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 News, Awards and Recognitions


thumbnail of Prof. Roberto Lopez Dr. Roberto Lopez has been named a 2015 University Faculty Scholar. The University Faculty Scholars Program recognizes outstanding faculty members at the West Lafayette campus who are on an accelerated path for academic distinction. Congratulations Dr. Lopez!

thumbnail of Prof. Lori Hoagland Purdue has received a $2 million federal grant to lead multi-institution research on breeding new varieties of organic tomatoes that would resist foliar diseases and still have the delicious taste that consumers want. The grant, awarded by the Organic Research and Extension Initiative of the U.S. Department of Agriculture's National Institute of Food and Agriculture, will also enable researchers to identify management practices that reduce disease pressure while protecting soil and water quality. Dr. Lori Hoagland, assistant professor of horticulture, is heading the project that includes researchers from North Carolina State University, North Carolina A&T University, Oregon State University, University of Wisconsin-Madison and the Organic Seed Alliance.

Full story:  http://www.purdue.edu/newsroom/releases/2014/Q4/federal-grant-awarded-for-organic-tomato-research-led-by-purdue.html

The American Society for Horticultural Sciences (ASHS) meeting in Orlando was a great success with exciting presentations made by a large contingent of Purdue faculty, graduate students and staff. It was gratifying to see the quality of scholarly activity presented by our department.

Congratulations are in order for members of the department who were recognized for their outstanding efforts at the national/international level.

1. Mary Welch-Keesey, B. Rosie Lerner, John Orick, Kevin Leigh Smith, Tim Thompson, winners of the ASHS Extension Division Award for Educational Media for their Purdue Master Gardener Manual – Digital Flash Drive Version.

2. Roberto Lopez (and collaborators at NC State, Univ. GA, VPI, Cornell, and Univ. NH) awarded the ASHS Extension Division Award for their e-Gro Alerts (Electronic Grower Resources Online).

3. Celina Gomez (Ph.D. student with Cary Mitchell) for winning third place in the Graduate Student Poster Competition for her poster entitled “Growth Responses of Greenhouse Tomato Seedlings to Different Spectra of Supplemental Lighting Are Season Specific in a Northern Climate”. Selina faced stiff competition among 79 entries!

4. Celina Gomez for receiving first place in the Controlled Environments Graduate Student Paper Competition for her oral presentation entitled “Are Light-Emitting Diodes a Viable Supplemental Lighting Alternative to Grow Greenhouse Tomatoes in a Northern Climate?”

5. Raheel Anwar (Ph.D. student with Avtar Handa), for receiving an ASHS Graduate Student Travel Grant.

Congratulations to our colleagues for their success and recognition!

thumbnail of Prof. Hazel Wetzstein Dr. Hazel Wetzstein, professor of horticulture at The University of Georgia, has been appointed professor and head of our Department of Horticulture and Landscape Architecture, effective August 1, 2014.

Dr. Wetzstein received her doctorate in botany from the University of California-Davis, and a bachelor’s degree in biology from California State University. She first joined the faculty at the University of Nevada before moving to the University of Georgia where she was promoted to associate professor, then professor. Dr. Wetzstein is an insightful scholar and thoughtful leader. She made a deep and positive impression on the Department of Horticulture and Landscape Architecture and the College, and I could not be more excited about the future of the Department under her leadership.

Hongji Gui was recently honored as a recipient of the Purdue University Teaching Academy Graduate Teaching Award during a celebration hosted by the Provost and the Dean of the Graduate School. Hongi was our department’s nominee, and she has been an outstandingly effective teaching assistant in HORT 101 (Fundamentals of Horticulture). She was nominated by her professors, with strong endorsement by students. One student commented: “Hongji was one of the best TAs I have had while at Purdue. She was always very helpful and willing to do whatever she could to help students succeed. It was great to have a TA with a true passion for the material she was teaching!”


Hongi is a M.S. student advised by Jian-Kang Zhu. She’s had an important role in helping our students learn, and this honor is very well deserved. Please join me in congratulating Hongji.


A number of HLA students, faculty and staff have been recognized during the past several weeks for their outstanding accomplishments and service in 2013-14. Such announcements continued yesterday evening, when HLA faculty members were recognized during the Faculty Awards Convocation for their excellence in scholarship, breadth of impact, and exceptional service to Purdue University. In addition, the Landscape Architecture Program announced their outstanding student awards this week during the Frederick Law Olmsted Day Celebration. These as well as HLA graduate student achievements and awards are summarized below. Please join us in congratulating our students and colleagues on their achievements and thanking them for their many contributions.


