Horticulture Students Recognized During Pi Alpha Xi Initiation Ceremony and Charter Presentation

Horticulture undergraduates, graduate students, and faculty were inducted into the Alpha Rho chapter of Pi Alpha Xi (PAX), the national honor society for horticulture, during a charter presentation and celebration held on February 13, 2012, in the Memorial Union. In attendance to present Oregon State University with the charter was past PAX National President John Peterson.

Oregon State University's PAX chapter faculty advisor, Ryan Contreras, Assistant Professor in the Department of Horticulture, started the proceedings, followed by remarks from past College of Agricultural Sciences Dean Sonny Ramaswamy and Anita Azarenko, the Department of Horticulture's past Head. OSU was presented with the charter, and the new initiates took their oath. The ceremony was followed by a networking mixer.

"It's great for undergrads to mix with faculty and graduate students in an organization like this," explains Contreras. "They get to learn about graduate school and the types of projects being done. It gives the students an opportunity to plan their trajectory, whether it be a research project or graduate school."

The following undergraduates from Horticulture were inducted into PAX: Mary Kohl, Alex Moeller, Rose Potter, Mary Morey, Ranann Blatter, David Benjamin, Jessica Pulliam, Wayne Hitt, Katy Echauri, Amanda Irish, and Signe Danler.

In addition, Horticulture graduate students Christina Hagerty, Brooke Peterschmidt, Todd Lemein, Alison Reeve, Renee Harkins, Megan Mathey, Joseph Rothleutner, Richard Martinson, Morgan Curtis, Ty Patton, Laurie McKenzie, Kristen Pool and Jimmy Klick were initiated into PAX.

Over the past year, PAX events have included quarterly social events, including a heirloom apple orchard tour and tasting at 2 Towns Ciderhouse. Contreras' goal is to add service projects to the mix, like renovating the landscape at the southeast entrance of the Agricultural Life Sciences building.

"PAX initiates should be very proud," said Contreras. "They're being recognized for being our highest achieving students."

Undergraduate students must maintain at least a 3.0 GPA and have junior standing to be eligible.

The following Horticulture faculty were also inducted into PAX: Anita Azarenko, Patty Skinkis, Gail Langellotto, Mara Friddle, and Rob Golembiewski, who left OSU in April 2012.

View 2012 Initiation Ceremony Photos »