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Graduate Student Values Connections Built at OSU

Monday, January 24, 2022

Doctoral student Grace Flusche Ogden started as a biochemistry and molecular biology major with a pre-vet option at Oklahoma State University in 2014. 


“I was determined to attend veterinary school and was even accepted into OSU’s early admission program,” Ogden said. 


“I had the opportunity to help with a research project at the veterinary school, and although the project was really neat, I came to terms with the fact that veterinary medicine wasn’t what I expected. I started looking into what my options were for other majors, and I sent emails to professors in horticulture, landscape architecture, botany and plant and soil science.”


Sergio Abit, assistant professor in plant and soil science, was the first to respond to Ogden with a time to meet.


“If he hadn’t responded, I don’t know what I’d be doing for a career right now,” Ogden said. “The connections I made in undergrad greatly influenced my decision to return to OSU for my Ph.D. following my master’s degree at Texas Tech University.”


Ogden’s dissertation is on “sweep tillage impact on weed management and soil health.”


In layman’s terms, “my research projects investigate if sweep tillage could be an effective tool for managing hard-to-control grassy weeds and assess soil health parameters after sweep tillage, such as aggregate stability. This research is conducted in wheat, corn and sorghum,” Ogden said. “I have also had the opportunity to create the curriculum for a new course offered in the Department of Plant and Soil Science, and I think it’s the coolest part of my job.”


Ogden said she chose OSU because of the community. 


“I have never felt supported like I do here,” she said. “When I interviewed with Dr. Haggard, and she mentioned I would be able to design and teach my own class, I knew this was where I wanted to be.”  


Ogden said she is passionate about working with students on projects and seeing the light in a student’s eyes when they have struggled with a concept and then, it clicks. 


“My interactions with students really drive me to be a better researcher and instructor,” she said. “My favorite part of graduate school is getting to teach.”


Ogden said she plans to continue teaching in the higher education environment following graduate school. 

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