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00:00:00 - Interview Introduction

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Partial Transcript: Alright, today is April 9th, 2018. It's an interview with Mo Fayyaz.

00:00:48 - Moving from Iran to the UW and interest in horticulture

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Partial Transcript: So the first question is, um, you know, what ended up...

Segment Synopsis: Born in Tehran, Iran in 1947, Fayyaz explains how his academic interest in horticulture led him to pursue a doctoral degree at UW-Madison. He also describes why horticulture and the study of flowers appeals to him, as it allows him to focus on diversity, color, and living creatures.

Keywords: Iran; UW-Madison; diversity; flowers; horticulture

00:08:38 - Returning to Iran and then moving back to Wisconsin

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Partial Transcript: So, from what you said earlier...

Segment Synopsis: After graduating, Fayyaz married and then returned to Iran to teach at Tehran University as an assistant professor. He remained there until two years after the revolution, when the violence and war were escalating. Upon moving back to Wisconsin, he had trouble finding work but in 1984 was hired by UW-Madison as a specialist in the Botany department.

Keywords: Tehran University; botany; hostage crisis; revolution; soccer; war

00:14:26 - Working as a specialist

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Partial Transcript: So I know you're now retired...

Segment Synopsis: Fayyaaz explains what his job entailed. First, he would check the plants and conditions in the greenhouses and gardens. Throughout the day, he also got plants ready for student labs, answered visitor questions, and helped students grow plants for research.

Keywords: botany; garden; greenhouse; plants; specialist

00:19:28 - Technological changes and the AERGC

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Partial Transcript: Um, so you talked about...

Segment Synopsis: Technological changes benefited the greenhouses and the botany department. The environmental control system in the greenhouses helped monitor the plants' conditions. Fayyaz helped to produce and sell posters for the department, one of which won a national award. Additionally, he was a founder of both the Association of Education and Research Greenhouse Curators (AERGC) and the Madison Orchid Guild.

Keywords: AERGC; Association of Education and Research Greenhouse Curators; Madison Orchid Guild; environmental control system; posters; technological changes; technology

00:25:09 - Involvement in academic staff governance and faculty/staff relationship

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Partial Transcript: So, um, Mo were you ever...

Segment Synopsis: Fayyaz was chair of the professional development committee and a member of the distinguished title committee, as well as sitting on a number of department-level committees, but he does not feel that those positions were right for him. He believes that the relationship between faculty and staff is symbiotic, and that they need each other to function in a university setting.

Keywords: academic staff governance; committee; faculty; staff; university government

00:29:16 - September 11, 2001

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Partial Transcript: Um, so I've been asking people...

Segment Synopsis: Fayyaz describes his experience on campus during 9/11.

Keywords: 2001; 9/11; politics

00:32:29 - Iranian Revolution

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Partial Transcript: Um, so I wonder, you, to back it up...

Segment Synopsis: While in Iran after graduating from UW-Madison, Fayyaz lived with his wife and children in Iran and worked at Tehran University around the time of the Iranian Revolution. Although in less danger because he was not involved in politics, he tells the story of hiding in a ditch to escape the bombs from Iraqi planes.

Keywords: Iran; Iranian revolution; bombing; danger; revolution; violence

00:36:40 - Receiving the academic staff award

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Partial Transcript: Um, just a couple more things Mo...

Segment Synopsis: The staff and faculty in the botany department recommended Fayyaz for the academic staff award, which he won. At the reception, Fayyaz had a lovely time.

Keywords: academic staff award; nomination; reception

00:40:50 - Decision to retire and campus impact

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Partial Transcript: So, a couple more, so, um, the last question...

Segment Synopsis: Fayyaz decided to retire after over thirty years because he wanted more freedom from routine and to give other people a chance to work for the university. He impacted the campus by bringing together the university and Madison communities through viewing blooming flowers, as well as raising donations.

Keywords: bloom; botany garden; community; donations; flowers; greenhouse; impact; plants; retirement

00:48:54 - End of Interview