3. Plant Pathology Program Administration

3. Plant Pathology Program Administration

3.1 Plant Pathology Graduate Committee (PPGC)

The Plant Pathology Graduate Committee (PPGC) oversees all matters related to graduate student admission, support, and progress. The PPGC is charged with coordinating recruitment of new graduate students, providing a timely review of graduate student applications, circulating application files, tabulating faculty votes, and recommending admission of new students. The PPGC also conducts an annual review of graduate student academic performance and progress, recommends changes in graduate student status, and Supervisory Committees. The Plant Pathology Graduate Coordinator (Madilyn McKay) schedules the initial guidance interview with the Chair of the PPGC, answers admission questions, sends applications, and keeps track of student eligibility for Graduate Research Assistantships (GRAs).

Dr. Amit Mitra
Dr. Amit Mitra Chair of the PPGC (2021 - present) and SBS / AgroHort Rep. (2015 – Present)
Dr. Gary Yuen
Dr. Gary Yuen Member of the PPGC (2015 – Present)
Dr. Richard Wilson
Dr. Richard Wilson Member of the PPGC (2015 – Present)
Dr. Hernan Garcia-Ruiz
Dr. Hernan Garcia-Ruiz Member of the PPGC (2018 – Present)
3.2 Plant Pathology Graduate Coordinator
Madilyn McKay
Ms. Madilyn McKay, Graduate
Coordinator and PPGC Secretary

The Plant Pathology Graduate Coordinator is Ms. Madilyn McKay. The role of the Graduate Coordinator is to assist in communications, recruiting, admissions, interviews, new student onboarding, annual reviews, program forms and milestones, and alumni relations. The Graduate Coordinator is an important point of contact for graduate students and Faculty Advisors. The Graduate Coordinator is responsible for processing application materials and providing guidance to students expressing an interest in the Plant Pathology Graduate Program. Graduate students are eligible for numerous competitive scholarships, fellowships, and grants, and the Plant Pathology Graduate Coordinator keeps track of these competitions and announces the availability of these fellowships via emails, newsletters, and the department website.

3.3 Plant Pathology Graduate Faculty

Only those faculty in the Department of Plant Pathology that have Graduate Faculty status, as defined by Graduate Studies, are eligible to teach graduate courses as the instructor of record, serve on final examining committees, serve on Supervisory Committees, and chair Supervisory Committees for both masters and doctoral students. Graduate Faculty status is automatically given to all faculty members in tenure leading positions, including pre-tenure faculty. Faculty members in non-tenure leading positions–including professors of practice, research professors, and adjunct faculty–may be nominated for appointment to the Graduate Faculty. Below is a list of the current faculty in the Department of Plant Pathology and their Graduate Faculty Status.

Table 1. Faculty in the Department of Plant Pathology

* Appointments are: T = Teaching, R = Research, S = Service, and A = Administration ** Ex-officio status is being used here to denote faculty who hold a title of Graduate Faculty but are no longer active in research and therefore only advise students under rare or special circumstances. These individuals may be contacted to serve on committees.

Faculty Member NameRankAppointment*LocationGraduate Faculty Status
Gerard Adams, Ph.D. Assoc. Professor of Practice Emeritus Plant Sciences Associate
Irina Agarakova, Ph.D. Research Assistant Professor 100R Morrison No
Michael Boehm, Ph.D. Professor and Vice Chancellor 100A Agriculture Hall Ex-officio**
Jeffrey Bradshaw, Ph.D. Associate Professor Courtesy Panhandle Yes
Kyle Broderick, M.S. Extension Educator 100E Plant Sciences No
David D. Dunigan, Ph.D. Research Professor 100R Morrison Yes
Rhae Drijber, Ph.D. Professor Courtesy Keim Yes
Sydney Everhart, Ph.D Associate Professor Adjunct U. Connecticut Yes
Deanna Funnell-Harris, Ph.D. Professor Adjunct Filley Yes
Hernan Garcia-Ruiz, Ph.D. Associate Professor 10T, 88R, 2S Morrison Yes
Pravin Gautam, Ph.D. Assistant Professor Adjunct BASF No
Loren Giesler, Ph.D Professor and Head 100A Plant Sciences Ex-officio**
Steven Harris, Ph.D. Professor Adjunct U. Iowa Yes
Robert Harveson, Ph.D. Professor 48R, 50E, 2S Panhandle Yes
Gary Hein, Ph.D. Professor Courtesy Plant Sciences Yes
Tamra Jackson-Ziems, Ph.D. Professor 10T, 10R, 78E, 2S Plant Sciences Yes
Jeewan Jyot, Ph.D. Assistant Professor Courtesy NIC No
Gang Li, Ph.D. Research Assistant Professor 100R Plant Sciences No
Amit Mitra, Ph.D. Associate Professor 20T, 78R, 2S Plant Sciences Yes
Thomas Powers, Ph.D. Professor 15T, 83R, 2S Plant Sciences Yes
Brandi Sigmon, Ph.D. Asst. Professor of Practice 75T, 25R Beadle Yes
James Steadman, Ph.D. Professor Emeritus Plant Sciences Ex-officio**
Satyanarayana Tatineni, Ph.D Professor Adjunct Filley Associate (ends 2021)
James L. Van Etten, Ph.D. Professor 98R, 2S Morrison Yes
Anne Vidaver, Ph.D. Professor Emerita Plant Sciences Ex-officio**
Stephen Wegulo, Ph.D. Professor 40R, 58E, 2S Plant Sciences Yes
Richard Wilson, Ph.D. Associate Professor 10T, 88R, 2S Plant Sciences Yes
Gary Yuen, Ph.D. Professor 40T, 58R, 2S Plant Sciences Yes
Lirong Zeng, Ph.D. Associate Professor 20T, 78R, 2S Beadle Yes

3.4 Special Committee Members

Students may request the appointment of a faculty member from another institution outside the University of Nebraska system to serve on their Supervisory Committee. These external “special” members must hold a terminal degree appropriate to the discipline and have academic accomplishments comparable to the criteria for Graduate Faculty. Special Members are appointed as voting members of the Supervisory Committee and must be willing to participate in the student’s doctoral program in a manner consistent with this role. The Special Member may serve as one of the two appointed readers; but may not serve as committee chair, co-chair, or outside representative. Consult with the Graduate Studies website for details.

3.5 Graduate Faculty Emeriti

Upon recommendation of the departmental, school, or interdepartmental graduate committee, retired Graduate Faculty who have been appointed to emeritus status may retain the rights and privileges associated with their Graduate Faculty status. These rights and privileges include permission to teach graduate courses, to serve as members of graduate programs, or to co-chair the Supervisory Committees of doctoral students with a resident Graduate Faculty member.

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