College of Agriculture Richard L. Kohls Early Career Award:

 • Sean M. Rotar

Teaching for Tomorrow Award, Office of Provost:

 • Sean M. Rotar (2013-14 Award)

 • David M. Barbarash (2014-15 Award) Congratulations, Dave, on being selected as one of nine Junior Fellows selected University wide.

Purdue University Book of Great Teachers:

 • Paul C. Siciliano, Jr.

Purdue University Sigma Xi Faculty Research Award, 2014:

 • Natalia Dudareva. The award recognizes outstanding research achievement and contributions to scientific knowledge by a Purdue University faculty member. Awarded to one Purdue faculty member each year, the citation for this honor noted Natalia’s research accomplishments that have elucidated the biochemistry of plant primary and secondary metabolism, with emphasis on the biosynthesis of plant volatiles and their contribution to floral scents and plant defense.

Elected Fellow, American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS):

 • Avtar K. Handa was recognized for his “contributions to the field of postharvest biology, particularly for discovering fundamental knowledge to develop fruit crops with enhanced shelf-life, phytonutrients and yield.”

American Horticulture Society:

 • Jules Janick was recognized with the H. Marc Cathey Award for outstanding scientific research that has enriched the field of horticulture.

Outstanding Extension Educational Materials Award, American Society for Horticultural Science:

 • Roberto Lopez and fellow members of a multistate team have been awarded the ASHS Outstanding Extension Educational Materials Award for their e-GRO: Electronic Grower Resources Online website.

National Association of Extension and 4-H Agents’ Specialty Award:

 • Kathryn S. Orvis

Faculty Service Honorees:

 • Jennifer L. Dennis (10 years)
 • Paul C. Siciliano, Jr. (15 years)
 • Bernie Dahl (40 years)

 Administrative Professional Advancement:

 • Anna Whipkey has been promoted to Level 6. We are fortunate to benefit from her professionalism, commitment, and many contributions to the department.

Purdue Landscape Architecture Program Awards:

      Outstanding students:
           Outstanding Freshman – Yoong Sin Tong
           Outstanding Sophomore – Ariana DeTogne
           Outstanding Junior – Jenna Beck
           Outstanding Senior in Landscape Architecture and for all HLA – Dana Williamson

      Design Awards:
 Design Excellence (Sophomore) – Traemon Bobillo
           Design Excellence (Junior) – Kayla Oldham and Jordan Pawlik
           Outstanding Senior Capstone Project: not yet awarded

      Special Recognition:
           Olmsted Scholar – Dana Williamson

      Molnar Scholarship 2013-14 – Alex Milanoski

      ASLA Academic Honor and Merit Awards:
           Honor Awards – Fei Peng, Victoria Mancini, Mark Beer
           Merit Awards – Alex Milanoski, Dana Williamson, Sarah Lewis

U.S. Environmental Protection Agency Green Infrastructure Design Competition:
 A total of 84 student teams from 29 states submitted Green Infrastructure designs for the EPA-sponsored design competition called The Campus RainWorks Challenge. Congratulations are in order for three Purdue Landscape Architecture students, currently on their Co-op internships, who were awarded Honorable Mention for their team’s design. http://water.epa.gov/infrastructure/greeninfrastructure/crw_2013winners.cfm
      • Yueting Wang (student intern at Sasaki Associates, Boston)
      • Nicky Ye (student intern at Keith LeBlanc Landscape Architecture, Boston)
      • Mengzi Wang (student intern at OLIN, Philadelphia)

Incoming Graduate Student Awards:
      • Joshua Craver (Lopez Lab): Frederick Andrews Fellowship, The Graduate School; Paul Ecke Scholarship
      • Madeline Olberg (Lopez Lab): David M. Knox Fellowship, The Graduate School; 2014 GPN Intern of the Year
      • Sahar Abdelrazek (Hoagland Lab): Ross Fellowship, The Graduate School

