2017 Teaching impact statement by Senior Research Assistant & Lecturer Nancy G. Wenner

PPEM 300, Horticultural Crop Diseases was developed as a service course for horticulture students to learn to recognize, diagnose, and manage plant diseases. Students are introduced to the core concepts of plant pathology and to the influence that plant diseases have had on world history, culture, trade, and the environment. Course examples use horticultural crops, but the concepts apply to virtually any plant system. The online web-based format permits students at PSU branch campuses or those on internships to enroll. Students at UP campus or those who plan to transfer may fulfill their pest management requirement (or elective) online, thus obviating schedule conflicts for required "in class" courses. Undergraduates discovering an interest in plant pathogenic organisms have joined our PPEM undergraduate "Shrooms & Blooms" club to network and to find opportunities via faculty advisors working in PPEM labs, greenhouses, and field plots. This course may have contributed to the increase in our Plant Pathology minor. Many PPEM 300 students have expressed interest in pursuing more plant diagnostic or research experiences and are now engaged in our department research projects and some are pursing graduate school. Students taking PPEM 300 have gone on to take jobs in plant health/management vocations. PPEM 300 students often utilize their home gardens for course diagnostic exercises and relate how pleased they and their parents are to learn what ails their plants!