Wendell Hutchens, Ph.D., receives 2023 Musser Award of Excellence

By |  February 27, 2023 0 Comments

Photo: The Musser International Turfgrass Foundation

Wendell Hutchens (Photo: The Musser International Turfgrass Foundation)

The Musser International Turfgrass Foundation recently selected Wendell Hutchens, Ph.D., as the 2023 Award of Excellence recipient.

The Musser Foundation gives the award to Ph.D. candidates who, in the final phase of their graduate studies, demonstrated overall excellence throughout their doctoral program in turfgrass research. The criteria for selecting award recipients include graduate work, academic record, dissertation, publications, leadership and extracurricular activities.

“It is an unbelievable honor to receive the Musser Award of Excellence,” said Hutchens. “I could not have accomplished such a feat without my foundational Christian faith, unwavering support from my wife, Anica, my family and friends, and the exceptional leadership of my mentors.”

Hutchens received his bachelor’s degree in turfgrass science from North Carolina State University and went on to complete his master’s in turfgrass pathology from NCSU under Jim Kerns, Ph.D., and Travis Gannon, Ph.D. His research there focused on the influence of post-application irrigation and soil surfactant applications on fungicide movement and efficacy against root diseases.

He earned his Ph.D. in turfgrass pathology at Virginia Tech under David McCall, Ph.D. His dissertation focused on the biology, epidemiology and management of spring dead spot of bermudagrass. In August of 2022, Hutchens became an assistant professor of turfgrass science at the University of Arkansas, where he divides his time between research, extension and teaching.

“The standards are very rigorous for the doctoral candidates who seek the award, so all of the applicants are of the highest caliber,” Frank Dobie, president of the Musser International Turfgrass Foundation, said. “We strive to select the one candidate that we feel is the best of the best and, this year, that was Dr. Hutchens.”

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