Committee Members


Meet The 2022 Plant Sciences Symposium

Committee Members

McKenna Molnar          (  

McKenna is a master’s student in the Department of Evolution, Ecology and Organismal Biology at The Ohio State University. McKenna is advised by Dr. Maria Miriti and is conduction research on diversity and inclusion in undergraduate STEM education s well as nitrogen dynamics in arid systems. She serves as a the chair of the Registration, Outreach and Website subcommittee and a member of the Technology and Virtual Formatting subcommittee.


Andrea Gschwend         (

Dr. Andrea Gschwend is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Horticulture and Crop Science and is the faculty advisor for OSU’s Plant Sciences Symposium. Her lab investigates the genetic basis and molecular evolution of adaptive traits in crops and their wild relatives.



Elizabeth (Ellie) Sahr         (

Ellie is an undergraduate student at the Ohio State University majoring in agricultural communications with a double minor in public policy and environmental and societal issues. She is currently serving as this years Plant Science Symposium Committee President as well as is a member of OSU’s collegient 4-H Club and Agricultural Communicators of Tomorrow.


Colby Gregg         (

Colby is a Ph.D. student in the Department of Agricultural Communication, Education and Leadership studying equity and inclusion within agricultural education in addition to school-based agriculture teacher wellness. He is a member of the poster session and registration committees, in addition to directing the in-person poster presentations.



Adrian Pekarcik         (

Adrian is a Ph.D. candidate in the Department of Entomology at The Ohio State University CFAES Wooster Campus. He is advised by Dr. Kelley Tilmon and is studying the ecology and management of the Asiatic garden beetle, an emerging early-season pest of field corn in the Great Lakes region. Adrian is the chair of the Posters Session subcommittee and a supporting member of the Treasurer/Budget subcommittee. He will be leading the virtual poster session.

Nghi Nguyen         (

Nghi is a Ph.D. candidate in Department of Plant Pathology at The Ohio State University CFAES Wooster Campus. Nghi is advised by Dr. Anne Dorrance and is studying soybean resistant mechanism to root and stem rot disease. Nghi is serving as the Treasurer with roles in seeking external funding and budgeting for the symposium.



Camila Perdoncini Carvalho         (

Camila Perdoncini Carvalho is a Ph.D. student at The University of São Paulo (USP – Brazil) and is currently a Research Scholar at the OSU Department of Plant Pathology. Her advising professors are Dr. Luis Eduardo Aranha Camargo (USP) and  Dr. Feng Qu (OSU). Her work is figuring out which genes in melons recognize and respond to the Zucchini yellow mosaic virus infection. Camila serves as a member of the Technology/Virtual formatting committee.


Cullen Dixon         (

Cullen is a PhD. candidate in the Translational Plant Science (TPS) program in the Center for Applied Plant Science (CAPS).  He is advised by Dr. Andrea Gschwend in the department of Horticulture and Crop Science and his dissertation research aims to elucidate the genetics underlying heightened disease and pest resistance in North American grapevine over that of grapevine native to Europe.  Cullen is the Head of the Speakers Sub-Committee and is thus in charge of selecting the speakers for our symposium and coordinating all aspects of their travels and time on campus.  Cullen also serves as the Vice President of the symposium.

Avery Brewer         (

Avery Brewer is an undergraduate in the College of Food, Agriculture, and Environmental Sciences at The Ohio State University. She is majoring in Sustainable Plant Systems with a concentration in Plant Biosciences and studies tomato metabolites in Dr. Cooperstone’s lab. She is interested in metabolomics, genomics, and biotechnology. Avery serves as the treasurer for the symposium.