Graduate Student Awards (recent scientific meetings and publication awards):
      • Garrett Owen, Second Place, poster competition at the NCERA-101 meeting in Chena Hot Springs, Alaska; “End-of-production red and blue supplemental lighting from light-emitting diodes (LEDs) increases leaf pigments of Lactuca sativa L. ‘Magenta’ in the greenhouse”
      • Celina Gomez, Third Place, poster competition at the NCERA-101 meeting in Chena Hot Springs, Alaska; “Growth responses of greenhouse tomato seedlings to different spectra of supplemental lighting in a seasonal climate.”
      • Heejin Yoo received the First Place award for her Outstanding Oral Presentation at the American Society of Plant Biologists (ASPB) Midwestern Section Annual Meeting at Ohio State University for her talk: “An alternative pathway contributes to phenylalanine biosynthesis in plants via a cytosolic tyrosine:phenylpyruvate aminotransferase.”
      • Heejin Yoo received the 2014 Student Publication of the Year Award from the Purdue University Interdisciplinary Life Science Program (PULSe) for her paper: Yoo H, Widhalm JR, Qian Y, Maeda H, Cooper BR, Jannasch AS, Gonda I, Lewinsohn E, Rhodes D and Dudareva N. 2013. An alternative pathway contributes to phenylalanine biosynthesis in plants via a cytosolic tyrosine:phenylpyruvate aminotransferase. Nature Communications 4, DOI: 10.1038/ncomms3833

Office of Agricultural Research at Purdue Graduate Student Spotlight Series:
      • Congratulations to Celina Gomez on an informative Ag Research Spotlight that brings positive attention to an innovative research program 

Graduate Students completing in May 2014:

Doctor of Philosophy
 • Heejin Yoo (PULSe Program)

Master of Science
 • Nathan Shoaf (Ecological Sciences and Engineering (ESE) Program)


HLA faculty, staff, and students have been recognized in recent weeks for their exceptional achievements. The very positive news continued yesterday, and more will be announced in the coming days. I’m delighted to report that the following faculty and students were recognized last evening during the College of Agriculture Awards Banquet:


Outstanding Teachers:

  • Sean Rotar received the College of Agriculture’s Exceptional Early Career Award. The award was created to recognize outstanding undergraduate teaching among the College’s early career, tenure-track faculty. Sean is the first and only HLA faculty member to have received this award.

  • Jennifer Dennis, HLA’s nominee for the Richard L. Kohls Outstanding Undergraduate Teacher in the College of Agriculture.

  • Kathryn Orvis, YDAE’s nominee for the Richard L. Kohls Outstanding Undergraduate Teacher in the College of Agriculture.

Outstanding Counselor:

  • Rob Sovinski, HLA’s nominee for the David C. Pfendler Outstanding Counselor Award

Outstanding Students:

  • Nicole Haddad, HLA’s Outstanding Freshman Student

  • Allison Wigger, HLA’s Outstanding Sophomore Student

  • Jada Powlen, HLA’s Outstanding Junior Student

  • Dana Williamson, HLA’s Outstanding Senior Student

Please join us in congratulating our students for their outstanding achievements. Congratulations, and thank you, to our faculty colleagues who work with such dedication and creativity to help our students learn.

The advancements in rank of the administrative and professional staff of the College have been announced by Dean Akridge, and HLA is very pleased to report that Anna Whipkey has been promoted to Level 6. Please join us in congratulating Anna on this well-earned and important achievement. We are very fortunate to benefit from her many contributions to the department, including her management of the Apple Breeding Program, her active role in helping to formulate departmental and college objectives for distance education, her creativity in co-developing the online course offerings of History of Horticulture and Tropical Horticulture (where annual enrollment for the two courses exceeds 550 students!), and her outstanding contributions as the innovative webmaster of The Purdue NewCROP Website. Congratulations, Anna!
Study: Sorghum wards off pests by releasing hydrogen cyanide


Brian Dilkes & Mitch Tuinstra standing by sorghum plants in greenhousePurdue Agriculture researchers have confirmed the long-held hypothesis that sorghum deters insects from feeding on its leaves by releasing hydrogen cyanide. Mitch Tuinstra, Agronomy, and Brian Dilkes, Horticulture and Landscape Architecture, found that insects preferred the leaves of a mutant sorghum plant with an abnormally slow release of cyanide to those of a wild-type sorghum plant with a normal cyanide-release rate. Fall army worms fed on the leaves of the mutant sorghum even though the leaves contained similar levels of dhurrin - the chemical compound responsible for synthesizing hydrogen cyanide - as those in normal sorghum plants. "This study separates for the first time the accumulation of dhurrin from the release of hydrogen cyanide," said Dilkes. "Both the mutant and normal sorghum plants contain dhurrin, but it's the rate of cyanide release that causes the insects to avoid one in favor of the other. It's a beautiful interaction between animal behavior and plant chemistry."

