Research Accomplishment Reports 2009

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International Education and Training for Food, Fiber, and Energy Production

S.R. Workman, R.S. Gates, J. Roccanova, T.S. Stombaugh
Department of Biosystems and Agricultural Engineering


Non-Technical Summary

The University of Kentucky (UK) is currently engaged in an intense institutional process of internationalization. The key is to identify and overcome institutional barriers to internationalization (language, sustainability, institutional culture). This project will address several of these barriers. Project goals include facilitating intensive bi-directional research experiences for faculty and students in the US and Brazil, increasing agribusiness collaborations and professional development opportunities through sustained interactions with producers and processors in both countries, and developing an institutional model for expanding international partnerships from the departmental level to the university.

2009 Project Description

The project team was able to work with Vicosa departments to develop a FIPSE grant that was funded in 2009. Project PI's Workman and Stombaugh traveled to Brazil in March 2009 to discuss the SERD grant with the following departments at Vicosa: Agricultural Engineering, Food Engineering, Horticulture, Soil Science, Plant Pathology, Entomology, Animal Science, and Forest Engineering. During those meetings, we delivered vita from UK faculty interested in joint research activities.

Cecilia Ferriera arrived in August to begin a sabbatical year in the Ag Engineering Department. Brazilian faculty visited UK during the year (Ilda Tinoco and Francisco Pinto, and Daniel Queiroz from Ag Enginering, Adelson Tinoco from Nutrition and Wallace Barbosa from Campina Grande) Adelson Tinoco and PI Workman developed a joint Memorandum of Understanding agreement that fosters interactions between the College of Medicine, College of Nursing, and the Department of Nutrition and Food Science at each institution. That agreement has been signed by the President of the University of Kentucky and is awaiting signature at UFV.

Tim Stombaugh travelled to Vicosa in December, and was able to recruit 4 students to come to UK as part of the FIPSE program. He also met with the President of UFV on that trip, who plans to come to the US in March of 2009 to further strengthen relations between the two universities. Also on that trip, plans were initiated to bring a UFV graduate student to UK on a sandwich to work with Joe Taraba, who hopes to be able to spend some time in Brazil in the near future.

Tim Stombaugh and Scott Shearer at UK and Fransisco Pinto at UFV are developing a study abroad trip for UK students in May of 2010. Portions of the language laboratory have been purchased. Unfortunately, the Rosetta Stone materials do not run seamlessly on the UK system. Students have begun weekly classes in Portuguese that have gone extremely well.

2009 Impact

The project has increased the interactions between UK and UFV. The Memorandum of Understanding between the College of Medicine, the College of Nursing, and the Department of Nutrition and Food Science is an important agreement between the two universities. UFV is starting a medical program as an outgrowth of their agriculture/nutrition programs.