Impact: Spring 2022

June 6, 2022

Teaching tomorrow's leaders

CFANS graduate student gets hooded by their advisor during commencement.

The stories in this issue of Impact underscore our goal of teaching tomorrow’s leaders by putting students first. May was an especially joyful month on campus, as we held our undergraduate and graduate commencement ceremonies in person for the first time since 2019. It was truly momentous to once again see our students marching to Pomp and Circumstance and happily holding their diplomas while friends, family, and faculty cheered them on. Read Dean Buhr's full message.

Learners to leaders graphic with gold block M.

Turning learners into leaders

Students arrive at CFANS talented, curious, and eager to make the world a better place. Our goal is to prepare them for success — but, many students face cultural and economic barriers to attending the University of Minnesota. The CFANS Learners to Leaders Scholarship Initiative provides access and support for students who face the most obstacles.



Butterfly sketch.

Elevating entomology

Increasing numbers of undergraduate students are catching the bug for courses in the Department of Entomology, thanks to the Sping and Ying N. Lin Fund for Teaching and Outreach in Entomology. The fund paved the way for a new teaching assistant professor position, which was offered to Matt Petersen, PhD, in 2019.



Kelly Martichuski hiking among the trees.

Fostering forests

Kelly Martichuski just graduated with a degree in sustainable systems management. She also works full-time at a company called Forest Carbon Works (FCW), where she hires and trains field technicians, gives them hands-on experience, and updates clients on their forests. FCW helps to protect forests and utilize them to their full potential.



FAARM images.

FAARM forward

CFANS is leading the exploration and development of an advanced agricultural research complex in Mower County. Through a public-private partnership with the U of M, elected officials, and private sector leaders, this integrated complex — known as the Future of Advanced Agricultural Research in Minnesota (FAARM) — would include world-class facilities, as well as several hundred acres of fields and land to support its mission.



Hussain Alwael.

The path to plant solutions

Helping his father with farm work as a youth in Al-Ahsa, Saudi Arabia, taught Hussain Alwael the skills of hard work, patience, and kindness. It also inspired him to pursue a career in plant biotechnology.  Today, Alwael is a CFANS graduate student in applied plant sciences, and the recipient of a Donald C. Rasmusson Graduate Education Fund Fellowship.



Trinity Alexander.

Taking research from coursework to career

Alumna Trinity Alexander, BS  ‘21 applied economics, uses her CFANS knowledge every day in her new career. An associate consultant with The Improve Group — a woman-owned company that partners with mission-driven organizations — she applies the data, research, and analysis skills she gained at CFANS to help her employer fulfill its vision of helping clients develop a more resilient, equitable, and thriving world.  



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