Full story:  http://www.purdue.edu/newsroom/releases/2013/Q4/study-sorghum-wards-off-pests-by-releasing-hydrogen-cyanide.html

thumbnail of Prof. Bruce Bordelon  Bruce Bordelon was recognized as the recipient of the 2013 Outstanding Extension Specialist Award from the Purdue University Cooperative Extension Specialist Association at the Purdue Extension 2013 Professional Development Conference in West Lafayette, IN. This is a significant honor that reflects very positively on Bruce’s exceptionally effective Extension program.  Bruce Bordelon is known particularly for his expertise on cultivar adaptation and small fruit crop management in the Midwest and eastern U.S.

Bruce Bordelon is a leader in the creation of regional peer-reviewed production manuals for commercial small fruit growers. He has made presentations on a variety of topics at more than 150 conferences and workshops during the past 22 years and has collaborated on many others, including the Purdue Grape and Wine Workshops, Indiana Wine Grape Symposium, the Indiana Horticultural Congress and the Heartland Grape and Wine Symposium. He has also led international Extension study courses for the wine grape industry to Italy, Chile and Argentina.

A member of the Purdue Wine Grape Team, Bruce has had a major role in the expansion, quality, and economic vitality of this industry in Indiana and the region. He is a respected international authority on grape pest management, evaluation of new grape varietals, and vineyard establishment and management practices. Bruce leads a research and Extension program with local, regional and national impacts on the wine grape industry.  Bruce's research has benefited the wine industry in Indiana and the region; essentially all new plantings of grapes are of superior cultivars identified by his research. His research on Traminette has made it the most widely grown cultivar in the region. Since he initiated his work in 1991, the number of Indiana wineries has increased from a handful to more than 70 that now contribute in excess of $72 million to the Indiana economy. 
Competition for this award is very strong, and Bruce’s selection reflects a clear confirmation of excellence by his Extension peers across the College of Agriculture.
2013 OFA Alex Laurie Award winners  Roberto Lopez, Diane Camberato, and Brian Krug, 2013. Alex Laurie Award for the most significant applied floriculture research paper published in 2012 "Development of Euphorbia pulcherrima under Reduced Finish Temperatures". HortScience 47(6):745–750, OFA - Association of Horticulture Professionals Short Course, Columbus, Ohio.
Three Purdue HLA students doing research under the Light-Emitting Diode USDA SCRI grant were award winners at the American Association for Horticultural Science (ASHS) 2013 Conference in Palm Desert, CA for their oral presentations.

ASHS Undergraduate Oral Competition
Michael Dzakovich - A Semiyearly Study on the Effect of Light Quality on Flavor of Greenhouse Grown Tomatoes: LED Versus HPS – 3rd place

Controlled Environmental Oral Competition
Celina Gomez – Comparison of Light-emitting Diode Towers Versus High-pressure Sodium Lamps for Year-round Production of High-wire Greenhouse-grown Tomatoes - 2nd place

Wesley Randall – Determining the Effectiveness of Red and Blue Light-Emitting Diodes as Supplemental Lighting during Seedling Propagation - 3rd place

Congratulations Michael, Celina, and Wesley!

Several members of Dr. Roberto Lopez's lab have won awards during the first half of 2013.

Wesley Randall, 2013. Second place in the American Society for Horticultural Science (ASHS) Controlled Environment Working Group (CEWG) student oral competition. Palm Desert, California.

Roberto Lopez, Brian Krug, Brian Whipker, and Nora Catlin. 2013. Outstanding Extension Educational Materials Award, American Society for Horticultural Science (ASHS), Palm Desert, California.

Josh Gerovac, 2013. First place in the graduate student poster competition ($500), Department of Horticulture and Landscape Architecture, Purdue University.

Christopher Currey, 2013. Outstanding Dissertation Award ($250), Horticulture and Landscape Architecture, Purdue University.

Garrett Owen, 2013. OFA – Scholars OFA – Association of Horticulture Professionals Scholar, Columbus, Ohio.

