Carpenter-Boggs honored with Alumni Achievement Award


PULLMAN, Wash. – Lynn Carpenter-Boggs, a Washington State University alumna and faculty member, was honored recently with the Washington State University Alumni Association (WSUAA) Alumni Achievement Award in recognition of her outstanding accomplishments as a researcher, professor and scientist in the fields of soil microbiology,sustainable agriculture and crop and soil sciences.

Carpenter-Boggs worked as a soil microbiologist with the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Agriculture Research Service in Minnesota for three years after earning a doctoral degree in soil science from WSU in 1997. In 2000, she returned to WSU to accept a position as a research associate and instructor with the WSU departments of plant pathology and crop and soil sciences.

In 2006, she was appointed biologically­ intensive and organic agriculture (BioAg) coordinator for WSU’s Center for Sustaining Agriculture and Natural Resources (CSANR). She subsequently was named the BIOAg research leader for CSANR and was recently appointed an associate professor in crop and soil sciences.

Carpenter-Boggs and Stewart Higgins
Carpenter-Boggs and Stewart Higgins

She was nominated for the Distinguished Alumni Achievement Award by colleagues Stewart Higgins, a research associate with the WSU Department of Crop and Soils Sciences, and Jeffery Smith, a soil biologist with the USDA’s land management and research unit in Pullman. The pair cited her numerous accomplishments while working at CSANR in their letter supporting her nomination.

“In the few short years since 2006, Lynne has been the face of WSU, not only for many Pacific Northwest farmers, ranchers and foresters, but for numerous farmers and families across the United States and around the world,” they wrote. They cited her leadership in numerous research projects that have benefited farmers in Egypt, Jordan, Iraq, Kazakhstan and the United Arab Emirates, as well as the U.S., as examples of the broad reach of her work.

“It is not, however, her unselfish service to the university, or her productivity, for which she deserves this award,” Higgins and Smith wrote. “One hallmark of Dr. Carpenter- Boggs’ research is that she approaches the research from the perspective of the farmer’s family, rather than from the perspective of an academician. This approach comes naturally to Lynne by virtue of her compassion, and it is this compassion that sets her apart.

“Imagine for a moment that you are a parent in rural Rwanda. Every morning, you get up to face another day of trying to raise a subsistence crop on degraded soils so your children will have the nutrition to thrive. It’s a losing battle. Along comes a woman from WSU with the knowledge, skill and willingness to make a difference for you and your children. And that’s what she does – make a difference even though it’s not required of her. World Class? Face to Face? Lynne Carpenter-Boggs embodies these concepts with consummate compassion and to lasting effect.”

The WSU Alumni Association created the Alumni Achievement Award in 1970 to recognize and honor alumni who have given outstanding service to WSU and/or outstanding contributions to their community and/or profession and/or nation. The award is the highest honor bestowed by the association.

Since its conception the award has been bestowed on 511 alumni. Recipients constitute .002 percent of the estimated quarter of a million people who have attended WSU over the years.