Standout CASNR students recognized in graduate school awards program
By: Norman Martin
Eleven graduate students from Texas Tech University's College of Agricultural Sciences and Natural Resources were honored today (May 11) as Graduate School Awards Recipients for 2019-2020.
Among the winning categories for CASNR were TEACH Fellowships, Three Minute Thesis Competition, Graduate Student Research Poster Competition, Horn Professors Graduate Achievement Award, Outstanding Thesis & Dissertation Awards, and Graduate Student Research Support Awards, said CASNR Dean William Brown.
Nellie Hill and Cara Lawson, both from the Department of Agricultural Education and Communications, were cited as 2019-2020 TEACH (Teaching Effectiveness and Career Enhancement) Fellows. Program officials explained that Tech's TEACH Program is a highly-competitive professional development program that helps doctoral students prepare for future careers in academia with a special focus on teaching excellence.
TEACH fellows participate in videotaped classroom observations, midterm student evaluations, peer observations, and numerous teaching and learning workshops, as well as complete professional teaching portfolios and course design projects.
Separately, Delaney Foster, a Department of Plant and Soil Science master's student from Perry, Georgia, received 2019 First Place and People's Choice Award honors in the graduate school's Three Minute Thesis Competition. The title of the presentation was "Effective Tank Mix Partners with Isoxaflutole in Cotton."
The 3MT event, which featured the academic work of 45 presenters, was designed to cultivate graduate students' academic, presentation and research communication skills by allowing them to explain their thesis or dissertation to a non-specialist audience in three minutes or less and using only one, static PowerPoint slide. The exercise develops presentation, research and academic communication skills and supports the development of research students' capacity to explain their work effectively.
Three innovative graduate students from Tech's the Department of Plant and Soil Science took top honors at the Graduate School's 19th Annual Graduate Student Poster Competition. CASNR winners in this year's competition are doctoral students Kathryn Radicke (first place/biological life sciences), Prakash Parajuli (third place/biological life sciences), and Shaida Rumi(third place/biological life sciences).
The competition, which typically features more than 100 high-level projects, is seen as a professional development opportunity for students as they present their work to people who are not in their field of study.
Also recognized was Autumn Acree, a doctoral student from Tech's Department of Plant and Soil Science, who was presented with a 2020 Horn Professors Graduate Achievement Award. The Horn Professors Graduate Achievement Award was established by the university's Paul Whitfield Horn Professors to recognize and reward outstanding research or creative activity performed by graduate students while at the university.
Acree was nominated in this year's competition by David Weindorf, Associate Vice President with the Texas Tech Office of Research and Innovation and the BL Allen Endowed Chair of Pedology in Tech's Department of Plant and Soil Science.
Acree's research centered on contemporary advancements in soil characterization: geochemical, morphological and spectroscopic approaches. Specifically, she is working to advance portable X-ray fluorescence and visible near infrared diffuse reflectance spectroscopy characterization of soils. Her doctoral project represents the synthesis of three individual research studies working in Lubbock, Alaska and Romania.
In addition, Tech's Graduate School recognized work displayed in students' thesis and dissertations as part of their annual 2019 awards, funded by the Helen Jones Foundation.
The summer 2019 recipient to win first place for a master's thesis in the biological life sciences category was Jasmine Neupane. The title of the research effort was, "Cotton Yield Variability in Relation to Irrigation Rates, Soil Physical Properties and Topography." Neupane's major advisor was Wenxuan Guo, assistant professor of crop ecophysiology and precision agriculture with a joint appointment with Texas AgriLife Research.
Meantime, Vimal Kumar Balasubramanian from the Department of Plant and Soil Science won second place for his doctoral dissertation in the biological life sciences category. The title of the research project was "Understanding the Genetic factors involved in Cell wall biosynthesis and Biomass production." Balasubramanian's major advisor was Venugopal Mendu, associate professor of cell wall biology.
Finally, the graduate school noted those individuals receiving Graduate Student Research Support Awards. These included Fall 2019 recipients Allison Andrukonis and Mallory Decant, both from Tech's Department of Animal and Food Sciences.
The Spring 2020 recipients are William Doss from the Department of Agricultural Education and Communications; Derek Malone from the Department of Natural Resources Management; and Madelyn Slaton-Sanford from the Department of Animal and Food Sciences.
The Graduate Student Research Support Awards program is for Texas Tech graduate students who are in need of funds to successfully complete their research (thesis/dissertation or non-thesis based) by providing for expenses such as supplies, software and research-related training.
CONTACT: William Brown, Dean, College of Agricultural Sciences and Natural Resources, Texas Tech University at (806) 742-2808 or firstname.lastname@example.org