This past July, Shuresh Ghimire joined the College vegetable extension educator at the Tolland County Extension Center. “The faculty and staff at the Tolland Office have been welcoming and willing to help,” he says. “I’m looking forward to working with farmers. One of my first goals is to conduct a need assessment. My focus will be to help vegetable growers identify problems and plan for management solutions that are IPM-based and sustainable.”
Ghimire earned a BS in agricultural sciences and an MS in horticulture at Tribhuvan University in Nepal. He worked as an adjunct assistant professor of horticulture at the Himalayan College of Agricultural Sciences and Technology at Purbanchal University in Nepal, while serving as a horticulture development officer for the Department of Agriculture Ministry of Agricultural Development, a position similar to extension educator here at UConn.
With its current emphasis on the interconnected elements of plant, people and environment coupled with community health, sustainability and resilience, the Department of Plant Science and Landscape Architecture (PSLA) is a green and lively place for teaching, research and outreach.
“The experienced, accomplished teachers are one of our bright spots in the department,” said Department Head and Professor Richard McAvoy. Faculty abilities are evident in the high marks students consistently give them on the Student Evaluation of Teaching forms. PSLA teachers have also won individual college, university, regional and national teaching awards.
The department is excited to have recently recruited two new faculty members in the landscape architecture (LA) program. The newest faculty, Sungmin Lee and Sohyun Park, work on community planning and design projects to promote healthy lifestyles and improve environmental sustainability. In total, the department has 24 tenure-track and non-tenure-track professionals who contribute to its teaching, research or outreach educational missions.
PSLA, which averages about 125 undergraduate and 25 graduate students, offers two majors. One is the nationally accredited, professional degree program in LA which offers a 4-year BSLA degree. This program was recently named one of the 10 Best LA Programs for 2018, partly for its focus on “a combination of research and real-world experience to equip students for careers in landscape architecture,” by The Best Colleges.
The LA faculty members also support graduate research.
The other major, which was recently redesigned, is sustainable plant and soil systems with concentrations in environmental horticulture, turfgrass science and sustainable agriculture. This major awards a four-year undergraduate BS degree; and MS and Ph.D. graduate degrees. The department also supports a two-year associate’s degree in plant science through the Ratcliffe Hicks School of Agriculture. Continue reading
MSN highlighted a study of the four largest fast-food chains in the United States. It found that although restaurants offer healthy choices with kids’ meals, 74 percent of parents still purchase unhealthy food for their children in those places. The lead author of the report is Department of Allied Health Sciences Associate Professor Jennifer Harris, who was quoted in the article. See also UConn Today, Health Day, MarketWatch, National Public Radio and UPI.
The Hartford Courant ran a story about removing damaged and dying trees in Connecticut. Associate Extension Professor Tom Worthley was quoted as saying that certain Connecticut roads have up to 40 dead trees per mile.
UConn Magazine posted an interview with Department Head and Associate Professor Lindsay DiStefano about the fight for physical literacy, which involves encouraging kids to develop the skills and desire to be active. DiStefano is on the faculty of kinesiology. Continue reading