Established in 2020, the goal of the Lafayette Frederick Diversity in Mentoring Award is to increase the number of practicing plant pathologists from underrepresented groups, particularly those from historically Black colleges and universities, 1890 land-grant institutions, Tribal colleges and universities (1994 land-grant institutions), and minority serving institutions. The award is designed to enable mentors and enhance the academic and professional experiences of mentees. Through encouragement of personal growth and support of experiential learning, the award seeks to introduce and attract mentees to the study of plant pathology, and ultimately to increase their representation within the plant pathology profession. Award funds can be used in a variety of ways to support mentoring efforts and mentees’ development.
Testimonials from former students and colleagues
Support the Lafayette Frederick Diversity in Mentoring Fund
A fundraising goal of $100,000 has been set to endow this award. The APS Foundation and APS Council have pledged $20,000 each in matching funds, so the first $40,000 in donations will be doubled. Every penny counts - give your support today!
Support the fund
Quotes from Donors
"I donated to the fund to recognize the scholarly and personal contributions and achievements of Dr. Lafayette Frederick. He was a strong willed African American scholar who opened doors in difficult times, and willingly became a steadfast effective mentor for others. His passion for plant pathology, his eagerness to teach and share knowledge, and the undivided attention he gave to each mentee were distinguishing qualities."
"I had the opportunity to meet and spend time with Dr. Frederick during two visits to Tuskegee University to recruit undergraduates for our Summer Research Scholars Program. My second visit was in 2013, when he 90 years young, and mentoring was still very much on his radar. What a fascinating person. He grilled me on a new species of powdery mildew that he had just found on Ginko biloba, and wanted me to collect more isolates for him to study. He not only knew everyone on my graduate committee, he knew their major professor's major professor. It uncovered an entire new set of connections to colleagues around the world. It's one thing to read about great discoveries in a textbook. It's quite another to spend an evening with a person who had a seat at the table when it all happened. This gentleman was a national treasure. It was an honor to spend time with him, and to support the award that honors his legacy."
"I was very fortunate that my path to plant pathology was paved with the advice of several excellent mentors. We now have a special opportunity to honor the legacy of renowned plant pathologist and mentor Dr. Lafayette Frederick. Dr. Frederick encouraged and supported Black students in plant pathology and related fields of science, and your contribution to the new Lafayette Frederick Diversity in Mentoring Award will recognize Dr. Frederick’s many contributions while helping others who will add to his legacy. I have made my contribution to this fund and I hope you will also support this very important initiative in APS."
"As a Black undergraduate student at Iowa State University, I was very fortunate to find excellent mentors who nurtured my personal and academic interests and kept me engaged in plant pathology. So I can personally attest that effective mentoring is essential for retaining and helping early career scientists, especially underrepresented minorities (URM), succeed in our discipline. Your donation to the APS Lafayette Frederick Fund is critically important to help the next “Ron Walcott" receive the mentoring needed to launch a successful career as a plant pathologist and add to the fabric of our wonderful and impactful discipline."
2021 Award Recipients
University of Wisconsin-Madison (PhD candidate)
Will mentor students from the Vincent High School of Agricultural Sciences in a project to screen plant pathogenic bacteria for antimicrobial compounds.
University of California-Davis (assistant professor)
Will mentor students from Fort Valley State University and from Tuskegee University in a remote-learning bioinformatics project to identify effectors in Ralstonia solanacearum.
How to apply for the award
Applications are accepted from February 1 to March 15 of each year.