|Recent graduate Chyanna McGee is currently pursuing a Master's of Science Degree in Plant Pathology at Penn State.|
Baton Rouge, La. – Chyanna McGee, a Spring 2019 Southern University graduate of the Department of Urban Forestry and Natural Resources in the College of Agricultural, Family and Consumer Sciences, is currently pursuing a Master's of Science degree in Plant Pathology; specializing in plant disease management at Pennsylvania State University in State College, Pennsylvania.
McGee said she decided to come to Southern University and major in Urban Forestry as a trial and error decision she made with her dad.
“My dad graduated from Southern University many years ago with a degree in Agricultural Economics. I wanted to be a teacher, but he insisted that I did Urban Forestry and if I didn't like it after my first year that I could change my major,” said Chyanna. “He then took me to meet Dr. Zhu Ning, my departmental advisor, who then promised that I could be a member of her research team my first summer researching in Shenyang, China. I, of course, accepted the invitation and by the end of my freshman year I grew to love the Urban Forestry Department and also "The Ag Family," she added.
During her time at Southern, Chyanna has held numerous leadership positions ranging from serving as president of the Urban Forestry Club, to president of Southern University’s Minorities in Agriculture, Natural Resources, and Related Sciences (MANRRS) Chapter, as well as Vice-President of the Beta Alpha Chapter of Zeta Phi Beta Sorority, Incorporated. Along with these leadership roles she is also one of the founding members of Southern University’s Society of American Foresters (SAF) Chapter. All of this was done while maintaining a 3.3 grade point average by the time she graduated.
She said her experiences at Southern will enable her to be excel at Penn State.
“While at Southern University I had the opportunity to fully immerse myself in the subject matter, work on projects and research, and also held numerous leadership positions,” expressed Chyanna. “I had the opportunity to learn alongside bright young leader and even travel to conferences to meet industry leaders which lead me to internships and other opportunities. I established a home at Southern University and was able to be a part of the "Ag Family," which opened the doors to graduate school visits and is solely the reason that I decided to continue my education. Southern University’s College of Agricultural, Family and Consumer Sciences has molded me into the student, leader, and scholar I am today,” Chyanna said proudly.
After receiving her master’s, McGee plans to continue her education by working on a Ph.D. in Botany either at Penn State or another accredited university. She said her goal is to use her advanced degree to help sustain crop production and find ways to use medicinal plants, starting with a health/beauty line to add to her business, “The GirlZ CloZet."
Chyanna, who is a native of Baton Rouge and graduate of McKinley Senior High School, is the daughter of Theora Tyrone and Gerald McGee.