Annual Meeting 2020

Our first Global STEWARDS Annual Meeting was held on Friday January 24, 2020 from from 9:00am-4:00pm in the Charles Carroll Room of the Stamp Student Union.
Our annual meeting was an opportunity to learn about the achievements of the first year of our Global STEWARDS program, meet the current and incoming fellows, and hear exciting research presentations from our faculty and fellows.



Registration, breakfast, poster set up in the Benjamin Banneker Room


Welcome and overview of year 1 accomplishments (Dr. Amy Sapkota)

Introduction of Global STEWARDS cohorts and plans for year 2 (Dr. Rianna Murray)


Review of Winter Amp Trip to Israel (Ellen Platts, Jan-Michael Archer, Guangxiao Hu, Nora Hamovit, Dietrich Epp Schmidt, Carlton Poindexter and Sijal Dangol)


Lightning round presentations by Global STEWARDS Fellows and Faculty (5 mins each)

Clifton Cottrell, Dr. Stephanie Lansing, K. Cortney Gustafson, Sultana Solaiman, Dr. Xin-Zhong Liang

11:00am-11:15am –  Coffee Break

11:15am – 12:15pm     

Overview of data practicum course and group projects (Dr. Stephanie Lansing)

Group project presentations by Year 1 Global STEWARDS (4 groups, 12 mins each)

Group 1: Richard Remigio, K. Cortney Gustafson, Rahat Sharif, Carlton Poindexter

Group 2: Cliffton Cottrell, Dietrich Epp Schmidt

Group 3: Sijal Dangol, Manashi Paul, Vitaly Kholodovsky

Group 4: Xingchen Liu, Suraj Panthi, Sultana Solaiman, Dietrich Epp Schmidt

12:15pm-12:30pm – Brief break to get lunch from buffet and return to tables

12:30pm-1:30pm – Lunch and Keynote Speaker

Dr. Rachel Melnik – “The Future of the FEW Nexus”

(40-45 min keynote followed by 10-15 min questions)


Roundtable discussions:

Explanation of the purpose of roundtable discussions (Dr. Amy Sapkota, 5 min)

Roundtable discussions about refining research themes of this NRT (40 mins)

2:15pm – 2:45pm              

Report back from roundtables


Closing remarks (Dr. Amy Sapkota)




Student poster reception in the Benjamin Banneker room with desserts and coffee.


Bio of Keynote Speaker, Dr. Rachel Melnick:

Dr. Rachel Melnick, Keynote SpeakerDr. Rachel Melnick is a Senior Scientific Program Manager at the ILSI Research Foundation. Prior to joining the Research Foundation, Dr. Melnick was a National Program Leader at the USDA NIFA, where she co-led competitive interdisciplinary research and extension grant programs on climate change and agriculture, sustainable agricultural systems, agricultural microbiome, integrated pest management, and Innovations at the Nexus of Food, Energy, and Water Systems (INFEWs) with the National Science Foundation (NSF). She also managed a topic area in the USDA Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) program. During her postdoctoral studies at USDA Agricultural Research Service, right down the road in Beltsville, she conducted research on improving management of cacao diseases. She currently serves as editor-in-chief for the journal Biological Control.

Dr. Melnick received her M.S. and Ph.D. in Plant Pathology from Pennsylvania State University and her B.S. in Biology from Bloomsburg University. In her free time, she enjoys hiking, traveling, and impromptu dance parties with her kids.

Global STEWARDS in Emmitsburg

Emmitsburg In class

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