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Seven Students Awarded Bryson L. James Student Competition Awards

07 Dec 2016 2:26 PM | Karen Summers (Administrator)

2016 Bryson L. James Student Competition Award Winners (Left to Right). Nastaran Basiri, Zhitong Li, M. Terri Williams, David Gianino, Geoffrey Weaver, Avery Lamb, and Shuyang Zhen

Atlanta, Ga., December 5, 2016 Seven students from four universities were presented cash awards totaling $2,500 for their presentations at the Bryson L. James Student Competition held during the 61st SNA Research Conference. The awards were presented on Wednesday, August 31, at The Classic Center, Athens, GA, during the SNA Research Conference Luncheon.

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 over 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 Shuyang Zhen, University of Georgia (Ph.D.), David Gianino, University of Georgia  (M.S.), and Avery Lamb, Auburn University(B.S.). Second place winners of $300 each included Geoffrey Weaver, University of Georgia (Ph.D.), and M. Terri Williams, North Carolina State University (M.S.). Third place winners of $200 each included Nastaran  Basiri Jahromi, University of Tennessee(Ph.D.), and Zhitong Li, University of Georgia (M.S.). 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 the 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 - 2016 are available with 3,079  titles comprised of 12,074 pages. The 2016 SNA Research Conference Proceedings is now available on the SNA website at

The 62nd Annual SNA Research Conference is scheduled for Tuesday and Wednesday, August 1 – 2, 2017, in conjunction with the SEGreen Conference, produced by SNA, in Athens, GA.

Founded in 1899, the Southern Nursery Association represents the horticulture industry in the Southeastern U.S. SNA provides member services to wholesale growers, brokers, retailers, landscape contractors, landscape architects, grounds maintenance contractors, interiorscapers and allied suppliers. The SNA strives to unite and advance the horticulture industry through educational, research and marketing efforts.

For more information on SNA, contact the Southern Nursery Association, Inc., PO Box 801454, Acworth, GA 30101, 678.809.9992,, or visit the SNA website at


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