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.

Q. What previous involvement led to your present position? A. I held an instructor position (2008-2013) and an extension associate position (2007-2008) with the LSU AgCenter. Prior to joining the LSU AgCenter, I held a Post-Doctoral Associate position (2005 -2007) in the Department of Entomology and Nematology at the University of Florida. I became a Plant Doctor in 2004. Q. So what made you choose DPM?
A. I never wanted to focus on just one area related to plant health such as Plant Pathology or Entomology. I always wanted to do something different, but was never sure. Then I came to know about the DPM program and without any hesitation I called Dr. Agrios and the next thing I know, I was accepted to the program. Truly the intensity and the inter-disciplinary nature of the program attracted me to become a Plant Doctor.

Q. How do you feel your DPM degree has influenced you?
A. I love my career and it is because of the DPM program that I have been able to achieve so much in such a short time. The newly advanced Plant Diagnostic Center was known as Plant Disease Diagnostic Clinic. It is because of the DPM training and experience that I was able to convert the Clinic to the Plant Diagnostic Center and provide our clients a one-stop shopping for all their plant health problems. Every day, I work with something new and different. You never know what kind of plant sample will walk into the Center. I believe that DPM has provided me with the training and confidence to fulfill the mission of my program. Go DPM!

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.”