Standing left to right: Dr. Anne Vidaver, Ali Loker, Dr. Jeff Bradshaw

Congratulations to Ali Loker

On Thursday, May 11, 2023, DPH student, Ali Loker, was the inaugural recipient of the Anne Vidaver Plant Health Student Excellence Award. Ali was nominated by Dr. Chuck Francis for going above and beyond the required DPH curriculum. 

"I have known Ms. Loker since she first arrived on campus to begin the DPH curriculum, and she was a teaching assistant in my class in Agroecology and Sustainable Food Systems while also taking the class for credit. As in all her classes, Ali excelled in this one and was especially helpful to the many undergraduate students from Rwanda who were enrolled. She demonstrated strong empathy for these visiting scholars as well as other students in the class and contributed to their learning environment. Ali helped with grading many written exercises and was positive in comments, as well as supportive for all students in the class during round-table discussions. She was intent on urging shy students to speak up in class when they were hesitant due to studying in a language not comfortable to them, and in a participatory learning environment which was new to many.

Ali prepared and presented a lecture on the value of considering One Health as an important perspective in dealing with farming systems and built on her previous study in sociology by taking a different view of farming as a ‘human activity system’. One of her written exercises for the class was later submitted and published in an Agroecology journal. This was one of three papers she has published while a doctoral student (that I am aware of), two of which focused on creative learning methods during the COVID-19 epidemic and challenges of keeping students engaged during this time.

In addition to these teaching and research activities, Ali had the opportunity during two intern experiences with Gerber and with Arbor Day Foundation to apply the principles of One Health in the field through interactions with farmers engaged in vegetable production and in assessing soil health in forestry plantings. One of these experiences led to a job offer which she recently accepted to work with landowners pursuing improved soil health through their management practices with support from the foundation.

Thus, Ali has expanded her competence in teaching, research, and outreach which will make her a valuable employee with multiple skills who can contribute to strong research-based recommendations. Of all the students I have worked with in the DPH program, she is among the most competent and ambitious, with a strong desire to help farmers and others achieve their production goals while keeping in mind the environment and building soil health as a foundation for long-term productivity and conservation of soils.

Ms. Loker has been an outstanding student in the classroom and in the field, and in addition has volunteered with other groups in the community while pursuing her degree as a full-time student. She would be an excellent choice for the inaugural Vidaver Award and has set the bar high for other students in this important professional program." - Dr. Chuck Francis


The Anne Vidaver Plant Health Student Excellence Award was established to recognize the contributions from Dr. Vidaver in developing and establishing the Doctor of Plant Health (DPH) Program at the University of Nebraska. Her commitment to its central principles that encompass the education of high-level professional practitioners has been paramount to the establishment and success of the program.

The Anne Vidaver Plant Health Student Excellence Award recognizes a Doctor of Plant Health student who demonstrates excellence above and beyond that demanded through the required curriculum of the DPH Program. Demonstrated activities for consideration include teaching, extension, research, leadership, and other outreach and professional development activities. The evaluation process for this award will be carried out by an awards committee at the direction of the DPH Director.

This award will be awarded on an irregular basis, but no more than annually, to students showing exceptional accomplishments that are demonstrated above and beyond the regular requirements of the program curriculum. The monetary value of this award may vary due to the availability of funds. The level of funding will be determined by the DPH Director for each award cycle.

The application process will be laid out by the DPH Director when the call for nominations is circulated.

Ear of corn inside a circle with the words I see dead plants

I See Dead Plants

ISU Industry Extension Specialist, Edward Zaworski, interviews Dr. Jeff Bradshaw on his latest podcast episode of I See Dead Plants

Regenerating agroecosystems by overcoming human exceptionalism in designing for increased equity of benefits from ecoservices

Recent article by DPH student Ali Loker and Dr. Charles Francis published in Agroecology and Sustainable Food Systems - Regenerating agroecosystems by overcoming human exceptionalism in designing for increased equity of benefits from ecoservices

Lindsay Overmyer title page of final seminar

Dr. Lindsay Overmyer - Final Seminar

July 14, 2021 - Final DPH Seminar, Dr. Lindsay Overmyer

DPH Newsletter - February 2021

Check out the latest issue of the DPH Newsletter by clicking here!      

Lindsay Overmyer in field

Doctor of Plant Health graduate student, Ali Loker

New decision support tool supports Midwest specialty crop producers

Sam Wortman and DPH student, Ali Loker, have launched a new decision support tool for specialty crop producers and gardeners: the Vegetable Variety Navigator. Read more about it here

DPH Conversations - with Dr. Roger Elmore

Dr. Roger Elmore, EMERITUS Professor, Heuermann Chair and Daugherty Water for Food Global Institute Faculty Fellow, discusses the DPH program and its graduates.

"I think that it's [the DPH degree is] going to give a head start into improving food productivity and security and sustainability in the long run." - Dr. Elmore

Striegel's Thesis Papers Published in Weed Technology

Adam Striegel, M.S. and current DPH student, had his thesis papers: Control of glyphosate/glufosinate-resistant volunteer corn in corn resistant to aryloxyphenoxypropionates, published in the latest issue of Weed Technology

Cover of Weed Technology Publication

Dr. Briese - photo credit Parade Magazine

Dr. Briese - Parade

2019 DPH graduate, Dr. Lee Briese, was recently included in Parade's "What People Earn 2020: See the Salaries of Everyday Workers Across America" article.

A Conversation with Ted Matthews

We would like to thank Ted Matthews for taking the time to share his expertise and perspective on rural mental health. If you didn't get a chance to listen in on the discussion, you can listen to it by clicking here.

*Photo of Ted Matthews from Ted's website: