The Musser International Turfgrass Foundation has selected Phillip L. Vines as the recipient of its 2019 Award of Excellence.
The award is given to outstanding Ph.D. candidates who, in the final phase of their graduate studies, demonstrate overall excellence throughout their doctoral program in turfgrass research. Vines received a grant of $35,000 from the foundation.
Vines completed his Bachelor of Science degree in agronomy at Mississippi State University. He went on to earn his master’s from Mississippi State in plant pathology, along with a master’s from Rutgers University in statistics. Vines is on track to receive his Ph.D. from Rutgers in plant breeding and genomics, and he wrote his dissertation on “Molecular Breeding Tools for Improving Morphological Traits and Biotic and Abiotic Stress Responses in Perennial Ryegrass.”
“It is an extreme honor to be selected for this prestigious award,” says Vines. “The list of past recipients is an incredible collection of leading scientists in our field. I am excited about my future in the turfgrass industry, and my goal is to exemplify the true meaning of the Award of Excellence, which was first demonstrated by professor Musser.”
After graduation, Vines plans to become an assistant professor of plant breeding and focus on developing improved turfgrass cultivars for use throughout the world.
Frank Dobie, president of the Musser International Turfgrass Foundation and a 60-year GCSAA member, says, “The application qualifications are very high for the doctoral candidates that apply for the Foundation’s Award of Excellence, so all of the applicants are of the highest caliber. We strive to select the one candidate that we feel is the best of the best.”
The criteria for selecting the award recipient include graduate work, academic record, dissertation, publications, leadership and extracurricular activities. Among those who have received the award are doctoral students from Arizona, Auburn, Cornell, Georgia, Maryland, Michigan State, Minnesota, Nebraska, North Carolina State, Ohio State, Penn State, Purdue, Rutgers, Tennessee and Texas A&M.
Learn more about professor H. Burton Musser, the foundation’s history and past recipients of the Award of Excellence on the Musser International Turfgrass Foundation website.