Plant Science Club Wins Third President’s Trophy in Five Years
(November 10, 2016) – The Fresno State Plant Science Club received the esteemed President’s Trophy for the Students of Agronomy, Soils and Environmental Sciences (SASES) national club speech contest.
The nation’s top university plant science competition was held Nov. 6 at the Tri-Societies (American Society of Agronomy, Crop Science Society of America and Soil Science Society of America) national conference in Phoenix.
Presentations centered on teams’ community service, educational outreach and professionalism in plant, crop and soil sciences.
Fresno State claimed similar top honors in 2012 and 2014, and edged teams from other major agricultural universities such as Arkansas, Auburn, Illinois, Kansas State, North Carolina State, Purdue, Oklahoma State and Texas A&M.
“I am proud of all of our plant science club members and feel honored to be part of the winning team,” said Aldo Garcia, club president. “We are thankful to have such an involved department that serves as a role model, and we have worked hard over the past year to promote agriculture as a career and lifestyle. We take pride in being part of the solution to sustain, expand and improve our industry by applying what we learn.”
Among the 14 Fresno State students that attended the conference, senior Elizabeth Diaz (Delano) made the team’s oral presentation that included a student-designed slideshow.
Junior Mark Castanon (Fresno) and fellow club students created a 90-second video for a student contest detailing the mission and challenges of modern agronomy.
Senior Aldo Garcia (Shafter) and sophomore Georgina Reyes Solorio (Livingston) entered a poster in the extension and education section. The project
detailed a summer campus agricultural education program for underrepresented minority
students through the Migrant Institute of Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics
(STEM) and Leadership Program.
Three Fresno State graduate students also submitted research posters: Jorge Angeles (Terra Bella), Amninder Singh (Hoshiarpur, India) and Touyee Thao (Fresno).
Other students that attended the conference included graduate student Anthony Mele (Clovis) and seniors John Lake (Beaver, Utah), Omar Robles (Porterville), Bibiana Urbina (Monterey), Nancy Valdez (Wasco), Yue Wu (Ningbo, China) and May Nhia Yang (Fresno).
Besides the competition, Fresno State students attended research presentations and sessions for career planning, community outreach, grant-writing, industry education and networking.
Travel expenses for Garcia, Wu and Yang were covered as part of the Greenfield Scholar program. The remaining undergraduate students received funds from Associated Students, Inc. and plant science career fair sponsors. The Fresno State graduate students received funding towards travel from the Graduate Net initiative, Division of Research and Graduate Studies travel grant and faculty research grants.