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AGEAP USA Alumnus of the Month

Dr. Marco Velástegui
Senior Forecasting Analyst
State Utility Forecasting Group (SUFG)
Discovery Park, Purdue University

Dr. Marco Velástegui (Class 2003) is a Senior Forecasting Analyst in the State Utility Forecasting Group (SUFG) in Discovery Park at Purdue University. His group has been assisting the State of Indiana and regional organizations for over 30 years through studies of a number of issues facing the energy industries. Dr. Velástegui’s work focuses on developing, maintaining and operating long-term models to forecast electricity consumption, prices and new capacity requirements. In 2018, while working at the SUFG as a full-time employee, he completed his Ph.D. in Applied Economics with emphasis on renewable energy, capacity system planning, optimization models and energy economics. He has authored and co-authored numerous technical reports and peer-reviewed articles and collaborated as an external journal referee.

Dr. Velástegui’s foundation in the analytical and quantitative methods came from obtaining his master’s degree from the Department of Agricultural Economics in Louisiana State University (LSU) in 2008. During his time at LSU and Purdue University, he has participated as an active member of the Zamorano Agricultural Society (ZAS, LSU) and the Association of Zamorano Alumni (AZA, Purdue). This participation allowed him to support newcomer Zamorano students and hone his teamwork skills. Currently, he plans to continue studying the optimal allocation of energy resources to benefit individuals and society as a whole.

AGEAP USA subchapter spotlight: Purdue University

The Purdue subchapter represents Zamorano Alumni currently studying or doing an internship at Purdue University, Indiana. This subchapter is one of the biggest under AGEAP USA. Purdue subchapter has been registered as an official student organization at Purdue under the name “Association of Zamorano Alumni (AZA)” for over ten years. The mission of the AZA is to strengthen the relationship and support the professional development of current Zamorano alumni and students who are at Purdue University through the coordination of academic, social and research activities.

AGEAP USA Academia Spotlight

Two Zamorano Alumni were selected as part of the

«Fruit + Vegetable 40 Under 40 Class of 2020»

Dr. Ariana Torres (Class 2006, Ecuador) and Dr. Dario Chavez (Class 2005, Ecuador) were selected as two of the «Fruit + Vegetable 40 Under 40 Class of 2020» for their impressive accomplishments of their young careers.  Launched in 2017, the 40 Under 40 Awards represent a broad spectrum of industry professionals in the United States, from growers and farm market operators, to Extension agents and industry suppliers. The selected young professionals have already left a substantial impact on their individual businesses and the specialty agriculture industry.

Dr. Ariana Torres

Assistant Professor

Purdue University

Dr. Dario Chavez

Associate Professor

University of Georgia

Dr. Torres is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Horticulture and Landscape Architecture, and the Department of Agricultural Economics. Her research focuses on the intersection between the horticulture industry and marketing decisions. Her goal is to conduct innovative outreach and applied research in Specialty Crops Marketing, with the end of promoting economic sustainability for horticultural businesses. Dr. Chavez is an Associate Professor in the Department of Horticulture.  His main objective is to study the plant production based on the plant’s genetic potential, orchard management practices, growing environment, and their interactions. His aim is to identify the optimal interaction of the plant and the environment, having the highest potential of plant production and profit for the growers and the industry.

The Zamopodcast

Zamopodcast Founders Andrea Palazuelos ’96 and Jose Rodolfo Abascal ‘94

The idea was conceived by the Zamorano alumni Andrea Palazuelos (Class 96, Bolivia) and Jose Rodolfo Abascal (Class 94, Guatemala, West coast subchapter President), who are married and currently living in California, USA. The motivation behind the idea was to create a unique space to remember and live again the stories of Zamorano alumni and iconic people from the Zamorano culture. Stories that effectively convey the Zamorano essence of «Learning by Doing» and “Labor Omnia Vincit” (Work conquers everything).

Each Zamorano alumnus has his or her own story. It is very different to know the person as a professional than as a student in Zamorano. For this reason, we want to know more about their origin and their life during and after the Zamorano experience.

The objectives of the Zamopodcast are:

  • Create a space for integration of the Zamorano community in the world.
  • Inspire new generations with success stories of extraordinary Zamorano alumni.
  • Collect and keep available anecdotes, which allow listeners to remember and live again the Zamorano culture.
  • Make all Zamorano alumni in the world feel proud of the strength that we have as a Zamorano family.

The plan is to create a pleasant place to generate confident talks, where each character or group feel comfortable sharing their anecdotes and experiences. Finally, the keystone is to create a legacy place for the history of the Zamorano family.

The founders are grateful for the great reception the Zamorano family has given to the project, and they hope that the Zamopodcast can continue growing with everyone’s help. As they envisioned at first, the goal is to interview all Zamorano alumni without any exception, since each Zamorano has a unique history.

Congratulations to Rodolfo Abascal, Andrea Palazuelos, and all the volunteers that are helping the Zamorano family to preserve the Zamorano culture and history in one place. No doubt this has been an excellent idea, and all the Zamorano family is looking forward to hearing the great conversations and anecdotes that will be shared in the Zamopodcast.

Where you can stream El Zamopodcast? Spotify, Anchor, Apple Podcast, Google Podcasts, Overcast, Pocket Casts, Radio Public, Braker Podcast y Castbox.

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