Plant Pathology graduate students Gabriel Ortiz, Claudia Castro, Derreck Carter-House, Antara Chakravarty and Nichole Ginnan have been awarded a grant from the American Phytopathological Society (APS) Foundation through the Mathre Education Endowment.
The Mathre Endowment for Education funds education and outreach related projects, and a selection committee comprised of members of the APS Foundation select one annual team to fund.
As members of the Plant Pathology Graduate Student Association (PLPA GSA), the winners will be using the funds to establish their UCR Plant Pathology Day Event for local high school students.
"We envision this event as an informational, entertaining and hands-on learning experience that will promote higher education in STEM fields and research as a career option,” said Outreach Committee Communication Director Nichole Ginnan. “Furthermore, it will provide a comprehensive understanding of the agricultural industry, major threats to food production, and how both scientists and nonscientists can help combat these problems. The event will consist of short talks, facility tours, mini-experiments, and take-home information packs."
The committee applied for this fund because they hoped to promote and educate both the youth and the community about topics in plant pathology, agriculture, STEM fields, and higher education.
“Our main goal is to increase awareness on the importance of Plant Pathology research for our current society,” said Gabriel Santiago Ortiz, Outreach Committee Chair of PLPA GSA. Their visits with local high school science classes inspired them to create a large-scale event that could be the bridge that connects UC Riverside with the community.