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Pathologist and fungus expert earns Eminent Faculty Award

The 2006 WSU Eminent Faculty Award will be presented to Jack D. Rogers — professor and scientist, Department of Plant Pathology, and professor, Department of Natural Resource Sciences — at the Celebrating Excellence recognition banquet on March 24 at WSU Pullman. More information and reservations for the banquet and other World Class. Face to Face. Showcase events can be found at www.showcase.wsu.edu.

The $15,000 award was created in 2000 at the request of WSU President V. Lane Rawlins to honor career-long excellence within WSU’s academic community. Honorees must have changed the thinking in their respective fields by making lasting contributions through teaching, research, creative scholarship and service, and they must have made notable contributions to the vitality and strength of the WSU community.

Rogers is the sixth recipient of the highest honor the university bestows on a faculty member. Previous Eminent Faculty Award winners includes Yogi Gupta, Fran McSweeney, Ralph Yount, Don Dillman and Rod Croteau.

Rogers has been a member of the WSU faculty for 43 years. He teaches classes in forest pathology and coteaches, with associate professor Lori Carris, advanced mycology — the study of fungi — and a course on molds, mildews and mushrooms for undergraduate nonscience majors. He served as chair of the plant pathology department from 1986 to 1999. He has served on numerous university committees, including the Faculty Status Committee and the committee to establish the University Senate.

Since 1983, Rogers has been director of the mycological herbarium in the Department of Plant Pathology. It contains more than 70,000 specimens of fungi and is one of the largest collections in the western U.S.

He has received many awards for teaching, including the regional R.M. Wade Award for Excellence in Instruction in 1966-67, the national Wm. H. Weston Award for Excellence in Teaching in 1992 from the Mycological Society of America and the Outstanding Teacher Award in 1984 and 1985 from the WSU Department of Natural Resource Sciences.

He received the Sahlin Faculty Excellence Award for Research, Scholarship and Arts in 1986. In 2005, he received the Library Excellence Award for service to the WSU Libraries.

Rogers has authored or co-authored more than 196 journal articles and book chapters and one book during his career. His contributions to the field of mycology and to the xylariaceous fungi in particular were most recently recognized by his peers, who named a new species, Poroleprieuria rogersii, after him.

Over the course of his career, he has described more than 50 new taxa of fungi. He pioneered approaches to fungal systematics. His work revolutionized the taxonomy of Hypoxylon and Xylaria, the two largest genera in the Xylariaceae. His work has had support from the National Science Foundation for most of his career.

Rogers is a member of the American Phytopathological Society, the Botanical Society of America, the British Mycological Society and the Mycological Society of America.

In 2004, he was presented with the “Distinguished Mycologist Award” by the Mycological Society of America, which is the highest honor given by the organization to one of its members.