After completing his undergraduate degree, Garrett Maxey spent two years working in the turfgrass industry before deciding to study for his master’s degree at UConn. As a native of Missouri, he enjoys the history of New England as well as the milder summers and scenic fall foliage. His dream job would involve managing athletic fields for a Division I university near his home. Here is what he said in an interview.
Where did you study as an undergraduate? What was your major? My freshman year was at Central Methodist University in Fayette, Missouri, where I played baseball. I finished my undergrad at the University of Missouri with a major in plant science and emphasis in turfgrass management.
Why did you decide to go to graduate school? After graduation I worked for two years in various turfgrass related jobs. Graduate school was a good next step in my career. Plus, I was excited to try the research side of turf.
Who is your advisor? What is your field of research? Dr. Jason Henderson is my advisor. I have three major studies that all involve the use of pesticides compared to pesticide-free alternatives. We have quantified the human exposure risks for two commonly used pesticides after application. Another study compares turfgrass management strategies to maintaining home lawns and athletic fields. Additionally, I am working on determining the best overseeding strategies for turf managers to use on athletic fields when they are unable to use pesticides.
Name one aspect of your work that you like. I enjoy the variation with my job. Since I also take care of the UConn club sports fields on Depot campus, it means I am working on something different every day.
In your opinion, what is your greatest accomplishment so far? The largest hurdle I have faced in graduate school was my data analysis class. This class did not come naturally to me, so I was thankful to barely scrape by.
When do you expect to get your degree? What then? The plan is to graduate in December of 2018. Who knows what will happen after graduation, but I am currently looking for jobs in the Midwest, particularly in Kansas City where my wife and I have most of our family.
Is there anything else you would like us to know about you? Interesting fact: I was hired as a grounds crew intern for the Boston Red Sox during the summer of 2013. Fortunately, the Red Sox won the World Series that year, which awarded me a World Series ring.