Featured in: DPM Newsletter Summer 2017
Q: Describe your academic background?
A: My background is in turf, ornamentals and aquatics. I obtained a BS in Agriculture from the University of Delaware where I majored in Plant Science with a Concentration in Ornamental Horticulture.
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 for Helena Products Group as a Product Specialist. I support Helena’s adjuvant and Value Added product lines in all specialty markets across the U.S. Some of my responsibilities include product registration and label amendments, new product development, and technical support. The markets I support are forestry, aquatics, IVM, golf, greenhouse/nursery, and turf/ornamentals (basically anything that isn’t Ag). Since I travel the country, it is important to be able to look at an issue in the field and be able to help in a va-riety of situations. I’ve looked at forestry tracks in Weed, CA, to bermudagrass lawns hit by extreme weather in Greenville, Texas, to aquatic weed pressures in Coeur d’Alene, ID, to fertility issues in my own front yard in Florida. From weed identification to pesticide application and everything in between, I use the knowledge I obtained in the Plant Medicine Program in all aspects of my job, every single day.
Q: What prompted you to pursue your present career and where are you located?
A: I was always interested in plants and in high school always wanted to work in this field in some way. I initially wanted to work in the public garden sector and began my work at places such as Longwood Gardens and Stonecrop Gardens. From there my interests switched to plant diseases and weeds, but really anything that affected plant growth, which is what led me to the Plant Medicine Program. While at UF, I completed internships with FMC and Bayer which solidified my interest in the Agchem industry. I liked living in Florida and wanted to stay in the area, so I found a position where I could stay in the state. I travel the country and see lots of different things, so it worked out!
Q: Why did you choose to enroll in the DPM program?
A: I chose DPM because as I learned more about plant diseases and insects it became a huge focus and something that I didn’t know enough about. I didn’t want to do research and desired a more diverse approach to diagnosing plant related issues. I wanted to learn everything I could about how things adversely impact plants and what could be done to remedy those situations. I was also persuaded by Dr. George Agrios to apply and ac-cept the offer to join the program. I was one of few Plant Medicine candidates that was accepted into the Plant Medicine program by George.
Q: From a personal standpoint, how has your DPM degree influenced you?
A: The DPM degree has made me a much more critical thinker. It forced me to look at things from many sides and try to be objective about the things I observe. In general, the program led me on the path to where I am today. I came to Florida to attend UF, from there I discovered the employment path I wanted to pursue. As a result I have been a Florida resident for 16 years and couldn’t be happier! I’m proud to be a Doctor of Plant Medicine and a Florida Gator!
Q: Do you have any advice or words of wisdom for current DPM students?
A: Take a business class and learn about adjuvants. Adjuvants are critical to understand if you’re going to be in the industry.