Lucas Dias Mendonca Receives 2024 TOP Fellowship

March 8, 2024
Lucas in a blue long sleeve shirt operating machinery during his TOP internship

Congratulations to Lucas Dias Mendonca on receiving the 2024 TOP (The Ohio Program) Fellowship. This fellowship will help Lucas greatly as he continues his graduate education pursuing his master’s degree in Agronomy under the advisement of Dr. Laura Lindsey.

Interestingly, Lucas is the third recipient of the TOP Fellowship in a row that has hailed from not only our department, but Dr. Laura Lindsey's lab specifically. In 2023, David Zelaya received the fellowship and in 2022, Fabiano Colet received the fellowship. We caught up with Fabiano who is currently pursuing his PhD in our department, and he shared "I want to congratulate Lucas for receiving this year's fellowship. This scholarship is a way to recognize your hard work during your previous academic years and your work and efforts as an intern through The Ohio Program".

Fabiano also mentioned that he wanted "to thank TOP for supporting international students in pursuing a graduate degree from one of the most prestigious universities - The Ohio State University" and that as a previous recipient of the TOP fellowship that it "was very helpful because it financially supported me in continuing to pursue my PhD degree. It is always nice to have the work done in the past recognized with a fellowship. Also, this fellowship helped me to improve my connection and network with The Ohio Program staff and previous or current interns/trainees".

With such an exciting opportunity, we caught up with Lucas to see how he was feeling about this achievement as well as a bit about his current research centered on soybeans...

What does winning this fellowship mean to you?

Lucas: Winning this fellowship means great validation of hard work, dedication, and my potential. I am very happy and honored to receive the TOP fellowship, as it will push me further on achieving my academic and career goals.

Could you tell us a bit about your connection to TOP prior to this fellowship?

Lucas: The first time I heard of the program was through a friend that had already done his internship with TOP. So, I went to do the application process and fortunately Tom Hamilton took me as an intern for the year of 2022 in Wilmington, Ohio. It was a great experience that provided me with practical knowledge regarding soybean and corn production in Ohio.

Lucas (far left) during his TOP internship with Tom Hamilton + his family.

Could you expand a bit on your current research?

Lucas: My research is focused in minimizing weed problems on ultra-early planted soybeans. When planting soybeans early (prior to April 15), you have potential to increase yield, but may face challenges, such as low emergence and weed competition. With that, my research will evaluate different herbicide programs to minimize weed issues. We hope that our findings will help farmers make better decisions regarding their herbicide program on early planted soybeans.

You can learn more about The Ohio Program by visiting their website.