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K-State Today

April 19, 2023

Retirement reception for Martin Draper May 5

Submitted by Yuko Hendricks

Marty Draper bio photo

Martin Draper, associate dean for research and graduate programs for the College of Agriculture and director for K-State Research and Extension, has announced his plan to retire next month. A reception to celebrate Draper's time with the university will take place from 3:30-6:30 p.m. Friday, May 5, at the Agronomy Education Center.

All are welcome to attend. Refreshments will be served. 

Draper has had a distinguished career in the field of plant pathology that has encompassed all key mission areas of the land-grant university system. Draper earned his bachelor's degree at Iowa State University in 1982 and a master's degree and doctorate at North Dakota State University in 1985 and 1999, respectively. He began his professional career at North Dakota State Seed Department as plant pathologist and potato seedstocks manager. Later, he joined North Dakota State University as a lecturer, extension associate and diagnostician/director for the plant disease and seed health laboratory. Draper then spent about 10 years as a faculty member and extension plant pathologist at South Dakota State University with a strong focus on agronomic crops. From 2006-2016 he served as a National Program Leader for USDA-NIFA, managing multiple grant portfolios in plant pathology and integrated pest management. He was a key leader in the success of the National Plant Diagnostic Network, of which K-State is the lead institution for the Great Plains Diagnostic Network. 

Draper came to Kansas State University in 2016 as department head for plant pathology. He made several excellent faculty hires, led the department through several infrastructure key projects, initiated a more structured mentoring program for junior faculty, spearheaded several departmental social traditions, and more. He was appointed as interim associate dean for research and graduate programs in 2018 and assumed the permanent role in late 2019. As associate dean for research, he also led the Kansas Agricultural Experiment Station as director for research.

In leading the college/K-State Research and Extension research enterprise, Draper managed very complex infrastructure projects, led a collegewide mentoring program for junior faculty, initiated new support for graduate students, invested in key research initiatives, provided support as a key sounding board for department heads and unit leaders on research-related topics, served as a liaison to our state crop and livestock commodity groups, and more. He has been a trusted and valued mentor to junior faculty and junior administrators. In addition, Draper was pivotal in leading the college and agricultural experiment station research community through the COVID-19 shut-down and phase-in processes. Draper earned the Distinguished Service Award from the North Central Division of the American Phytopathological Society in 2022 for his many career achievements. 

Draper has demonstrated a career-long dedication and passion for the translation of science into practice, and he's the epitome of fulfillment of the land-grant mission. 

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