Botany and Plant Pathology Seminar Series
Speaker: Dr. Lindsey Dutoit - Department of Plant Pathology - Washington State University
Topic: Establishing a Career in Applied Plant Pathology
When: Wednesday, October 09, 2013 at 3:30 pm in WSLR 116

You recently completed your PhD or MS degree in plant pathology and successfully applied for a position as an extension specialist in plant pathology at a land grant university – your dream job. However, you have not previously worked with the crops for which you’ve been assigned responsibility. How do you establish a successful career as an extension specialist? How do you determine research areas on which to focus your program? Who are your stakeholders? How do you effectively connect with (sometimes very diverse) stakeholders? How do you set up productive collaboration with the research community, county extension educators, growers, and private industry, serving multiple masters simultaneously? What sources of funding are available to support your research and extension program? How do you resolve or mitigate conflicts of interest among competing stakeholders and collaborators? What steps can you take to ensure objectivity when dealing with politically or commercially sensitive issues? How can you successfully adapt your program as new (and sometimes urgent) disease problems develop, carefully balancing short-term stakeholder crises with the longer-term commitment needed to build a robust research foundation? How do you seek constructive mentoring and professional development opportunities to ensure continued growth professionally and personally? Lindsey du Toit will use examples from her vegetable seed pathology research, extension, and teaching program at Washington State University to illustrate some of the resources, attitudes, methods, and even difficult experiences that can contribute to building a successful and stimulating career as an applied plant pathologist.

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