ASA, CSSA, and SSSA present 2011 scholarships and fellowships

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Source: Soil Science Society of America

MADISON, WI. -- The American Society of Agronomy (ASA), Crop Science Society of America (CSSA), and Soil Science Society of America (SSSA) annouce the 2011 recpients of several scholarships. These scholarships will be formally presented to the recipients at the ASA, CSSA, and SSSA Annual Meetings in San Antonio, TX, Oct. 16-19. For more information about the Annual Meetings, visit www.acsmeetings.org.

American Society of Agronomy 2011 Scholarships:

  • Paige Graves, Texas A&M University.The Hank Beachell Future Leader Scholarship, funded through the Agronomic Science Foundation, was established in recognition of Henry A. Beachell’s commitment to advancing the knowledge of agriculture through his work in rice breeding and development. The purpose is to expand the agricultural knowledge of undergraduate students participating in activities that enhance their university studies. The ASA 2011 Hank Beachell Future Leader Scholarship is presented to: Paige Graves, Texas A&M University. Paige is a graduate student at Texas A&M University in the Department of Horticultural Sciences. She received a B.S. degree from Texas A&M University in agronomy. Her research focuses primarily on root growth of pecan seedlings in response to nitrogen fertilizer rates.
  • The United Soybean Board Fellowship promotes graduate education in the area of plant sciences, emphasizing the development of improved soybean varieties, understanding soybean genetics, and developing improved ways to grow and use soybeans. The intention of the fellowship is to attract the highest quality students whose careers will continue to advance the science of soybean improvement. Funds for the fellowship are provided by the United Soybean Board. The 2011 United Soybean Board Fellowship is presented to:
    • Lillian Brzostowski, University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign. Lillian F. Brzostowski is a graduate student in the Department of Crop Sciences at the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign. She received B.S. and M.S. degrees in agronomy from Kansas State University in 2007 and 2010. Her graduate research focuses on soybean breeding and genetics with an emphasis on resistance to sudden death syndrome of soybean.
    • Kevin Dillon, Virginia Tech University. Kevin Dillon is a doctoral student in the Department of Crop and Soil Environmental Sciences at Virginia Tech University. He also serves as a Graduate Teaching Assistant. Dillon received a B.S. degree in agribusiness from Morehead State University and M.S. degree in agronomy from Mississippi State University. His research focuses on improving vegetative growth and increasing seed yield of double-crop soybean planted following wheat.
  • The Cross-Cultural Experience Program is awarded to an undergraduate student going on a study abroad. It provides the student with summer learning and working experience to learn more about agricultural sciences and agricultural education through international agricultural programs. It also provides an opportunity for students to live with students of another culture and language. It is funded through the Agronomic Science Foundation, Lewis B. Nelson Fund. The 2011 Cross-Cultural Experience Scholarship will be presented to:
    • Meagan Morris, Oklahoma State University. Meagan Morris is earning her B.S. in plant and soil sciences at Oklahoma State University.  Her emphasis is in plant science with a minor in horticulture. She is an active member of the Oklahoma State Agronomy Club where she served as the College of Agricultural Sciences and Natural Resources Representative during the 2010-2011 academic year.
    • Julio Pachan, Cornell University. Julio Pachon is a sophomore student in the College of Agricultural and Life Sciences at Cornell University. He is majoring in agricultural science and plant science with a minor in soil science. His study focuses on soil health and cropping systems. He is fluent in English, Spanish, and French. He participated in an internship in South Africa in summer 2011 and will spend a semester in Brazil in spring 2012.
  • The Frank D. Keim Graduate Fellowship is awarded to enhance the National Student Recognition Program and to honor the unparalleled academic advising of the late Frank D. Keim, whose students and work have reached around the world. It is funded by the Frank D. Keim Fund of the Agronomic Science Foundation. The 2011 Frank D. Keim Graduate Fellowship is awarded to: Samantha Ambrose, Oklahoma State University. She is a graduate research assistant in the Plant and Soil Sciences Department at Oklahoma State University. She is also a Graduate Teaching Assistant. Ambrose received a B.S. degree from Purdue University in agronomy. Her graduate studies focus on weed science with a thesis project concerning 2,4-D drift in winter canola. During her undergraduate career, she was active in the Students of Agronomy, Soils, and Environmental Sciences (SASES) and served as the national corresponding secretary from 2008-2009.
  • The J. Fielding Reed Scholarship is awarded to an outstanding undergraduate senior pursuing a career in soil or plant sciences. It was established in recognition of Dr. Reed's life-long commitment to advancing the knowledge of agriculture through his work in soil science and natural resources, and his passion for educating students. It is funded through the Agronomic Science Foundation. The 2011 J. Fielding Reed Scholarship is award to: Heather Watson, Texas A&M University. Heather Watson is a senior agronomy major at Texas A&M University. She will be graduating in December 2011 and plans to pursue a M.S. in Soil Science. She has an undergraduate research project in soil physics working with electromagnetic induction to identify subsurface variation of soil properties associated with gilgai.

