Jump to content
John Reitman

By John Reitman

Virginia Tech researcher named '24 Musser Award recipient

For his work in investigating weed control in managed turf, John Peppers, Ph.D., a post-doctoral researcher at Virginia Tech, has been named the recipient of the 2024 Musser International Turfgrass Foundation Award of Excellence.

031824 musser 2.jpgThe award is given to outstanding doctoral candidates who, in the final phase of their graduate studies, demonstrated overall excellence throughout their doctoral program in turfgrass research.

Peppers (right), who earned bachelor's and master's degrees at Auburn University, completed his doctoral work in plant pathology, physiology and weed science at Virginia Tech. His doctoral research focused on programs to control annual bluegrass, crabgrass and goosegrass control on and near golf course putting greens.

After being named the recipient of the award, he thanked his professors at Auburn and Virginia Tech, Scott McElroy, Ph.D., of Auburn, and Shawn Askew, Ph.D., respectively.

"I am extremely honored to receive the Musser Award of Excellence," Peppers said. "I have long admired many of the previous winners as these are some of the biggest names in turfgrass research. I am humbled to be mentioned among such as prestigious group. This achievement would not have been possible without the constant support of my wife Cynthia, my family, my fellow graduate students, and Drs. Shawn Askew and Scott McElroy."

Peppers has published 14 peer-reviewed research papers from his master's and doctoral projects and has five more in draft or under review on the topic of turfgrass weed science. He has authored more than 50 scientific abstracts and has given approximately 60 presentations on his work. He plans to focus his career on providing practical, research-based solutions for turfgrass managers.

The Musser International Turfgrass Foundation Award of Excellence is given to outstanding doctoral candidates who, in the final phase of their graduate studies, demonstrated overall excellence throughout their doctoral program in turfgrass research.

The foundation is named in honor of H. Burton Musser, who led the turfgrass management research and teaching program at Penn State University for three decades. It was founded by Joseph M. Duich, Ph.D., Warren A. Bidwell, Eberhard R. Steiniger, Albert W. Wilson II and Fred V. Grau, Ph.D., with the idea of supporting exceptional students destined to become the leaders of the turfgrass industry.

The criteria for selecting award recipients include graduate work, academic record, dissertation, publications, leadership, and extracurricular activities. To date, awards have been granted to doctoral students from universities including Arizona, Auburn, Cornell, Georgia, Maryland, Minnesota, Nebraska, North Carolina State, Ohio State, Penn State, Purdue, Michigan State, Rutgers, Tennessee, Texas A&M and Virginia Tech.

Previous recipients include 2023 - Wendell Hutchens, North Carolina State; 2022 - Devon Carroll, Tennessee; Travis Russell, Penn State; 2021 - Cameron Stephens, NCSU; 2020 - Garrett Heineck, Minnesota; 2019 - Phillip Vines, Rutgers; 2018 - Patrick Burgess, Rutgers; 2017 - Matthew Jeffries, NCSU; David Jespersen, Rutgers; 2016 - Lisa Beirn Rutgers; 2015 - Mattew Elmore, Texas A&M; Joseph Roberts, Maryland; 2014 - James McCurdy, Mississippi State; 2013 - Emily Merewitz, Rutgers; 2010 - James Rutledge, Purdue; 2009 - Jo Anne Crouch, Rutgers; 2008 - Adam Hixson, NCSU; 2007 - Aaron Patton, Purdue; 2006 - Kurt Steinke, Wisconsin; Sara Thompson, NCSU; 2005 - John Kaminski, Maryland; 2003 - Eric Watkins, Rutgers; 2002 - Lane Treadway, Georgia; 2001 - Stacy Bonos, Rutgers; 2000 - Matthew Fagerness, NCSU; 1999 - William Von Sigler, Purdue; 1998 - Andrew McNitt, Penn State; 1997 - Rob Golembiewski, Ohio State; 1996 - Daniel Dalthrop, Cornell; 1995 - Paul Johnson, Minnesota; 1994 - Jennifer Johnson-Cicalese, Nebraska; 1991 - Grady Miller, Auburn; Eric Miltner, Michigan State; Karen Plumely, Rutgers; 1992 - Richard Davis, Purdue; Jeff Klingenberg, Nebraska; Zach Reicher, Purdue; 1991 - James Bond, Tennessee; 1990 - Phil Allen, Minnesota; Meoldee Fraser, Rutgers; Virginia Lehman, Texas A&M; 1989 - Andrew Ralowicz, Arizona; Gwen Stahnke, Nebraska.

  • Create New...