SALEM, OR – August 25, 2021 – Corban University has officially announced the hire of Dr. Susie Nelson to the position of Director of Agriculture Science. As a new member of Corban’s expanding ag. faculty, Dr. Nelson will oversee the launch and creation of the University’s new agriculture science major.
Holding a Ph.D. from Oregon State in agriculture education, Nelson brings a wealth of diverse agricultural experience and expertise as an instructor at the high school and college level, a researcher and lecturer in Oregon State’s College of Agriculture Science, and as a farmer, raising crops and cattle on her 40-acre family farm.
“Dr. Susie Nelson has developed programs and worked to recruit students in her previous -roles and has been active in Agriculture in the Willamette Valley for over 20 years,” says Corban University Provost Dr. Tom Cornman. “She brings the unique combination of academics, real world experience, and the drive to put Corban’s new Agriculture Science program on the map.”
With Corban’s agriculture science program set to officially launch in fall of 2022, Nelson will now begin the process of building the program’s structure and recruiting students for their inaugural class of agriculture science majors. Nelson sees the University’s location in the Mid-Willamette Valley as a major draw for prospective students. “We’re in a unique situation where the Willamette Valley is so diverse and produces so much of Oregon’s value-added crops,” she says.
The Willamette Valley, and Oregon in general, with its eight distinct growing regions, plays a prominent role in some of the nation’s largest agriculture industries; from grass seed, green house plants, and Christmas trees, to blueberries, hazelnuts, hay, cattle, and dairy. Nelson envisions building the program around the region’s distinctiveness, while connecting her students with local growers who can offer opportunities to glean from years of expertise through a hands-on experience.
“Getting a more comprehensive group of new generation students that understand ag and can educate others is vital,” Nelson says. She sees the growing need for informed decision making in the agriculture community, hoping that knowledge can be relayed to the political sphere to better inform agricultural practice and lawmaking.
For Nelson and Corban University, the solution begins with education. “We want to get the program on the map,” she says. “We plan to start small and keep growing. It’s just like farming in that respect.”
Corban is a private Christian university with an 85-year history of educating students who will make a difference in the world for Jesus Christ. Situated on a beautiful, forested hillside overlooking Oregon’s capital, Corban is only an hour from Portland, the Cascade Mountains, and the Oregon coast. Offering academic excellence at the undergraduate, graduate, and doctoral levels and online, Corban prepares students for careers as business leaders, educators, medical professionals, politicians, ministry leaders, and more. Expert faculty, a tight-knit community, and opportunities for local and global engagement provide for students’ growth both in and beyond the classroom.