Campus: Cal Poly, San Luis Obispo -- April 06, 2001

Cal Poly Agriculture Dean Joseph Jen to be Nominated USDA Undersecretary for Research, Education and Economics

The White House and U.S. Agriculture Secretary Ann M. Veneman announced yesterday that President Bush will nominate Joseph J. Jen, dean of Cal Poly's College of Agriculture, to be the U.S. Department of Agriculture's Undersecretary of Agriculture for Research, Education and Economics.

"This is a tremendous honor for Dean Jen, the College of Agriculture and the entire university," said Cal Poly President Warren J. Baker. "His impending nomination is an acknowledgement of his lifetime contribution to education and research. Furthermore, it serves to recognize the key role he has played in the growth of our College of Agriculture and the vital function the college has in agricultural education in the United States."

Jen, who was born in China and grew up in Taiwan, earned his Bachelor of Science degree in agricultural chemistry from National Taiwan University. He later came to the United States and earned a master's degree in food science from Washington State University and a Ph.D. in comparative biochemistry from the University of California at Berkeley. He also earned an MBA from Southern Illinois University.

After 11 years of teaching, research and public service experience at Clemson University and Michigan State University, Jen worked at Campbell Soup Co. for six years. He then became division chairman and department head of Food Science and Technology at the University of Georgia.

The dean of Cal Poly's College of Agriculture since 1992, Jen is a recognized expert in the areas of post-harvest handling of fruits and vegetables, pectin chemistry and food enzymology. He has published more than 60 scientific articles, edited two books and worked as a consultant to the United Nations, American food companies and foreign governments. Jen serves on several boards of directors and executive committees of agricultural-related national and state organizations, and he is a member of the California State Board of Food and Agriculture.

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