Criteria for Various PSS Awards

Goals of this Program:

  • Recognition of the accomplishments of our alumni
  • Enhance Alumni - graduate student contacts
  • Highlight mentorship of current faculty
  • Increase awareness of Plant and Soil Science in college and at UK.

 Nominators: All faculty and emeritus faculty in the Department of Plant and Soil Sciences are eligible to submit nominations of up to two alumni.

Nominees: The nominee will have completed an M.S. or Ph.D degree in the Crop Science, Plant Physiology, Plant and Soil Science, Soil Science, or Integrated Plant and Soil Science graduate programs at least five years prior to the date of the nomination.

Nomination criteria: The nominator is expected to provide an current vitae of the nominee that includes information in the following areas: 

  • Current position title and location
  • Degrees received: major, dates
  • Professional positions held: List positions, dates, organizations and locations
  • Honors and awards received
  • Nominee’s achievements in one or more of the following areas:
  1. Teaching, extension or industrial education
  2. Research contributions (basic or applied)
  3. Service to profession
  4. Leadership (scientific or administrative)

The nominator must also provide a one page summary of the most significant personal and professional achievements which qualify the nominee for selection as a Plant and Soil Science Distinguished Alumnus lecture. 

Deadline for nominations: Nominations should be submitted annually to the chair of the Distinguised Alumni committee before October 1.

Award selection: The Distinguished Alumni Committee will review the nominations and make a recommendation to the Chair of the Plant and Soil Sciences Department. The individual selected will be invited to present a departmental seminar during spring semester and meet with graduate students and faculty.  The individual will receive a recognition plaque, an honorarium ($500) plus travel expenses. One individual per academic year will be selected for the Plant and Soil Science Alumni Lecture Series. Names will be added to a plaque to be maintained in the Plant and Soil Sciences Building.  Those nominees not selected will be retained and considered by the committee the following year.

Previous recipients of this award are:

Jennifer Ralston, M.S. 1996, Ph.D. 20012020
Dongmei Xu, Ph.D. 19962019
Jerry Flint, M.S. 1986, Ph.D 19892018
Xuemin Wang, Ph.D. 19872017
J. Michael Goatley, B.S. 1983, M.S. 19862016
Frank J. Coale, Ph.D 19862015
Qingshun Li, PhD. 19952014
Michael DeFelice, PhD. 19852013
Craig L. Hanson, M.S. 19772012
Dale G. Blevins, Ph.D. 19722011
Kenneth H. Quesenberry, Ph.D. 19752010
Charles W. Rice M.S. 1980, Ph.D. 19832009
Dwight T Tomes, Ph.D. 19752008
Donald L. Sparks, B.S. 1975, M.S. 19762007

Organization Responsible for Award: IPSS Graduate Student Association

Award Criteria

  • Nominee must have earned a doctoral degree in Integrated Plant and Soil Science or a degree program that was incorporated into IPSS at the time of the program’s creation.
  • Nominee must have graduated from the University of Kentucky between five and fifteen years prior to award date.
  • Nominee must be currently employed in a position related to plant and soil sciences.

Nomination Protocol

Nominations can be submitted to the GSA by email prior to October 15. Nominations may be submitted by the nominee’s doctoral advisor, the director of graduate study, faculty, or graduate students.

Selection Protocol

GSA officers will narrow the nominee pool to three candidates by vote according to the achievements of the nominees post-graduation as made available on their CV and professional websites (LinkedIn, University webpage, industry webpage, etc.). The final candidates’ professional information will be shared with GSA members prior to voting at the November meeting. The awardee will be selected by popular vote. In the event of a tie, ballots will be recast; a tie after recast ballots will be broken by the GSA President. Absentee votes will be accepted so long as they were relayed by official University communication methods such as e-mail up to one day before the meeting. An absentee ballot will not be counted if the casting person votes in person at the meeting.

Previous winners include:

Daniela Sarti-Dvorjak, Syngenta Seeds2020
Jarrod Miller, University of Delaware2019

This award is in recognition of exceptional contributions toward advancement of the science and practice of no-tillage agriculture. Previous lecturers are:

John Grove2019
Mark Alley2018
Eileen Kladivko2017
Jim Martin2016
John Bradley2015
William Witt2014
Lloyd Murdock2013
John Young2012
Frank Lessiter2011
Wilbur W. Frye2009
D. Wayne Reeves2008
James H. Herbek2007
Howard Martin2006
Donald C. Reicosky2005
Donald D. Tyler2004
Morris J. Bitzer2003
Robert M. Hayes2002
Dewane Bishop2001
Kenneth L. Wells2000
A. Douglas Worsham1999
George Kapusta1997
V. Allan Bandel1996
Donald R. Griffith1995
Grant W. Thomas1994
Glover B. Triplett, Jr.1993
Ronald E. Phillips1992
Jerry V. Mannering1991
R. L. Blevins1990
William Edwards1989
S. H. Phillips1988

Established in 1991 in memory of PSS Faculty member, Doyle E. Peaslee, this award is given to an outstanding graduate student in Plant and Soil Sciences.

Award basis:

  • High GRE scores
  • Excellent Grades
  • Strong Research
  • Potential for "contributions to US Agriculture"

Previous winners include:

Stuart Lichtenberg


Mahtaab Baghazerdah


Maythem Al-Amery


Lindsey Slaughter


Craig Schlutenhoffer


Atanas Radkov


Yang Yang


Jonathan Judy


Martin Navarro


This Fellowship was created to support graduate student travel to scientific meetings. Travel can be national or international and preference will be given to advanced students (MS or PhD) presenting the results of their research and to students that have not previously received this fellowship. Either oral or poster presentations qualify. A committee will identify award recipients based on the seed-relatedness of the research and the qualifications/potential of the applicant. Recipients of the Fellowship are expected to report to the Seed Biology faculty on their experience, including a description of the most interesting scientific finding they encountered at the meeting. They are also expected to submit photos and text to the PSS Department for development of an online news feature.

Applications are typically due in February. Contact Abbie Cain for more information.



Previous winners include:

M. Foteh Ali and Umma Fatema2018
Ran Tian2019