Alyssa Hilligoss, 2013. Laurenz Greene Summer Research Scholarship ($3,000), Purdue University.

Alyssa Hilligoss, 2013. Purdue Agricultural Centers Research Experience ($4,000), Purdue University.

Christopher Currey, 2013. Second place in the graduate student poster competition ($200), Committee on Controlled Environment Technology & Use (NCERA-101) regional working group annual meeting. Purdue University, IN.

Garrett Owen, 2013. Recipient of the Paul Ecke Jr. Scholarship ($10,000), American Floral Endowment

thumbnail of Prof. Avtar Handa  Avtar Handa is one of nine Purdue professors to receive the distinction of fellow from the American Association for the Advancement of Science, the world's largest general scientific society. Handa was cited for distinguished contributions to the field of postharvest biology, particularly for discovering fundamental knowledge to develop fruit crops with enhanced shelf life, phytonutrients and yield. Hnada was honored in February during the association's annual meeting in Boston.
Landon Young has been selected as one of thirteen 2013 Kaufman Global Scholars from the Netherlands, Singapore, the United Kingdom and the U.S. This prestigious award offers enormous opportunity for Landon during a six-month internship experience that will place him in academic and business environments where creativity, innovation and entrepreneurship are cardinal elements of the Global Scholars Program. Landon is a National Science Foundation Graduate Research Fellow in Ecological Sciences & Engineering, pursuing a Ph.D. degree in Lori Hoagland’s lab.
The Kauffman Foundation is known as the world's largest foundation devoted to advancing entrepreneurship. The Global Scholars Program was initiated in 2007 with the following objectives:
The Global Scholars Program is a world-class opportunity for outstanding recent graduates who are aspiring and early-stage entrepreneurs, selected through a competitive application process, to develop their entrepreneurial skills and ideas, competencies, and capabilities to start a business. The Program affords these participants the opportunity to catalyze their ideas with unparalleled training in entrepreneurship, bringing together a unique group from around the world.

Additional information is available from their website: http://www.kauffman.org/newsroom/kauffman-foundation-announces-2013-class-of-global-scholars.aspx

Congratulations and best wishes to Landon, who will embark on this opportunity in January.

Matt Rudisill, Ph.D. student in Lori Hoagland's lab, was selected as the first place winner in the poster competition in the Nutrient Management and Soil and Plant Anaylsis section of the Soil Science Society of America (SSSA) meetings in Cincinnati. His poster was titled "Toward Effective and Sustainable Fertility Management in Organic and Low Input Indiana Vegetable Production Systems: An Integrated Approach." Congratulations Matt!
Landon Young, Ecological Sciences & Engineering Ph.D. student in Lori Hoagland's lab, was selected to receive the award for the best graduate poster presentation in his session at the ASA, CSSA, and SSSA combined Annual Meetings in Cincinnati. His poster was presented within the section on Biochar Effects on Soils, plants, Waters, and Greenhouse Gas Emissions and was titled "Improved Biomass, Essential Oil, and Flavonoid Yield of Greenhouse Basil in Five Organic Soil Substrates." Congratulations Landon!
Celina Gomez was recently recognized by the ASHS Growth Chambers and Controlled Environments Working Group for third place honors in competition for Best Graduate Student Oral Presentation for her talk: “Light-Emitting Diodes (LEDs) as a Sustainable Alternative for Lighting Greenhouse-grown Tomatoes.” Congratulations, Celina!

It’s noteworthy that all three graduate presentation awards went to students engaged in the Specialty Crops Research Initiative (SCRI) LED Lighting Technology and Practices project based here at Purdue under the leadership of Cary Mitchell and Roberto Lopez. Students in collaborating laboratories at the University of Arizona and Michigan State University, as well as Celina, have been recognized for their outstanding progress toward project goals.


