International Scholar Speaker Series: A Conversation with Claudia Gil Arroyo and Ming-Yi Chou

Ming-yi Chou, Claudia Gil Arroyo, Ruth Carll, from SEBS
Friday, April 19th

Rutgers Global presented the latest in its International Scholar Speaker Series on April 17, a conversation with Dr. Claudia Gil Arroyo and Dr. Ming-Yi Chou, two faculty members from the Rutgers Cooperative Extension at Rutgers School of Environmental and Biological Sciences (SEBS). The event was moderated by Ruth Carll, State Program Leader in Consumer Horticulture and Master Gardener Programs, also from SEBS.

The International Scholar Speaker Series is led by the International Student and Scholar Services team at Rutgers Global and aims to highlight the work being done in and around Rutgers by our esteemed international scholars. Previous events in the series have included conversations with Joachim Sackey, originally from Ghana, who is an internationally renowned nutritional epidemiologist and Assistant Professor in the Department of Clinical and Preventive Nutrition Sciences at Rutgers, and Selin Bengi Gümrükçü, originally from Türkiye, who is a lecturer at the Rutgers University Department of Political Science.

At this latest event in the series, the audience learned more about the work of Gil Arroyo, who was born and raised in Peru, and is currently an Agriculture & Natural Resources County Agent for the Rutgers Cooperative Extension of Cape May County. She discussed her work, which is focused on educational programming, outreach, and research related to the commercial agricultural industries in Cape May County and throughout the southern region of New Jersey.  Gil Arroyo specializes in “destination ag,” agritourism and retail marketing, wineries and craft beverages, and risk and financial management.  

Ming-Yi Chou, originally from Taiwan, is currently an Assistant Extension Specialist in the Department of Plant Biology at SEBS and specializes in Turfgrass Pathology. The audience learned about his extension program, which focuses on evaluating and developing efficient cool-season turfgrass disease management measures. Chou currently directs the largest turfgrass disease control product evaluation program of its kind in the U.S. His research efforts center on plant-soil-microbiome interactions in turfgrass and how to alleviate disease pressure by cultivating the beneficial microbiome.  

Ruth Carll, who moderated the conversation, kept the discussion lively. Questions included whether Rutgers would be involved in the upcoming FIFA football/soccer games in the coming year due to its prominence in turfgrass science, as well as questions about female farmers, the importance of 4-H clubs, and the role of practical application research. The group also discussed the fact that the Rutgers Cooperative Extension is one of Rutgers' best kept secrets, and that the turfgrass program at Rutgers is arguably the leading program in the world. Carll, who started at Rutgers in January 2024, provides statewide leadership and collaboration across working groups, stakeholders, and Extension Departments and Specialists in support of improving and expanding consumer horticulture outreach, education, and engagement, including the Rutgers Master Gardener (RMG) program. 

Karl Baumle, Assistant Director for International Faculty and Scholar Services, who helped organize the event, noted: “We are grateful to Dr. Gil Arroyo and Dr. Ming-yi Chou, as well as Ruth Carll, for sharing their knowledge and expertise at this event. We all learned many new things about the Rutgers Cooperative Extension and their work within the local communities around New Jersey and beyond.”

To view and listen to the event, please visit this link