United States Department of Agriculture (USDA), Agricultural Research Service (ARS), Vegetable Crops Research Unit (VCRU)

Congratulations, Juan Zalapa!

Juan Zalapa has been selected to receive the Council for Opportunity in Education‘s 2013 National TRIO Achievers award. Zalapa is an assistant professor in the Department of Horticulture and a USDA-ARS Research Geneticist.

The Federal TRIO Programs (TRIO) are Federal outreach and student services programs designed to identify and provide services for individuals from disadvantaged backgrounds. TRIO includes the Ronald E. McNair Post-baccalaureate Achievement Program (McNair Scholars program) whose mission is to prepare eligible low-income and first-generation college students and students from groups that are underrepresented in graduate education for doctoral studies through research and other scholarly activities.

The goal of the McNair program is to increase the attainment of Ph.D. degrees by students underrepresented in graduate education. Dr. Zalapa participated in the TRIO McNair Scholars program as an undergraduate student.

Zalapa received his Ph.D. in Plant Breeding & Plant Genetics in 2005 from the University of Wisconsin-Madison. Dr. Zalapa is actively engaged in the university community, striving to make it a space that is inclusive for underrepresented minorities in STEM majors. He attends McNair seminars and shares his personal journey as a McNair Scholar on the path to PhD and the professoriate.

The TRIO Awards were presented at the Annual Educational Opportunity dinner September 10, 2013 in Chicago.