At the ASHS annual meeting in Miami, Michael Dzakovich won first place in the undergraduate oral competition for his presentation "LED versus HPS Supplemental Lighting Effects on Fruit Quality of Greenhouse Tomato". Michael also won first place on the ACB general horticulture comprehension test. Congratulations, Michael, for representing the department so effectively.
thumbnail of Prof. Cary Mitchell  Cary Mitchell has been recognized by the American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics (AIAA) as the recipient of the 2012 AIAA Jeffries Aerospace Medicine and Life Science Research Award. Cary received the award in San Diego on July 18th for his “outstanding contributions to space life sciences through ground-based research and project leadership.” It is the most prestigious award bestowed by the AIAA, and it reflects Cary’s many contributions to understanding the factors influencing plant growth and development in highly controlled environments as well as his leadership within this field.  Press Release.
Norman Best, received a travel award to attend the Plant Growth Regulation Society of America meeting in Denver and then received the 2012 Best Oral Presentation Award for the entire meeting. The award, sponsored by Valent Biosciences, recognizes the best presentation at the meeting, including those by established scientists as well as by graduate students. Considering that Norman is a first-year graduate student, this is a tremendous achievement. We’re proud of you, Norman! Congratulations!
Chris Currey was honored as a recipient of Purdue's Graduate Student Teaching Award. Recommended by a departmental review committee, Chris Currey has been an outstandingly effective teaching assistant in HORT 420 (Ornamental Plant Production), and he was a key contributor in the development of a new course entitled Total Crop Management (HORT 491). Chris has motivated and inspired our undergraduate students, and this honor is very well deserved. He also has received an impressive series of awards in recent months, including: an ASHS Graduate Student Travel Grant; the American Floral Endowment James K. Rathmell Memorial Scholarship; Plant Growth Regulation Society of America (PGRSA) Graduate Student Travel Award and PGRSA Best Graduate Poster; and the University of Queensland Early Career Research Exchange Seed Grant. Congratulations, Chris!
Krystyna Hyrczyk received the Graduate Teaching Certificate from the Center for Instructional Excellence. Purdue offers the Graduate Teaching Certificate program to assist graduate students in developing teaching skills while simultaneously documenting their teaching experiences. I’m certain that Krystyna would be pleased to tell you more about the program, and additional information is provided here:  http://www.purdue.edu/cie/pdf_links/GTC.pdf .
thumbnail of Prof. Burkhard Schulz  Burkhard Schulz, Horticulture and Landscape Architecture, is one of nine Purdue faculty members that has won the National Science Foundation's 2011 Faculty Early Career Development awards--its most prestigious honor for outstanding young researchers. The NSF issues about 400 Faculty Early Career Development awards annually. 
thumbnail of Prof. Jules Janick  Prof. Jules Janick, James Troop Distinguished Professor of Horticulture, has been selected to receive the Lifetime Achievement Award from the National Association of Plant Breeders. He was chosen for the award, given for distinguished long-term service in the field of plant breeding, for "showing exceptional accomplishments in research, teaching and collaboration."  Janick has helped developed scab-resistant apple cultivars. He has released about 20 varieties, including Gold Rush, Pixie Crunch and Crimson Crisp. He will receive the award May 23 during the organization's annual meeting at Texas A&M University. Janick, who has been at Purdue since 1951, is director of the Indiana Center for New Crops and Plant Products, based at Purdue. 
Celina Gomez, from the Mitchell lab tied for second place in the poster competition at the NCERA 101 Committee on Controlled Environment Technology & Use Conference in Ames, Iowa.  Celina's poster was on LED lighting.

Chris Currey, from the Lopez lab was awarded first place in the poster competition at the NCERA 101 Committee on Controlled Environment Technology & Use Conference in Ames, Iowa.  Chris' poster was on the physiological effects of photosynthetic daily light integral.

thumbnail image of Mike Mickelbart  Mike Mickelbart, The Purdue University Board of Trustees has approved the promotion of Dr. Mike Mickelbart to the rank of Associate Professor of Horticulture effective July 1, 2011. We are delighted about his success and proud of the many accomplishments that have led to this significant recognition of achievement.

Chris Currey, received the Graduate Teaching Certificate from the Center for Instructional Excellence.

picture of Renate Weizbauer  Renate Weizbauer, has been honored as a recipient of Purdue’s Graduate Student Teaching Award.

Barbara Wireman, The advancements in rank of the administrative and professional staff of the College of Agriculture recently have been announced by Dean Akridge, and I'm delighted to report that Barbara Wireman has been promoted to Level 6.  Please join me in congratulating Barb on this well-earned and important recognition.  We are very fortunate to benefit from her knowledge and her exceptional contributions to the department.