Crop Science Society of America 2011 Scholarships:

  • The CSSA Gerald O. Mott Scholarship is provided to a meritorious student who has completed at least one year of graduate work leading to an M.S. or Ph.D. degree in a field of emphasis within crop science and who has outstanding potential for leadership. The scholarship is supported through a contribution by Mrs. Lorraine Mott and family and contributions to the Agronomic Science Foundation. The 2011 Gerald O. Mott Scholarship is presented to:
    • Olubunmi Aina, University of Florida. Olubunmi Aina is a post-doctoral associate in Agronomy Department, University of Florida. After a B.S. in agriculture from Ladoke University, she received two M.S. degrees. One was in agronomy from the University of Ibadan, and the other was in organic food chain management from the University of Hohenheim, Germany. A recent Ph.D. graduate from the University of Florida, her doctoral research efforts focused on in vitro and in vivo evaluation of wild peanut germplasm. As an attempt to remove the barriers existing to gene transfer between cultivated peanut and its wild relatives, Dr. Aina developed tissue culture procedures for regeneration and ploidy manipulation of wild peanut species.
    • Emily Merewitz, Rutgers University. Emily Merewitz expects to receive her PhD this year from the Department of Plant Biology and Pathology at Rutgers University. In 2005, she earned two Bachelor of Science degrees from Rutgers University in Plant Science and Plant Biotechnology. Emily conducts research related to drought stress physiology of turfgrasses under the direction of her thesis advisor Dr. Bingru Huang. This coming fall Emily will serve as an instructor of the course Stress Physiology in the Rutgers Professional Golf Turf Management School. Emily was also a recipient of the GCSAA’s Watson fellowship funded by TORO and the environmental institute for golf in 2010.
  • The Golden Opportunity Scholars Institute is a program of the CSSA that matches undergraduates with scientist-mentors during the ASA, CSSA, and SSSA Annual Meetings. The program encourages talented students to enter the crop sciences, cultivate networks, and develop the necessary workforce to sustain the profession. The following undergraduates have been selected as 2011 Golden Opportunity Scholars based on their academic achievements and interest in crop science:
    • Robert Bauer, University of Minnesota-Twin Cities. Robert Bauer is a recent graduate of the Department of Soil, Water, and Climate at the University of Minnesota-Twin Cities. He majored in Environmental Science, Policy, and Management. Robert graduated in May with Latin honors. His study focuses mainly on the use of soil to mitigate climate change. Bauer has been a member of the U of M Soil Judging Team, and is active in his community. He plans to go to graduate school in soil science.
    • Hayley Bunselmeyer, University of Illinois. Hayley Bunselmeyer is a student at the University of Illinois, majoring in crop sciences with a crops concentration. Bunselmeyer is a member of the Field and Furrow Club, College of ACES Student Advancement Committee, and 4-H House Cooperative Sorority. After May 2012 graduation, she plans to pursue graduate school in crop sciences.
    • Michael Frank, University of Missouri. Michael Frank is a senior in the Division of Plant Sciences at the University of Missouri and is majoring in plant science with emphasis in crop management. Frank plans to attend graduate school for a M.S. degree in plant, insect and microbial sciences after graduating in December 2011. He is the president of the University of Missouri Agronomy Club and is a member of his local Students of Agronomy Soils and Environmental Sciences (SASES) chapter and is active in his community.
    • Deirdre Griffin, University of Maryland. Deirdre Griffin is a senior at the University of Maryland majoring in environmental science and policy with a concentration in environment and agriculture and a minor in soil science. Her studies focus on nutrient cycling in various cropping systems. Griffin is a member of UMD’s Soil Judging team. She plans to attend graduate school, studying soil fertility as related to soil microbiology.
    • Bryson Haverkamp, Kansas State University. Bryson Haverkamp is a student in the Department of Agronomy at Kansas State University.  He is in the consulting and production option and is also getting a minor in agriculture economics. Haverkamp is a senior and will finish his undergraduate degree in May 2012.  His goal is to become an agronomist for a crop consulting company or for a seed company. He is a member of the Students of Agronomy Soils and Environmental Sciences (SASES), was on the K-State Crops Judging team, a member of K-State’s NACTA Crops Team, and is active in Knights of Columbus.
