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Enthusiastic for his vocation

In 44 years of work, Jack Rogers has authored or co-authored more than 196 journal articles, won numerous awards and chaired the Department of Plant Pathology for 13 years — among many other accomplishments. It is no surprise, then, that Rogers will be honored March 24 with one of WSU’s highest honors, the Eminent Faculty Award.

“I was a Ph.D. student during the ‘golden era’ of employment for college professors,” said Rogers. “I was in no hurry to finish and, had I been left to my own devices, I probably would have gone south. I (now) would rather be here; I just didn’t know it at the time.”

Luckily for WSU and its community, he came here. “My department chairman at the University of Wisconsin, Glenn Pound, told me of an opening at WSU and told me that he was going to get the job for me!” said Rogers. “I never even had to interview.”

“He’s a great scholar in every sense of the word, perhaps the leading mycologist in the U.S.” said Tim Murray, professor and chair for plant pathology, of Rogers. “His level of productivity is incredible — I think that speaks to his enthusiasm.”

This enthusiasm is reflected in his description of more 50 new taxa of fungi, and the recent acknowledgement by his peers, who named a new species, Poroleprieuria rogersii, after him.

“WSU has been a good place to work,” Rogers said. “I’ve been able to develop my own program and life without any real interference.

“Plant pathology is a fine department — it was before I got here and will be after I leave.

“I get up early every morning and get a cup of coffee, and I meet people going to another type of job, and I am just happy to have the job I do,” said Rogers. “Frankly, it’s a good life.”

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