Landon Young, has been selected to receive a National Science Foundation Graduate Research Fellowship with full funding for three years.   Landon is a graduating senior in Landscape Architecture with a minor in Horticulture.  He’s been very actively involved in undergraduate research opportunities in the labs of Lori Hoagland, Roberto Lopez, and Jenna Rickus (ABE).  He currently is a teaching assistant in HORT 201.


Landon has been accepted into the Ecological Science & Engineering Interdisciplinary Graduate Program (ESE IGP) at Purdue.  His academic home will be HLA, and his major advisor will be Lori Hoagland.  To my best knowledge, he is the first recipient from our department of this highly prestigious award.

Picture of Renate Weizbauer  Renate Weizbauer, will be honored as a recipient of Purdue’s Graduate Student Teaching Award.  Renate was our department’s nominee, and she has been an outstandingly effective teaching assistant in HORT 301.  She has given much to our undergraduate students, and the honor is very well deserved.  She’ll be recognized on April 26th at an awards celebration hosted by the Provost and the Dean of the Graduate School and will receive an inscribed plaque at that time.

Chris Currey, It’s a pleasure to report that graduate student Chris Currey is the recipient of the D. Woods Thomas Memorial International Award in support of his proposal for international research activities. The award will provide an opportunity for Chris to conduct a portion of his Ph.D. dissertation research in Guatemala and El Salvador, and it will help to provide greater relevancy and impact for his work on the propagation of floricultural crops. Chris is one of only three graduate students in the College of Agriculture to receive this award in 2011.

HLA students have strong showing at ASPB Midwest Meeting:
As occurred in 2010, our department had a very strong showing at the ASPB Midwest Meeting, held at Purdue March 19-20, in terms of the recognized quality of oral and poster presentations by undergraduate and graduate students.  The following individuals received awards:

Renate Weizbauer Renate Weizbauer:  First place - Best oral presentation, graduate student competition.
"Cellular mechanisms controlling cell expansion in twisted dwarf1 (twd1)"

Brandon Bishop Brandon Bishop:  Second place - Best poster presentation, graduate student competition.
“Interactions with growth media affect the efficacy of a potent brassinosteroid biosynthesis inhibitor in maize“

Andrea Brennan Andrea Brennan:  First place - Best poster presentation, undergraduate student competition.
 "A pharmacological impact study of brassinosteroid biosynthesis inhibitors in sorghum (Sorghum bicolor)"

thumbnail image of Prof. Burkhard Schulz  From the Blackboard to the Whiteboard:
Plant molecular geneticist Burkhard Schulz didn't have to grow up in the digital age to understand technology's power as a teaching tool.

Schulz tapped into students' interest and expertise in digital technology by having them create instructional videos that explain topics in plant physiology and genetics.

The productions are used at Purdue summer outreach programs and as teaching resources in horticulture.  They even garnered some international plant-biology video awards.

"Not a lot of people will flip through PowerPoint slides on their own, but have one of their friends say, 'You've got to see this video!' and you pretty much have them hook, line, and sinker," says Ellen Knapke, on of the student-producers.

Watch three student productions on YouTube:  "PSI", "Pigment" and "Pressure Bomb".

Podcasts Enhance Student Experiences:
When Associate Professor Paul Siciliano takes students to England as part of a course on history, horticulture and landscape architecture, visiting various gardens is a key part of the curriculum.  But it can be difficult to maintain contract with students in outdoor class settings.

A popular electronic tool -- podcasts -- turned out to be a solution.

Siciliano teamed up with Purdue's Department of Agricultural Communication to create podcasts that provide students with the information they need as they go through gardens at their own pace.

Siciliano tested the effectiveness of the new delivery method and found that students who used the podcasts scored higher on oral exams that students that didn't.

Listen to sound clips of the tours at extension.purdue.edu/historicgardens.

thumbnail of Prof. Jules Janick  The innumerable contributions and distinguished career of Professor Jules Janick have again been recognized, this time by the award of Doctor Honoris Causa by the University of Agricultural Sciences and Veterinary Medicine, Cluj-Napoca, Romania.  The Honorary Doctorate degree was conferred by the Rector of the University who noted Jules’ “exceptional achievements and his outstanding contribution to worldwide horticultural science and practices.”

This is the latest in a series of important recognitions of Jules’ contributions, culminating in 2009 in his induction into the “Hall of Fame” of the American Society for Horticultural Science.  He has been similarly recognized by the University of Bologna, the Technical University of Lisbon, and the Hebrew University of Jerusalem. 





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