Hall of Fame

Former students and employees

Inducted 2022

Ryan Sartor, now Assistant Professor, Department of Molecular and Structural Biochemistry, NCSU

Fernando Samayoa, now Research Scientist, Inari, West Lafayette, IN

Will Pequigney, now math teacher in Wake County Public Schools

Inducted 2021

Anna Rogers (Ph.D.), now a data scientist at Bayer

Zach Allen (research assistant), now MS student with Ramsey Lewis in Department of Crop and Soil Sciences, NCSU

Inducted 2020

Will Voelker (research assistant) – graduated with BS in Plant Science into the pandemic, now a Ph.D. student at UNC Charlotte in crop bioinformatics.

Kendra Jones (research assistant)

Inducted 2018

Sandy Ramsey (research assistant), now an M.S. student in Crop and Soil Sciences, working with Ramon Leon.

Lais Bastos Martins (M.S. student co-advised with Peter Balint-Kurti), now a Ph.D. student in Crop and Soil Sciences, working with Chris Reberg-Horton.

Cesar Hernandez Galeno (visiting scholar), Ph.D. student at Colegio de Postgraduados and maize breeder, INIFAP, Mexico

Thiago Marino (Ph.D. student), soybean breeder with Bayer, Brazil

Jeff Dunne (post-doc), now Assistant Professor, Department of Crop and Soil Sciences, NCSU

Ryan Andres (post-doc), now Research Assistant Professor, Department of Crop and Soil Sciences, NCSU

Dusan Stanisavljevic (visiting scientist), corn breeder at Plant Breeding Institute, Novi Sad, Serbia

Abraham Corona (visiting scholar), completed Ph.D. at Universidad de Guadalajara, Mexico

Inducted 2017

Shang Xue (Ph.D. student) – now Principal Bioinformatics Scientist at Roche

Henrique Senhorinho (visiting Ph.D. student) – returned to Brazil. Passed away 2017, we are very saddened by the loss of Henrique, a wonderful scientist and person.

Inducted 2016

Yang Bian (Ph.D. student) – now research scientist at Monsanto Co., St. Louis, MO

Erin Burch (research assistant)  – making pottery in Carrboro, NC and working at Syngenta, RTP

Wendy Buchanan (research assistant)  – now working for Eurofin in RTP, NC

Sarah Davidson-Dyer (research assistant)  – now working in Department of Horticulture, NCSU

Paula Gordon (research assistant)  – now working in public relations in Charlotte, NC

Natalie Bohorquez (research assistant)  – graduated from NCSU

Becky Zhong (research assistant) – completed her MS in plant breeding at University of Minnesota, now in Environmental Sciences Ph.D. program at UNC Chapel Hill.

Lorenzo Stagnati (visiting Ph.D. student) – completed his Ph.D. at Universita Cattolica del Sacro Cuore, now a post-doc there.

Inducted 2015

Sara Bonefas (research assistant) – now working at Bayer Crop Science in RTP, NC

Bode Olukolu (post-doc) – now Assistant Professor in Department of Entomology and Plant Pathology, University of Tennessee, Knoxville

Tiffany Jamann (post-doc) – now an Assistant Professor in the Department of  Crop Sciences, University of Illinois

David Horne (M.S. student) – completed his Ph.D. student in sorghum breeding at Texas A&M University, now a Phenomics Supervisor at Advanta Seeds

Estefania Castro-Vazquez (undergrad assistant) – graduated from NCSU.

Zhou Fang (post-doc) – research scientist at Syngenta, RTP, NC.

Inducted 2014

Danielle Allery (research assistant) – Biology teacher at Green Hope High School, Morrisville, NC. Still working for us every summer.

Funda Ogut (post-doc) – Research Scientist at Canadian Wood Fibre Center, Fredericton, New Brunswick, Canada

Brittany Scott (research assistant) – 4-H Ag instructor in Hertford County, NC.

Charlie Zila (M.S. and Ph.D.) – now a soybean breeder for Pioneer in Princeton, IN

Amy Goodling (undergrad assistant) – last seen harvesting sweet potatoes!

