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Bio: 

Hello! I am a second-year Master’s student in Dr. Jay Pscheidt’s lab. My current academic interests involve surveying Oregon sweet cherry orchards for the presence of viral pathogens to determine best disease management practices. In addition to my Master’s degree, I am also pursuing a Graduate Certificate in College and University Teaching (GCCUT) to pursue my passion for teaching and enhance my ability to communicate science in and out of the classroom.

My first experiences with plant pathology were as an undergraduate researcher at Indiana University South Bend (my alma mater), where I studied the diversity and pathogenicity of the fungal pathogen, Glomerella, in the great waterleaf plant, Hydrophyllum appendiculatum. During my hiatus between undergraduate studies and graduate school, I worked for a plant diagnostics company, Agdia, for 4.5 years. There, I helped develop a myriad of molecular-based diagnostic assays (PCR, dot blot hybridization) targeting Begomoviruses, Curtoviruses, Becurtoviruses, and Tobacco rattle virus. My work there also included a customer support role, where I provided technical feedback and troubleshooting for all of Agdia's serological and molecular diagnostic assays and services. My transition to graduate school has allowed me to connect the work I performed in the lab to an applied, field-based research setting.

As a mentor, I can help navigate undergraduate research opportunities, discuss post-undergraduate pathways, and share my experience about working in the plant pathogen diagnostics industry, being a first-generation college student, and being a student parent – both as an undergraduate and graduate student.

When I am not in the office or lab, I enjoy baking my mom’s favorite recipes, exploring the art of photography, making crafts with my daughter, and knitting puppy sweaters for my Bichon Frise, Mimi.