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Four Department Students Recieve Prestigeous Sidney B. Meadows Scholarships

The Sidney B. Meadows Scholarship Fund has announced the names of twelve students from several southeastern universities chosen to receive academic scholarships this year.   In the Undergraduate category, the UGA Hort Department had two out of the six awardees.  Ruqayah Bhuiyan and Michael Delvalle each received one of the $1500.00 scholarships.  In the Graduate Student category, two of the six  scholarships were awarded to Susan Hawkins, and Bethany Harris, both graduate students on the Griffin campus.

Scholarship recipients are determined through a competitive application process, administered by a selection committee, based on academics, determination, demonstrated interest in the horticulture industry, and financial need. This year’s recipients were chosen from the largest number of applications ever received. Created in 1989 by the Southern Nursery Association (SNA), The Sidney B. Meadows Scholarship Endowment Fund is a 501 (c) 3 corporation providing scholarships to students who are residents of the sixteen southeastern states – Alabama, Arkansas, Florida, Georgia, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maryland, Mississippi, Missouri, North Carolina, Oklahoma, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas, Virginia and West Virginia – pursuing a career in horticulture. The scholarship is dedicated to one of the most honored horticultural leaders, the late Sidney B. Meadows, who was an avid supporter of student scholarships and believed that providing aid for students was an important way to ensure the growth and development of all facets of the industry.

Dr. Paul Thomas – Winner of 2017 Alex Laurie Award for Research and Education

A renowned researcher, prolific speaker and mentor to college students is the recipient of the Society of American Florists’ (SAF) 2017 Alex Laurie Award. The association will present the honor to Paul A. Thomas, Ph.D., a professor in the University of Georgia’s horticulture department, on Sept. 9 during SAF Palm Beach 2017, SAF’s 133rd Annual Convention at The Breakers in Florida.

Established in 1948, SAF’s Alex Laurie Award is named for the eminent professor at The Ohio State University. Over the course of his 60-year career, Laurie laid the groundwork for research that revolutionized the floriculture industry and left a lineage of students, teachers and researchers continuing to provide the information necessary to ensure the industry’s future.

 

Thomas earned his bachelor’s and master’s degrees in botany from Southern Illinois University and his doctorate in plant physiology, with a specialization in plant carbohydrate transport in maize, from the Pennsylvania State University. His current research involves water conservation, production input reduction, sustainable greenhouse practices and implementation of wireless, sensor-controlled irrigation systems in nurseries and greenhouses.

At UGA, Thomas teaches greenhouse management, horticultural business practices and interiorscaping classes. A key component of his program is facilitating experiential learning through industry internships. Thomas serves as the State Extension Specialist in floriculture. In this position, he plans and implements regional and state programs involving greenhouses and the florist industry.

Thomas has published more than 350 peer-reviewed scientific and outreach articles and has received 41 academic awards. He has given more than 600 presentations to industry groups and has extensive diagnostic experience.

He serves as a grant reviewer on the American Floral Endowment’s education committee and chairs the American Society for Horticultural Science’s endowment committee. Thomas has also been very active in the Vic and Margaret Ball Internship program managed by the American Floral Endowment.

Notably, he served a six year term as a committee member of the D.C. Kiplinger Chair in Floriculture’s oversight committee, and served as a grant panel manager for the USDA National Institute of Food and Agriculture.

Thomas is dedicated to nurturing aspiring horticulturists. He has over 20 years of service to the UGA College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences’ chapter of Minorities in Agriculture, Natural Resources and Related Sciences, as well as the college’s Young Scholars Program (a STEM High school co-mentoring program) and serves as faculty advisor to the Tau Chapter of the Pi Alpha Xi national horticulture honor society.

He has also served as a judge for the Peach State Louis Stokes Alliance for Minority Participation, a coalition of Georgia colleges created to recruit underrepresented demographics to studies in science, technology, engineering and math; the Georgia Junior Science and Humanities Symposium; and the Georgia Science and Engineering Fair.

For information about the Alex Laurie Award, visit safnow.org/awards.

Dr. Suzanne Stone Appointed Director of R&D, Production at Urban Seeds, Inc.

