The Rose Graduate Fellowship in Water Research endowment will help graduate students address the looming global water crisis.

Dr. Joan and Tom Rose, who live in Williamston, have strong ties to Michigan State University. Joan’s position as professor and the Homer Nowlin Chair in Water Research in Fisheries and Wildlife coupled with her passion for water, motivated the couple to establish a fellowship fund to support graduate students on campus who are doing research in water: fresh or salt.

The Rose Graduate Fellowship in Water Research Endowment will benefit students enrolled in any graduate program at MSU to help to address the looming global water crisis and support the next generation of scientists who will help us solve water problems here in Michigan, the Great Lakes, nationally, and globally. A part of the Roses’ gift came from the Athalie Richardson Irvine Clarke Water Prize, presented to Dr. Rose in 2001 for significant contributions to Water Science and Technology, from the National Water Research Institute.

The Red Cedar River

Courtesy: MSU Communications and Brand Strategy

Dr. Rose’s affiliation with MSU began eight years ago, but her connection to the Great Lakes, water quality and health goes back to the Cryptosporidium outbreak in Milwaukee in 1993. The Michigan Water Works Association was one of the first in the region to invite Dr. Rose to discuss this emerging threat to public health and water supplies. Her decision to move from the University of South Florida was due to the excellence in aquatic sciences and global perspective at MSU. She co-directs the Center for Water Sciences and the Center for Advancing Microbial Risk Assessment, and supervises the Water Quality, Environmental, and Molecular Microbiology Laboratory. More important, she plays a key role in the area of water research. Her vision [her work] sees MSU leading the state and becoming Michigan’s Center for water research and education as well as water science and technology. Tom has a degree in landscape horticulture from the University of Arizona, where he focused on native plants and water savings. He maintains a strong interest in gardening and landscaping. He joined the MSU AIS team in 2007 and works in the Help & Support Center.

“Water is the most important resource on earth,” Dr. Rose said. “Scarcity and pollution are impacting every part of our lives here at home and throughout the world. Water is at the nexus of energy and climate issues; important to food security, recreation and our health. Water research will ultimately be important to sustaining life on this blue planet,” she added, noting that MSU is a leader in addressing and solving global problems.

The Roses’ decision to support graduate students, the Graduate School, and MSU through an endowed fellowship will make an immediate impact not only because endowed funds grow over time, but more importantly because it will benefit graduate students for years to come.

For more information on giving to the Graduate School at MSU, contact Maura Benton, the Office of University Scholarships and Fellowships at (517) 353-0007.

This story was originally published by University Development on July 6, 2010.

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