Alejandro Ledesma Miramontes (visiting scientist) – back to working as assistant corn breeder with INIFAP in Tepatitlan de Morelos, Jalisco, Mexico.

Jee Yoon Park (visiting undergrad) – back to Chungnam National University in Korea, where she is studying Crop Science

Inducted 2013

Shilpa Sood (post-doc) – joined Monsanto, St. Louis, as an Emerging Leader in Science

Dr. Philip Nguling’wa Balele  (research assistant, Ph.D. in economics) – going back to Tanzania to work as an economist in the Central Bank of Tanzania. No, really, I am not making this up.

Inducted 2012

Jason Cook (post-doc) — after setting the world record for shortest post-doc (4 months!) now Assistant Research Professor in wheat breeding and genetics at University of Montana

Colt Jackson—civilly engineering bridges and stuff somewhere in NC

John Stevens (undergrad assistant) – graduated NCSU and planning to start physical therapy grad program in 2013

Luis Fernando Samayoa (visiting scholar) – back to Mision Biologica de Galicia in Spain to finish his Ph.D., now back at NCSU for more as a post-doc!

Inducted 2011

Kristen Kump (M.S. student) – working on managing human clinical trials at PRA International in Raleigh

Steve Pigozzo (research assistant) – back to Canada working on solar energy manufacturing!

Sun-Hee Wu (visiting scientist) – back to Korea as Professor of Crop Science in Chungbuk National University

Carlos Vega (undergrad assistant) – graduated from NCSU

Hsiaoyi Hung (Ph.D. student) – research scientist at Driscoll’s in California

Inducted 2010

Teagen Gray (undergrad assistant) – finished her MS in Marine Biology (shark population genetics!) at Nova Southeast University, Florida. Working in San Diego, CA.

Dalila Petro (visiting scientist) – back to her job as a yam breeder/geneticist for INRA in Guadeloupe, France

Yoon-Sup So (post-doc) – Assistant Professor at Chungbuk National University, South Korea

Bradsher Wilkins (undergrad assistant) – farming

Will Upchurch (undergrad assistant) – graduated NCSU

Xueyang (Sara) Wang (undergrad assistant)— went on to be a Baldwin Scholar at Duke University, graduating in 2014. All-time smartest shoot bagger on Team Corn (tied with Myles). Graduated from Johns Hopkins Med School! We could not be more proud!

Monica Hodge (undergrad assistant)- finishing up NCSU, looking for grad school in microbiology (not corn breeding). 

Inducted 2009

Magen Eller (Ph.D. student) —now a commercial maize breeder, Monsanto Co., Lebanon, IN

Randy Wisser (post-doc) – now Associate Professor, University of Delaware Dept. of Plant and Soil Science.

Nate Coles (Ph.D. student) – now maize geneticist/breeder—Pioneer Hi-Bred, Intl., Johnston, IA

 Inducted 2008

Mohammed Guedira (post-doc) – Now working on wheat genetics at NCSU, so still available to feed me excellent Moroccan dishes!

Marco Oropeza-Rosas (post-doc) – retired corn breeder in Mexico.

Jesus Garcia-Zavala (Ph.D. student) – Professor at the Colegio de Postgraduados in Texcoco, Mexico.

Candace Gatlin (undergrad assistant) – graduated NCSU

Heather Hunt (undergrad assistant) – finished her MS in environmental engineering at Pennsylvania State University. 

Inducted 2007

Stella Salvo (technician) – finished her Ph.D. in plant breeding at University of Wisconsin, now at Monsanto Co.

George Van Esbroeck (temporary assistant) – George now works with the NCSU small grains breeding program, making wheat doubled haploids.

Scott Reed (undergrad assistant) – Scott decided that, if he is to ever graduate from college, he needs to stop working 50 hours per week with Team Corn. Boo hoo for us. He completed an engineering degree at East Carolina U. and now works in Norfolk, VA.

