College of Agricultural Sciences to host Minority Alumni Panel

October 21, 2019

UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. — The Office of Multicultural Affairs in Penn State’s College of Agricultural Sciences will showcase the career paths and accomplishments of five notable alumni during a minority alumni panel that will take place from 1:45 to 3 p.m. Nov. 5, in 312 Agricultural Engineering Building on the University Park campus.

Faculty, students and staff are invited to attend the open forum that will feature Tina Terrell, Shakira Nelson, Ian Stringer, Percy Twine and Manoelle DaSilva.

Also during their visit, the alumni will meet with the Penn State chapter of Minorities in Agriculture, Natural Resources, and Related Sciences, or MANRRS, and with members of the Diversity Coordinating Council, faculty, department heads and administrators.

“We are excited to have these outstanding individuals return to campus and talk about the trajectories of their careers since graduation and the values of diversity in the workforce,” said Patreese Ingram, assistant dean for multicultural affairs.

Terrell, who graduated in 1987 with a bachelor’s degree in forest science, is the associate deputy chief for the National Forest Service. She manages a team that develops and executes rules and regulations pertaining to clearing vegetation under utility lines, managing locatable minerals and implementing revised systems for cellular services across various national forests.

Tina Terrell

Tina Terrell, associate deputy chief for the National Forest Service.

IMAGE: Penn State

Her career with the Forest Service began when she was a co-op student with the Forest Inventory and Analysis staff in Broomall, Pennsylvania. Since then, she has worked in four regions and in three deputy chief areas as well as in the chief’s office. She has served in senior executive positions in Washington, D.C., including serving as acting associate deputy chief for business operations for two years, overseeing several staffs in the agency.

She is an honorary Fellow of the Society of American Foresters, a Legend awardee of the National Society for Minorities in Agriculture, Natural Resources, and Related Sciences, and recipient of the 2019 Outstanding Alumni Award given by the college’s Department of Ecosystem Science and Management.

Nelson received her doctoral degree in 2013, focusing in immunology and infectious diseases. During this time, she mentored undergraduate students from underrepresented minority backgrounds, exposing them to bench science, hypothesis development and different scientific techniques. Today, all of her mentees have gone on to graduate programs across the U.S.

Shakira Nelson

Shakira Nelson, senior scientific program administrator at the American Association for Cancer Research.

IMAGE: Penn State

Nelson transitioned from academia to government, accepting a postdoctoral fellowship in cancer prevention and etiology at the National Cancer Institute, where she studied biomarker development, focusing specifically on prostate cancer. During her fellowship, she earned a master’s degree in public health in epidemiology, with an emphasis on health disparities.

She now is senior scientific program administrator at the American Association for Cancer Research, a nonprofit organization in Philadelphia. Her main tasks involve managing programs aimed at providing training, education and collaboration opportunities in cancer research, while pushing the research field forward with novel workshop and program ideas.

Stringer graduated in 2012 with a bachelor’s degree in turfgrass science. He is the sports turf manager for the City of Miami, where he is responsible for the overall care and maintenance of the athletic fields and city-operated parks. His duties include planning and scheduling all maintenance to ensure that the fields are safe and in good condition.

Ian Stringer

Ian Stringer, sports turf manager for the City of Miami.

IMAGE: Penn State

Prior to his current position, Stringer completed an internship at Georgia State University and worked for the Penn State Golf Courses, Camelback Ranch in Phoenix, Arizona, Maryland SoccerPlex in Boyds, Maryland, Columbia University in New York City, Florida Atlantic University in Boca Raton, Florida, and the City of Fort Lauderdale.

Twine is originally from Chesapeake, Virginia. He holds bachelor’s and master’s degrees in food science, earned in 1998 and 2001, respectively. Upon the completion of his graduate studies at Penn State, he pursued a career in dentistry and attended the University of Pennsylvania. He continued his specialty training in endodontics at Louisiana State University.

Percy Twine

Percy Twine, DMD.

IMAGE: Penn State

A member of the Arizona Dental Association, Twine is board-eligible for the American Association of Endodontics. He also enjoys teaching and is a faculty member at the Arizona School of Dentistry and Oral Health.

DaSilva is 2018 graduate who doubled majored in biology and agribusiness management. As an area manager at Amazon, she oversees day-to-day operations for the company’s Inbound department, where an average of more than 80,000 items are brought into the building daily. 

Manoelle DaSilva

Manoelle DaSilva, area manager at Amazon.

IMAGE: Penn State

During her time at Penn State, DaSilva was a member of various clubs and organizations, such as MANRRS and the National Agri-Marketing Association. She worked in the laboratory of Peter Hudson, Willaman Professor of Biology, conducting research on the spread of diseases through wild animal populations and the consequences of infection on the host population.

(Media Contacts)

Last Updated October 21, 2019