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ASA, CSSA, SSSA present scholarships in Houston

October 27, 2008

MADISON, WI, OCTOBER 23, 2008 - The American Society of Agronomy (ASA), Crop Science Society of America (CSSA) and Soil Science Society of America (SSSA) presented the following 2008 Scholarships and Fellowships at their Annual Meetings on Oct. 5-9 in Houston.

ASA Scholarships:

  • The ASA Frank D. Keim Fellowship honors and recognizes the unparalleled academic advising of the late Frank D. Keim. Criteria include academic excellence, leadership activities, and future plans related to the agronomic sciences. It is funded through the Agronomic Science Foundation. The 2008 Frank D. Keim Fellowship is presented to Christopher Schaefer - University of Minnesota. Christopher Schaefer is a graduate student in the Department of Agronomy and Plant Genetics at the University of Minnesota. Chris is studying plant breeding and genetics in maize under the direction of Dr. Rex Bernardo; he began his M.S. degree program in the Fall 2008. Chris recently graduated from South Dakota State University, receiving a B.S. degree in agronomy and minors in chemistry and biology. At SDSU, Chris was active with his local student chapter for four years and served as an ambassador for the College of Agricultural and Biological Sciences.

  • The J. Fielding Reed Scholarship, funded through the Agronomic Science Foundation, was established in recognition of Dr. Reed's lifelong commitment to advancing the knowledge of agriculture through his work in soil science and natural resources and his passion for educating students. It recognizes an outstanding undergraduate senior pursuing a career in the soil or plant sciences. The ASA 2008 J. Fielding Reed Scholarship is presented to: Kara Tipton - Tennessee Technological University. Kara Tipton is a senior environmental agriscience major at Tennessee Technological University in Cookeville, TN. She is from Fayetteville, TN, and graduated from Lincoln County High School in 2005. As a student at Tennessee Tech, Kara has been involved and carried leadership positions in many clubs and organizations, including Collegiate FFA, Agriculture Council, Lambda Alpha Sigma, and the Environmental Conservation Club. She has also gained experience with summer internships at Paul Braden Surveying and Tennessee Valley Authority. Kara will graduate with honors in December 2008 with a B.S. in agriculture.

  • The Hank Beachell Future Leader Scholarship, funded through the Agronomic Science Foundation, was established in recognition of Henry A. Beachell's commitment to advancing the knowledge of agriculture through his work in rice breeding and development. The purpose is to expand the agricultural knowledge of undergraduate students participating in activities that enhance their university studies. The ASA 2008 Hank Beachell Future Leader Scholarship is presented to: Rachael Cox - Iowa State University. Rachael Cox is a senior in agronomy with an emphasis in agroecology and international agriculture at Iowa State University. As the scholarship recipient, Rachael is spending this semester studying in Ecuador and Peru. While abroad, she will be living on and visiting farms in the tropical lowlands and the mountainous highlands, exploring many new types of crops, soils, and agroecosystems. At Iowa State, Rachael is involved in the International Association of Students in Agriculture and the Student Organic Farm.

  • The United Soybean Board Fellowship promotes graduate education in the area of plant sciences, emphasizing the development of improved soybean varieties, understanding soybean genetics, and developing improved ways to grow and use soybeans. The intention of the fellowship is to attract the highest quality students whose careers will continue to advance the science of soybean improvement. Funds for the fellowship are provided by the United Soybean Board. The 2008 United Soybean Board Fellowship is presented to: Carolyn M. Bonin - University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign. Carolyn Bonin is a graduate student in the Department of Crop Sciences at the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign. She received a B.S. degree in biology at the University of Wisconsin-Madison in May 2005. Bonin recently completed her M.S. degree in May 2008 at Illinois, studying Fusarium head blight resistance in wheat. Currently, she is working towards her Ph.D. degree focusing on soybean breeding and genetics.

CSSA Scholarship:

  • The CSSA Gerald O. Mott Scholarship is provided to a meritorious student who has completed at least one year of graduate work leading to an M.S. or Ph.D. degree in a field of emphasis within crop science and who has outstanding potential for leadership. The scholarship is supported through a contribution by Mrs. Lorraine Mott and family and contributions to the Agronomic Science Foundation. The 2008 Gerald O. Mott Scholarships are presented to: Christopher Boomsma - Purdue University. Christopher Boomsma is a Ph.D. candidate in crop physiology and cropping systems in the Department of Agronomy at Purdue University. He received a B.A. degree in Agriculture-Plant Sciences from Dordt College in Sioux Center, IA. His doctoral research seeks to elucidate the physiological mechanisms associated with intraspecific competition and plant-to-plant variability in maize as affected by nitrogen rate, plant density, and genotype. He is a member of ASA, CSSA, and SSSA.

  • Jo Anne Crouch - Rutgers University. Jo Anne Crouch is a recent graduate of the Ph.D. program in the Plant Biology and Pathology department at Rutgers University, where her research focused on the population biology of anthracnose disease fungi in turfgrass, prairie, and cereal crops. Dr. Crouch is interested in how fungi adapt and evolve in response to agricultural landscapes, and the impact of agronomic pathogens on natural fungal populations. Her graduate work was supported by fellowships from The Land Institute and the EPA; she is the author of six refereed journal articles.

SSSA Scholarship:

  • The Francis and Evelyn Clark Soil Biology Scholarship was established to recognize the importance of soil biology and the understanding of soil, plant, and microbial interactions and of nutrient cycling in terrestrial ecosystems. The scholarship is supported by a gift from Dr. and Mrs. Francis Clark to the Agronomic Science Foundation. The 2008 Francis and Evelyn Clark Soil Biology Scholarship is presented to: Eliana Bontti - Colorado State University. Eliana Bontti is a Ph.D. student in the graduate degree program in ecology, Department of Forestry, Rangeland, and Watershed Stewardship at Colorado State University. She received B.S. and M.S. degrees from the Unversidad Nacional del Sur in Argentina. Her research focuses mainly in grassland, in particular the short grass steppe. She is studying nitrogen portioning between microbes and plants, and the relative role of fungi and bacteria on greenhouse gas emissions.

For more information on the recipients or on the awards presented, please view the ASA-CSSA-SSSA Awards Program PDF online, Photos of the recipients are available to view and download online at: ASA: | CSSA: | SSSA: For additional assistance, contact Sara Uttech, 608-268-4948,

The American Society of Agronomy (founded in 1907) is dedicated to the development of agriculture enabled by science, in harmony with environmental and human values. The Society supports scientific, educational, and professional activities to enhance communication and technology transfer among agronomists and those in related disciplines on topics of local, regional, national, and international significance.

The Crop Science Society of America (founded in 1955) is a scientific society comprised of members who advance the discipline of crop science by acquiring and disseminating information about crops in relation to seed genetics and plant breeding; crop physiology; crop production, quality, and ecology; crop germplasm resources; and environmental quality.

The Soil Science Society of America (SSSA) is a progressive, international scientific society that fosters the transfer of knowledge and practices to sustain global soils. Based in Madison, WI, and founded in 1936, SSSA is the professional home for 6,000+ members dedicated to advancing the field of soil science. It provides information about soils in relation to crop production, environmental quality, ecosystem sustainability, bioremediation, waste management, recycling, and wise land use. Because of their common interests, ASA, CSSA, and SSSA share a close working relationship and same office staff in Madison, WI. Each organization is autonomous with its own bylaws and governing boards of directors.

American Society of Agronomy

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