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Corina Serban Re-joins WSU Tree Fruit Extension Team

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Corina Serban professional photoWe are excited to welcome Corina Serban as the Little Cherry Disease (LCD) Information and Technology Transfer (ITT) Tree Fruit Extension Educator within the Washington State University (WSU) Tree Fruit Team. Her position is funded by the WSU Tree Fruit Industry Endowment. With her rich background spanning both academia and industry, Corina brings a wealth of experience and expertise to her new role.

Corina is originally from Romania where she earned her Bachelor of Engineering degree in Landscape Architecture in the Horticulture Faculty at the University of Agricultural Sciences and Veterinary Medicine in Cluj-Napoca, the oldest and largest institution of higher agricultural science education in Romania. Her academic foundation laid the groundwork for a diverse and illustrious career characterized by an insatiable curiosity and a passion for horticultural innovation.

She began her professional career in 2013 as a graphic designer for two research journals, where she provided technical support for communicating science in effective ways. However, her trajectory took a pivotal turn in 2014 when she ventured to Washington State, joining the Washington Tree Fruit Research Commission as a research assistant. Immersed in various research projects, Corina gained invaluable insights into the intricacies of the tree fruit industry, forging enduring relationships with growers, industry partners, and the research community.

Seeking to broaden her horizons, Corina embarked on a brief but impactful stint in Germany, delving into applied research in postharvest physiology and technology. We are grateful that Corina decided to come back to Washington State in 2016, to earn a Masters’ degree in Horticulture in Dr. Lee Kalcsits’ program at the WSU Tree Fruit Research and Extension Center in Wenatchee.

Her academic pursuits seamlessly transitioned into industry as she joined Stemilt Growers LLC Research and Development department in 2018, where she led several fruit quality projects. In 2019, Corina assumed the role of associate in research for the Stone Fruit Breeding and Genetic program at the WSU Irrigated Agriculture Research and Extension Center (IAREC) in Prosser. Her experience managing the orchards, coordinating field operations, including nutrient management, irrigation, pruning, training, pest and disease monitoring, virus monitoring, among others, led her to a deep understanding on many aspects regarding sweet cherry production, and most importantly, understanding the Washington sweet cherry industry.

In 2021, Corina’s journey came full circle as she joined the Tree Fruit Extension Team as the ITT – Little Cherry Disease Extension Coordinator. In this capacity, she provided oversight and leadership for the LCD Extension and Outreach program, collaborating closely with researchers and industry stakeholders. Her adeptness in organizing and delivering outreach initiatives equipped her with the necessary skills to effectively communicate complex concepts and engage with diverse audiences.

In partnership with industry the LCD Extension and research efforts to this point have been focused on field and lab identification, extent of the identification across region, and immediate mitigation strategies to stop the spread. Now, as she assumes the new role of Tree Fruit Extension Educator – ITT Little Cherry Disease Lead, Corina’s focus will shift to educational programs and demonstration of a systems approach to managing orchards using practices that mitigate risk of disease outbreak. Her position will function as an integral member of the WSU Tree Fruit Extension Team and will work with a network of research and Extension faculty, tree fruit producers, allied industry, and industry partners to deliver educational programs and resources on managing LCD, X-disease and other or emerging diseases that are of economic concern to the tree fruit industry.

Corina has been working within the Washington tree fruit industry for over seven years and she’s also currently the president of the Yakima Pomological Club (non-profit organization). This has given her a solid horticultural knowledge, strong interpersonal skills, and commitment to advancing the industry.

Corina Serban’s rejoining of the WSU Tree Fruit Extension Team heralds a new chapter in the quest for innovative strategies to manage Little Cherry Disease, X-disease and other tree fruit diseases, and we are confident that her leadership will pave the way for significant advancements in the industry. Join us in welcoming Corina as she embarks on this pivotal role, poised to make lasting contributions to Washington’s tree fruit industry.

Office: WSU Extension office in Yakima, 2403 S. 18th. St. Suite 100, Union Gap, WA 98903

Phone: (509) 574-1595


Washington State University