U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Inspires Berkeley College Students

TUESDAY, JUNE 14, 2016
Contact: Ilene Greenfield
Director of Media Relations
973-278-5400, ext. 1-5122



Berkeley College student and Secretary of Agriculture


Photo Caption A: Berkeley College student Kallie McGrath of Chasy, NY (right), asks Thomas J. Vilsack, U.S. Secretary of Agriculture, a question during the Council on Foreign Relations’ (CFR) annual New York Meetings Daughters and Sons event in New York.

Four students from Berkeley College were recently invited by the Council on Foreign Relations (CFR) to participate in a special event in New York with Thomas J. Vilsack, U.S. Secretary of Agriculture. Accompanied by Rahul Bedi, PhD, Chair, Management, Berkeley College Larry L. Luing School of Business®, these students joined more than a hundred educators, learning specialists, members of the CFR and fellow college and high school students from across the East Coast for this special edition of the CFR’s annual New York Meetings Daughters and Sons event. 

Moderated by Richard N. Haass, CFR President, Secretary Vilsack discussed the importance of food security in global stability, America’s role in aiding developing nations, and agriculture’s role in U.S. national security strategy. 

“What surprised me the most was hearing how his sector of the government is just so vast,” said Tareck Elzeinab of Yonkers, NY, who is pursuing an AAS degree in Business Administration - Management, and expects to graduate in 2017. “Any sort of field or major can actually contribute to this sector of the government.” 

Following the conversation with President Haass, Secretary Vilsack took questions from a handful of attendees, including Berkeley College students Vladimir De La Rosa Santana of the Dominican Republic and Kallie McGrath of Chazy, NY.

“Coming from a very rural part of America, it was really inspiring to hear some of the sentiments Secretary Vilsack had about rural America,” said Ms. McGrath, BBA in Business Administration – Management, Class of 2018. “People often don’t think about rural areas. They say ‘Oh, let’s help the people in the cities,’ but they forget that people in rural America are struggling at times as well.” 

For these students, three of whom are members of the Berkeley College Model United Nations (UN) Club, the chance to interact with the Secretary of Agriculture was enlightening. “It was great to see what the ‘actual’ Secretary of Agriculture had to say, because we (the Model UN Club) are normally a part of a simulation,” said Ramona Stefani of Nuremberg, Germany, International Business, Class of 2018. 

“To get the opportunity to ask the U.S. Secretary of Agriculture whatever you want, and to have him give an answer right in front of you, is excellent,” said Mr. De La Rosa Santana, International Business, Class of 2017. “Not even journalists often have the opportunity to do that. This special event was inspiring for us who want to keep going and continue in the research field and our majors.” 

It’s a sentiment that Dr. Bedi shares. “This event will leave a long lasting impression on our students, and will inspire them to commit even more to their learning process at Berkeley College,” he said.

Berkeley College students and Agriculture Secretary

Photo Caption B: Berkeley College students and faculty with the Thomas J. Vilsack, U.S. Secretary of Agriculture (third from left).  Others (L to R) are students Kallie McGrath of Chazy, NY, Tareck Elzeinab of Yonkers, NY, Vladimir De La Rosa Santana of the Dominican Republic, Rahul Bedi, PhD, Chair, Management, Berkeley College Larry L. Luing School of Business®, and Berkeley College student Ramona Stefani of Nuremberg, Germany.

A leader in providing career-focused education since 1931, Berkeley College is accredited by the Middle States Commission on Higher Education and enrolls approximately 8,300 students – including more than 700 international students – in its Baccalaureate and Associate degree and Certificate programs. Students can study in more than 20 career fields. Berkeley College is comprised of the Larry L. Luing School of Business®, the School of Professional Studies, the School of Health Studies and the School of Liberal Arts. The School of Graduate Studies offers a Master of Business Administration degree in Management online and in Woodland Park, NJ.

Berkeley College has three New York campuses – Midtown Manhattan, Brooklyn and White Plains. In New Jersey there are five campuses – Dover, Newark, Paramus, Woodbridge and Woodland Park. Berkeley College Online® serves a global population. In 2016, U.S. News & World Report named Berkeley College among the Best Colleges for Online Bachelor’s Programs and among the Best Online Bachelor’s Programs for Veterans, both for the third consecutive year. The website address is www.BerkeleyCollege.edu

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