    • Jacqueline Hawkins - Ferrum College. Jacqueline Hawkins is a student in the department of agriculture at Ferrum College. She is double majoring in agriculture and agroecology. A junior, she intends to graduate in December 2012. Her goal is to become a soil scientist for the U.S. government. Her studies focus on crop production and soil science for the most well rounded and knowledge filled education. Jacqueline was the secretary of the college agriculture club and is a part of the agricultural honor society, Delta Tau Alpha. Jacqueline plans to attend graduate school for crop production.
    • Katie LeBlanc, Murray State University. Katie LeBlanc is a student in the Hutson School of Agriculture at Murray State University, majoring in agronomy, with a minor is sustainability. LeBlanc is a senior and plans to attend graduate school in sustainable ecosystems upon graduation in May 2012. Her goal is to join the Peace Corps or work for land management agencies throughout the world. Her study focuses on soil corrosion due to various land management practices. Katie is a member of her local agronomy club and the MSU soil judging team.
    • Amanda Luna, University of Mexico. Amanda Luna is an undergraduate student in the Ecosystems Research Center at the National Autonomous University of Mexico. She is majoring in environmental sciences with a special emphasis on the conservation and management of crop genetic resources. She is developing her bachelor thesis on how the value of genetic resources can be used as a means to enhance the development of rural households and thus promote the in situ conservation of biodiversity.
    • Katrina McCann, Pacific Lutheran University. Katrina McCann is a student at Pacific Lutheran University. She is majoring in biology and environmental studies, and will graduate in May 2012. Her soil studies focus on the application of soil biological indicators for soil quality assessments and the effect of organic management systems on active and stable soil carbon. McCann is an intern for the Soils Department of Washington State University at Puyallup, a biology teacher’s assistant at her school, and an active volunteer with local tutoring and habitat restoration organizations.
    • Melissa McDonald, Purdue University. Melissa McDonald is a senior in the Agronomy Department at Purdue University. She is majoring in plant breeding and plant genetics with plans to also gain an associate’s degree in agriculture economics. McDonald will graduate in December 2011. Her goal is to work in the field of agronomy where she will have opportunities to interact with producers, possibly as a plant breeder for a seed company or as a faculty member at a university. Her study focuses on an exciting novel resistance to Hessian fly in wheat. She is active on her campus as a College of Agriculture Ambassador, Department of Agronomy Ambassador, and a number of programs and organizations. She plans to attend graduate school at Purdue where she will maintain her focus in plant breeding and genetics.
    • Romina Minetti, National University of Villa Maria. Romina Minetti is a student at the National University of Villa María, Córdoba, Argentina. She is currently finishing her undergraduate thesis to become an Agronomy Engineer. Her goal is to achieve abilities in research and advisory tasks to growers, particularly in grain crops production and management. For this, she plans to begin graduate studies in crop management in 2012. Currently, she participates in a research project aimed at improving understanding of genotypic variation in soybean in response to water stress at INTA Manfredi, Argentina.
    • Peter Narby, Cornell University. Peter Narby is a student in the Crop and Soil Sciences Department at Cornell University. He is majoring in both plant science and agricultural sciences, with minors in entomology and soil science. Narby is a member of the class of 2012 and plans on going to graduate school for Soil Science following his B.S. degree. His goal is to become a soil scientist for a government institution such as the Natural Resources Conservation Service or the Environmental Protection Agency. His studies tie together several different scientific fields, focusing on the factors that affect both soil genesis and techniques of soil management. Peter currently works for Cornell’s Soil Health Lab, was a summer intern for the Crop and Soil Science Department, and is an active Resident Advisor on Cornell’s North Campus. He plans to attend graduate school in Soil Science.
    • Julio Pachan, Cornell University. Julio Pachon is a student in the College of Agricultural and Life Sciences at Cornell University. He is majoring in agricultural science and plant science with a minor in soil science. Julio is a sophomore planning to graduate May 2014. His goal is to become a researcher, head of an experimental station in a tropical country. His study focuses on soil health and cropping systems. Julio is fluent in English, Spanish, and French. He participated in an internship in South Africa in summer 2011 and will spend a semester in Brazil in spring 2012.
