Gurpreet Virk

Name: Gurpreet Virk

Hometown: Punjab, India

Major: Ph.D. specializing in Cotton Physiology

Preet  Virk

In her own words ...

Where are you from, and why did you choose to study at UGA/CAES?
I am from Punjab, India. I have a BS degree in Agricultural Engineering from Punjab Agricultural University, India. Along with background in fundamental engineering principles, I am been always interested in learning and understanding various processes as well as the factors that affect plant growth and development. For my masters Dr. Snider's and Dr. Pilon provided me opportunity to learn something new and work with two major row crops (cotton and peanuts).

What is your major/degree program, and what department?
PhD in Crop and Soil Sciences specializing in Cotton Physiology.

Why did you choose your major?
From my Masters experience, I gained more interest in physiology and in learning new techniques and gaining more skills while working with different instruments. My advisor, Dr. Snider is my mentor, he played major role in this decision to choose Cotton Physiology.

What is your favorite class you have taken?
My favorite class is Crop Physiology as I was able to learn a lot of new mechanisms and things about plants that I had no clue about being from engineering background. 

Who has been your favorite instructor?
Dr. John Snider is my favorite instructor because of his way of teaching and explaining things.

What has been the best experience you've had so far at CAES?
One thing that I love about Tifton Campus is the help, support, and guidance provide by professors, other students, and staff. Another thing that I love is meeting new people with different expertise and from different fields and learning from them.

What do you want to do with what you have learned here?
I would like to use all the knowledge and experienced gained into my future job to help improve agronomic production and make efficient use of available resources. 

How has your experience at UGA changed you?
My experience at UGA has brought out the best in me and made me more confident by improving my skills, and by forcing me to step outside my comfort zone and face different challenges. 

Thinking of the word agriculture - what does agriculture mean to you? In what ways does agriculture impact your life and your culture?
Agriculture plays an important role by ensuring a fast and reliable food supply, increasing energy security, and supporting job growth and economic development. The extensive agriculture curriculum helped build a strong background in key agriculture areas such as agronomy, crop production, soil science, farm machinery and equipment. I was born in a land rich in agriculture, and always wanted to learn more about plant growth and development and apply that knowledge to improve crop productivity and management.

What do you like to do outside of class — hobbies, interests, secret talents?
Outside of classes, all I love to do now is to play with my daughter (Amber) and spend time with her.