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     Serving the Horticulture Industry Since 1899
Bryson L. James Student Research Competition – 2019

First Place - Ph.D. Candidate
Jenny B. Ryals, Mississippi State University

Second Place - Ph.D. Candidate
Laura Garcia Chance, Clemson University

First Place - M.S. Candidate
Mary Lewis, University of Georgia

Second Place - M.S. Candidate
Ian Howard, University of Maryland
John Lea-Cox accepted award for Ian in his absence

Third Place - Ph.D. Candidate
Kaitlin Barrios, University of Georgia

Five students from four universities were presented cash awards totaling $1,800 for their presentations at the Bryson L. James Student Competition held during the 63rd SNA Research Conference. The awards were presented on Tuesday, January 8, at the Baltimore Convention Center, Baltimore, Md., during The SNA Conference by newly-elected SNA President Joseph Napoli.

The competition, sponsored by Bennett’s Creek Wholesale Nursery and Lancaster Farms, is named in honor of Dr. Bryson L. James, McMinnville, TN, a researcher and consultant who served as SNA Director of Research for more than 30 years. Any student of a university or college having researchers that participate in the Southern Nursery Association Research Conference and not more than a one academic year has passed since their graduation and whose research was completed prior to graduation can participate in the competition. Judging is based on paper preparation and oral presentation. The competition is divided into three categories of Ph.D., M.S., and B.S.

First place winners of $500 each included:

Jenny B. Ryals, Mississippi State University (Ph.D.)
Title: Soft and Semi-Hardwood Cutting Propagation of Shumaka™ Crape Myrtle

Mary Lewis, University of Georgia (M.S.)
Title: Hybridization of Native Asclepias Species for the Creation of Novel Cultivars

Second place winners of $300 each included:

Lauren Garcia Chance, Clemson University (Ph.D.)
Title: South Carolina Irrigation Source Water Use and Concerns for the Specialty Crops Production Industry

Ian Howard, University of Maryland (M.S.)
Title: Modifying Green Roof Substrates for Nutrient Retention in Urban Farming Systems

Third place winners of $200 each included:

Kaitlin Barrios, University of Georgia (Ph.D.)
Title: Flurprimidol and Paclobutrazol Drench Applications Influence Growth of Helianthus simulans

In addition to the cash awards for excellence in written and oral presentations for their respective research projects, each student was presented with a plaque.

The SNA Research Conference, which began in 1956, is the country's longest running woody ornamental research conference and provides a forum for horticultural researchers to communicate relevant and recent research findings to the industry. Its origin cannot be traced to any one individual, but its roots were planted by several SNA board members that recognized the need to consolidate duplicate research programs throughout the region. From an informal effort of compiling papers gathered from several horticultural research centers and assembled and printed, this two-day Horticultural Research Conference is held annually and has become world-renowned for quality research. Participants are the top horticultural research and educational leaders from across the country.

Research presented at the SNA Research Conference is published in the annual "SNA Research Conference Proceedings" available on the SNA website at Proceedings from 1991 to present are available with 3,101 titles comprised of 12,184 pages. The 2019 SNA Research Conference Proceedings will be available soon on the SNA website at

 Thank You

We would like to thank the horticultural research community for this efforts in conducting the research contained in these proceedings that make the SNA Research Conference and Proceedings possible.

We would also like to thank our sponsors – Bennett's Creek Nursery and Lancaster Farms – for their financial support of the Bryson L. James Student Research Competition!


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