The Education team focuses on promoting awareness and adoption of pennycress by developing and testing materials targeted toward stakeholders, including rural youth and their families, current and future farmers, and the public. Additionally, we will contribute to preparing a skilled workforce for the biobased economy by leveraging IPREFER project research, providing interdisciplinary research experiences for graduate and undergraduate students, and developing bioenergy curricula for post-secondary education. The results of these activities will be widely disseminated via research publications, undergraduate courses, agricultural field days, in-person 4-H club meetings, regional and national FFA and 4-H conventions and fairs, and a dedicated website.

  • Check out our 2021 Summer Undergraduate Research Internship opportunities here.
  • See the work produced by our 2020 interns here.

Research Goals

  • 4-H and FFA engagement
  • Training a skilled workforce
  • Graduate and undergraduate education
  • Develop Metrics and Dissemination protocols



  • Rebekka Darner, Co-PI, Illinois State University
  • William (Willy) Hunter, Illinois State University

Collaborators and Graduate Students

  • Mary Brakke, University of Minnesota (LEAD – IPS-URE Research Fellowships & Internships)
  • Matthew Hagaman, Illinois State University
  • Nicholas Heller, Illinois State University
  • Frances Lawrenz, University of Minnesota
  • Alexander (Alex) Lindsey, Ohio State University
  • Emily Schoenfelder, University of Illinois
  • Scott Wells, University of Minnesota