Students from the University of Idaho and Washington State University were named winners of the National Potato Council auxiliary's academic scholarships for 2000-2001.
The auxiliary awards two $1,500 stipends each year to students pursing advanced studies which enhance the potato industry. Selection is based on academic achievement, leadership, and potato-related areas of graduate studies.
Jane Choi, the WSU recipient, received a BS degree in biology at State University of New York-Geneseo and an MS at WSU. Her thesis was written on plant defense responses to DNA damage.
Choi is pursuing a doctorate in plant pathology at WSU. Her research is directed at developing phytophthora infestans-resistant Russet Burbank potatoes by incorporating defense genes from peas. She hopes to build a defense response in potato so that it can recognize P. infestans.
Andy Hornbacher from American Falls, ID, received a BS degree in soil science from the University of Idaho and is working on an MS in plant science at the U of I. His graduate program includes a research project to evaluate individual seed performance of five cultivars.
The project looks at environmental conditions, management practices during the seed-growing season; placing the seed into various storage environments, and planting them to evaluate emergence, stem numbers, yield and size profile.