The Department of Entomology and Plant Pathology had the privilege of honoring two longtime faculty members. On June 29th and June 30th, students, staff, and faculty gathered alongside friends and family to celebrate the careers of Alan and Mark Windham, respectively. Both professors joined the department in 1985 after receiving their Ph.D. at North Carolina State University. Throughout their thirty-seven years of service at EPP, they have mentored many students, provided scientific information to people in agriculture across the state, and helped create many memories that will be cherished.
A Few Messages for Dr. Alan Windham
Karen Vail, Ph.D., Professor – “It has been a pleasure to work with you. You have served our state well and were always there for those in need, whether it be a(n) Extension agent, grower, landscaper, Master Gardener or the general public. You know, it’s always easy to pick out who will be chosen as MVP or an all-stater at the end of the ball season. It’s not the person with just exceptional stats; it’s the one with great stats who sacrificed their personal stats for the team’s benefit. It’s the one who stepped in to serve as interim SPPC director when a new, glitch-filled software package had just rolled out. It’s you – you were our all-stater. Thanks for your service. We will miss you.”
Beant Kapoor, current Ph.D. student – “Thank you so much for your service to EPP and to the world of plant pathology. We will greatly miss you and your exhibition of the amazing plant disease samples that you have collected over your long and successful career.”
A Few Messages for Dr. Mark Windham
Sara Collins, Research Associate – “There are so many things to say. Funny, sentimental, witty. You are truly going to be missed, mostly by me. You were put in a hard position, were short-staffed, and still took a chance on a rough and tumble wildlife biologist. We have had many adventures over the years and I’m grateful for the opportunities you’ve given me. I hope this next chapter of your life is the best one yet.”
Mary Dee, Research Associate – “Wow, Mark, I cannot believe it’s time for you to retire; for some reason, it doesn’t seem right that you get to retire before I do. What can I say, working with you was an adventure, to say the least! Those years were fun and I will remember them fondly forever. Working with you for 17 years did generate many hilarious and memorable stories: from our many nursery trips, the dogwood survey in the GSMNP (we saw 14 bears the first year), the imaginary dogs at one of the nurseries, and of course the van full of the convicts at the DOT. I learned a lot about ornamental pathology from you, and that knowledge has served me well over the years. EPP won’t be quite the same once you leave. UT will be losing a very knowledgeable plant pathologist, and it will be a long time before that void will be replaced. However, I was glad to hear that you will be continuing your rose research after you retire. I wish you the best in your retirement and hopefully, the real fun is about to begin.”