"What makes the Botany and Plant Pathology Department at Purdue University great, are the professionals in the department. The office staff are caring, resourceful, and helpful individuals with a seamlessly endless amount of vitality and patience. The professors in the department take an interest in their students and most will make the time to sit down and talk with their students. The combination of course and lab work at Purdue is what prepared me for my job at Monsanto as a Research Associate in plant pathology. My primary focus at work is screening and looking for disease on lettuce and broccoli. Thanks to my fungal biology and pathology courses, I am easily able to identify common pathogens that infect these two crops. I’ve used skills I obtained in the required diagnostics course to identify downy mildew, botrytis, and sclerotinia on broccoli and lettuce. The disease triangle pushes to the front of my mind when determining the ideal conditions for infection on these crops. The research I completed in Dr. Beckerman’s laboratory gave me the hands on experience of working in a lab, coordinating with my peers, writing scientific literature, and independent problem solving. I use the skills I learned in the lab as much—if not more than the knowledge I gained by taking courses at Purdue. With the help of Purdue, the botany and pathology department, and my major professor, I have a job I excel at and enjoy. "