Wednesday, July 31, 2013

2013 Summer Undergraduate Research Poster Session

You're invited: 
2013 Summer Undergraduate Research Poster Session
Thursday, August 8th, 4:00-6:00pm (in the Interdisciplinary Life Sciences Lobby)

Texas A&M supports over twenty organized summer undergraduate research programs, including National Science Foundation-funded Research Experiences for Undergraduates (REU) and local programs such as the Summer Program for Undergraduate Research (SPUR) and Aggie Research Scholars.  Over 200 Aggies and undergraduates from other universities who have spent the summer immersed in cutting edge research will present posters describing their projects at this culminating event.

These students have worked hard and are excited to present the results of their research to the University community.  You will be impressed by their enthusiasm and the scope of their studies.  Please make plans to stop by to see the posters, interact with these great students, and encourage them to continue on in their path of discovery.  Bring your colleagues, students, and friends.

Refreshments will be provided.
Hosted by:  Honors and Undergraduate Research,a Division of Undergraduate Studies,

TNLA Nursery/Landscape EXPO 8/15-17

August 15-17, 2013   

Dallas Convention Center

View the 2013 Live Online Floor Plan HERE.

Friday, July 19, 2013

2004 HORT Grad makes generous donation in honor of Dr. Don Wilkerson and Sharon Duray

Reaping Aggie Benefits, Sowing Seeds for Success

July 16, 2013
Class of 2004 Ag funds scholarship in honor of horticulture professor and academic advisor 
Jed Waltemathe 004
Jed Waltemathe '04 at the flagship Circle D Nursery in Bryan, Texas.
As a student, Jed Waltemathe ’04 spent much of his time working for the Department of Horticulture with top professors and mentors in his field. Though he didn’t know exactly what he wanted to do, he knew that learning more about horticulture would unearth his passion.
“I wanted as much on the job training as possible. I wanted to be with people who worked in the field in which I was interested,” he said.
Waltemathe worked with several industry leaders before and after graduation, including Hines Nurseries and Landmark Nurseries in Houston, learning from their successes before attempting to venture into his own enterprise. And in 2008, he opened Circle D Nurseries, a re-wholesale nursery that services professional landscapers and commercial accounts throughout Central Texas. With the flagship nursery in Bryan thriving, he opened a second location in Leander, Texas, last year. 
“I believe when you get, you should give,” Waltemathe said. This year, he gave back by establishing an endowed scholarship through the Texas A&M Foundation for horticulture students. “I don’t feel I could ever give back enough to Texas A&M to repay what it gave me,” he said. The scholarship is named for and honors his academic advisor Sharon Duray and retired Texas A&M horticulture professor Dr. Don Wilkerson. 
“It would be hard to express the impact Sharon and Dr. Wilkerson had in my life,” Waltemathe said. “I wouldn't be where I am today were it not for the help and the wealth of knowledge they shared with me.” 
Duray navigated Waltemathe through the murky waters of class choices so that he could achieve his goals. “I trusted her to advise me without question because she was always a few steps ahead of me,” he said.
Sharon Duray and Dr. Don Wilkerson
Sharon Duray and Dr. Don Wilkerson
During her 28 years as an academic advisor in the Department of Horticulture, Duray was recognized for her outstanding service to students with the Ed Guthrie Award for advising in 2003, the Vice Chancellor’s Award in Excellence in 2005 and the President’s Meritorious Service Award in 2006.
Waltemathe credits Wilkerson, who advised him through the process of opening his own business, with the fast-paced success of Circle D. “Being able to consult with Dr. Wilkerson has been priceless,” he said. 
“As a student, Jed recognized the value of getting to know his professors and continued using them as resources following graduation,” Wilkerson said. “Jed patiently laid the groundwork to pave the way to his success.”
During his appointment with the Texas Cooperative Extension, Wilkerson worked closely with growers throughout the state on cultural and management problems, primarily dealing with environmental issues concerning the nursery/floral industry. At Texas A&M, Wilkerson received the Texas Nursery and Landscape Association’s (TNLA) Staff Award and TNLA’s Arp award for his outstanding service and dedication to the Texas nursery/floral/landscape industry.
Duray and Wilkerson have been equally appreciative of Waltemathe. “We are very proud of Jed's accomplishments,” Duray said. “Most importantly, Jed is a great guy, a loyal Aggie, and an asset to the horticulture industry and Texas A&M University—he’s the total package.”
Waltemathe hopes his scholarship will support Aggie students pursuing careers in the green industry in the same way he was supported by the people in the horticulture department. “By recognizing students with this scholarship I hope it will give them the confidence to open their own businesses someday and help them realize success is a combined effort involving the support of many people and prayer,” he said. 
Shelby Hollaway '14
Shelby Hollaway '14
Shelby Hollaway ’14 is the first recipient of the Don Wilkerson and Sharon Duray Scholarship, and her own connection to Duray makes the scholarship that much more special to her.
“This particular scholarship touched my heart greatly,” Hollaway said. “Ms. Duray was my favorite person in the horticulture department, and she was always there to help me out with whatever problems I had.” 
Hollaway said the scholarship will help her family afford her education, which she hopes will lead her into a career in the wine industry. She plans to get a job at a vineyard in North Texas when she graduates in December.   
And maybe one day she’ll follow in more of Waltemathe’s footsteps. 
“The fact that the scholarship is in the name of two people who have meant so much, not only in my life, but in the life of many former students, will hopefully inspire others to one day give back,” Waltemathe said. 
By Joanna Raines ’14
You can support research efforts in Texas A&M University’s College of Agriculture and Life Sciences with a gift of an endowment to the Texas A&M Foundation. Request your A&M Support Kit to learn how your gift can make a difference.