    • Curtis Ransom, Brigham Young University. Curtis Ransom is an undergraduate at Brigham Young University in the Plant and Wildlife department majoring in Environmental Science. After graduation in December 2011, Curtis plans on going to graduate school in Environmental Science. He has worked as an undergraduate student at North Dakota State University in crop management research and at BYU with nitrogen and phosphorus use efficiency.
    • Alexandra Rozin, University of Florida. Alexandra Rozin is a soil science student in the Soil and Water Science Department at the University of Florida.  Her work involves wetlands and aquatic systems, soil landscape relationships and marine habitats throughout Florida.  Her thesis research in the Everglades focuses on increasing salinity on organic soil structure. She has served as vice president and president of the UF Agronomy-Soils Club and is a member of the Florida Association of Environmental Soil Scientists.  Her graduate studies will concentrate on wetland and aquatic soils.
    • Jacob Rutz, North Carolina State University. Jacob Rutz is a student at North Carolina State University in plant and soil science with a concentration in agroecology. Rutz is a sophomore planning to graduate in 2014 and plans to continue his education through international experiences living and working in rural farming communities. He works in the Grossman Lab researching organic farming practices as well as cover crop viability. He is a member of the Campus Farmer’s Market Committee and student garden group. His goals include agrarian oriented reform through community development based in scientific research.
    • Max Sherard, North Carolina State University. Max Sherard is majoring in Anthropology and Plant Biology at NC State University, with a minor in Agroecology. He is involved with he NCSU Campus Farmers Market and S.O.U.L. Community garden. He has worked in both lab and field settings, assisting graduate students and faculty with projects researching organic soil fertility methods, and provided teaching assistant duties for an ecological soil management course. Following his graduation in the spring of 2012 Sherard hopes to travel and learn more about international agriculture systems.
    • Clinton Steketee, Michigan State University. Clinton Steketee is a student at Michigan State University majoring in Crop and Soil Science with a concentration in Turfgrass Management.  Clint is a senior and plans on graduating in May 2012.  His goal is to become a turfgrass researcher, professor, or consultant.  Clint has been a member of the MSU Turf Club and has done internships with The Scotts Miracle-Gro Company and Quaker Ridge Golf Club.  He plans on going to graduate school to study an aspect of turfgrass science.
    • Tiffanie Stone, University of Minnesota. Tiffanie Stone is a student at the University of Minnesota, and is majoring in applied plant science with a minor in international agriculture. Tiffanie wants to work to improve indigenous plants and techniques to make them more profitable and sustainable for rural farmers in the third world. She is excited about working internationally and is looking forward to studying in Nairobi, Kenya this spring. After graduating in May 2012 Tiffanie plans to go to graduate school in international agriculture and rural development.
    • Austin Terhune, Oklahoma State University. Austin Terhune is a student in the Plant and Soil Sciences Department at Oklahoma State University. He is majoring in Plant and Soil Science with a minor in agricultural economics. Terhune is a senior and plans on graduating in May 2012. His goal is to become involved with research or sales in private industry or an academic institution. His study focuses mainly on crop management, weed control, and plant breeding. Terhune is a member of SASES, an ambassador for the OSU College of Agriculture, and is a member and treasurer of the OSU Agronomy Club, and is active in his community. He plans to attend  graduate school in plant breeding, precision agriculture, or any agricultural related field.
    • Andrew Whitaker, Oklahoma State University. Andrew Whitaker is a student at Oklahoma State University. He is majoring in plant and soil science with an option in soil and water resources. His study focuses on soil carbon sequestration. Andrew is a senior and will be graduating in May 2012. His goal is to become a professor and be able to teach students the fundamental importance of soil science. Andrew has been a member of SASES for the past two years, and is a member of the OSU Agronomy Club. He plans to attend raduate school in soil biochemistry.

