Isaac H. Knowles
Plant Health Management
Department of Plant Pathology
2020 Distinguished Senior Award Celebration Program (.pdf)
Isaac Knowles began his undergraduate Buckeye experience by taking classes at the Marion Campus of The Ohio State University before transitioning to Columbus the following summer.
Isaac names his most valuable undergraduate learning experience as his work during the summer of 2019 in the Wayne National Forest. Here he began to develop his skills, gain hands-on experience, and conduct research out in the field by spending his days hiking through the forest to locate 25-year-old plots and record how they had changed over time. He measured tree species, size, seedling species, and extensive practice identifying woodland plants, every day encountering something he had never seen before.
Meaningful involvement in a variety of student clubs, including holding leadership roles in several organizations, has been Isaac’s most rewarding experience as a student. Each group has its own goals, and he found fulfilment by making contributions to reach them. His variety of clubs, classes, and work has meant putting in some 12-hour days – or beyond – on occasion, but Isaac said he wouldn’t have it any other way.
In addition to coursework, Isaac has held a part-time job with the IT company XTEK as an integration technician. He noted that his work in this role has been very different in contrast to the topics he studies at Ohio State.
When reflecting upon the experience which provided the greatest sense of accomplishment for him, Isaac is proud that his experience working on research in a nematology lab has helped farmers across the state of Ohio. While working in Dr. Terry Niblack’s nematology lab, Isaac contributed to a project for the Ohio Soybean Council which involved collecting soil samples from farmers around the state and testing for soybean cyst nematodes. The results were used to notify producers if a heavy infestation was detected, allowing them to take necessary action.
Isaac has been serving as Treasurer for the Ohio State chapter of the Fish and Wildlife Society student organization. Isaac is also Treasurer for the Plant Health and Research Management (PHARM) Club. In addition to serving as an officer in these student organizations, he represents the Plant Pathology department as a member of the CFAES Student Council. Isaac is also a member of the Society for Ecological Restoration Club and part of the restoration and propagation committees. He has also volunteered for three years as a Franklin County 4-H advisor.
Isaac has been recognized on the Dean’s List for several semesters.
Isaac has not finalized his plans following graduation, but he looks forward to considering a wide range of options to utilize the knowledge he has gained through his undergraduate experiences.
Isaac would like to recognize Mr. Timothy Ralston as his mentor, who has been there for him since he transitioned to the Columbus campus. Whenever Isaac had a question, he is one of the first people he consults. Mr. Ralston has been his lab supervisor for two years, and Isaac can’t imagine his time at Ohio State without his assistance.