College of Agricultural, Human, and Natural Resource Sciences

Department of Plant Pathology

January in the News

Faculty Presents Research

Dr. Dean Glawe gave an invited seminar to the Department of Plant Pathology, University of California, Davis, on January 4.  The title of his talk was “256 years of powdery mildew taxonomy: what worked, what didn’t, and what might.”  Squeezing a quarter millennium of research findings into 40 minutes was an interesting challenge.  He also met with members of the department to talk about mutual enthusiasms regarding powdery mildews and similar topics.

Chinese Delegation’s Visit to the Department

A Chinese delegation, consisting of Drs. Jun Guo, Dejun Han, Qinmei Han, Xiaoping Hu, Rong Zhang, and Wenming Zheng from Northwest A&F University, Yangling Shaanxi, visited our department on January 21 and 22.  The delegation was hosted by Dr. Xianming Chen, Research Plant Pathologist and Adjunct Professor in the department.  During their visit, the Chinese delegation had meetings with Dr. Hanu Pappu, Department Chair, Dan Skinner, ARS Research Leader, and members of the WSU Office of International Programs.  The Chinese scientists participated, along with lab members of Drs Chen and Scot Hulbert, in an all-day workshop on stripe rust research.   Xiaoping Hu and Wenming Zheng presented research on epidemiology, disease management, population structure, and genome of stripe rust in China.  Scot Hulbert, Dipak Sharma-Poudyal, Peng Cheng, Anmin Wan, Meinan Wang, and Xianming Chen presented their research on stripe rust. The visit was part of an international collaboration project on plant pathology of Northwest A&F University, in which Xianming Chen, Scot Hulbert and Chang-Lin Xiao in our department and  more than ten scientists from Australia, Canada, Germany, New Zealand, the United Kingdom, and the United States have been participating as international collaborators.

From  left to right, Wenming Zheng, Xianming Chen, Xiaoping Hu, Guo Jun, Dejun Han, Rong Zhang, and Qinmei Han. (Photo by Dr. Hanu Pappu)

Faculty Receives the 2010 Martin Luther King Distinguished Service Award

Dr. David Weller, Research Leader, USDA-ARS and adjunct professor in our department, was selected to receive the 2010 Martin Luther King, Jr., Distinguished Service Award, in the faculty category.   The award was presented at the 2010 Martin Luther King, Jr. celebration on January 23, 2010.

Dr. Weller’s dedicated service demonstrated by his outreach activities stand out as an example of WSU personnel promoting Dr. King’s principles of service, human rights, and social justice through service to our communities.  Dr. Weller’s greatest impact has been on outreach to the Native American population in Washington State, and on bringing young people into the fields of math and science. He has been the primary developer, mover and leader of a program he initiated in 2006 called “Pumping-Up the Math and Science Pipeline: Grade School to College”. The main objectives of this multi-component program are to find, teach, mentor, train and employ the next generation of scientists, mathematicians and engineers. The program currently focuses on science outreach to students on the Colville Reservation and surrounding rural areas. The “Pipeline Program” was initiated because of deep concern among scientists and engineers that the flow of American students into science, engineering, technology and mathematics (STEM) disciplines is insufficient to meet the nation’s science and technology needs now and in the future.

Dr. Weller talks the talk and walks the walk! He exemplifies the great Indian Statesman, Mahatma Gandhi’s ideals: “Be the change that you want to see around you”. The seeds that Dr. Weller has sown have evolved into a large outreach effort in just three short years.  He has accomplished this in addition to his demanding career as an internationally recognized scientist and researcher who has mentored dozens of students and researchers from around the world.


Student Employee Selected as LSAMP Scholar

Juan Pena, who received an Auvil Scholarship Fall 2008/Spring 2009 to complete research in Dr. Brenda Schroeder‘s laboratory, was chosen as a Louis Stokes Alliance for Minority Participation (LSAMP) scholar.  This is an award for an undergraduates who are completing research and are members of underrepresented student groups discipline(s) of Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM).  He was selected to participate at the first Annual Conference for the Pacific Northwest LSAMP Alliance on February 26 and February 27, 2010 on the University of Washington Seattle campus.  At this conference he was asked to present his research project and to sit on a panel and answer some questions in regards to his own experiences in certain topics.

Faculty Featured on NPR

Dr. Lindsey du Toit, Associate Professor in our department, was interviewed by KUOW of the National Public Radio (NPR). The interview aired on the morning of January 6, 2010.  The audio article titled,  “Skagit Farmers Wary of Biofuel Crops” and the podcast are on the KUOW website.

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