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Fall 2012
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Outstanding Alumni Awards

Marvin Pritts

Marvin PrittsMarvin Pritts is a world expert in small fruits and berries, known for his engagement with the community and enthusiasm for teaching. As a professor in the Department of Horticulture, Pritts works primarily with strawberry and raspberry production, including ways to extend the harvest season, use cultural practices to reduce pest damage, and manage weeds without herbicides. His more fundamental research has focused on developing ways to improve plant growth and productivity by studying the physiological responses of berry crops to the environment.

Since 2002, Pritts has served as chair of the Department of Horticulture, where he oversees more than 40 faculty programs. A dedicated educator, he teaches Career Explorations in the Plant Sciences, Hands-On Horticulture, Berry Crop Production and Management, and a course in Leadership Development for Life Scientists.

Pritts is active in his community and is a frequent guest lecturer in the local schools. He also serves on the board of directors of the Cayuga Nature Center and is an adviser to the Ithaca Children’s Garden. Every other year, Pritts takes a group of high school students to work for a week at an orphanage in Guatemala.

Pritts obtained a B.S. in biology from Bucknell University in 1978, an M.S. in biology from the University of South Carolina, and a Ph.D. in horticulture at Michigan State University. Pritts lives in Trumansburg, N.Y., with his wife Allison, who is a nurse. Their daughter, Alyssa, is a sophomore in CALS, and their son, Kevin, is a high school junior with aspirations to study entomology.