ISU Based Advisors & Staff

 CSRL's activities center on small landholder farmers to achieve food security, improve household nutrition, and stabilize income through sustainable crop production and access to marketing opportunities. We also provide support for malnourished children, widows, and families living with HIV/AIDS.   

Denise Bjelland

CSRL Managing Director and Global Programs Director

Denise Bjelland is serving as director of the Center for Sustainable Rural Livelihoods. She also serves as director of Global Programs for CALS (since 2011) and has served in several capacities in that office for 25 years. Bjelland has worked at ISU since 1976, including positions in the ISU office for the Vice President of Business and the President’s Office. She earned a master’s degree in international development studies and a bachelor’s in communication studies, both from Iowa State. She has been involved in international activities since 1991, working on various development projects in the Central Europe, India, China and Africa and co-leading undergraduate study abroad programs to Asia, Eurasia and Europe.

(515) 294-2883

Dr. David Acker

Dr. Acker is Associate Dean, Academic and Global Programs; Professor, Agricultural Education; and Raymond and Mary Baker Chair in Global Agriculture. Dr. Acker Began work with CSRL during the country selection process in 2004 and has been a member of the management team since that time. He has over 30 years of experience in agriculture and education and has served on the faculty for 20 years.   He has spent 8 years working at secondary agricultural education institutions in Greece and Tanzania.  Acker completed a Ph.D. from Oregon State University, two degrees from the University of California, Davis (M.Ed. and M.S.), and undergraduate degrees from Wilmington College and Alice Lloyd College. He has directed agricultural and natural resource programs in Tanzania, Malawi and Senegal, and has been a Fulbright fellow in Greece.  Dr. Acker has lectured in Austria, China, Costa Rica, Ethiopia, Greece, Guinea, India, Ireland, Italy, Japan, Korea, Saudi Arabia, Thailand, Uganda, and Ukraine.   Since 2002, he has assisted the UN Food and Agriculture Organization with efforts to promote education as a key to rural prosperity as elaborated in a book he co-authored (with Lavinia Gasperini) that was published by FAO in 2009 entitled Education for Rural People.  He was part of a team that wrote a book entitled Tapping Philanthropy for Development published in February 2015.

(515) 294-6614

Dr. Tom Brumm, Associate Director

Dr. Tom Brumm, the Mary and Charles Sukup Global Professor in Food Security in the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences, is an associate professor in the Department of Agricultural and Biosystems Engineering at Iowa State University (ISU). He is an Associate Director for CSRL, promoting appropriate postharvest technology to reduce crop and food losses after harvest. Dr. Brumm's disciplinary research and outreach efforts focus on post-harvest technology, especially for developing countries. He is a faculty leader for Iowa State’s service learning student program in Uganda. He is a leader in assessment, learning communities and competency-based learning at Iowa State, incorporating these activities into engineering and technology curricula. He has extensive experience teaching online and managing online course delivery programs. He received his Bachelor’s degree from Iowa State, and his Master’s degree from Purdue University, both in Agricultural Engineering. He received his Ph.D. from Iowa State in 1990 in Agricultural Engineering with a minor in Chemical Engineering. He worked for nine years in the seed industry before joining the Iowa State faculty in 2000.

Area of Expertise: Post-harvest technologies

(515) 294-5145

Ray Klein

Executive Director of Development, College of Agriculture and Life Sciences, Iowa State University Foundation

(515) 294-3303

Tammi Martin

Program Coordinator

Tammi Martin serves as Program Coordinator/Assistant to the Director. She has served multiple departments in the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences (CALS) since beginning her employment at ISU in 2005. Martin took a 2 year hiatus from ISU from 2008-2010 to serve as a U.S. Peace Corps volunteer living and working in Ghana, West Africa. Prior to her employment at ISU, Martin managed a popular fair trade crafts store in downtown Ames. To enhance her support of CSRL and the Uganda Program, Martin is working toward her Masters in Community Development via ISU’s online interdisciplinary graduate programs hosted by the CALS Brenton Center.

(515) 294-9237

Dr. Dorothy Masinde, Associate Director

Dr. Dorothy Masinde is the Associate Director of Nutrition Education for CSRL and is active in the ISU-Uganda Program where she manages nutrition programs to improve the nutritional status of women of reproductive age, infants and children.  She is a lecturer for the Global Resource Systems program and serves on the faculty of the Department of Horticulture for ISU. 

Area of Expertise: Community Nutrition

(515) 294-0029

Dr. Gail Nonnecke, Associate Director

Dr. Gail Nonnecke is University Professor, Morrill Professor, and Global Professor at Iowa State University.  She is the Associate Director for Education Programs in the Center for Sustainable Rural Livelihoods (CSRL).  She has been actively involved in the CSRL programs since 2005 by initiating, developing, and delivering the service learning, school garden program in Uganda with bi-national teams of students and faculty from Iowa State and Makerere University.   Dr. Nonnecke works with additional CSRL programs that promote student learning, including the school garden and lunch programs, youth entrepreneurship program for in- and out-of-school Ugandan youth, and study abroad opportunities for university students participating in summer or semester-long courses in the Kamuli District. Dr. Nonnecke serves as the Faculty Coordinator of Global Resource Systems, an interdisciplinary major in the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences, where students study the ways the world uses its limited resources to create sustainable systems.  She also is a professor in the Department of Horticulture, where she has served as a faculty member for over thirty years.  Dr. Nonnecke earned her Ph.D. from The Ohio State University in horticulture and her Bachelor of Science and Master of Science degrees from The Pennsylvania State University in agriculture and horticulture. Dr. Nonnecke’s research, teaching, and outreach over the past ten years have focused on global education of undergraduate students and agricultural development projects to benefit children and youth.  Throughout her career, she has received numerous teaching awards including the USDA, Food and Agricultural Sciences Excellence in Teaching National Award, and the Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching, Iowa Professor the Year.

Area of Expertise: Global agriculture, global resource systems, horticulture, service learning

(515) 294-0037

Dr. Max Rothschild, Associate Director

Max Rothschild is a CF Curtiss Distinguished Professor in Agriculture and Life Science and holds the ME Ensminger Chair in International Animal Agriculture. Rothschild received his B.S. in animal science at the University of California, Davis in 1974 and his M.S. at the University of Wisconsin in animal science in 1975.  In 1978 he obtained his Ph.D. in animal breeding from Cornell University. In 1980 he joined the Department of Animal Science at the Iowa State University. From 1993 to 2003 Rothschild has served as the USDA Pig Genome Mapping Coordinator. At ISU from 2007-2012 he was director of the Center for Integrated Animal Genomics. Rothschild has devoted his research and teaching career to the field of animal breeding and molecular genetics.  Recent research has been directed towards identifying genes controlling traits of economic importance in the pig, and several other livestock species.  He has presented numerous invited papers in nearly 65 countries and has nearly 400 referred publications, 500 other publications and 12 US patents. His many awards include AAAS and Am. Society of Animal Science fellow, USDA Group Honor Award, ASAS award in Animal Breeding and Genetics, ASAS International Service award, two R&D100 awards, Iowa Inventor of the year in 2002 and Member of the National Academy of inventors. Rothschild also has been extremely  active in developing livestock projects in developing countries and has been associated with the Center for Sustainable Rural Livelihoods working with families to develop improved livestock production. From 2011-2012 Rothschild was a Jefferson Science fellow working at the US Agency for International Development.

Area of Expertise: Livestock Integration

(515) 294-6202

Josanne Six, Associate Director

Associate Director of Budget and Finance, Center for Sustainable Rural Livelihoods

Area of Expertise: Budget and finance

(515) 294-8920