Wingfield receives distinguished leadership award

“Coming to the University of Minnesota was the best decision I ever made in my life,” declared Mike Wingfield, Ph.D. Plant Pathology ‘83, upon receiving the 2016 University of Minnesota Distinguished Leadership Award for Internationals during a ceremony, presentation, and reception event held June 2. The award was presented to him by Professor of Plant Pathology Department Head Jim Bradeen (left) and Dean Brian Buhr. His presentation focused on “Global Tree Health: Can We Win the Battle Against Invasive Pests and Diseases,” during which he underscored how “people and trees are similar in how they respond to disease.” He emphasized that future biosecurity depends upon engaging and collaborating with politicians and social scientists more than ever.

The prestigious award, administered by Global Programs and Strategy Alliance in partnership with the University of Minnesota Alumni Association, recognizes "unusual distinction as professionals in their careers within institutions or in public service and have either demonstrated sustained outstanding achievement and leadership, or demonstrated promise of such on a local, national, or international level."  Wingfield received the award for, among many outstanding accomplishments, his decades-long successful career in forest pathology and biotechnology at the University of Pretoria in South Africa and his launching and leadership of the Forestry and Agricultural Biotechnology Institute (FABI).