This award was established to support student travel to annual meetings of The American Phytopathological Society.
Malcolm C. Shurtleff (1922-2010) was born in Fall River, MA. He received his B.S. degree in 1943 from the University of Rhode Island and his M.S. and Ph.D. degrees from the University of Minnesota in 1950 and 1953, respectively. He served as assistant extension professor of plant pathology and entomology at the University of Rhode Island from 1950 to 1954 and as assistant and associate extension professor in the Department of Botany and Plant Pathology, Iowa State University, from 1954 to 1961. He was extension professor at the University of Illinois from 1961 until his retirement in 1992.
Dr. Shurtleff has written more than 1,650 extension and research publications that include books, compendia, bulletins, and articles. He has produced educational slide sets, plant disease profiles, and color illustrations of nearly 1,000 diseases for aids in teaching plant pathology. It is noteworthy that his book How to Control Plant Diseases at Home, Yard and Garden in its two editions was twice chosen as the Garden Book of the Month by the American Garden Guild. Other books and compendia he has written or edited include How to Control Tree Diseases and Pests, Glossary of Plant-Pathological Terms, the Plant Disease Clinic and Field Diagnosis of Abiotic Diseases, the first edition of Compendium of Corn Diseases, the first edition of the Compendium of Soybean Diseases, and two editions of Controlling Turfgrass Pests. Shurtleff has written the plant disease section for multiple editions of the Encyclopedia Britannica and other encyclopedias and the plant disease chapter for the New Better Homes and Gardens Garden Book, 1,001 Garden Problems Book for Reader’s Digest, the Illinois Field Crop Scout Handbook, and the Illinois Plant Pest Profiles.
Dr. Shurtleff is generally recognized as one of the preeminent extension plant pathologists in the world. He was selected as the first chair of the Extension Committee of the International Society of Plant Pathology and was the first state extension specialist elected Fellow of APS (1971). He was the only extension specialist recognized with the Adventures in Agricultural Science Award of Distinction, presented by U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Bob Bergland at the Ninth International Congress of Plant Protection in 1979. His creativity has been recognized by the University of Illinois with the College of Agriculture Paul A. Funk Award for Excellence in Service to Agriculture (1975). Illinois State Senate resolution No. 176 honored Drs. Shurtleff and Hooker during the southern leaf blight epidemic of 1970–1971 for their “objectivity in a situation which verged on panic…that was in the very best tradition of public service.” Shurtleff received the prestigious USDA Distinguished Service Award in 1986; he was the first plant pathologist extension specialist to ever receive that honor. Shurtleff was selected as a Senior University Scholar by the University of Illinois Foundation in 1987 and was the first extension specialist to receive that honor as well. Shurtleff was awarded the E. C. Stakman Award of October 27, 1999, by the Department of Plant Pathology of the University of Minnesota. This award is granted to individuals of any country and nationality for outstanding achievements in plant pathology. He led the development of the University of Illinois Integrated Plant Disease Clinic, which he directed from 1984 to 1985. Shurtleff has given more than 42 years of outstanding service as a professor and extension specialist to Illinois and the United States. He has touched the lives of numerous people with his extensive knowledge and service.