Originally born in Virginia, I grew up in rural Zimbabwe and then Cape Town, South Africa until returning to Virginia in 2010. There at Virginia Tech I completed a BSc in Biological Sciences, with heavy emphasis in entomology and horticulture.
I realized quite early on that I wanted to pursue a career in plant health care, and work experiences in public garden IPM (production, landscape trees, and greenhouse ornamentals), tree fruit pathology, and a bit of IPM consulting were vital guides pushing me towards more in-depth studies. After a lengthy search and concerns that I would have to sacrifice some areas of plant care in order to specialize in others, I was introduced to the DPM program. The vision of Dr. Agrios and the others who recognized the growing need for a highly skilled and yet multidisciplinary approach to plant health care described precisely the program of study for which I had been searching!
The program has been thoroughly enjoyable so far and I am so impressed by the scope of opportunities, coursework, and diagnostic lab experience available to the DPM students. Regarding future objectives upon completion of the DPM program, my childhood memories drive a goal to work in IPM development and consulting for rural agricultural, with special interests in the future of tropical tree fruit crops. I also wish to learn more about arboriculture, and to continue current work in ornamental plant protection.
I am very pleased to be here, and look forward to what the future may hold!