ENST Graduate Student Named Future Leader in Science

January 29, 2014

Congratulations to ENST Soil and Watershed Sciences graduate student, Alisha Mulkey, who has been selected to receive the highly competitive Future Leaders in Science Award from the American Society of Agronomy (ASA), Crop Science Society of America (CSSA) and Soil Science Society of America (SSSA).

The inaugural Future Leaders in Science Award is an opportunity for graduate students to engage with policy-makers on Capitol Hill in order to raise awareness and support for science, technology and research funding. As part of the award, Alisha will receive a trip to Washington D.C. to participate in the annual ASA, CSSA, and SSSA Congressional Visits Day and a policy, communication and advocacy training to learn how to effectively work with members of Congress.

“I am thrilled to have received this award,” says Alisha, who became involved with the tri-societies since joining ENST’s graduate program in 2012. “Their organization, research, and publications are highly regarded in soil and watershed disciplines, so to receive a recognition, is especially gratifying,” acknowledges Alisha. In the announcement e-mail from the associations, it was stated that Alisha was selected because she has demonstrated impressive enthusiasm for both research and advocacy.

Her current research is focused on exploring, describing and understanding the current logic and sequences of calculations that are used to simulate soil phosphorus dynamics and estimations of phosphorus transport from agricultural land to the Chesapeake Bay that are currently used in the U.S. EPA's Chesapeake Bay Watershed models. Additionally, Alisha is developing alternative approaches to improve the representation of the hydrogeochemical processes that control phosphorus movement in the agricultural landscape.

Alisha’s advisor, soil science professor and director of Gemstone Honors Program, Dr. Frank Coale, describes her as a very focused and multi-talented graduate student, who demonstrates a great deal of self-motivation and determination in her research endeavors. “Alisha exhibits extraordinary skills in balancing her life between her research, coursework and family, especially her adorable baby daughter and supportive husband,” says Dr. Coale. 

ENST Department Chair Dr. William Bowerman encourages all graduate students to promote their research beyond the classroom. “We are excited to hear about Alisha’s accomplishment, and we hope that her motivation, research collaborations and advocacy on Capitol Hill will inspire others to do the same,” says Dr. Bowerman.

In conclusion, Alisha believes that ENST, especially her mentors Dr. Coale and Dr. Joshua McGrath have been very supportive of her research and endeavors.