Frontier Externship Program

FFT Group Photo

Frontier Field Program

Since 2013, there have been several interdisciplinary, experiential-learning Frontier Field Trips in which STEC CAP students have participated.  These have included the following:


22nd Frontier field trip to multiple venues in southern California: June 19-23, 2013

This trip included a tour and seminar on food defense and supply chain complexity, at a Cargill food manufacturing facility; experiential learning about international trade and seaport security, at the Ports of Long Beach and Los Angeles; and a Frontier skill-development workshop devoted to globalization and critical thinking. 


23rd Frontier field trip to Boston, Massachusetts: October 16-19, 2013

This trip included a behavioral economics seminar involving Richard Thaler and Cass Sunstein, at Harvard University’s Institute of Politics; a safety and security briefing by representatives from Gorton’s seafood processing facility, followed by a tour of their processing operations; a Frontier interdisciplinary skill-development workshop facilitated by Drs. Justin Kastner and Jason Ackleson; and a briefing by Homeland Security & Massport officials at the seaport of Boston. 


24th Frontier field trip to Kansas City, Kansas & Missouri: January 16-18, 2014

This trip included a presentation and tour at Sysco, an Olathe-based food distribution center; a Frontier skill-development workshop regarding scholarly performance in today’s information-overloaded and multi-tasking age, facilitated by Dr. Kari Wallentine at K-State Olathe; a “Public health” themed tour and seminar at the Clendening History of Medicine Library, University of Kansas Medical Center; a “Public service” themed tour and seminar, at the Harry S. Truman Presidential Library & Museum; and an experiential tour of SubTropolis, “the World's Largest Under-ground Business Complex,” with a briefing on the homeland security role played by mass food-storage facilities. 


25th Frontier field trip to Washington, D.C. and Northern Virginia: April 24-27, 2014

This Frontier Field Trip included a meeting with policy analysts and food safety advocacy officials at the International Food Information Council Foundation (IFIC); a meeting with a Legislative Assistant at the office of U.S. Senator Jerry Moran; a visit the FDA Headquarters on the White Oak Campus located in Silver Spring, MD, for a tour of their labs and presentation by FDA officials; a tour of the Estate of George Washington at Mount Vernon; and a visit to Gunston Hall, the center of Founding Father George Mason’s tobacco and corn plantation, and its library archive. 


26th Frontier field trip to New Orleans, Louisiana: August 20-23, 2014

This Frontier Field Trip included a 2-hour-long ecological tour of Louisiana’s bayous and swamps; presentations by import security officials from the Port of New Orleans (PORTNO) and the Department of Homeland Security Customs and Border Protection; a tour of PORTNO’s facilities and a Folgers/Silocaf coffee importation and processing plant, a meat cold-storage facility at PORTNO, and cargo-screening infrastructure, as well as a writing skill-development workshop, convened at Tulane University; and a visit to the Chalmette Battlefield, site of the Battle of New Orleans. 


27th Frontier field trip to Dallas, Arlington, & Waco Texas: December 4-7, 2014

This Frontier Field Trip included meetings with U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) officials at DFW; a tour of the George W. Bush Presidential Library and Museum, including briefings with archival officials; a workshop devoted to U.S. national security policy, led by Frontier co-director and scholar of international relations Dr. Jason Ackleson, related to homeland security, transnational terrorism, health security, and food safety and security; and a multidisciplinary workshop related to antimicrobial resistance in pathogens of significance to the food system, led by K-State Olathe Food Science professor Dr. Sara Gragg, at the Dr. Pepper Museum in Waco. 


28th Frontier field trip to Alexandria & Charlottesville, Virginia: April 15-19, 2015

This Frontier Field Trip opened with a group dinner at Gadsby’s Tavern, one of George Washington's favorite restaurants, with guest speaker Dr. Ryan Newkirk (formerly USDA FSIS and now U.S. Food and Drug Administration); a tour of the Library of Congress, the Congressional Research Service (and meetings with food and agriculture policy analysts), and the Royal Saudi Arabian Embassy; a meeting with special guest General Richard Myers, the 15th Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff and K-State alum, regarding public service; a Frontier skill-development workshop held at Gunston Hall, the home and library archive of George Mason; and a visit to the University of Virginia campus and School of Law, and Monticello, the home of Thomas Jefferson, author of the Declaration of Independence and third president of the United States. 