Soil Science Society of America 2011 Scholarships:

  • The National Society of Consulting Soil Scientists (NSCSS) Scholarship was established to encourage undergraduate students to major in soil science degree programs. The scholarship recruits top quality students into nationally recognized soil science programs to meet the expanding and diverse needs of this field. The NSCSS also encourages soil science degree graduates to pursue a career in the field of professional consulting soil science to meet the various public needs and practical applications of this science. Funds for the scholarship are made available by a gift from the National Society of Consulting Soil Scientists, Inc. The 2011 National Society of Consulting Soil Scientists Scholarships will be awarded to Heather Watson,Texas A&M University. Heather Watson in a senior agronomy major at Texas A&M University. She will be graduating in December 2011 and plans to pursue a M.S. in soil science.  She has an undergraduate research project in soil physics working with electromagnetic induction to identify subsurface variation of soil properties associated with gilgai. She is a member of the Texas A&M Collegiate Soil Judging Team.  Her other extracurricular activities include the Texas A&M Agronomy Society, Texas A&M Ducks Unlimited, and Soil and Water Conservation Society.
  • The Francis and Evelyn Clark Soil Biology Scholarship was established to recognize the importance of soil biology and the understanding of soil, plant, and microbial interactions and of nutrient cycling in terrestrial ecosystems. The scholarship is supported by a gift from Dr. and Mrs. Francis Clark to the Agronomic Science Foundation and administered by the Soil Science Society of America. The 2011 Francis and Evelyn Clark Soil Biology Scholarship will go to Ryan Busby, Colorado State University. Ryan Busby is a Ph.D. candidate in the Graduate Degree Program in ecology at Colorado State University. He received a B.S. in Botany from Western Illinois University and M.S. in natural resources and environmental sciences from University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. His dissertation research is focused on studying the interactions between cheatgrass invasion and arbuscular mycorrhizal fungi, and how these interactions differ from native vegetation.
  • Division S-06 is announcing a new scholarship for students matriculating toward a degree and career in soil and water conservation. The one-year grant is for $3000, plus an additional $500 will be awarded to the student’s major professor to encourage the continued mentoring of the student in the field of soil and water conservation, entice the student candidate to apply for the scholarship, and to accompany the student to the Annual Meetings. The Division S-06 Scholarship will go to Helen Leavenworth, University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point. Helen Leavenworth is a soil science major with an international resource management minor at the University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point. Leavenworth has pursued knowledge and skills to work with others to conserve the land through her work on the family farm, undergraduate research, international experiences, and internships with the Natural Resources Conservation Service. Her main career objective after graduation is to be an effective leader in sustainable agriculture and natural resource conservation, both nationally and internationally.

Photos of the recipients receiving their awards will be posted online following the Annual Meetings. Headshot photos of the recipients are available upon request. We will place a link to the Annual Meeting photos on our Newsroom page: www.acsmeetings.org/newsroom/.

The American Society of Agronomy (ASA) www.agronomy.org, is a scientific society helping its 8,000+ members advance the disciplines and practices of agronomy by supporting professional growth and science policy initiatives, and by providing quality, research-based publications and a variety of member services.

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