The George Agrios Scholarship was originally founded in the spring of 2020, with the goal of supporting graduate students enrolled in the University of Florida’s Doctor of Plant Medicine Program in the College of Agricultural and Life Sciences department. Please join us in congratulating this year’s recipient, Shannon McAmis.
Born and raised in the Tampa Bay area, Shannon attended the University of South Florida where she studied cell and molecular biology. After completing her B.S. in 2016 and reflecting on her time spent growing up on her family’s small farm in New Port Richey, she knew that she wanted to pursue a career in agriculture. This brought her to the University of Florida, where she then obtained her master’s degree in agronomy. Her thesis work during this time focused on evaluating a crop model’s ability to predict aflatoxin contamination in peanut, along with assessing environmental conditions that may lead to aflatoxin contamination through various greenhouse experiments.
It was during this time that she came to further appreciate the complexities of agricultural systems and sought to gain a deeper understanding of the different components of agriculture and plant health. This led her to enrollment in the Doctor of Plant Medicine program in the spring of 2020.
Shannon has worked on several projects during her time as a UF DPM student. She currently serves as the coordinator for the Florida First Detector program, an outreach program that educates a network of volunteers scouting for new invasive plant pests in Florida through virtual and in-person workshops. Furthermore, Shannon serves as a field research coordinator for the UF Tea project. This project is looking at tea (Camellia sinensis) as a potential alternative crop for Florida through ongoing evaluations of different tea plant varieties and how groundcover types effect the sustainability of the system as a whole.
In addition to this work, and being a full time graduate student, Shannon has also served as a graduate teaching assistant for the Plant Pathology course at the University of Florida, is the current DPMSO Graduate Student Council Representative, won 1st place for Graduate Student Poster in the Plant Insect Ecosystem: Invasive Species and Vectors section at the Entomological Society of America Annual Meeting, and won Outstanding Extension, Outreach and Teaching Presentation at the Entomological Society of America Southeastern Branch.