The Musser International Turfgrass Foundation has selected Dr. Matthew Elmore, assistant professor and extension turfgrass specialist at Texas A&M University, and Dr. Joseph Roberts, assistant professor of turfgrass pathology at University of Maryland, as the 2015 Award of Excellence recipients.
The prestigious award is given to outstanding Ph.D. candidates who, in the final phase of their graduate studies, demonstrate overall excellence throughout their doctoral program in turfgrass research.
Dr. Elmore received his B.S. degree in turfgrass science from Pennsylvania State University. He went on to the University of Tennessee to earn his M.S in plant science (specializing in turfgrass weed control) and his Ph.D. in plant, soils and insects (specializing in turfgrass weed control). He wrote his Ph.D. dissertation on “Alternative Strategies for Weed Control in Creeping Bentgrass.” Dr. Elmore said, “I am honored and extremely grateful to be selected for this award. I hold the accomplishments of Dr. Musser and previous award recipients in high regard and I will strive to continue the great precedent of excellence they have established. This is the greatest professional honor I have ever received and one that I will treasure for the rest of my career.”
Dr. Roberts received his B.S. degree in biological sciences and chemistry from North Carolina State University. He went on to earn his M.S. from Rutgers University in plant biology (specializing in turfgrass pathology). He received his Ph.D. from North Carolina State in plant pathology specializing in turfgrass pathology and wrote his dissertation on “Investigating the Cause and Developing Management Options to Control Bacterial Etiolation in Creeping Bentgrass Putting Greens.” Dr. Roberts said, “I am truly grateful to have been selected to receive this award. In joining the ranks of previous awardees, I am excited about my future in the turfgrass industry and hope to make a strong impact in the years to come.”
Musser International Turfgrass Foundation President Frank Dobie said, “The application qualifications are very high for the doctoral candidates that apply for the Foundation’s Award of Excellence so all of the applicants are of the highest caliber. We strive to select the one candidate that we feel is the best of the best. This year, we had a virtual tie, so we issued two awards.”
The criteria for selecting award recipients include graduate work, academic record, dissertation, publications, leadership and extracurricular activities. To date, awards have been granted to doctoral students from universities including: Arizona, Auburn, Cornell, Georgia, Maryland, Minnesota, Nebraska, North Carolina State, Ohio State, Penn State, Purdue, Michigan State, Rutgers, Tennessee, and Texas A&M.
To learn more about Professor H. Burton Musser, the foundation’s history and past recipients of the award, visit www.musserfoundation.org.