Alumna to serve as keynote speaker for COST Research Day

BLOOMSBURG — Bloomsburg University is welcoming Rachel Melnick back to campus for the College of Science and Technology Research Day on Friday, April 13, which will be held from noon to 7 p.m. in the McCormick Center. Her keynote speech will be presented at 3 p.m.

Melnick, who graduated in 2003 with a degree in biology, currently works as the national program leader for agroclimatology and production at the USDA National Institute of Food and Agriculture, leading competitive grant programs to offer funds in order to familiarize agriculture to climate changes and progress technical solutions for crop protection. Melnick is the agency or department representative for several interagency and international groups.

After BU, she furthered her education at Penn State University where she received her master’s and doctorate degrees in plant pathology. Her research while in graduate school took her to many parts all over the world to find out new information. She went to the USDA Agricultural Research Service’s Sustainable Perennial Crops Lab in Beltsville, Md., where she conducted more work on research she had done before in the past.

After a few years, her career took a change where she ended up in science policy. She had the opportunity to serve as an AAAS Science and Technology Policy Fellow at USDA National Institute of Food and Agriculture (NIFA). With her current job, she reaches programs in Agriculture and Food Research Initiative, Innovations at the Nexus of Food, Energy and Water Systems (INFEWs) with National Science Foundation, and Small Business Innovation Research Plant Production and Protection — Engineering.

Bloomsburg University is one of 14 universities in Pennsylvania’s State System of Higher Education. The university serves approximately 9,600 students, offering comprehensive programs of study in the colleges of Education, Business, Liberal Arts and Science and Technology.