Sarah Boggess holding Patent

EPP Staff Member Receives Their First Patent!

  Congratulations to Sarah Boggess on the issuance of her first patent. The patent is for Cornus kousa Mellissa’s mountain snowfall – a new and distinct cultivar of flowering dogwood tree, which has fused bracts. If you would like to review recently issued patents and licenses by EPP members, please visit  

National Pollinator Week 2022

Happy National Pollinator Week (June 20 – 26, 2022). Pollinator Week is an annual event in support of pollinator health. The week was initiated and is managed by Pollinator Partnership, and fourteen years ago the U.S. Senate’s unanimous approval and designation of a week in June as “National Pollinator Week” marked a necessary step toward addressing the urgent issue of declining pollinator populations. As Pollinator Week has grown, people across the planet have pledged to continue promoting pollinator health and well-being through their Pollinator Week events. Through the numerous virtual and in-person gatherings, webinars, planting sessions, garden and farm walks, and monument lightings, Pollinator Week 2022 is geared to be the busiest and best one yet! (From Pollinator Partnership website)

photocopy of article title and writers

SSR Marketers for Ornamental Cultivars of Weigela

                        Graduate student Trinity Hamm and Research Coordinator Sarah Boggess collaborated with departmental colleagues and the Thad Cochran Southern Horticultural Research Laboratory to recently publish an article titled “Development and Characterization of 20 Genomic SSR Markers for Ornamental Cultivars of Weigela”. To read the article, visit

Sarah and her dog

Staff Spotlight: Sarah Boggess

  Questions   Can you tell us a little bit about yourself? I grew up in rural East Tennessee. I attended UT to obtain my BS in plant science and MS in entomology and plant pathology (plant pathology concentration). Since working at the university, I have joined the EPP committees for Diversity and Inclusion and Social events, as well as professional organizations diversity & inclusion and accessibility committees. This position allows me to combine my passions for teaching/working with students, disability advocacy, and scientific research. Who are the team of faculty you work with? I work with Bob Trigiano. Our lab collaborates frequently with many other groups in EPP and beyond including but not limited to, Dewayne Shoemaker, Meg Staton,

Jessica Krob

Student Spotlight: Jessica Krob

  Jessica Krob was born in the “Air Capital of the World,” Wichita, Kansas. However, when she was a young child, her family moved to Springfield, Missouri. Her favorite part about Springfield was being just a short drive to Table Rock Lake, where her family enjoyed boating on the weekends. Years later, Krob relocated to Jonesboro, AR, to attend Arkansas State University as an undergraduate student. Little did she know, she would be exposed to the agricultural industry. “I became interested in entomology while working as an undergraduate researcher for Dr. Tina Gray Teague, a field crop entomologist,” Krob stated. During this time, she learned the ends and outs of small-plot research. Krob was responsible for maintaining her project and

a group of EPP students, staff, and faculty outside conversing

2022 End of Semester Social

  Upon the completion of the spring semester, the Entomology and Plant Pathology social committee celebrated EPP students, staff, and faculty by holding an End of Semester Social. The celebration included sweet and tasty cupcakes, fun lawn games, and more. During the event, five graduating students were also highlighted for their accomplishments. Congratulations to you all! We are proud of each of you.            

Portrait of Sarah Boggess

Sarah Boggess Honored with 2022 Commission for Disability Advocate Award

  The Chancellor’s Honors Banquet is an annual event recognizing outstanding service and achievements of students, faculty, and staff. Sarah Boggess attended the banquet and was honored with the 2022 Commission for Disability Advocate award. Congratulations to you for winning this honorary award! To read more about Sarah and what volunteering means to her, please visit      

Portrait Dr. Denita Hadziabdic-Guerry

Denita Hadziabdic Guerry Honored with Faculty Research Mentor Award

  The Exhibition of Undergraduate Research and Creative Achievement (EURēCA) is an annual event that showcases research and creative activities across all disciplines by currently enrolled undergraduate students in collaboration with a University of Tennessee, Knoxville or UTIA faculty mentor. This year, the 26th annual EURēCA event was held in person on April 25, 2022, in the Student Union Ballroom. During the event, students presented their individual, group, or classroom. The awards ceremony, hosted on May 2, 2022, recognized staff, faculty, and students across many disciplines. Dentia Hadziabdic Guerry, assistant professor within the Department of Entomology and Plant Pathology, is the winner of the Faculty Research Mentor Award. This award honors a faculty member that demonstrates what it means to

finger pointing to honey bees on a frame

Tsuruda Attends the 2022 Organic Farming and Gardening Field Day

  On April 28th, the 2022 Organic Farming and Gardening Field Day event was held at the East Tennessee AgResearch and Education Center (ETREC) Organic Crops Unit. UT faculty and staff, as well as other experienced personnel, gave presentations to the public on a variety of topics, ranging from alley cropping agroforestry for vegetable production to creating pollinator habitats in gardens. EPP Assistant Professor and Extension Apiculture Specialist Dr. Jennifer Tsuruda, one of the featured speakers at the event, engaged the participants with her pollinator jokes while informing them about science-based information to help create pollinator habits in their home gardens and farms. The importance of site preparation and the need for research on the nutritional value of different plant

flyer detailing 2022 Herbert College award winners

Herbert College of Agriculture Annual Awards

  “The mission of the Herbert College of Agriculture is to prepare students for careers in agriculture, natural resources, and other arenas. We recognize excellence of our students, staff, faculty, alumni, and supporters through our annual awards.” On April 22, 2022, the Herbert College of Agriculture recognized some outstanding faculty, staff, students, and alumni for their accomplishments at the annual award ceremony. We would like to recognize and thank two of the award winners, Drs. Terry Niblack and Alan Windham, for their valuable contribution to science. Distinguished Alumni Award – Dr. Terry Niblack is a distinguished graduate of the University of Tennessee, first with a double major B.S. (’76) in Horticulture/Agricultural Education and an M.S. (’82) in Entomology & Plant