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Discovery that Connects

From fundamental insights to better plants, sustainably grown, serving the world

February Update from SIPS Director Chris Smart

Dear SIPS Community

SIPS will have an external academic program review April 7-10, 2019. Learn more about the review team and see the draft schedule here

Active Learning Update. I’m happy to announce that SIPS was awarded an Active Learning Initiative grant from the provost. This grant will enable inclusion and assessment of active learning in the ten core courses of the Plant Sciences major (over five years). We will be hiring two discipline-based education postdocs and will also have funds for two additional graduate TAships per semester. As part of the grant, I will be including an update each month to inform the SIPS community of progress as well as opportunities for everyone to get involved.

Faculty search updates: Please forward position links to potential applicants!

  • Assistant Professor: Grape Disease Ecology & Epidemiology. On-site interviews of the three top candidates occurred in January. The search committee and section faculty will be meeting soon to discuss and make a recommendation.
  • Assistant/Associate Professor: Specialty Crop Systems. The search committee has held zoom interviews and is recommending to the Horticulture Section that four candidates be invited for in-person interviews.
  • Assistant/Associate Professor: Digital Agriculture: Agronomy. The search committee is reviewing applications.
  • Assistant/Associate Professor: Breeding for Sustainable Forage Cropping Systems. Position description can be found at The search committee will begin reviewing applications soon.

Congratulations to the following people who were recognized with a SIPS Kudos in the last month! Thanks for your effort and passion in support of SIPS. I was very happy to see that SIPS members beyond the Ithaca campus were included this month (Kate is on the Geneva AgriTech campus). Looking forward to Kudos from LIHREC, HVRL, and CLEREL!

  • Magdalen Lindeberg (going above and beyond)
  • Leslie Larson (creativity and ideas)
  • Cindy Twardokus (strong team spirit AND building mastery and skill) – TWO kudos!
  • Alicia Caswell (going above and beyond) – TWO kudos in this category!
  • Kate Keagle (going above and beyond) – TWO kudos in this category!
  • Betsy Lamb (strong team spirit)
  • Neil Mattson (strong team spirit)
  • Leah Cook (strong team spirit)

PLEASE remember to recognize people in our SIPS community that have gone out of their way to enhance our School. All you have to do is complete the brief form here:

All the best,



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