Scholarship Program

Each year, the Potato Leadership, Education and Advancement Foundation (Potato LEAF) awards one $10,000 academic scholarship to a graduate student with strong interest in research that can directly benefit the potato industry.

Now Accepting 2021-22 Graduate-level Annual Scholarship Applications

This year, Potato LEAF will award one $10,000 scholarship to honor a graduate student (Master’s degree or higher) working to conduct research and provide information that will improve the future of the U.S. potato industry. Research focus may include basic research or applied research that improves potato production efficiency, addresses pest management and disease issues, increases consumer benefits from potato consumption and or produces knowledge related to advancing the competitiveness of the U. S. potato industry.

The scholarship will be awarded in August 2021 for application towards the 2021-2022 academic year. The 2021-2022 scholarship application can be found here.

2020 Scholarship Winner

Jeewan Pandey, a third-year graduate student Texas A&M University’s Department of Horticultural Sciences, was the recipient of the 2020-21 Academic Scholarship.

As a Ph.D. candidate and graduate research and teaching assistant, Jeewan’s research involves the application of DNA-based markers in potato breeding to speed up the development of new varieties that would require fewer pesticide applications. He is also conducting genetic diversity studies and genome-wide association studies with the final goal of accelerating selection using genomics-enabled approaches.

I’m so excited and grateful to be a Potato LEAF award recipient! This award will be incredibly beneficial in helping me move forward with my career aspirations of obtaining a Ph.D. degree in plant breeding. After this, I want to apply my knowledge and skills to contribute towards the education of new professionals, the generation of scientific knowledge, and contribute towards the advancement of the agricultural industry.

Jeewan Pandey, 2020-21 Academic Scholarship Recipient

Jeewan is an active leader on campus, recently serving on student-led committee that organized the Texas A&M Plant Breeding Symposium (2019 and 2020). He also serves as Vice-President of the Horticulture Graduate Council at Texas A&M, and Graduate and Professional Student Government Senator. He is a member of the Potato Association of America, the American Society of Horticultural Sciences, and the National Plant Breeders’ Association.

Previous scholarship recipients:

2019Sofia Giron, University of Wisconsin-Madison
2018Kirk Amundson, University of California – Davis
2017Adrienne Gorny, Cornell University
2016Justin Clements, University of Wisconsin-Madison
2015Shunping Ding, University of Wisconsin-Madison
2014Washington Luis da Silva, Cornell University
2013Rhett Spear, Washington State University
2012Michael Hardigan, Michigan State University
2011Anders Schmidt Huseth, University of Wisconsin-Madison
2010Yu Chen, University of Wisconsin
2009Jacob M. Blauer. Washington State University
2008Leah McCann, University of Wisconsin-Madison
Maria Del Pilar Marquez-Villavicencio, University of Wisconsin-Madison
Jason Cavatorta, Cornell University
2007Magnifique Nzaramba, Texas A&M University
Daniel Justin Gerhardt, University of Wisconsin-Madison
2006Per Hilding McCord, North Carolina State University
Sarah Ann Rosenthal, University of Wisconsin-Madison
2005Lavanya Reddivari, Texas A&M University
Thomas Reed Bowen, University of Idaho
2004Ioana Dinu, University of Minnesota
Donna Henderson, University of Idaho
2003Ryon Ottoman, Oregon State University
Jeff Pack, University of Florida
2002Ryan Hayes, University of Minnesota
Mark Pavek, Washington State University
2001Anna Hale, Texas A&M University
Megan Carrazana, University of California-Davis
2000Jane Choi, Washington
Andy Hornbacher, Idaho
1999Christine Armer, Oregon
Chris Gunter, Wisconsin
1998Joseph Kuhl, Wisconsin
Silvia Fernandez, Maine