Mark Coyne recognized for outstanding Graduate Student Director

Mark Coyne recognized for outstanding Graduate Student Director

Mark Coyne recognized for outstanding Graduate Student Director

Published on Apr. 28, 2020

Mark Coyne

Dr. Mark Coyne, Director of Graduate Studies (DGS) for our Integrated Plant & Soil Science (IPSS) degree program, has been acknowledged for his leadership role in creating IPSS and his long-term leadership of the program as DGS, by the Graduate School.  He is one of this year’s recipients of the William B. Sturgill Award. This award is presented annually to a graduate faculty member for outstanding contributions to graduate education at UK.

In a brief summary of Mark’s contributions, Dr. David Van Sanford wrote “Dr. Coyne’s greatest impact on graduate education can be found on two levels: 1) Mark chaired the committee that was finally able to implement the integration of our three separate graduate programs – Crop Science, Soil Science and Plant Physiology – into a single program: Integrated Plant and Soil Sciences (IPSS). The IPSS program now includes Horticulture graduate students.  2) Mark’s influences at the individual student level. Dr. Coyne’s efforts and his commitment to graduate education touch every one of our graduate students. This can be found in the eloquent comments from the letters of the students he advised. All of our students know that they can go to Dr. Coyne for help, guidance, information and encouragement, which is a great comfort to them."

Faculty and former graduate students enthusiastically wrote in support of Dr. Coyne:

“As Director of Graduate Studies for the department, Dr. Coyne fosters conversations around student wellbeing, work-life balance, and community involvement.  Dr. Coyne helped me cultivate a sense of belonging in the academic community and ignited in me a desire to use my experience to become a liaison between the academic and the agricultural communities.”

“The picture Dr. Coyne presents to our graduates is that of a dedicated mentor keenly interested in the theory and practice of graduate education and career development.  He is hard working, collegial, and enthusiastic about his position as the DGS.”

“Mark goes well beyond the call of duty by regularly reading current literature regarding how to be successful in graduate school and in science and sharing this advice with the students through the IPSS grad student listserv.”

“Dr. Coyne has daily contact with a large number of graduate students.  He maintains an open-door policy and is almost always available to answer graduate student and faculty questions about program requirements or any other issues that arise.”

Congratulations, Dr. Coyne, on this well-deserved recognition!

Additional distinguished nominees for the 2020 Albert D. and Elizabeth H. Kirwan Memorial Prize include Dr. Jason Unrine, Associate Professor in the Department of Plant and Soil Sciences. Additional distinguished nominees for the 2020 William B. Sturgill Award include Dr. Arthur Hunt, Professor in the Department of Plant and Soil Sciences.


Read more of Dr. Coyne's recognition, published by Danielle Donham, by visiting

Contact Information

Rebecca McCulley, Ph.D.
Department Chair

105 Plant Sciences Building Lexington, KY 40546-0312

(859) 257-5020