2014 C.W. Edgerton Award winner: Rebecca Melanson

Jong Ham and R. Melanson

Rebecca Melanson, a 2014 graduate-to-be (Ph.D.) of the Dept. of Plant Pathology and Crop Physiology, and a former president of the PPCP Graduate Student Association, won the department’s 2014 C.W. Edgerton Honor Award. She is pictured here with her advisor, Dr. Jong Hyun Ham. Congratulations Rebecca!

Dr. Edgerton, for whom the award is named, was a professor and long-time department head of what was known at the time as the LSU Department of Botany, Bacteriology, and Plant Pathology. His accomplishments included both applied and basic research. According to his biography in the July-August 1968 issue of Mycologia, “he taught, at one time or another, every course that was offered by [the Department of Botany, Bacteriology, and Plant Pathology],” and “at the time of his retirement his department was recognized as the outstanding center for graduate training in plant pathology in the south.”

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2014-2015 Ask an Expert Lunch Series: Parts 1 and 2 completed

In an effort to prepare our students to get jobs in all sectors (private, public, consulting and academic) of plant pathology and crop physiology, the Journal Club/ Training Committee invited different professionals to lunch with students. During the fall semester, we had lunch with people from industry and agricultural consulting.  Students asked our speakers what it takes to become professional in their sector (i.e. How to get a Job?).  Our first speaker was Harold Lambert of Lambert Agricultural Consulting, Inc. in Ventress, LA.  He helped us to understand the challenges with starting your own Ag consulting business and the importance of integrity for building a successful business.  For the second part of our series, we met with two professionals from industry, Kathie Kalmowitz and Fernando Correa.  Kathie Kalmowitz, a market developer for turf and ornamental products at BASF, advised us to be open to many different job opportunities, and take advantage of opportunities to meet people from industry at meetings and in the department.  Fernando Correa, a plant pathologist at RiceTec, also advised us to increase our visibility and encouraged us to visit companies and give seminars about our research.    We also had lunch with Kiersten Wise, an extension faculty member at Purdue University, who advised us to be active in APS and our department, and publish our research.  In the spring semester we will continue our Ask an Expert Lunch Series with scientists from the USDA and administrators at LSU.  Thanks to Ally Lunos and Rebecca Sweany for arranging the lunches and the Department of Plant Pathology for funding the lunches.