December 2014 saw the graduation of the first D.C. Kiplinger Scholar from the D.C. Kiplinger Crop Improvement Program at The Ohio State University. The D.C. Kiplinger Endowment, which funds the D.C. Kiplinger Floriculture Chair, was established at OSU in the late 1970’s. In 2008, when I became the D.C. Kiplinger Chair holder, I established the D.C. Kiplinger Award of Distinction to recruit top tier graduate students to the program. This graduate award was designed to provide some unique educational opportunities to floriculture students interested in learning how to apply molecular biology techniques to problems of relevance to the floriculture industry. Students are also afforded the opportunity to collaborate with the floriculture industry through extension workshops and greenhouse visits with the OSU Floriculture Extension Team and through an industry internship. Shaun Broderick graduated with his Ph.D. from The Ohio State University in December 2014 as the first D.C. Kiplinger Scholar. Shaun was an exceptional student who accomplished a great deal during his time at OSU. His dissertation research focused on optimizing virus-induced silencing (VIGS) in Petunia x hybrida (http://link.springer.com/article/10.1007%2Fs11105-013-0647-3#). Petunia is used as a model ornamental species and VIGS is used as a high throughput means of characterizing the function of different genes of interest. Shaun also completed a next generation sequencing project in petunia that identified over 4,000 genes that are potentially involved in controlling the initiation of senescence in flower petals (http://link.springer.com/article/10.1186%2Fs12870-014-0307-2#page-1). For his industry internship, Shaun spent a summer working with Dr. Alan Blowers at Ball Helix in West Chicago, IL. Dr. Shaun Broderick is currently beginning the next chapter of his career as an Assistant Professor of Ornamental Plant Breeding at Mississippi State University.
Michelle L. Jones
D.C. Kiplinger Floriculture Chair