Yan Zhang (undergrad assistant) – graduated NCSU

 Inducted 2006

Luciana Carlini-Garcia (post-doc) – Dr. Luciana returned to Brazil, where she is now a sugarcane geneticist with Instituto Agronomico de Campinas.

Myles Bohon (undergrad assistant) – Myles returned to his books after summer, 2006.  He is the smartest guy we know (Parks Scholar). Finished his MS in Engineering at NCSU and now on his PhD program in Clean Combustion technology at King Abdullah University of Science and Technology in Dubai!

MC Parker (undergrad assistant) – went to UNC Wilmington, got a degree in accounting, I believe. Ran into her at Goodberry’s in Cameron Village, she said she is working at ECU as an accountant. Or something like that.

David Rhyne (USDA Biological Science Technician) – Retired after 20 years with USDA, now enjoying fishing and beer.

Leilani Robertson-Hoyt (grad student) – graduated, March, 2006 with Ph.D. in Crop Science and Plant Pathology.  Leilani moved to Madison, WI and works for Monsanto in soybean breeding.

Barry Ingle (lab and field assistant) – Barry moved to Austin, TX to pursue his music career.  You can catch his music online.  We can say we knew him before he was famous!

Andrew Hunt (undergrad assistant) – instructor in Department of Crop and Soil Sciences, Oregon State University

Inducted 2005

Tricia Bair (undergrad assistant) —graduated August, 2005, with BS in Life Sciences.  Now Trish works for Syngenta, in the Research Triangle Park, NC, enjoying that fancy espresso machine of theirs!

Jennifer Tarter (grad student) — graduated, April, 2005 with Ph.D. in Crop Science.  Currently, Maize Inbred Discovery Breeder, Pioneer Hi-Bred, Champaign, IL

Inducted 2004

Brooke Peterson (technician) —retired from USDA, September, 2004. Now full-time mom to young Grant and Sarah.

Terry Flint (undergrad assistant) —returned to St. Cloud State University, August 2004 after two successful consecutive seasons on the NC corn pollinating circuit. Now some kind of engineer.

Steve Szalma (postdoc) – worked for Pioneer Hi-Bred, Inc. as a corn breeder, stationed in Willmar, MN.  Steve passed away in 2014 and is missed terribly. We remember his kindness, intelligence, and humor fondly.

Inducted 2003

Arturo Garcia (data management specialist) – boo-hoo, Arturo left and we are somewhat helpless, computer-wise, without him.  He created our field data collection software, corntracker, which is awesome.  Now he is the IT specialist at USDA-ARS in Columbia, MO.

Kim Soules (undergrad assistant) -graduated from NCSU in May, 2003, pollinated and harvested until September, 2003. Current whereabouts: unknown.  A big shout out to Lil Kim!

Jill Weibel (undergrad assistant) -graduated from NCSU in May, 2003, pollinated until August, 2003.  Worked as public school teacher in Mecklenberg County, NC.

Inducted 2002

Brian Hostert (grad student) —graduated from NCSU in May, 2002 with MS in Crop Science. Director of Applied Research, Driscoll’s, Watsonville, CA

Inducted 2000

Sara Lira (grad student) —graduated from Iowa State U. in May, 2000 with MS in Genetics.  Obtained her Ph.D. from Iowa State and works as a research scientist for Pioneer Hi-Bred in Johnston, IA.

Cuauhtemoc Cervantes-Martinez (grad student) —graduated from Iowa State U. in February, 2000 with Ph.D. in Plant Breeding.  Professor at the Universidad de Chapingo in Mexico.

Inducted 1999

Vladimir Portyanko (postdoc)—moved to Univ. of Minnesota to work as Research Associate in the Department of Agronomy and Plant Genetics, then to the Dep. of Botany.

Chuck Kremer (grad student) —graduated from Iowa State U. in June, 1999 with M.S. in Genetics. Now works in the DNA lab at the Mayo Clinic, Rocherster, MN.

Inducted 1998

Hoi Sio-Wai (grad student) —graduated from Iowa State U. with MS in Plant Breeding in June 1998.  Now works for Monsanto Co, St. Louis, MO.