More excellent employment news: Congratulations to UGA Horticulture PhD graduate student Suzanne Stone, whom graduated this May and has accepted a great position with Urban Seeds, Inc., as Director of R&D and Production. Urban Seeds is an Aeroponic greenhouse based growing operation located in Las Vegas, Nevada. According to Suzanne “My job is to develop company grow plans, which includes evaluating variety performance, nutrient management, integrated pest management, and greenhouse management. I also supervise the grow team and am developing employee protocols. The company is very much technology-driven, so daily I collaborate with engineers to develop solutions for more sustainable greenhouse food production, packing, distribution. I will work with chefs to find the best tasting and highest quality produce to elevate their menus. This is truly a dream job and the company is fantastic!” Suzanne did her doctoral work under Drs Cecelia McGregor and George Boyhan and by all accounts did a fantastic job on her dissertation. Congratulations Dr. Stone! To learn more about Urban Seeds: http://urbanseedinc.com/

 

An Overview of Horticulture Undergraduates at UGA: 2000-2016

One of the most enjoyable tasks I undertake every semester since 2000 is to interview our exiting undergraduate students.  We should all take pride in the quality of our graduates; they are quite impressive. Part of the interview is spent collecting information on our students—where they come from, why they came—and part is spent gaining student insight into our departmental strengths and weaknesses. Below is a PDF document summary of the data collected from the interviews and the second link is a graphic of the statewide distribution.  Data Summary 2016 (002),   Graduate_origin_2016.

 

 

Students participate in Georgia Organics Conference

More than 20 UGA students, including 9 from the Horticulture Dept., attended the 20th annual Georgia Organics Conference held in Atlanta from Feb 17-18th. Undergraduate and graduate students presented research posters, attended educational sessions and participated in talks ranging from ‘Seed Varieties for Organic Growers’, ‘Management of Disease and Pests in Squash Production’ and ‘Cool Season Vegetables Under High Tunnels’. Scholarships were provided by the UGA College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences, The Hartel Family and Horticulture Professors Berle, Knauft and O’Connell.

Students in attendance included: Taylor Cotton*, Emma Courson, Lindsay Davies*, Noelle Joy Fuller, Theekshana Jayalath*, Teri Raskusin, Sara Schwartz, Suzanne Stone and Jean O’Hara Yost *recently graduated

Gray Simpson Named Horticulture Department Outstanding Senior

Gray Simpson has been chosen by the faculty to be the departmental Outstanding Senior. Gray has distinguished himself by receiving several noteworthy awards: Greenhouse Product News Intern of the Year,  American Floral Endowment Vic and Margaret Ball Internship at Metrolina Greenhouses, Sidney B. Meadows Scholarship, and the most prestigious scholarship offered by the Garden Club of Georgia. He is the Horticulture Vice President and has efficiently grown plants for sale and coordinated the efforts of numerous student to hold a very successful Plant Sale.  He also was the Production Coordinator for the Pi Alpha Xi Poinsettia sale.  Congratulations Gray, and Well done!

 

Dr. John Ruter elected “Fellow” for IPPS

John M. Ruter,  Allan Armitage Endowed Professor of Horticulture and Director of the Trial Gardens at UGA was recognized as a Fellow by the International Plant Propagators’ Society, Southern Region of North America, during the society’s recent meeting in Virginia Beach. VA.

This annual recognition is given to an individual each year that has made outstanding contributions to plant propagation and the nursery industry in the southeastern region.

IPPS is a global network of professionals with an interest in plant production, including horticultural research and education, with the aim to improve the knowledge, skills, productivity and professionalism of its members. IPPS has 1600 members over eight geographical regions around the world, spread over four continents.

5th Annual Organic Farming Twilight Tour (July 14th, 6-8pm)

Organic and sustainable agriculture experts with the University of Georgia will host their 5th annual Organic Twilight Tour. The open house will be a chance for farmers and gardeners to learn about organic research trials being conducted at the Horticulture Research Farm located in Watkinsville. Researchers and students will give mini-talks, describe demonstration plots, and be available to discuss your questions about the latest organic practices. FREE event, no registration required.

Stations Include:
High Tunnels
Squash Disease
Cover Crops
Organic Watermelon Production
Small Farm Irrigation Equipment
Apple Management
Nitrogen from Organic Fertilizers

DATE:
Thursday, July 14th, 2016
6:00 PM – 8:00 PM

LOCATION:
UGA Horticulture Farm
1221 Hog Mountain Rd.
Watkinsville, GA 30677

INFORMATION:
SustainAgGA.org or contact Jessica Cudnik at sustainag@uga.edu or
(706)-542-8084