Rom named Fellow of American Society for Horticultural Science

Sept. 17, 2012
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Dr. Curt Rom, Professor of Horticulture

Fred Miller, Agricultural Communication Services,
University of Arkansas System Division of Agriculture

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curt rom

Dr. Curt Rom, Professor of Horticulture, University of Arkansas System Division of Agriculture and Dale Bumpers College of Agricultural, Food and Life Sciences.
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FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. — The American Society for Horticultural Science recognized Curt R. Rom, a professor of Horticulture at the University of Arkansas System Division of Agriculture and the Dale Bumpers College of Agricultural, Food and Life Sciences at the University of Arkansas, as a Fellow at their annual science meeting in Miami, Fla.

The recognition as Fellow is the highest recognition from the ASHS and is given to an elite group of horticulturists who have a distinguished career in research, education, and service to horticulture science.

Rom grew up on a small family farm that produced fruit for local direct markets. He received a bachelor's degree from the University of Arkansas in horticulture and both master's and doctoral degrees from The Ohio State University. He became an instructor at Ohio State and served as an advisor to the OSU Fruit and Vegetable Society. Upon graduation, he joined the Department of Horticulture and Landscape Architecture at Washington State University as a fruit crop physiologist, working primarily with apples and cherries, and teaching fruit crop science and integrated crop and pest management.

In 1989 he returned to the University of Arkansas department of horticulture to study and teach fruit production and physiology, fruit cultivar and rootstock development and apple breeding. He participated in the ESCOP/ACOP leadership development program. He received an OECD fellowship to study fruit crop physiology in the Netherlands and Great Britain.

Rom's teaching responsibilities expanded in 1998, permitting him to introduce many students to horticultural science through undergraduate and graduate courses. He has advised 11 master's and five doctoral students and served on more than 40 other graduate committees. He currently serves as the director of the Bumpers College Honors Program, assisting more than 100 honors students in science disciplines and with independent capstone research projects and theses.

He has served as an advisor to the Horticulture Club and GroGreen-Student Organic Farm and Campus Community Garden student organization. Rom has led several study tours around the U.S., to Scotland and Great Britain, Italy, and China. He was selected as a Fulbright Fellow Senior Lecturer to teach at the University of Padova, Italy, in the Department of Environmental Vegetable and Crop Production.

Rom has received several awards for teaching including Gamma Sigma Delta Award of Merit, the John W. White Outstanding Teaching Award, the L.M. Ware Distinguished Teaching award from Southern Region ASHS, and the Outstanding Undergraduate Educator Award from ASHS. He was inducted as a Fellow in the University of Arkansas Teaching Academy and served as its President.

In 2000, Rom changed the direction of his research program to emphasize sustainable and organic production systems, farmers markets, and local food systems. He has been recognized for his research with the U.P. Hedrick award from the American Pomological Society, two time recipient of the Shepherd award for outstanding publication in the Journal of the American Pomological Society for his collaboration in a national research project, and the USDA Honor Award of Excellence in Group Research for collaborations in a multidisciplinary apple research program.

Rom is past Vice President, Treasurer, and Board member of the ASHS and is the President-Elect of the ASHS Southern Region. He served as Associate Editor for the Journal of the American Society for Horticultural Science, and on the editorial board of the American Pomological Society. He is past secretary and president of the American Pomological Society.

Rom is a frequently requested speaker on horticulture and research at grower and trade group meetings in North America. He has presented more than 200 talks to trade groups or organizations, and participated in more than 150 presentations in science society workshops, symposia, conferences and meetings.