Nancy Bohl Bormann and Eduardo Garay receive Hueg-Harrison Fellowships

June 12, 2023

Two LAAS graduate students were named Hueg-Harrison Fellows by CFANS: Nancy Bohl Bormann, advised by Melissa Wilson and Erin Cortus, and Eduardo Garay, advised by Fabián Fernández; both are working toward PhDs in Land and Atmospheric Science. 

The Hueg-Harrison Fellowship was established in 2002 by Bill and Hella Mears Hueg to honor the strong relationship Mr. Hueg had with his mentor Carter M. Harrison. Today, the fellowship recognizes students who exemplify the student-mentor relationship. Fellows receive full stipend and tuition for the academic year. 

Here they share a bit about their mentor relationship and their goals for the future.

Nancy Bohl Bormann

A photo of Nancy Bohl Bormann

Describe your relationship with your research mentors: 

Prior to my PhD studies, I worked in the nutrient management field for fourteen years. I had not thought I would go back to graduate school, but after visiting with Dr. Melissa Wilson and Dr. Erin Cortus about the manure database project, I decided to pursue my PhD. Since I returned to school after some years in the workforce, I am actually very close in age to my advisors. So while we are peers in one regard, we bring different, complementary perspectives to each other. I bring a real life, boots on the ground, experience as a farmer and agronomist working with livestock producers on nutrient management plans and other environmental issues. My advisors challenge and push me on the academic aspect of these items with cutting-edge agricultural science, statistics and experimental design, research philosophies, communication, and Extension expertise. 

What advice would you give a student seeking a mentor? 

Reach out to people whose work and/or life you are interested in! Most people will be responsive to folks inquisitive about their work. Ask colleagues about who they may recommend would be someone you should meet in your field. Attend meetings, conferences, field days, webinars, and visit with people. Science is important, but connections with people will take you even further.

How will this fellowship help you reach your goals, both while in graduate school and for the future? 

This award brings elevated recognition to our work and will assist in the last year of my PhD studies. I am very honored to receive this Fellowship!

Eduardo Garay 

A photo of Eduardo Garay Lagos

Describe your relationship with your research mentor: 

Working with Dr. Fernández has been quite a ride! I couldn’t be more grateful for having the opportunity to pursue my PhD degree with such an amazing researcher, but more importantly an incredible human being. I truly think that the student-mentor relationship is sometimes underrated as we dive into grad school when it truly is such a critical component that can make a huge difference in your future. Going for a PhD is not an easy task, and I am happy to have an advisor that supports me and also inspires me to be better in every aspect of my life. Dr. Fernández is a gold standard representation of our University motto of being “Driven to Discover” with the hope and aim of a better and more sustainable future.  

What advice would you give a student seeking a mentor? 

I would highly recommend taking a really deep look at this particular aspect when deciding on a graduate degree program. It is definitely not an easy road, and having a true partner along the way will make a HUGE difference. In addition, enjoy your time as much as possible as one way or the other you are getting the privilege of sharing a lot of each other's time. Be candid and respectful always, and learn as much as you can from them! 

How will this fellowship help you reach your goals, both while in graduate school and for the future?  

This fellowship will be critical towards the latter stages of my PhD degree. The award will support me as I aim to wrap-up my dissertation and is key towards potentially opening more doors and opportunities in my professional journey. Again, I couldn’t be more grateful to everyone involved in making this a reality!