Cameron Stephens receives 2021 Musser Award of Excellence

By |  February 25, 2021 0 Comments

The Musser International Turfgrass Foundation has selected Cameron M. Stephens as the 2021 Award of Excellence recipient.

Cameron Stephens (Photo: Musser International Turfgrass Foundation)

Cameron Stephens (Photo: Musser International Turfgrass Foundation)

The award is given to outstanding Ph.D. candidates who, in the final phase of their graduate studies, demonstrated overall excellence throughout their doctoral program in turfgrass research.

Stephens received his B.S. in agriculture with a focus on turfgrass science from The Ohio State University; his M.S. in agronomy from Pennsylvania State University where he focused on turfgrass pathology and fungicide resistance, and his Ph.D. in plant pathology at North Carolina State University where he pursued a dissertation entitled, “Etiology, Epidemiology and Management of Take-all Root Rot on Golf Course Putting Greens.” The research completed throughout his academic tenure aims to improve the understanding of detrimental turfgrass pathogens and optimize disease management solutions.

“Earning this prestigious award has been a professional goal of mine since studying turfgrass science as an undergrad at Ohio State,” Stephens said. “It is an absolute honor to receive this accolade and to be considered among such elite company. I am extremely grateful to all of the people who have helped shape who I am as a turfgrass scientist and plant pathologist and hope to faithfully carry on the legacy of Professor Musser.”

Stephens will defend his dissertation in March and has already accepted a position as the technical market manager for turf and ornamentals for BASF in Research Triangle Park, N.C. He said he plans on continuing to stay connected to research, academia and outreach while in his new role and will continue to serve the turfgrass community.

“The primary pillar of my academic journey has always been to solve challenging disease problems that turfgrass managers encounter by improving our knowledge of turfgrass pathogens and providing practical management solutions,” Stephens said. “It’s always been about helping the end users and I will strive to fulfill that mission throughout my career.”

The criteria for selecting award recipients include graduate work, academic record, dissertation, publications, leadership and extracurricular activities. To date, awards have been granted to doctoral students from universities including Arizona, Auburn, Cornell, Georgia, Maryland, Minnesota, Nebraska, North Carolina State, Ohio State, Penn State, Purdue, Michigan State, Rutgers, Tennessee, and Texas A & M.

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