CANR faculty members recognized by APLU

Two Michigan State University (MSU) faculty members were recognized by the Association of Public and Land-grant Universities (APLU) during its annual meeting in November.

December 18, 2014

Two Michigan State University (MSU) faculty members were recognized by the Association of Public and Land-grant Universities (APLU) during its annual meeting in November.

Janice Swanson, chair of the Department of Animal Science, was recognized as a 2012-14 Food Systems Leadership Institute (FSLI) fellow. Gretchen Neisler, director of the Center for Global Connections in Food, Agriculture and Natural Resources, was elected chair of the International Agriculture Section (IAS) of the APLU.

The FSLI is a two-year leadership program in the APLU supported by the W.K. Kellogg Foundation.  Its curriculum is focused on the development of holistic, interdisciplinary approaches to and a deeper understanding of the 21st century food system. The program facilitates the building of core leadership competencies—including individual leadership, leading organizational change and effective communication skills—to promote integrative approaches to research, education and outreach in sustainable food systems.

“I’m looking forward to working with my colleagues from around the country,” Swanson said. “The call is for higher education and colleges of agriculture and natural resources to lead the world in securing a safe and sustainable food system while maintaining a healthy natural resource base. This requires the capacity building of institutional talent and a leadership base that is prepared to embrace and lead change.”

Swanson’s research, education and outreach efforts primarily focus on the animal sciences and  sustainable approaches to animal food systems. She joins a cohort of other FSLI fellows interested in food systems from a wide variety of universities, including Cornell, Ohio State and Auburn.

“Being elected the chair of the IAS is a great honor for me,” Neisler said. “The opportunity to represent the APLU member institutions on a national front is very significant, and the IAS has the potential to catalyze positive change for the students and scientists in our institutions of higher education. I am also proud to represent Michigan State University in this role, an institution that is committed to anticipating change and taking action on global issues.” 

Neisler has also had animpact on the field of international agriculture during her time at MSU. She co-founded the Academy for Global Engagement, a training program for faculty members wishing to apply an international lens to their work. As the new IAS chair, Neisler will work to internationalize the programs of the U.S. Department of Agriculture, enhance the government’s approach to international research and advocate for international agricultural programs to members of Congress. She will also work closely with the APLU Board on Agriculture Assembly and the APLU Council on International Initiatives. Neisler will do this work on behalf of the 144 universities that have international agriculture programs.

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