Dr. Seong Hwan Kim received his BS from Seoul National University in Korea in 1963. After completion of his military service for the Republic of Korea, he continued his education in the United States. He earned the MS from the University of Delaware (Thesis advisor Dr. Don Crossan on Bacterial Blight of Peppers) in 1967 and the Ph.D. from the University of Maryland (Thesis advisors Drs. James Kantzes, L.O. Weaver and R.W. Goth on Stem Rot of Beans) in 1972. Dr. Kim taught several plant pathology courses during the 5 years at the University of Maryland. He has directed the Plant Disease Diagnostic Laboratory, Pennsylvania Department of Agriculture since 1972. Under his direction, the laboratory has attained international recognition for excellence in regulatory plant pathology.
Dr. Kim's work has included development of detection protocols for greenhouse and nursery crops and vegetable transplant inspection services, as well as certification programs for geranium, seed potato and seed. He compiled a Pennsylvania Plant Disease Index, composed of over 3,000 diseases with information on the annual occurrence of each.
Dr. Kim has been a member of the American Phytopathological Society and the Potomac Division since 1965. Even though he has not resided within the geographical limits of the Potomac Division since 1972, he has remained an active member of the Potomac Division, presenting scientific work at nearly every meeting. He has served the Potomac Division as a graduate student paper judge, program committee, invited symposium speaker and was the local arrangements chair for the first joint meeting of the Potomac and North East Divisions in Carlisle, PA (1994). Committee service for the national society has included chair of the Diagnostics Committee in 1989 and member of the Seed Pathology Committee. He played a major role in the creation and establishment of the Diagnostics Committee.
Dr. Kim has published approximately 50 articles and abstracts in APS journals on a wide array of topics. He has attained international recognition for his work in diagnosis and detection of plant pathogens. Other honors include an Appreciation Award from the Korean Society of Plant Pathology in 1991, and the title of Honorary Scientist from the Rural Development Administration of the Republic of Korea in 1998.
Dr. Kim is generous with his time, serving as a mentor and advisor for many students at the high school, undergraduate, graduate and post graduate levels. His advice on science fair and senior Biology projects has inspired several students to pursue graduate degrees in plant pathology. Several domestic and foreign scientists have trained in his lab. He is often consulted on sensitive regulatory issues for his expertise in detection for such diseases as potato ring rot, bacterial fasciation of geranium, seed-borne pathogens, bacterial blight of geranium, and identification of Phytophthora species. He maintains extensive collections of plant pathogenic bacteria and species of the fungus Phytophthora. These collections are freely shared with colleagues.
Dr. Kim and his wife Judy live in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania and have two grown sons.
Let us all join in bestowing the Potomac Division's Distinguished Service Award on Dr. Seong Hwan Kim.