May 5, 2004: Headlines: COS - South Africa: Awards: Agriculture: Fulbright: The Orion Online: RPCV Richard Rosecrance off to South Africa for year

Peace Corps Online: Directory: South Africa: Peace Corps South Africa : The Peace Corps in South Africa: May 5, 2004: Headlines: COS - South Africa: Awards: Agriculture: Fulbright: The Orion Online: RPCV Richard Rosecrance off to South Africa for year

By Admin1 (admin) ( on Thursday, May 13, 2004 - 9:49 pm: Edit Post

RPCV Richard Rosecrance off to South Africa for year

RPCV Richard Rosecrance off to South Africa for year

RPCV Richard Rosecrance off to South Africa for year

Prof off to South Africa for year
A prestigious fellowship will fund an agriculture professor's trip to teach in Stellenbosch
Barbara Arrigoni
Staff Writer
May 05, 2004

It will be summer in California when a Chico State agriculture professor boards a plane for South Africa in July; but when he gets there, it will be winter.

Fruit expert Richard Rosecrance will be heading to Stellenbosch, where winter is from June through August, wine and fruit are major agricultural exports and the climate is mild and tropical.

Rosecrance was recently awarded a Fulbright Scholar Fellowship to spend 10 months teaching and conducting research at the University of Stellenbosch.

The Fulbright fellowship is considered by many to be an honor for scholars who receive it.

"It's a big deal," Rosecrance said. "It's very prestigious. Not of whole lot of people get it."

It's also considered by some to be a feather in the university's cap. The dean of the college of agriculture, Charlie Crabb, said the fellowships are fairly competitive and that having a faculty member receive the Fulbright fellowship increases the visibility of the college's programs both nationally and internationally.

"The other thing it does is provide Dr. Rosecrance an opportunity to expand his professional development, which ultimately will have a positive impact in the classroom," Crabb said.

He said Rosecrance is the second professor from the college of agriculture to be awarded a Fulbright fellowship. In 2002, agriculture professor Lee Altier was a Fulbright Scholar to Thailand, he said.

"If you look at the campus as a whole, to have two from this college -- such a small college -- is quite an honor," Crabb said.

Rosecrance said he had a choice between applying for a Fulbright fellowship at the University of Johannesburg or Stellenbosch. He said he chose Stellenbosch because of its Mediterranean-like climate and the town's agricultural success.

About an hour's drive from the cool, foggy coastal city of Cape Town, Stellenbosch is what Rosecrance calls a "hotbed" of agriculture. Wine and fruits such as peaches, apples, pears and plums are exported to Europe, he said.

The professor said he plans to teach fruit production and hopes to provide the South African students with more knowledge of plant nutrition and fertilization. He developed a number of practices in nitrogen management as well as a Web-based model that he plans to teach.

One of Rosecrance's research goals is to learn how South Africans have managed to grow crops so well despite working with old, poor, nutrient-deficient soil, he said.

"I want to learn more from poor farmers because you can learn from their mistakes," he said. "They've had to deal with constraints we haven't had to deal with."

He said he also wants to learn what kind of systems they use, such as providing water to produce their "big quality crops."

Besides teaching and research, the experience will mean living in a country where people mostly speak Afrikaans, the cost of living is high and the dollar is devalued, he said. Rosecrance said the Fulbright fellowship provides a monthly stipend of about $2,200.

Rosecrance's wife and two children will accompany him. Although they're eager and excited to go, he said they have some reservations, especially because of Cape Town's high crime rate.

He's not sure where they'll be living or what housing is like, but he said living there should be similar to the United States.

"I'm not going to be living in a mud hut, like I did when I was in the Peace Corps," he said.

Although Rosecrance said he's excited about this opportunity to live, teach and learn in South Africa, he also said he has mixed feelings because the agriculture department is going through budget cuts and attempting to revitalize its program.

"I am very excited," he said, "but I recognize it's probably not the best time to go."

Crabb said Rosecrance's absence for a year will create a challenge for the college. But he also said that what the professor gains and brings back from the experience would benefit the community and students and help them in their jobs.

It's those gains that Rosecrance said he's going to South Africa for.

"I'm very interested in learning and seeing how other people are doing things," he said. "I don't like to get stuck in one mode of thinking."

Now, after six years at Chico State, he said he has that opportunity.

"What I'm most looking forward to is seeing how Africans work," he said. "How I can help them, how I can learn from them."

Barbara Arrigoni can be reached at

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Story Source: The Orion Online

This story has been posted in the following forums: : Headlines; COS - South Africa; Awards; Agriculture; Fulbright



By Stephanie Perold ( - on Thursday, January 26, 2006 - 8:40 am: Edit Post

Hi, I was a MSc. Student at the University of Stellenbosch while Richard Rosecrance was visiting. We became good friends in that time, but I have lost contact with him since he went back to the States. Can u please send me an email adress where i can reach him. Regards

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