29th Frontier field trip to multiple venues in Kansas City, and Iowa: September 23-26, 2015

This Frontier field trip began with a skill-development workshop on writing skills and scholarly career-development practices, led by K-State faculty members Drs. Abbey Nutsch and Justin Kastner, followed by a guest workshop, entitled “Building Creative Confidence,” led by Andi Witczak, Design Thinker in Residence at K-State Olathe; an introduction to food safety and multidisciplinary global food systems research, at the Olathe Research and Extension Center farm, led by K-State Olathe faculty member Dr. Sara Gragg in conjunction with Dr. Cary Rivard; participation in a military-style “table-top exercise,” regarding a contrived food-bioterrorism event, facilitated by Dr. Shawn Cupp, professor at the U.S. Army Command and General Staff College; a summer-internship testimonial, by K-State student Eleanor Dickens; interactions with International Relations scholars and officials, including Frontier co-director Dr. Jason Ackleson and trade specialist Marisa Ring Goepel; meetings in Iowa with industry- and university-based thought leaders familiar with Iowa agriculture, avian influenza, and global public health issues affecting trade, including Dr. Ansen Pond (Darling Ingredients), Dr. Jim Roth (Center for Food Security and Public Health), and Dr. Maria Correa (professor, North Carolina State University); a tour of the USDA National Animal Disease Center, in Ames, Iowa; and an inspirational visit at the World Food Prize hall, in Des Moines, Iowa. 


30th Frontier field trip to Denver, Boulder, and Louisville, Colorado: November 10-12, 2015

This field trip opened with a dinner at the Denver Athletic Club with guest speaker Dr. Chris Hansen (former K-State student body president, multidisciplinary Oxford-trained scholar of energy and environmental policy, and now member of the Colorado House of Representatives): “How to be a multidisciplinary scholar who serves society”; discussions regarding globalization, the multilateral trading sys-tem, and the importance of public-private partnerships in trade; participation in the 6th annual Conscious Capitalism Conference hosted by the Center for Education on Social Responsibility (CESR), Leeds School of business, at the University of Colorado at Boulder, and involving representatives from the food industry; and a post-conference briefing with Dr. Jason Ackleson, Frontier co-director and scholar of International Relations. 


31st Frontier field trip to Washington, D.C., & multiple venues in Virginia: March 30 to April 3, 2016

This field trip opened up with a group dinner at the District ChopHouse & Brewery, with guest speaker Megan Kulas (Frontier and STEC CAP alumna now working for the U.S. Food and Drug Administration), followed by ample opportunities to discuss with her career-development opportunities in the federal government; a meeting with multidisciplinary-minded research staff members from the Agriculture and Food Section of the Congressional Research Service (U.S. Library of Congress); a tour of the U.S. Capitol (facilitated by staff from the office of Kansas Congressman Tim Huelskamp), and an on-site visit to the U.S. Supreme Court building; an opportunity to discuss the complexities of antimicrobial resistance with Dr. Sara Gragg and Danny Unruh (K-State Olathe faculty member and PhD student teaching Food Law and Regulation) and Cecilia Wuertz (author of an undergraduate research project entitled “Antibiotic resistance and the collaborative efforts necessary to combat its spread,” and now medical student); opportunities to explore Colonial Williamsburg; a panel discussion with scholars of geology and archaeology from the College of William & Mary (regarding a history-of-microbiology study at the original Jamestown fort site), a tour of the Wren Building (the oldest college building in the U.S., and the oldest of the restored public buildings in Williamsburg), and a lecture and tour at the Marshall-Wythe School of Law at William & Mary; an optional opportunity to explore primary-source food- and trade-history research materials at the John D. Rockefeller, Jr. Library, followed by a Frontier skill-development workshop entitled “Food security, provision, and public private partnerships in trade: from the Susan Constant and Jamestown to compartmentalization and just-in-time delivery” (led by Frontier co-director Drs. Justin Kastner); a tour of Historic Jamestown (including a discussion, with a scholar from the College of William & Mary, regarding recent archeological discoveries); and a briefing with Dr. Chris Lewis (Frontier alumnus now working in biosurveillance) regarding his experiences as a K-State DVM-MPH graduate, his commentary on the use of the term “tropical disease” as it relates to malaria (and the Battle of Yorktown), and current global and South American concerns about the Zika Virus, followed by a visit to the Yorktown Battlefield site.