis.
Josue Samano-Monroy and Touyee Thao received E3 Learner Awards.
Charlie Garcia received an American Society of Agronomy California Chapter scholarship.
• Students and clubs worked on a host of volunteer projects with the California Armenia Home, Chafee Zoo, 4H, Marie/athletic department toy collection, United Cerebral Palsy and University House Citrus Harvest.
Navreet Mahal, Macy Perry and Touyee Thao received 23rd District Agricultural Science Awards from Assembly Member Jim Patterson in 2014, and Rama Paudel, Julie Pedraza and Mala To received similar honors in 2015.
• Dakota Camino was selected as an honorable mention selection at the Central California Research Symposium for her poster presentation on behavioral responses of parasitoids in the genus melittobia to volatiles emitted by natural and factitious hosts.

Viticulture and Enology Department

• The 2015 Fresno Bee Reader's Poll ranked the Fresno State Winery #1.
• Professor Emeritus Dr. Vincent E. Petrucci was honored with an FFA honorary state degree at the annual conference.
• A new variety block will be added this summer that will include 4 strands each of 150 cultivars of wine, table and raisin grape varieties.
• Showcased resources/students/staff at events such as the Le Vin Nouveau, Taste of Spring and Vineyard Mechanization campus events, and nearby events such as the Budbreak Bash (Madera), Grape, Nut and Tree Fruit Expo (Fresno) and Viticulture Club Fall Harvest BBQ (Sanger).
• Featured international industry speakers from France and Spain, and hosted visiting groups of winemakers and industry professionals from Armenia and China.
• Maintained industry partnerships through guest speakers from E&J Gallo, Diageo Chateau & Estate and other companies and wineries. 
• Hosted high schools students in vineyard for FFA winter and state judging contests.
• Conducted a San Joaquin Valley Variety Evaluation Trial.
• Was engaged in volunteer activity, including community vine management and master gardener presentations. 
• Hosted department career fair and resume workshop.
• Attended various state, national and international conferences
• Renovated the V.E. Petrucci Library with funds raised from the Papa Petrucci 5K Run.
• Dr. Jim Kennedy lectured at the Monitoring and Managing Grape Maturity Advanced Seminar in Porto, Portugal.
• Hosted campus Grape Day program that brought practice information to growers and vintners with a focus on improving grape and wine quality in the Central Valley. 
• Released three new ‘Art and Science’ wines with label designed by campus students.
• Began industry chemistry and management of red wine quality study.
• Posted job position for campus winemaker position.
• Connected with alumni at events in Bakersfield, Fresno, Madera and Sacramento.