Patil honored as outstanding graduate educator by American horticultural society

        PALM SPRINGS, Calif. – The American Society for Horticultural Science has presented Dr. Bhimu Patil of College Station its Outstanding Graduate Education Award.

        The award was presented July 22 during the society’s annual conference in Palm Springs, Calif.

        Patil, who is director of the Texas A&M University Vegetable and Fruit Improvement Center, was given the award in recognition as “an educator who has had a distinguished and outstanding graduate education teaching career in horticultural science for a period of 10 or more years,” according to Michael W. Neff of Alexandria, Va., executive director of the horticultural society.

        “Dr. Patil is recognized as a leader in the foods for health agenda, both nationally and internationally,” Neff said. “He runs a large and very productive research program focused on the study of human-health related plant secondary metabolites. Patil has mentored more than 26 graduate students in his career. His students have all followed his example by exhibiting an eager pursuit of plant bioactive research and publishing their research in appropriate journals.”

Dr. Bhimu Patil

Dr. Bhimu Patil, director, Texas A&M University Vegetable and Fruit Improvement Center. (Texas AgriLife Research photo by Kathleen Phillips)

        Neff further cited Patil’s passion and commitment to teaching and learning.

        “He has dedicated tremendous effort toward the development and implementation of two novel graduate courses at Texas A&M and five other universities simultaneously,” Neff added. “He strives to provide students an understanding of his research information so that they can become role models and teach others.”

        The society further noted that Patil’s interest in training students in interdisciplinary sciences “is evident from his students’ publication records and their employment in leading research centers and in professional careers.”

Patil is also professor of horticultural sciences at Texas A&M.

“Dr. Patil uses research as an educational tool rather than just an activity of its own. This is demonstrated through his successful students and the numerous courses, curricula and educational programs he has developed,” said Dr. Alan Sams, executive associate dean for the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences at Texas A&M.

        Patil has served as a chair or co-chair for 26 graduate students and on six student committees. His former students are now serving in several universities, medical institutions, federal agencies and in industry.

        “His guidance as an outstanding scientist has also inspired some undergraduate students to continue their education and achieve advanced degrees. He displays a very optimistic attitude in all aspects of his teaching and interaction with students. Patil’s vision is that students can always do better than they first expect with encouragement and guidance, and he is dedicated to teaching and mentoring students to achieve their full potential,” Neff said.

        In 2009, Patil was named a Fellow of the horticultural society, a Fellow of the Food Chemistry Division of the American Chemical Society and a Texas A&M AgriLife Fellow.

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