We asked several CAHNRS Ambassadors, excellent students who love WSU and their college, to name their favorite or most influential professors. And now we’re featuring those nominated educators in this weekly series, which runs through the summer.
Today we’re showcasing John Fellman, professor of postharvest physiology in the Department of Horticulture. Here are his answers to a few questions:
Where are you from?
Born and Raised in St. Louis MO
Where did you go to school?
B.S. from Clemson, Ph.D. from the University of Idaho.
How did you become interested in your field?
I was always interested in Chemistry, and I like plants (and plant products) so the merged interests are obvious! My areas of expertise are plant physiology and biochemistry, bioanalytical chemistry, tree fruit horticulture, postharvest biology, and technology of high-value perishable horticultural crops. I was trained in biochemistry, had expertise in analytical chemistry of foods, and after a postdoctoral stint in plant biochemistry, it seemed like the next logical career path. I was always interested in apples while growing up in Missouri.
Why did you want to become a professor?
Easy-I like people and I like sharing knowledge. It’s only work if you would rather be doing something else. Every day I ask myself ‘would I rather be doing something else?’ And I can’t think of something else, as most of my hobbies involve acquiring new knowledge about plants and plant products like food and fermented beverages.
What is your favorite thing about working with college students?
It is really fun and rewarding to see “the lights go on” inside of someone’s head when they grasp what it is you are trying to teach them! Also, when they stop in later (sometimes years later!) and thank me for my efforts. I never know when some offhand comment I make somehow influences people around me. Who knew?
What advice would you pass along to students?
The late Woody Hayes ( legendary Ohio State Football Coach) said “Anything easy ain’t worth a damn!” So challenge yourself! It’s never too late to learn something new.
“The fool doth think he is wise, but the wise man knows himself to be a fool.”