Friday, July 5, 2013

Post-Italy Study Abroad Reflections

Read more student impressions at
Culture Shock:  I have only been home a few days, but the cultural differences are remarkable!  Beyond the differences in road and car size, public transport, and the lack of wondrous scenery out of my window, the main horticulture difference between America and Italy seems to be a difference in attitude. 
Let me explain, in Italy, the soul of the country Italians seems to be tied to the land itself.  They live for the natural beauty of their surroundings and seem in no real hurry to alter it.  Americans in general, see land as how it can be exploited.  Can we build a mega resort here?  Is this prime real estate for a sub-division?  The land is used up and the natural beauty repressed in the advance of progress.  Not to say America is cold hearted.  A lot of the most beautiful scenery is protected by state and national parks, but it is the average land that is overlooked.  For example, many a field of Texas wildflowers around developing areas are paved over for sub-divisions, or given up to farm land for corn or wheat.  The Italians live around the land, while America lives on top of it.  
Where gardens are common in Italy, they are not as much so in America.  Sure there are flowers and shrubs, but edible veggies and such are not as common.  The Italians love to use their own vegetables and fruits, where Americans are content to buy in bulk from the supermarket.  
In no way am I bashing the American way or anything of that nature for I bleed red, white, and blue.  I am merely commenting on how Italians seem tied in their soul to the land they inhabit, while Americans see it as a possession.  I held this viewpoint before, but now I see more of the land for its natural beauty.  This is one of the many things I learned from the Italians and something I think a lot of Americans would benefit from.  
-J Langford
Pic 1:  Vatican Gardens
Pic 2:  American St. Regis Resort

Virtual Student Foreign Service Internships (unpaid)

Date: 09/01/2010 Description: Virtual Student Foreign Service logo - State Dept ImageThe 2013-2014 VirtualStudent Foreign Service (VSFS) program is accepting applications until July 22nd and the announcement and application instructions may be viewed here. VSFS is a year-long, unpaid eInternship program. These eInternships are virtual and students have a flexible virtual work schedule during the academic year, allowing both academic and eInternship goals to be met. You may view a short introduction to VSFS on YouTube here.
VSFS virtually connects U.S. citizen college students with federal agencies and organizations including USAID, the State Department, Department of Agriculture, and the Broadcasting Board of Governors. There are opportunities with domestic and overseas offices to engage in digital diplomacy and development. The full list of this year's internship opportunities may be viewed here
You may learn more about USAID student internships here.