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Visionaries: A lot of little science done well

If you ever get the chance to talk to Janna Beckerman, professor of botany and plant pathology, you might notice her outspoken, fun personality and her quick wit. And if you have the opportunity to spend some time with her, like I did, you’ll be struck by her absolute willingness to help others. Not only is this willingness reflected through her work — specifically, through her passion for assisting specialty crop and fruit growers in Indiana — but it also shows in her day-to-day interactions with faculty and students in Purdue Agriculture.

Case in point: the day our team interviewed her.

Mondays are generally stressful, but with Beckerman’s interview scheduled directly before an important statistics exam, I was more distracted than normal … even a little apprehensive as my team members and I met up in the studio to prepare. By the time Beckerman arrived, my nerves had worsened. However, even as three stressed sophomores scurried around her, trying to adjust the lighting, the researcher’s patience, and ability to engage in casual, friendly conversation made us feel much more at ease.

Even when I managed to knock over an entire lighting apparatus, showcasing my characteristic lack of grace, Beckerman wasn’t fazed. She didn’t hesitate to leave her seat, look up at the light, and ask, “Is there anything I can do to help with that?” Since I’m a good foot taller than she is, there wasn’t really a whole lot she could do to help me with fixing the equipment … but it was her willingness to jump up and offer her assistance that caught my attention.

Anyone who gets to know Beckerman will appreciate her sense of humor, her passion for her work, and her refreshingly honest conversational skills. But clearly there is much more to her than meets the eye.
Meet the Filmmaker/Blogger
Mina Reising, student filmmaker and blogger Mina Reising, student filmmaker and blogger

Mina Reising is a junior agricultural communication major from Stockwell, Indiana. After graduation, Reising hopes to use her love of communication and passion for agriculture to pursue a career in agricultural journalism.

ABOUT VISIONARIES
This blog and video are part of the Visionaries series, which highlights the work and lives of researchers in the Purdue University College of Agriculture. The content for this series is created by the students of ASEC 280 (Digital Storytelling).
Explore other videos and blogs created by our student-filmmakers
Videos are also available on the Purdue Agricultural Sciences Education and Communication YouTube channel

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