News Recap 2017

In this year’s magazine, we provide a summary of the news and events from this year. Each month we also send out news via our email newsletter. If you’d like to receive this newsletter, or if you have a story you’d like to submit, visit:


Plant Pathology Award's Day Winners

2017 PLPA Awards Winners

This year was packed full of great events. The annual Stakman Softball Game brought with it good weather, delicious food from Natedogs, and another final-inning, come from behind victory by the students. On April 28th the department celebrated the amazing work of our faculty, staff, and students with our annual awards day. This year the department awarded a total of $11,397 to 29 award recipients. The day not only included an awards ceremony but also featured four undergraduate research presentations and more than 10 research posters.The department also hosted two events to recognize the outstanding achievements of two of our alumni. On June 2nd the department hosted an award ceremony for Mike Wingfield (Ph.D. 1983), who received the 2016 Distinguished Leadership Award for Internationals. On June 20 the department hosted Dick Frederiksen (M.S.1957 Ph.D.1961) and several guests. During the event Dick presented his 1998 Jakob Eriksson Prize to the department as a lasting reminder of the impact of our field. For more information about these events visit

Alumni Awards

Professor Emeritus Richard Zeyen

Alumnus Dave Rizzo (Ph.D. 1993) was awarded the 2017 UC Davis Prize for Undergraduate Teaching and Scholarly Achievement. This award is funded through philanthropic gifts managed by the UC Davis Foundation and, at $45,000, it is believed to be the largest recognition of its kind in the nation. Adjunct Associate Professor Matt Rouse (Ph.D. 2010) was named 2017 U of M Emerging Leader in Applied Plant Science To celebrate this award, he gave a seminar titled "Wheat Stem Rust Resistance 50 Years After Borlaug’s Green Revolution" at the 11th Annual Dr. Norman Borlaug Memorial Lecture on October 23rd. Dimitre Mollov (Ph.D. 2012) was awarded the USDA-ARS Early Career Research Scientist of the Year Award. Professor Emeritus Richard Zeyen (Ph.D. 1970) was awarded the 2017 University of Minnesota Alumni Association’s Service Award. Look for more information about Zeyen’s award in upcoming eNews. This year’s departmental Distinguished Alumni Awards were awarded to Nora Altier (M.S. 1993, Ph.D. 1997) and Vergel Concibido (Ph.D. 1995).

Notable News

Plant Pathology Alumna Rubella Goswami

Plant pathology alumna Rubella Goswami

Alumna Rubella Goswami (Ph.D. 2005) was named the new USDA-NIFA Plant Pathology National Program Leader in January. Goswami will lead the National Plant Diagnostic Network and the Extension Implementation program areas. Alumna Mary Palm (M.S. 1979, Ph.D. 1983) is currently serving as the APS Council President and alumna Kira Bowen (Ph.D. 1983) is the current APS President-elect. Alumna Ann Impullitti (Ph.D. 2010) began a new role in August as an Assistant Professor in the Department of Biology at the University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point.

In Memoriam 

It is with great sadness that we share the news of the passing of three members of our departmental community. Alumnus Roland F. "Rollie" Line (M.S. 1959, Ph.D. 1962) passed away on June 4th. Gene Hayden (M.S. 1954, Ph.D. 1956) passed away May 9th (look for more information about Hayden’s contributions to the department in upcoming eNews editions). Alumnus Michael Boosalis (M.S. 1958, Ph.D. 1951) passed away on July 4th.

Feel free to email with any questions or items the department should be made aware of.