Message from the Bull Penn
As I start year five of my service as the head of the department, my review of the accomplishments of the members of department and thoughts of the future are spurred by a new round of strategic planning here at Penn State. The mission of the department now clearly includes Environmental Microbiology thanks to the hiring of two talented faculty who have also been critical in the development of the Penn State Microbiome Center. Likewise, our goals in research, teaching, and extension are documented in the numerous grants and awards to faculty (from APS and a variety of funding sources), students (NSF-GRFP, USDA Predoctoral, and NE-SARE), and staff (APS and departmental). With ideas in hand from our annual faculty retreat and discussions since, I am working on a draft of the plan that will lead our department into the future. As always, our land-grant mission of research, teaching, and extension will figure prominently into the strategic plan. Also, we will incorporate emphases on: research to mitigate climate change impacts, strengthening our traditional and aspirational areas of research, increasing equity, inclusion, and diversity in all aspects of our work, strengthening our commitment to disease diagnosis and management, and diving more deeply into our international agricultural work through our dual-title degree program and other aspects of our mission. We would love to collaborate with our alumni on our goals – Let us know if you are interested in collaboration in any of these areas. We Are Penn State!