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2018 Alumni Awardees Honored

April 25, 2018 - The 2018 Plant Pathology, Physiology, and Weed Science Alumni Awardees are Rakesh S. Chandran, Ph.D., and Matthew J.R. Goddard, Ph.D. As invited departmental speakers, this years’ awardees were presented with a departmental luncheon in their honor, followed by an evening awards banquet hosted by the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences.

Junior Alumni Awardee Dr. Matthew Goddard leads talk on his work in crop biotechnology research (Image cr: M. Mechan)

Junior Alumni Awardee recipient Dr. Matthew Goddard currently leads field research initiatives related to biotechnology innovations in corn, soybean, and related crops at Monsanto in Sherwood, Arkansas.  Earning his doctorate under Dr. Shawn Askew in 2009, Goddard has maintained an active publication agenda of 17 combined peer reviewed, Extension, and trade magazine articles. In addition to his research achievements, Dr. Goddard remains active in numerous industry organizations and is both advocate and mentor to undergraduate and graduate students in which his relationship with student populations has greatly impacted opportunities for work experience across multiple universities in the Southeastern United States.  Organizations in which he is currently active include the American Society of Agronomy, Southern Weed Science Society, and the Arkansas Protection Association. In 2017, Dr. Goddard was honored with Monsanto’s Distinguished Development Award for his leadership of the Technology Development Field Sustainability Team’s efforts related to reduced tillage and cover crops.

chandrahan and grabau
Senior Alumni Awardee Dr. Rakesh Chandran and Awards Committee chair Dr. Elizabeth Grabau. (Image cr: M. Mechan)

Dr. Rakesh Chandran is a 1997 doctoral graduate from PPWS and currently Extension Specialist and Professor, IPM Coordinator, and Assistant Director for Research and Outreach at West Virginia University in Morgantown WV. In his position, he provides service and leadership to West Virginia farmers and citizens on identification and management of weeds across all commodities, serves as the Integrated Pest Management (IPM) Coordinator for the University to carry out programming related to efficient use of pesticides, and teaches the course ‘Principles of Weed Science’. Dr. Chandra’s applied research focuses on weed management in tree fruits, turfgrass, field crops, pasture, vegetables, and ornamentals. He also serves on the editorial board of ‘Agronomy’, reviewing manuscripts for various peer-reviewed journals.  Beyond his achievements at WVU, Dr. Chandra has published 3 book chapters and numerous peer reviewed articles and reports.  Dr. Chandran is an active member of the Northeast Research, Extension and Committee for Integrated Pest Management (NEREAP-IPM), Weed Science Society of America, Northeastern Weed Science Society of America, and National Agricultural County Agents Association (NACAA).  In July 2016, Dr. Chandra was recognized by the NACAA with their “Distinguished Service Award” and in 2017 as  award co-recipient “National Winner – Team Newsletter”

The Plant Pathology, Physiology, and Weed Science Alumni Awards are given annually as part of the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences Alumni Awards recognition program. Departmental awardees are selected for their achievements and service in their respective fields.