Alumni Spotlight

  • An interview with Dr. Tim Durham

    Dr. Tim Durham
    by Nicole Casuso | DPM Newsletter Fall 2014

    Q. Please describe your academic background.
    A. I received an AAS in Horticulture and Greenhouse Management from Suffolk County Community College. Thanks to an articulation agreement, I transferred to Cornell University, where I received a BS in Plant Science. Later, I was awarded a Rotary Ambassadorial Scholarship for postgraduate study at Lincoln University, New Zealand, where I received a Postgraduate Diploma (P.G. Dip.) in Applied Science. Immediately upon my return to the US, I enrolled in the DPM program at UF.

    Q. What is your current occupation and how has your DPM degree aided you in the occupational tasks and responsibilities?
    A. I’m currently an Assistant Professor of Agronomy and Agriculture Program Coordinator at Ferrum College, a small liberal arts institution in the foothills of the Blue Ridge Mountains. The DPM degree has been an invaluable asset. In essence, it allows me to act as a disciplinary linguist – switching dialects on the fly. For example, over the course of a day I can: 1) discuss the use of braconids as biocontrols with colleagues, 2) interpret a soil test report in class, and 3) work with students on a calibration lab at the campus farm.

  • An interview with Dr. Mike Merida

    Dr. Mike Merida
    by Nicole Casuso | DPM Newsletter Summer 2014

    Q. Can you share with us your academic background?
    A. I earned my bachelors of science degree through the Horticulture Department at the University of Florida in 2001. In 2002, I enrolled in the DPM program and graduated in May 2006.

    Q. Please describe your current occupation.
    A. I currently work as the Foliage Production Manager for Costa Farms where I manage over 800 acres of production. Primary responsibilities include managing growing practices, pest & disease management, field scouts, the potting department, live goods receiving, standards and process improvements, budgets and perpetual inventory. Continue Reading →

  • An interview with Dr. Raj Singh

    Dr. Raj Singh
    by Nicole Casuso | DPM Newsletter Spring 2014

    Q. Can you give us insight on your academic background?
    A. I received a Bachelor’s in Agricultural (Honors in Plant Protection) from Punjab Agricultural University, Punjab, India. The Punjab Agricultural University is Asia’s leading Agricultural University and is responsible for bringing the ‘Green Revolution’ in India. I then moved to United Kingdom and obtained a Master’s Degree in Crop Protection from University of Reading.

    Q. What is your current profession?
    A. I currently direct the Louisiana State University Agricultural Center’s Plant Diagnostic Center. Everybody here calls me ‘Plant Doctor’. I am an Assistant Professor of Plant Diagnostics and a State Plant Diagnostics Specialist. After being promoted to an Assistant Professor last year, I have become the first Tenure Track Assistant Professor in the United States with a Doctor of Plant Medicine degree. Continue Reading →

  • Interview with Adam J. Silagyi

    Adam J. Silagyi
    by Lacey Mount, DPM Alumna, Dellavalle Laboratory, Inc., Fresno, CA | DPM Newsletter Fall 2013

    Adam J. Silagyi became the world’s first Doctor of Plant Medicine in 2003. He also holds a Master of Science in Entomology from Purdue University, but he elected to make D.P.M. the end of his academic training. Currently, as an Agricultural Development Officer for the United States Agency for International Development (USAID), Dr. Silagyi helps with the implementation of the U.S. Presidential Initiative Feed the Future in Guatemala. Prior to USAID, Dr. Silagyi also worked for such agencies as the Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services (FDACS) Division of Plant Industry (DPI), and the USDA Animal Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) Plant Protection & Quarantine (PPQ) Department. Delving further into his past, we find Dr. Silagyi conducting research as an intern at the Tropical Agricultural Research and Higher Education Center (Centro Agronómico Tropical de Investigación y Enseñanza, CATIE) in Costa Rica CocaCola World Citizenship Program in Bolivia. Dr. Silagyi also spent time in the Peace Corps in Paraguay. So, what made him choose the D.P.M. over a traditional Ph.D.? “Personally, I learned a lot during my master’s degree; conducted agricultural research in the field, understand its importance. But I did not want to continue with a Ph.D., which is purely research. When I was walking down the hall at Purdue I saw a poster advertising and describing the newly formed D.P.M. program at my alma matter. I hold a B.Sc. in Agronomy from the University of Florida. I immediately spoke to my wife about this great opportunity to continue my education that was holistic and practical, and would take us back to Florida and family.”