why do plants matter
Why plants matter


DEI scholar: Catelyn Bridges

In 2017, Catelyn Bridges was 23, from Omaha, Neb., and starting graduate school at Texas A&M University. It was the first time in her life she saw someone like herself in a faculty position: a Black woman in the sciences.

“She really gave me the insight into what a faculty member could be on a research-teaching appointment,” Bridges recalled. “You can have a family and also do what you love and teach and mentor. That was the first insight I had that I wanted to be a professor.”

DEI scholar: Anca Barcu

The Communists seized the family farm 70 miles outside Bucharest, Romania, and left Anca Barcu’s grandmother with her house and a half-acre of land. Then, they trucked off the family’s two white oxen – their tractor and transport. Barcu’s parents worked in the capital, but couldn’t afford keep her with them, so from the age of 10 months, she grew up with her widowed grandmother in the country. At 3, the little girl pestered to have her own tiny flower garden until, finally, the family gave in.