Four honored for commitment to diversity in College of Agricultural Sciences

June 15, 2021

UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. — Four individuals have received the 2021 Dr. William Henson Diversity Achievement Award from Penn State's College of Agricultural Sciences, an honor that recognizes distinctive and outstanding teaching, research, extension or creative work that advances diversity in the college.

This year’s recipients are Adrian Barragan, extension veterinarian and assistant research professor of veterinary and biomedical sciences; Suzanne Weltman, Nutrition Links regional coordinator for Penn State Extension; Emma Rosenthal, a doctoral candidate in plant pathology; and Patreese Ingram, assistant dean for multicultural affairs.

Adrian Barragan

Barragan joined the college in August 2017. As a member of the Penn State Extension livestock and dairy teams, he assists farmers by providing virtual and on-farm training programs related to livestock health and animal welfare to bilingual audiences.

Adrian Barragan

Adrian Barragan, extension veterinarian and assistant research professor of veterinary and biomedical sciences.

IMAGE: Penn State

When faced with communication obstacles, Barragan provides solutions and successfully engages others, using his skills, training and personal knowledge to assist diverse community members and colleagues.

He recognizes the need for students pursuing a career in the agricultural field to be knowledgeable about the Spanish-speaking workforce and have the basic skills to communicate properly.

Barragan created an informal summer course that helps undergraduate students learn basic Spanish vocabulary, phrases and cultural norms geared toward an agricultural setting. The students have the opportunity to put these practices into action with Spanish-speaking workers at local farms.

Barragan’s commitment to research is broad, impactful and inclusive. He has spent the last year completing, publishing and presenting to bilingual audiences his recent research on the effects of supplying post-partum dairy cows with simple aspirin to provide pain relief and increase milk production.

Suzanne Weltman

Weltman is an advocate for bringing extension programs to multicultural audiences in Hispanic-Latino communities throughout Philadelphia and Lower Bucks County. She serves as an executive committee member of the college’s Latinx Agricultural Network.

Suzanne Weltman

Suzanne Weltman, Nutrition Links regional coordinator for Penn State Extension.

IMAGE: Suzanne Weltman

As Philadelphia area coordinator for the Expanded Food and Nutrition Education Program, Weltman works to promote the Nutrition Links program in Spanish. Partner organizations include the Norris Square Community Alliance, Asociación Puertorriqueños en Marcha Pradera Corp., Proyecto Ayuda, Casa del Caribe and the Philadelphia Department of Public Health. She also previously co-led a Spanish language diabetes education program.

Weltman has given presentations on many occasions, including at the Binational Health Week 2020 program sponsored by the Mexican Consulate of Philadelphia. Weltman, joined by extension educator Maria Luisa Tejada de Rivero Sawers, co-presented a bilingual overview of Penn State Extension online resources in food, families and health.

She also co-presented nutrition education programs and resources for Latino parents and caregivers at the Hispanos Unidos para Niños Excepcionales, Hispanics United for Exceptional Children.

Emma Rosenthal

Rosenthal developed an understanding of the Latino communities in Pennsylvania to advocate for increased access to and further development of culturally appropriate extension programming. She sought out expert mentors working with these communities to build her knowledge.

Emma Rosenthal 2

Emma Rosenthal, a doctoral candidate in plant pathology.

IMAGE: Penn State

These efforts included job shadowing employees of USDA’s Natural Resources Conservation Service and Penn State to help provide programming to Latino growers. Her goal to ensure that Penn State Extension more completely engaged Latino communities in Pennsylvania developed from the understanding she gained through those experiences.

Rosenthal advocated for these communities when she and another recent graduate recruited, administered and co-led a group of interested educators, students, staff and faculty in an integrated effort to develop a shared vision to serve these communities.

Their work directly led to an Extension Impact grant that funded the development of the Latinx Agricultural Network at Penn State. Rosenthal helped develop, organize and execute the first Latinx Strategic Planning Meeting for the college. She also has modeled ethical leadership and action to other students in her department and the college.

Patreese Ingram

Since assuming the role of assistant dean for multicultural affairs in the college in 2012, Ingram has worked tirelessly to provide opportunities for minority and underserved communities and, perhaps more importantly, has worked to increase awareness of issues important to assuring diversity in the broader community.

Patreese Ingram wearing a red jacket in a headshot photo

Patreese Ingram, assistant dean for multicultural affairs.

IMAGE: Penn State

She developed a five-session diversity program for college leadership that was offered during fall 2020. This program is an opportunity for meaningful discussion on various topics ranging from unconscious bias to white privilege. Those who attended the sessions reported that the series was the best diversity training opportunity offered by the college.

Many academic and administrative departments have asked Ingram to replicate this workshop for their faculty, graduate students and staff. Her willingness to facilitate these sessions for multiple units is leading to conversations and self-reflection in the direction of positive change.

(Media Contacts)

Last Updated June 15, 2021