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WSU Alumnus Honored by Horticulture Society

PULLMAN, Wash. — Ricardo Menendez, who earned two degrees from Washington State University, received the Outstanding Industry Scientist Award from the American Society of Horticultural Science on July 27 at the society’s annual meeting in New Orleans.

The award recognizes a horticultural crops scientist working in the private sector who has made outstanding and valuable contributions to horticultural science, the horticulture industry or horticulture profession over 10 or more years.

Menendez, who retired from Valent BioSciences Corp., Libertyville, Ill., at the end of June, is regarded as one of the foremost leaders in the development of new plant growth regulator products for use on tree fruits, grapes and vegetable crops.

Menendez also has been committed to educating workers in the field. He has delivered lectures at scientific meetings in 24 countries and worked with university teaching and extension staff on horticultural crops around the world.

The native of Uruguay earned a Master’s of Science degree in horticulture at WSU in 1975 and a doctorate in 1985.

His master’s studies were underwritten in part by a Rotary Foundation scholarship, which enables students to study abroad.

“It was just a tremendous family effort that got him through here,” said Dick Fry, former WSU news bureau manager. Fry served as Menendez’ Rotary adviser and has stayed in touch with him.

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