When most people plan a Hawaiian vacation they think of beaches, sun and luaus. Jack Rogers, professor of plant pathology and natural resource sciences, thinks fungi.
Rogers is just returned from a spring break field trip to the islands to examine the fungi growing there.
“I absolutely love fungi,” he said. “It’s just something that really gets me going.”
Rogers, a 44-year member of the WSU faculty and newly appointed Regents professor, teaches classes in forest pathology and co-teaches advanced mycology and a course on fungi for undergraduate, nonscience majors.
“Teaching and research go hand in hand,” he said. “There is a bit of a ham in me, and I like teaching students from freshmen to Ph.D. candidates.”
Rogers is a well-known researcher to boot. He is author of more than 200 journal articles, many book chapters and a book. He received a WSU Sahlin award for research, scholarship and the arts, and he is the 2006 Eminent Faculty Award winner. The Mycological Society of America presented him with the Distinguished Mycologist Award and the W.H. Weston award for teaching excellence.
“Nobody at WSU ever has made me do research or teach a class that I didn’t want to; I have not been pushed around here,” said Rogers. “My relationship (with the university) has been very open and cordial.”
Rogers feels the Regents professor award is a nice nod of approval from his peers, but he will not rest on his laurels; he will continue to follow his passion.
“I consider myself to be a very lucky person — to be able to get up in the morning and be excited about work continues to be a great trip for me,” he said. “Anyone who likes what they’re doing is lucky.”