A challenge in agricultural extension was the amount of time spent diagnosing plant diseases and insects, and she soon recognized a need for more training. She took a disease diagnostics course from Charles Averre at NCSU and was hooked. After six years in the extension service, Carroll returned to NCSU to pursue a Ph.D. degree in plant pathology under the guidance of Paul Shoemaker and Eddie Echandi, and joined the APS as a student member.
In 1988, Carroll began her industry career as a plant pathologist with Ciba-Geigy’s Northeast Research Station in Hudson, NY, where she was responsible for field and laboratory research programs for fungicide, nematicide, and biocontrol product development, including efficacy and residue trials. She also worked with universities in Maine, New Hampshire, and Massachusetts and with the Cape Cod Cranberry Growers to evaluate disease-control products. In 1991, Carroll accepted a position in the Regulatory Affairs Department, managing data requirements for all of Ciba-Geigy’s pesticide registrations in California, followed by a U.S. EPA regulatory manager position for insecticide products. In 1995, Carroll became manager of study resources—the department that ensures the quality of outside contract studies in residue chemistry, metabolism, and worker exposure. At the Ciba merger with Sandoz, she continued in study resources and took on management of the Toxicology Department.
In the newly formed Novartis, Carroll became the manager of food quality and IPM initiatives, where she worked with food packers and processors to develop integrated pest management programs and to address challenges to pesticide registration presented by passage of the Food Quality Protection Act (FQPA). Under the FQPA evaluation process, there was a need for information on percents of crops treated, data that was not readily available. Carroll served on a Federal Advisory Committee to address this need. She also served for a number of years on the EPA’s Pesticide Policy Dialogue Program Committee. Currently, she is a senior stewardship manager with Syngenta.
Carroll has been an active member of APS for more than 20 years, serving on numerous APS committees, including the Industry (chair, 1996), Chemical Control, and the Integrated Plant Disease Management Committees. In 1998, Carroll was appointed chair to an Industry Committee to address increasing the number of APS members from industry and better engaging industry members in society functions. One of the recommendations from the committee was the formation of an Industry Advisory Committee with representation on APS Council. The Industry Advisory Committee was established for a three-year term with representation by Carroll at council meetings. This led to the 2003 proposal for an Office of Industry Relations, which was approved and is now a part of the society’s structure.
Carroll served as an industry representative on the APS National Plant Pathology Board, and later the Public Policy Board (PPB), a board established to provide the society’s input on the development of scientifically sound decision-making policies. One of the board’s goals was to establish a better relationship with the Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) Office of Pesticide Programs (OPP). To achieve that goal, Carroll set up regular meetings with OPP during PPB’s annual Washington visit leading to a PPB/OPP roundtable meeting in February 2009. This meeting provided for APS interaction with the OPP’s Biological Effects Assessment Division, USDA’s Office of Pest Management Policy, and the National Agricultural Statistics Survey on topics of mutual interest.