Each semester, PlantVillage at Pennsylvania State University, has a large following of undergraduates across all disciplines that work with us for credits. We want to honor their hard work and innovative abilities by sharing some of their stories. Please feel free to reach out to the PlantVillage team if you want to learn more!
Julieann Patarini - Hi! My name is Julieann Patarini and I'm a senior studying Biology. I've had the opportunity to grow up in both Oahu and South Korea and I'm glad I can call them both my home. Being a biology major, I'm very passionate about the environment as well as trying to find solutions to combat climate change. I would love to live in a world where relying on renewable energy, clean products, and better farming is the normal. I'm excited to work with PlantVillage to help farmers have access to the best farming knowledge no matter where they are.
Jason Dwomoh-Sarpong - Hello! My name is Jason Sarpong and I am a junior studying Bio-Behavioral Health. I was born in Kumasi, Ghana which is in West Africa. I moved to the U.S when I was 7-8 years old. I currently live in Maryland. I am very invested and interested in the medical field and plan to go to medical school to become a surgeon. Oddly enough I love PlantVillage because I feel as if empowering farmers to efficiently grow food, will provide communities with better food reserves and supply which ultimately will lead to healthier individuals, children, and families. Many infirmities which stem from contaminations of the food supply could be alleviated. PlantVillage indirectly and directly ties into the field of medicine. Many of these crops are not only used for consumption but are used for herbal and traditional medications where modern medical facilities may not be available. To advance medicine we have to look beyond medicine and the prospect of what PlantVillage means to medicine in these areas is very intriguing to me.
Stanley Allison - Hi everyone! My name is Stanley Allison and I'm a sophomore majoring in Biochemistry and Molecular Biology (BMB - molecular biology, pre-med track) and minoring in French. I have lived in many places from Arizona to Rome, Italy. But my family finally settled down just outside of Frederick, MD and since then, Maryland has been my home. Ever since high school I've made it my mission to volunteer with an NGO and work abroad to help those who are on the front-lines of some of today's most pressing challenges. As of right now, I plan to go to either med-school or PA school and volunteer with doctors without borders or peace corps. Being apart of many organizations that were dedicated to helping people ranging from environmental work to healthcare, PlantVillage was a major opportunity for me as it really makes me feel good knowing that the work I'm doing is helping people right now a whole ocean away. I can't work to continue working with you all, thanks so much!!
Emaan Bhutta - Hello! My name is Emaan Bhutta and I am currently a junior studying Biology. I was born and raised in Little Rock, Arkansas but my family now lives in Howard County, Maryland. My parents were both born in Pakistan and moved to the United States before I was born to pursue their careers in the medical field. I aspire to one day follow in their footsteps and become a physician myself. Service to others has always been an integral part of our household. From a young age, I began volunteering for all kinds of organizations and have developed a deep passion for helping others. I am so excited to continue to do this in a new way through PlantVillage! Upon hearing about PlantVillage, I was thoroughly impressed with the amazing and important work they were doing and knew I had to become involved. I am so grateful for this opportunity!
Rachel Casper -Hello! My name is Rachel Casper and I am a junior majoring in Biology - Vertebrate Physiology. I grew up in the small town of Harrison City, PA which is a little outside of Pittsburgh. I am a firm believer that all people are capable of achieving great things if given the opportunity. In this previous summer, I worked as a Direct Support Professional providing assisted daily living for people with intellectual and physical disabilities. When I learned about PlantVillage, I immediately wanted to get involved. This organization serves communities by helping them maximize successful food growth. I value helping other individuals live a healthier and happier life. Being a part of the PlantVillage team has introduced me to other people with this same value. I am thankful for the chance to be a member of this group and excited to see what the future holds!
Arpit Singla- Hey! My name is Arpit Singla and I am a junior majoring in Computer Science. I was born in Punjab, India. I have always aimed at using my skills in computer science for the benefit of society. So, working with PlantVillage is just delightful because I will be helping farmers in Africa. Besides, I am really excited about developing the data collection app, that speeds up the whole process of training ML models for identifying crop diseases.
Alesandra Echeandia - Hi! My name is Alesandra Echeandía and I am a senior majoring in Biology with a minor in Italian. I grew up and currently live in Puerto Rico whenever I'm not in State College. I have always been very passionate about the environment, especially adapting and developing ways to become more efficient and sustainable. I am very excited to join the PlantVillage team and to have a positive direct impact on farmers that may have limited resources and depend on their crops for their livelihood.
Christian Yother - My name is Christian Yother, I have started volunteering for PlantVillage in the Fall of 2020. My perception of current events has lead me to conclude that the world is in a state of mass change-and anxiety of this change. While the concern of many nations lies with COVID-19, it is not the main concern for others. This truth is what excites and motivates me to volunteer for PlantVillage, because I can help those in need who do not have the resources to participate on the global stage. Mahatma Ghandi once said to “be the change you wish to see in the world”. I think this quote can resonate with any individual who wishes to do something of great importance with their life-and it furthermore expresses the overall objective of PlantVillage as a project. I am grateful to have the chance to participate with PlantVillage, and I am all the more enthused to be a part of its continuation with providing both food security and economic stability to lands bereft of both.
Ethan Surovcik - Hi everyone! My name is Ethan Surovcik and this is my second semester at PlantVillage. My major is Human Centered Design, which is in the college of IST. Home for me is the Philadelphia area (Malvern to be specific). I’ve been working on spreading the word about PlantVillage through social media, using platforms like Facebook and Twitter. I think using social media platforms for a good cause is really important, as they tend to be abused nowadays. I am excited to help out as a volunteer this semester and see what we can all accomplish together!
PlantVillage is proud to work with everyone and feel honored that so many students are passionate for PlantVillages' mission and values. We believe the youth will change the future!