Michael Goodin Global Aspirations Award

Dr. Michael Goodin, a professor in the Department of Plant Pathology, passed away unexpectedly on December 12, 2020. His exuberant personality and extraordinary passion was a vital and unique part of the Agricultural and Medical Biotechnology program. Dr. Goodin was a native of Jamaica. He earned an undergraduate degree from Brock University in Canada, graduate degrees at Penn State, and a prestigious post-doctoral fellowship at UC Berkley. These experiences flavored his already diverse background with a deep appreciation for different cultures and perspectives. Additionally, he was an internationally renowned plant virologist, well known for his research on the interactions of plant viral and host proteins, as well as for the development of novel viral minireplication systems and establishment of model plant viral hosts. Dr. Goodin was able to leverage this expertise with his love of coffee, developing a research program that characterized novel viral pathogens in the Brazilian coffee industry. However, despite his acclaim, he was perhaps best known by members of our community for his passionate commitment to education.
Dr. Goodin’s experience with education spanned nearly two decades at the University of Kentucky, where he taught numerous graduate classes in the Department of Plant Pathology, in addition to serving important leadership roles in the Agricultural and Medical Biotechnology (ABT) program where he arguably had his greatest impact. Fondly referred to as “Dr. G” by the hundreds of students who were lucky enough to enroll in his classes, Michael took particular pride in broadening students’ horizons with tales of his travels, explorations of his photo journals, discussions based on his popular science blog, and liberal applications of coffee and food.

The Michael Goodin Global Aspirations Award for undergraduate students in the College of Agriculture, Food and Environment, was established to honor the late Dr. Goodin for his dedication and passion for student success and his sensitivity to student needs. Awards shall first be given to students who are facing challenges in their personal life and/or in their academic career and need urgent financial assistance. If no primary award students are identified, then awards may be used for research-related travel expenses. Preference will be given to students in the Agricultural and Medical Biotechnology program. The funds for the award have been established through charitable donations from friends who wish to honor Dr. Goodin’s legacy of embracing student diversity in all aspects, his recognition that students learn in different ways and his work to engage students across many modalities.

Students who wish to be considered for this award should contact Esther Fleming, efleming@uky.edu.

Please contact Tressa Neal, CAFE Director of Donor Relations, tressa.neal@uky.edu  if you wish to contribute to the fund.