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Department of Plant Pathology

News & Media

Barbara Valent elected to NAS

Barbara Valent

Barbara Valent was elected to the National Academy of Sciences (NAS). We are honored and proud to have Dr. Valent as our colleague. She is the first faculty member at K-State to be elected to the prestigious organization. The NAS elects members based on their distinguished and continuing achievements in original research. Dr. Valent is a University Distinguished Professor at K-State, and is a fellow of the American Phytopathological Society (APS) and the American Association for the Advancement of Sciences (AAAS). Dr. Valent has studied the rice blast fungus (Magnaporthe  oryzae) for more than 40 years, and is currently focusing on a pathotype of this fungus that infects wheat. Read More

Doug Jardine retires

Doug Jardine

After 35 years with KSU Plant Pathology, Doug Jardine is trading his Extension hat for a cycling helmet and a fishing pole. Dr. Jardine joined the Department of Plant Pathology as an Extension Specialist and Assistant Professor in 1985. Over the next 35 years, through promotion to Associate and Full Professor, he would build and lead an impressive Plant Pathology Extension program in the state of Kansas. His contributions to Extension and agricultural research did not stop at the state’s border. Dr. Jardine’s Extension work in grain sorghum attracted national and international recognition. In addition to his role as Extension Specialist, he also developed a strong applied research program which evaluated seed treatments for control of seedling diseases and contributed service to the profession of plant pathology. Dr. Jardine has been a member of the American Phytopathological Society (APS) and related societies throughout his professional career. In 2013, he was recognized as a Fellow of APS for his service to the profession. The field of plant pathology is a better place for Dr. Jardine’s participation. We wish him all the best in his retirement and hope to see him again from time to time in the department.

Jen Schlegel awarded President’s Award of Excellence

Jen SchlegelJen Schlegel, our business manager, was awarded the 2020 President’s Award of Excellence. We are proud and fortunate to have Jen as our business manager. This award recognizes unclassified professional staff members who achieve excellence and/or make exemplary contributions to the mission and values of K-State. Jen is an essential member of the department and contributes significantly to the department's excellence and productivity. Read More

Paula Silva received Women in Triticum award

Paula Silva

Paula Silva, a PhD student in Dr. Jesse Poland’s lab, was awarded one of the 2020 Jeanie Borlaug Laube Women in Triticum awards from the Borlaug Global Rust Initiative (BGRI) and the Delivering Genetic Gain in Wheat project. Paula is looking for novel sources of rust resistance in wheat.

Read more: Doctoral candidate receives prestigious award

Paula was also awarded the Alvin and RosaLee Sarachek Predoctoral Honors Travel Award in Molecular Biology.

Read more about the award: Alvin and RosaLee Sarachek Predoctoral awards

Nar Ranabhat awarded by Kansas Academy of Sciences

Nar RanabhatNar Ranabhat received a graduate student research award from Kansas Academy of Sciences (KAS). Nar is investigating the dynamics of host-virus interaction between Wheat streak mosaic virus and winter wheat, under the guidance of Dr. Jessica Rupp. Nar will present results of research at a future KAS meeting.

Bliss Betzen and Victoria Cast recognized by Sunset Zoo

Bliss Betzen and Victoria Cast both received recognition as Science Communication Fellows in February through Sunset Zoo. As one part of this fellowship, Bliss and Victoria will be developing a personalized web page to engage multiple audiences with their work on Sunset Zoo's Behind the Science website.

Victoria Cast also received a Certification of Professional Development for completing the Graduate Student Council Professional Development Program for 2019-2020 in April.

Five graduate students received the Tillman Family and Christine Lee Shepard Memorial Fund Awards

Selected graduate students were awarded The Tillman Family Agriculture Graduate Student Award and Christine Lee Shepard Memorial Fund Award. The Tillman Award perpetuates the memory of Marcia Edythe Tillman and other immediate family members to provide financial assistance to graduate students properly enrolled in the College of Agriculture at Kansas State University. The Shepard Award perpetuates the memory of Christine Lee Shepard and is given by former Department Head, James F. Shepard. The award provides funds for research in non-conventional approaches to crop improvement.

The recipients of this year’s Tillman Family Agriculture Graduate Student Award are Joel Steyer, Jun Huang, Afsana Noor, and Dylan Mangel. The recipient of the Christine Lee Shepard Memorial Fund for 2020 is Nar Ranabhat.

Four undergraduates received the Tillman Family Undergraduate Scholarship

Brock Hazelton, junior in agronomy; Abigail Parker, junior in biochemistry; Kenny Dodson, senior in horticulture; and Daniel Tran, junior in food science and industry, will receive the Tillman Family Undergraduate Scholarship, administered by the plant pathology department. These students have demonstrated outstanding academic performance in plant pathology minor or through plant pathology undergraduate research. Each student will be awarded $1,000 at the beginning of 2020-2021 academic year.

Daniel Tran, undergraduate researcher in Richard Todd’s lab, also won a $4,000 K-INBRE summer-semester scholarship for 2020-2021.

Fellers et al. 2019 was among the top 10 most downloaded paper in Plant Disease

A Plant Disease journal paper from John Fellers’s group was among the top 10 most downloaded papers in 2019. Other co-authors of the paper are Christian Webb, Madison C. Fellers, Jessica Shoup Rupp, and Erick DeWolf.

Read more: Wheat Virus Identification Within Infected Tissue Using Nanopore Sequencing Technology