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June update from SIPS Director Chris Smart

Dear SIPS community,

Graduation: We had a wonderful end to our academic year with a wet yet upbeat graduation ceremony on May 27. Thanks to all the faculty and staff that worked to enable the celebration our graduating undergraduate Agricultural Sciences and Plant Sciences majors, along with advanced degree graduates from our five graduate fields. I’ve included some info on our graduates at the end of the message below (thanks to Leah Cook and Magdalen Lindeberg).

Staff Kudos: I am pleased to announce a new SIPS Staff Kudos recognition program for all SIPS staff (including administrative and technical) on any campus. The next time you are feeling appreciation for staff assistance, support, or a job-well-done, think about recognizing them a Kudos. Simply complete the very brief form at: (this is open for anyone to submit). Staff members receiving a Kudos Award will receive a thank you card detailing how they have made a difference along with a token that will serve as a reminder. Awardees will also receive school-wide recognition for their efforts in SIPS newsletters and director updates.

Update on Plant Science renovation: The building needs assessment and space plan study being conducted by Payette will be completed by the end of July. I don’t yet know the date of the next town hall meeting but I will send out information once it’s available.

Faculty search updates:

  • Assistant/Associate Professor of International Cropping Systems. An offer has recently been made to the top candidate and negotiations are ongoing.
  • Assistant/Associate Professor of Plant-Microbe Biology. An offer has recently been made to the top candidate and negotiations are ongoing.
  • Assistant/Associate Professor of Grape Disease Ecology & Epidemiology (Geneva Campus). We will re-open the search for this position in the near future.

Information about our 2018 graduates

18 Plant Science Majors
19 Ag Sci Majors
3 double majors in Plant Sci and Ag Sci

3 summa cum laude
8 magna cum laude
9 cum laude

4 distinction in research

Graduate Students:

Horticulture: 1 MS, 3 PhD
Plant Biology: 3 PhD
Plant Breeding: 1 MS, 7 PhD
Soil and Crop Sci: 2 PhD

Future plans among the undergrads:

  • Masters Program in Biostatistics at John Hopkins
  • Lab Manager at the University of Wisconsin
  • Health Insurance
  • Assistant Grower for Littleleaf Farms
  • Soil Scientist for USDA-Natural Resources Conservation Service
  • Masters Program in Weed Science at Texas A&M
  • Masters Program in wetland restoration
  • Biopharmaceuticals
  • Assistant Grower with Intergrow Greenhouses
  • JD at University of Connecticut
  • Summerhill Landscapes
  • Farm Credit East
  • PhD Program in Bioscience at Rockefeller
  • PhD Program in Plant Biology at UC Berkeley
  • Masters Program in Soil Science at Texas A&M
  • Helena Chemical
  • Graduate Program at Cal Poly
  • Northeast agronomist for Seedway, LLC
  • Consumer Practice with Weber Shandwick
  • PhD Program at University of Illinois
  • Graduate Program at Cold Spring Harbor
  • Masters Program in cellular, molecular, and developmental biology at the University of Michigan
  • Longwood Gardens
  • Family farm
  • Hiking the Appalachian Trail before graduate studies

All the best,



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