The School of Integrative Plant Science is pleased to announce that Mike Fulcher, PhD student in the Field of Plant Pathology, has been awarded the Sellew Family Excellence-in-Mentoring Fellowship for 2018-2019. Fulcher works in the program of Gary Bergstrom, investigating disease and pest severity in organic intercropping forage systems, greater understanding of which will lead to new strategies for pest management.
The Sellew Family Excellence-in-Mentoring Fellowship is supported by a current use fund of $50,ooo from Mark ‘78 and Lisa ‘79 Sellew and was created to highlight the valuable role that graduate students play in contributing to the educational experience of Cornell undergraduates.
Fulcher has mentored nine undergraduate students during his time in the Bergstrom program. Allison Coomber (BS Plant Sciences, ’19) commented, “I feel comfortable going to Mike with questions about research as well as graduate school and the field of plant pathology…In addition, Mike has the ability to point me in the right direction without giving away too much information, allowing me to learn how to work through research problems myself”. Jay Winans (BS Plant Sciences, ’18) had similar praise for his mentorship style, adding that Fulcher’s guidance has been vital to his receiving funding for research, authorship on two papers, and completion of an Honors Thesis in plant pathology. Following graduation, Winans will start work as a lab manager at the University of Wisconsin.
The Sellew Family Excellence-in-Mentoring Fellowship is being awarded to a student in a different SIPS graduate field for each of five years. Grant Thompson, PhD student in the SIPS Horticulture Section was the Sellew Family award recipient for 2017-2018. In subsequent years, the awardee will be selected (in order) from the Fields of Plant Biology, Soil and Crop Sciences, and Plant Breeding and Genetics.