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Carpenter-Boggs honored with alumni achievement award

Dr. Lynne Carpenter-Boggs, a Washington State University alumna and faculty member was honored recently with the Washington State University Alumni Association’s Alumni Achievement Award in recognition of her outstanding accomplishments as a researcher, professor and scientist in the fields of soil microbiology, sustainable agriculture and crop and soil sciences.

Colleagues who put forth Dr. Carpenter-Boggs’ name for the award noted in their nomination that, “It is not, however, her unselfish service to the university, or her productivity, for which she deserves this award. One hallmark of Dr. Carpenter-Boggs’ research is that she approaches the research from the perspective of the farmer’s family, rather than from the perspective of an academician. This approach comes naturally to Lynne by virtue of her compassion, and it is this compassion that sets her apart.”

Carpenter-Boggs with her nominator, Stewart Higgins.

At the award ceremony two speakers heralded Lynne’s achievements. One colleague, Rebecca McGee, had this to say. “Although much of Lynne Carpenter-Boggs’ work is focused in the Pacific Northwest, there is also a strong international component as exemplified by the arsenic project. Consumption of crops grown in arsenic-contaminated soils causes significant health issues in some regions especially the Ganges River delta in south Asia. In this region, the staple crops are rice and lentils. Ground water is contaminated with arsenic and resulting crops have high arsenic concentrations. As poisoning is widespread, 1 in 5 deaths in Bangladesh is caused by arsenic. Lynne Carpenter-Boggs has taken a lead in a research team here at WSU whose focus is to reduce dietary intake of arsenic from consumption of lentils by integrating crop and soil management with plant breeding and genetics. Dr. Carpenter-Boggs authored a grant that jumpstarted this project. As a steering committee member of WSU’s Global Case Competition, she successfully advocated this issue, and ‘Arsenic poisoning in Bangladesh’ was chosen as the 2014 theme.”

Another colleague, Mohammed Islam stated, “As a faculty member, Dr. Carpenter-Boggs interpersonal skills provide her with the unique capability to bring together experts from multidisciplinary areas and get them at the discussion table to design a research project. As a scientist, Dr. Carpenter-Boggs feels the human sufferings whole-heartedly and gives of herself to solve the problems regardless of ethnic and geographical boundaries. For example, when we approached her about the severe arsenic disaster in Bangladesh, even though she didn’t work in this area, right away she worked to put together a proposal to bring together a multidisciplinary team of scientists to work on this problem. She is very persistent in seeing a project through. The proposal was funded. As a result of this team-based effort, WSU initiated the Bangladesh arsenic issue as a subject of the Global Case Competition. The winning group from the Global Case Competition will visit Bangladesh, including Dr. Lynne Carpenter-Boggs.”

The Washington State University Alumni Association created the Alumni Achievement Award in 1970 to recognize and honor alumni who have given outstanding service to Washington State University, their community, profession or nation. The Alumni Achievement Award is the highest honor bestowed by the Alumni Association.