A Mississippi State faculty member has been elected to lead the Mississippi Academy of Sciences by members-at-large.
K. Raja Reddy, research professor in the Department of Plant and Soil Sciences in MSU’s College of Agriculture and Life Sciences and scientist in the Mississippi Agricultural and Forestry Experiment Station, begins his term as MAS president July 1.
As president, Reddy plans to further the state’s conversation on agriculture science and facilitate new student opportunities. He will direct a special agriculture science issue for the peer-reviewed Journal of Mississippi Academy of Sciences. He also is helping develop a junior academy platform, so K-12 students can become a part of the organization.
“I am honored to be chosen to lead the state’s prestigious science organization and to help direct policy over the year,” said Reddy. “My goals are to encourage all science and engineering students and scientists to be more involved in annual meetings and science education programs across Mississippi.”
Reddy has been serving the Mississippi Academy in different capacities for the past five years. This spring, he received the Contribution to Science Award, the academy’s top research award.
Wes Burger, associate director of the Mississippi Agricultural and Forestry Experiment Station, spoke to Reddy’s qualifications to lead the organization.
“Dr. Reddy is an internationally recognized scientist in the field of plant physiology and climate adapted crops. His role as incoming president of Mississippi Academy of Sciences is a culmination of his service to this organization and commitment to advancing science in the state, region and nation,” Burger said. “As Mississippi’s leading research institute, Mississippi State University is proud to have one of our preeminent scientists serve at the helm of MAS.”
Reddy additionally serves as director of the Soil-Plant-Atmosphere-Research, or SPAR, unit and focuses his research on crop stress physiology. A fellow of the American Society of Agronomy and the Crop Science Society of America—an honor that recognizes professional work, leadership, research and service—Reddy has more than 30 years of service at MSU and in various professional societies. He also is a recipient of MSU’s Ralph E. Powe Research Excellence Award, the university’s top research honor. Reddy has mentored 30 students, including five undergraduate research scholars, 11 master’s students and 14 doctoral students; 15 post doctorates and more than 35 visiting scientists at MSU. Several of those students and post doctorates have received presentation and poster awards at MAS.
Reddy succeeds LaShan Simpson as president, who transitions to the role of past president within MAS. Simpson is an associate professor in MSU’s Department of Agricultural and Biological Engineering and a MAFES scientist as well.
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