2023 institute staff

Gary Burniske

Gary Burniske

ACADEMIC DIRECTOR
Assistant Director for Program Development

Mr. Burniske is a specialist in international relief and development, with a technical focus on sustainable agriculture, forestry and natural resource management. He is the Managing Director of the Center for Global Food Security within Discovery Park at Purdue University. Mr. Burniske is responsible for the day to day management of the Center and networks with Purdue’s faculty and scientists to take a multi-disciplinary approach to tackling global challenges affecting food security. He supports the Center’s work in education, research and development, and policy.

Mr. Burniske has 35 years of international experience covering over 50 countries in Africa, Asia, Latin America and the Former Soviet Union. He has held senior level technical and managerial positions with humanitarian organizations and international public institutions. Before joining Purdue, Mr. Burniske served as Country Director for Mercy Corps in Colombia and Tajikistan, and Country Director for the Institute for Sustainable Communities in Russia. He worked as Regional Technical Advisor in Agriculture and Natural Resources with CARE covering 25 countries in Asia and Latin America. Mr. Burniske headed the International Tropical Timber Organization’s conservation efforts globally, and was Principal Technical Advisor to the Nicaraguan Forest Service with a leading role in drafting national forest policies and legislation.

Mr. Burniske’s notable accomplishments include the design and management of Mercy Corp’s regional flagship program for Latin America utilizing alternative dispute resolution to resolve land conflicts on two million acres of Afro-descendent and indigenous communal land in the Darien Gap region of Colombia. In Tajikistan, he led the transformation of a small Tajik NGO, the National Association of Business Women into the largest microcredit provider in Tajikistan. Mr. Burniske also has a successful track record in raising funds from bilateral and multi-lateral donors as well as the private sector.

Mr. Burniske holds an MS in Forest Economics and a BS in Natural Resources Management, both from the University of Massachusetts in Amherst. He is fluent in Spanish, Russian, Thai and Arabic, and conversational in Portuguese.

Lonni Kucik

Lonni Kucik

ADMINISTRATIVE DIRECTOR
Program Assistant, International Programs in Agriculture

Lonni Kucik, program assistant, has been in IPIA since August of 2001. She has served several roles during her tenure in IPIA. They include administrative assistant to the Director, IPM CRSP project management, and her current role as program assistant for IPIA initiatives, such as the Feed the Future Innovation Lab for Food Processing and Post-Harvest Handling (Food Processing Lab). 
Lonni manages the PRF International Travel Grant process and the D. Woods Thomas Scholarship Award. She distributes and facilitates international collaboration/mentoring opportunities for COA faculty such as the USDA/FAS Borlaug Fellowship and Scientific Exchange Programs.   She plans and coordinates programs for visiting international groups.  She enjoys meeting and assisting international visiting scholars and students new to Purdue.  In addition to her IPIA duties, she is a Girl Scout Cookie/Soccer/Piano Mom for her daughter Elizabeth.  She feels that is her hardest and most fulfilling job.  As a graduate of Purdue University she is so pleased to be in this community and part of the Purdue/IPIA Team.

Lynn Cornell

Lynn Cornell

ADMINISTRATIVE CO-DIRECTOR
Executive Assistant, International Programs in Agriculture

Lynn Cornell, Executive Assistant, joined IPIA in 2019. Lynn provides high-level administrative support to the Associate Dean and Director of IPIA and participates in planning and coordinating office events and schedules along with managing department communications. Her other responsibilities include supporting the IPIA website which includes Mandela Washington Fellowship web pages. She enjoys assisting in various programs such as Farmer-to-Farmer and coordinating visits of international groups. Lynn has a bachelor's degree in Elementary Education from Clarks Summit University and served several years as the university's volleyball coach. In addition to her IPIA duties, she is the pianist at her local church and a volleyball official for local schools. She enjoys camping and spending time at her beach house in Florida. Her most fulfilling enjoyment, though, is sharing special times with her husband, four children and five grandchildren. 

Scott Hutcheson

Scott Hutcheson

LEADERSHIP MANAGER
Director, Purdue Agile Strategy Lab

A social scientist who has studied and practiced strategy and collaboration since 1992, Scott Hutcheson's focus is on designing tools and learning experiences related to collaborative, agile approaches for doing complex work. He has applied his expertise in diverse settings like economic development, innovation, business growth, and social change.

Scott has been engaged by nearly 400 industry, public sector, higher education, and nonprofit clients in 30 U.S. states and internationally and he has worked with the White House, Department of Commerce, National Science Foundation, and other federal agencies in the design and execution of strategies to support economic development and innovation in the U.S. economy.

His teaching at Purdue focuses on designing and delivering powerful learning experiences to help engineering technology students build their skills in collaboration and agile approaches to strategy, and project management. Prior to his career in higher education, Scott worked in both corporate and social change strategy with American Airlines and United Way. He has a Ph.D. in public policy, a masters in public administration, and an undergraduate degree in theater. His doctoral research was on effective strategy in economic development.

2023 institute steering committee

Heidi Arola

Heidi Arola

Managing Director
Global Partnerships, Purdue University
Diedonne Baributsa

Diedonne Baributsa

Associate Professor
Entomology, Purdue University
Christian Butzke

Christian Butzke

Professor
Food Science, Purdue University
George Chiu

George Chiu

Assistant Dean, Global Engineering Programs
Professor, Mechanical Engineering, Purdue University
Heather Goodwin

Heather Goodwin

Business Development Manager
Purdue Applied Research Institute
Evan Rocheford

Evan Rocheford

Chief Executive Officer
NutraMaize
Torbert Rocheford

Torbert Rocheford

Professor
Agronomy, Purdue University
Jerry Shively

Jerry Shively

Associate Dean |Director of International Programs in Agriculture
College of Agriculture, Purdue University