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OSU regents professor awarded Eminent Faculty Award

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Brett Carver

Brett Carver, regents professor and wheat genetics chair in the Oklahoma State University Department of Plant and Soil Sciences, received the Eminent Faculty Award last month. 

Regents professor and wheat genetics chairman, Brett Carver, was awarded the Oklahoma State University Eminent Faculty Award for his outstanding contributions to instruction and service.

“As the leader of the Wheat Improvement Team, Dr. Carver has unparalleled success in the development of plant variety cultivars with a record five wheat varieties in 2020.” Tom Coon, the vice president and dean of OSU Agriculture explained. “These 2020 wheat varieties give farmers the best virus resistance package of genes to date.” 

One faculty member receives The Eminent Faculty Award at Oklahoma State University every year based on their contributions to scholarly and creative activity, teaching, and service and bringing honor and recognition to the university. The award is provided with a $10,000 reward and a commemorative plaque. 

“It was a great feeling because it shows there is recognition that we have different ways of accomplishing the same mission at this university.” Carver said. “The precedent has been set that the university recognizes all walks of life-related to the land-grant mission. This was not just an individual award. It’s a culmination of a lot of interactions and a lot of growing up over the years, and I didn’t grow up alone.”

According to the March 2022 Oklahoma Variety Report from the U.S. Department of Agriculture-National Agricultural Statistics Service, the top four leading wheat varieties planted in the state was developed by OSU for the fifth year in a row.  

Carver’s work with colleagues in Eastern Europe resulted in the creation of germplasm exchanges that benefit breeding programs, scientists, agriculturalists, and other stakeholders throughout the country. His strong relationship with colleagues at the Romanian National Agricultural Research and Development Institute and Hungarian Agricultural Research Institute has led to climate change-resistant crops and further resistance against diseases and insects. 

“When they find out I work for a university, the first question people ask me is ‘What do you teach?’ I teach genetics.” Carver said. “I would never say I don’t teach. It just comes with the job as a wheat breeder. I have to step out of the scientific realm and not just educate about wheat, but market the product we’re developing. It’s part of educating beyond the scientific and university community.”

Carver also collaborated with the Wheat Food Councils to educate America about wheat products and served trade team delegations for the U.S. Wheat Associations and the Oklahoma Wheat Commission. Carver has helped with numerous trademarks, grants, and patents. 

“I am not sure how many miles Dr. Carver walks in wheat fields in a typical wheat productive sessions, but it must be equivalent to several marathons,” Coon said. “His dedication to his profession, service to OSU, contributions to science through the Wheat Improvement Team, and highly successful student program make him an outstanding candidate for the Eminent Faculty Award.”