Skip to Content

### Spotlight on Mitchell Calvin: A Promising Forestry Graduate

Mitchell Calvin is pursuing a master’s degree with a focus on identifying genetic variations in American beech trees that contribute to resistance against beech bark disease.

  • Hometown: Grand Rapids, MI
  • Degree in Progress: Master’s degree, expected graduation Spring 2025

Research Focus

The primary focus of Mitchell’s research revolves around discovering genetic variations in American beech trees that enhance their resistance to beech bark disease. This disease, caused by an invasive insect, has been detrimental to the forests of eastern North America for over a century.

Inspiration for Pursuing a Ph.D. in Forestry

Mitchell’s interest in pursuing a Ph.D. in Forestry stemmed from his initial job in forestry research, which involved extensive fieldwork. Through this experience, he witnessed the destructive impact of insects and diseases on forest ecosystems. Coupled with his undergraduate studies in genetics, this exposure sparked his curiosity about genetic resistance to forest pests and pathogens and its potential implications for maintaining forest health.

Choice of MSU for Graduate Studies

The decision to study at MSU was influenced by its renowned forestry department and expertise in plant genetics. The opportunity to work with advisor Jeremy Johnson, particularly in studying the genetics of disease resistance, was a key factor in Mitchell’s choice to pursue forest genetics at MSU.

Memorable Graduate School Experience

Mitchell highlights the exceptional individuals he has encountered during his time at MSU as one of the most rewarding aspects of his graduate school journey. The supportive and welcoming community, coupled with the passion and diverse research pursuits of his peers, has created a positive and engaging atmosphere for academic and social interactions within the department.

Program Insights

The forestry program at MSU stands out for its interdisciplinary nature, offering a wide array of research opportunities across various facets of forest science. Students benefit from the flexibility to tailor their projects and coursework to align with their research interests, fostering a conducive environment for exploration and specialization within forestry.

Highlights of Being an MSU Student

As an MSU student, Mitchell appreciates the vibrant and diverse community that the university offers. Beyond academic resources, the plethora of extracurricular activities, clubs, museums, and events enrich the overall student experience, creating a dynamic and stimulating environment both on and off campus.

Advice for Current Students

Mitchell encourages current students to embrace this phase as an opportunity for exploration and discovery, emphasizing the importance of delving into areas of personal interest. He advises students to enroll in courses that spark excitement and engage in diverse experiences to broaden their horizons. For those considering graduate studies, Mitchell suggests immersing themselves in research to gain valuable insights into the academic pursuit.

Future Plans

Looking ahead, Mitchell intends to pursue a Ph.D. to further advance his research in forest genetics, continuing his exploration of genetic mechanisms underlying disease resistance in forest ecosystems.

Feedback Request

If you found this article helpful, kindly share your feedback to help us enhance our content for future readers. Thank you for your input.