Fifty years of the Hayes Phillips Award

June 24, 2024

The Department of Agronomy and Plant Genetics celebrated the milestone with a two-day event. 

A group photo of Hayes Phillips award recipients
Past Hayes Phillips Award recipients and Judy Phillips (in front, third from the right), wife of the late Ron Phillips, gather to celebrate half a century of the award.

More than twenty past award recipients joined a two-day celebration of the Hayes Phillips Award, hosted by the Department of Agronomy and Plant Genetics (APG), this May. This year's program honored the 50 past awardees, the 2024 award recipient Hannah Stoll, and the recipients of APG’s 2024 Distinguished Alumni Awards, Roberto Tuberosa and Tabare Abadie. The program began with a tribute to Ron Phillips, who died last summer. Graduate students participated in "speed mentoring," brief conversations with the previous Hayes and Hayes Phillips Award recipients.

The Hayes Phillips Award began as the Hayes Award in 1974, and is now named after two distinguished faculty members in the department: H. K. Hayes, a faculty member from 1915 to 1952, and Ron Phillips, a faculty member from 1968 to 2010. Each year, the award is given to an APS graduate student who has excelled in academics, research, teaching, leadership, and service.

2024 Award Recipients

2024 Hayes Phillips Award 

Hannah Stoll will complete her PhD in Applied Plant Sciences this year. She received her BS in Crop Sciences: Plant Biotechnology and Molecular Biology at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. Her thesis work is focused on understanding the genetic architecture of key domestication traits in Kernza® and determining the genetic gain per breeding cycle. Stoll’s work at the U has included developing curricula centered around plant breeding and genetics. She has published classroom lessons that allow high school and undergraduate educators to teach basic biological concepts in the context of the development of new, sustainable cropping systems. Stoll—who developed a love for biology and genetics in high school—says she’s passionate about education and hopes to be educating in some capacity in her future career. 

Departmental Distinguished Alumni: Academic 

Roberto Tuberosa is a professor in the Department of Agricultural and Food Sciences at the University of Bologna. He received his B.S. from the University of Bologna and an MS (1985) and PhD (1997) from the University of Minnesota under the guidance of Ronald Phillips. For the past three decades, he has managed research projects to develop cereal crops more resilient to climate change. His major research interest is the genetic dissection of the adaptive response of cereals to drought. Tuberosa is currently chair of the Focus Group on Cereals of the AgriFood Cluster of the Regione Emilia-Romagna, Italy, a fellow of the Crop Science Society of America, and represents Europe on the Board of the International Crop Science Society. 

Departmental Distinguished Alumni: Industry 

Tabare Abadie is a Distinguished Research Laureate at Corteva Agriscience. Abadie received his BS in Agronomy at the Universidad de la Republica, Uruguay (1982), and his M.S. (1992) and Ph.D. (1994) at the University of Minnesota. Over a 40-year career, Abadie’s extensive expertise in crop science includes plant breeding and quantitative genetics as well as technological change in large organizations, career development, education, and mentoring. Abadie is the developer and co-coordinator of the Plant Sciences Symposia Series, an international network of student-driven organized and hosted scientific events. The series began with the first Plant Sciences Symposium held at the University of Minnesota in 2008.

Hayes and Hayes Phillips Awardees (1974 to 2024)

Names in bold attended the May 2024 event. 

1974William E. Kuhn2000Cristine Handel
1975Sheldon E. Blank2001Lee DeHaan
1976 Donn Cummings2002Juan Diaz
1977Steve R. Simmons2003Jianming Yu
1978 Donald R. Viands2004Lynn Litterer
1979Thomas J. McCoy2005Martin Arbelbide
1980James E. Miller2006Jennifer Jacobs
1981Charlotte V. Eberlein2007Xiuling Zhang
1982 Steve A. Thompson2008Haiyan Jia
1983Josephine Heindl Coterman2009Robenson Lorenzana
1984Oran B. Hesterman2010Toi J. Tsilo
1985 Debra Metzger Lee2011Jon Massman
1986 Patrick M. Hayes2012Emily Combs
1987Virginia M. Peschke2013Michael Kantar
1988Beth M. Nelson (Schreiber)2014Ana Poets (Gonzales)
1989 Peggy Egli2015James Eckberg
1990Lori Marshall2016Prabin Bajgain
1991Brent W. Delzer2017Jared Goplen
1992 Shawn M. Kaeppler2018Jeffrey Neyhart
1993Todd L. Krone2019Kayla Altendorf
1994 Sandra C. Milach2020Austen Dobbels
1995Philip M. Schwab2021John Hill Price
1996 Blair Waldron2022Rafael Della Coletta
1997Jonathan Shaver2023Michael Burns
1998Michael Olsen2024Hannah Stoll
1999Joann Mudge