Featured in: DPM Newsletter Spring 2017
Q: Describe your academic background?
A: I completed my Bachelor’s in Biology at the Military University in Colombia. After graduation, I worked for about a year as a research assistant and then as a science teacher until I decided to apply to grad school. I completed my Doctorate in Plant Medicine and my Postdoc in Plant Pathology, both at UF.
Q: What is your current occupation and how has your DPM degree aided you in the tasks and responsibilities associated with your position?
A: I currently work with UF/IFAS Extension as the Commercial Horticulture Extension Agent for Alachua County. I help small and large growers identifying and resolving a number of issues that affect crop production in vegetables, ornamentals, fruits, nuts, and sod farms. The DPM degree helps me on a daily basis as I use all the disciplines we learned during the doctorate to help growers troubleshoot nutritional prob-lems, pest and disease management among others. The pesticide research conducted during my degree provided me with an understanding of the application, the handling, and the risks of pesticides. This knowledge allowed me to quickly assume the responsibility for the pesticide and licensing training for the public, commercial, and limited pesticide licenses in the county.
Q: What prompted you to pursue your present career and where are you located?
A: I have been very lucky in terms of the professional opportunities that have been available for me from my bachelor’s to my current job. I very much enjoy communicating research to farmers and helping to resolve any type of plant health issue they may encounter. While I was doing my postdoc in Plant Pathology, I had the opportunity to work closely with commercial farmers in Alachua County and it lead into a job with the extension office. I had the opportunity to experience what a job in industry or academia would be like and learning about extension clarified what the best fit for me would be.
Q: Why did you choose to enroll in the DPM program?
A: A multi-disciplinary degree like the DPM program opens up the spectrum of job possibilities which increases your chances of working in a field you really like. Work shouldn’t be work, it should be passion.