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WSU graduate students receive scholarships for advancing Washington wine industry

Posted by lauren.paterson | August 14, 2020

Four graduate students at Washington State University’s Viticulture and Enology Program have been awarded scholarships from the American Society for Enology and Viticulture.

Award recipients Bernadette Gagnier, Margaret McCoy, Alexa McDaniel, and Arunabha Mitra, who study at WSU’s Irrigated Agriculture Research and Extension Center (IAREC) in Prosser, Wash., will be able to use their scholarship awards for the 2020-2021 academic year.

“These awards showcase that our graduate students are highly competitive at the national level,” said Naidu Rayapati, Director of IAREC.

A woman drives a tractor through a vineyard at sunset.
Margaret McCoy drives a tractor on the WSU Prosser campus.

As a professor in WSU’s Department of Plant Pathology, Rayapati works with students conducting lab and field research on viral diseases in vineyards.

“The work of these students will generate new knowledge to combat challenges affecting growers,” he said.

The American Society for Enology and Viticulture (ASEV) awards scholarships to students pursuing degrees in enology, viticulture, or science relating to the wine and grape industry. Enology is the study of winemaking.

A young man wears a lab coat and gloves and he conducts a science experiment.
Arunabha Mitra at work in the IAREC lab.

Michelle Moyer, Associate Professor in the Department of Horticulture who works on fungal and nematode problems in vineyards, said the student recipients exemplify what it means to be a graduate student at a land grant university.

“When graduate students are awarded scholarships from organizations such as ASEV, it really highlights how their passion for science and learning translates into their academic endeavors,” Moyer said.

Rayapati said the ASEV scholarships highlight the quality of training and mentoring students receive while studying wine science at WSU.

“We are preparing the next generation of scientists and industry leaders for advancing the grape and wine industry in Washington,” he said.