Graduate

While growing up in Inner Mongolia, China, Iowa State University Ph.D student Qi Mu developed a love of science at a young age.

She found her passion for genetics in high school and attended China Agricultural University for her bachelors of science in agronomy. After earning her masters at Ohio State studying tomato genetics and morphology, Ames was the place for her.

“I spent several months working as a lab technician to gain more experience. This experience helped me confirm my passion for research and reminded me how much I enjoyed learning new things every day,” Qi said. “I wanted to keep improving and therefore I started my Ph.D study in plant breeding at Iowa State University.”

The next meeting of the National Association of Plant Breeders (NAPB) will be well represented by Cyclones, with multiple students—both undergraduate and graduate—who will be recognized for being accepted into the Borlaug Scholar program, including Cassie Winn, Hallie Longest and Clayton Carley.

The Borlaug Scholars program was established by the NAPB and is funded through the Agronomy Science Foundation. The goal is to strengthen the next generation of plant breeding science professionals, like the three Cyclones accepted into the program.

In this digital world, technology is becoming more prevalent in all aspects of life, and students at Iowa State University have utilized technology to gain the knowledge and tools that will help the world construct crops that can thrive in our ever-changing environment.

One of those students is Ashlyn Rairdin, who enrolled at Iowa State in fall of 2019, after studying biochemistry and graduating from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln.

“I had always had an interest in engineering, but I have a larger interest in biology, so I chose that when I went to college,” Rairdin said.

Daniel Kohlhase is the recipient of the C. R. Weber Award for Excellence in Plant Breeding. Daniel grew up in Bloomington, IL. He discovered his passion for agriculture at the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign, earning a BSc in Crop Science. After internships in plant breeding and seed production, Daniel decided to attend graduate school at Iowa State University in 2013. He earned a MSc in Crop Production & Physiology working with Dr. Mike Owen in 2016.

Congratulations to all of the graduate students who received scholarships and awards for the Spring semester!

 

Research Excellence Award – The award is to recognize graduate students for outstanding research accomplishments as documented in resulting theses and dissertations. The Research Excellence Program is administered by the Graduate College with additional support from the Graduate and Professional Student Senate. 

  • Anabelle Laurent - PhD Crop Production & Physiology with Fernando Miguez
  • Gina Nichols - PhD Crop Production & Physiology with Sotirios Archontoulis

 

Teaching Excellence Award – The award is to recognize and encourage outstanding teaching achievement by graduate students.  The Research Excellence Program is administered by the Graduate College with additional support from the Graduate and Professional Student Senate. 

PhD candidate Qi Mu has recieved the Gerald O. Mott Meritorious Graduate Student Award in Crop Science. The award recognizes top-notch graduate students pursuing advanced degrees in crop science disciplines. Departments select students based on academic achievements, research and teaching contributions, leadership accomplishments, service activities and personal qualifications. The award honors the first CSSA President, Gerald O. Mott, who trained 75 graduate students during his 45 year career at Purdue University and the University of Florida. Many of his students have become eminent forage scientists.

The 2020-2021 Brown Graduate Fellowship Program as administered by ISU’s Office of the Vice President of Research. This fellowship is to be used to strategically advance ISU research in the areas of study that are governed by the Valentine Hammes Family and Leopold Hammes Brown Family Trust. Fellowship funds (maximum request of $10K) can be used to assist current graduate students or by graduate programs in the recruitment of new graduate students.

Graduate student are eligible that

Matthew Breitzman is originally from Stillwater, MN. Spending time on his Grandpa and Uncles’ farm when growing up gave him a strong interest in agriculture. This background in agriculture led him to obtain his B.S.

Rebecca Vittetoe, student in our MS Agronomy distance masters program recently won the Muenchrath award. Named after Deborah Muenchrath the award is giving to the student with the most outstanding creative component. It is available to a student who has distinguished themselves academically, creatively and professionally. 

Rebecca presented “Comparing the effect of cropping sequences, planting date, and seed treatment on seedling diseases of corn caused by Phythium species.” Her major professors are Dr. Alison Robertson and Dr. Mark Westgate. Her committee included Dr. Daren Mueller and Dr. Andy Lenssen.

Mitch Baum grew up in central Iowa. A Bondurant Blue Jay, he came to Iowa State to be an engineer.

“One problem, I didn’t really understand what engineers did on a day to day basis,” said Baum.

After realizing engineering wasn’t as hands on as he had hoped, Baum remembered a class about soil he really enjoyed taught by Dr. Michael Thompson.

“I didn’t grow up on a farm,” said Baum. “I had no experience with agronomy but I took that class and wound up talking soil chemistry with Dr. Thompson during his office hours.”

Based on his interest in soil chemistry, Baum made the switch changing his major to agronomy.

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