Agriculture faculty, students earn spring awards

Students and faculty in the College of Agriculture at Auburn University raked in several awards for their hard work and studies this spring. 

Amit Morey earns Spirit of Sustainability Award 

Assistant Professor Amit Morey received the Spirit of Sustainability Award from the Auburn University Office of Sustainability this spring for his work on and development of Functional Ice. 

Functional Ice, or FICE, is an innovation over regular ice made by freezing some commonly available food ingredients with antimicrobial properties. As FICE melts, it slowly releases the antimicrobial over the food surface and eliminates the spoilage microorganisms throughout the supply chain.  

FICE can be made using existing infrastructure and does not require any additional equipment cost. Since FICE resembles and is used instead of regular ice, it is easily adopted by the seafood value chain actors without any special training. 

This slow-melting ice has been tested with great results in wet markets in Honduras and Nigera in collaboration with the local scientists and non-governmental organizations. 

Amrit Paul named outstanding master’s student 

Poultry science graduate research assistant and student Amrit Pal was named a 2020-2021 Auburn University Outstanding Master’s Student by the Graduate Council. 

The prestigious award is based upon his outstanding contributions with research scholarship and academic success in the classroom while pursuing his degree at Auburn University. Each year, 20  outstanding graduate students are selected, 10 in master’s or educational specialist programs and 10 in doctoral programs.  

Each department or school is invited to nominate one outstanding graduate student at the master’s/educational specialist level and another at the doctoral level, if such programs are available in the department or school. 

Dianna Bourassa receives early achievement award 

Assistant Professor and Extension Specialist Dianna Bourassa received the Early Achievement Award for Extension from the Poultry Science Association. 

The award recognizes the achievements of Poultry Science Association members in the early stages of their careers in poultry research, teaching, extension or industry. The nomination must be made prior to the nominee attaining their first six years of appointment to their current faculty, government or industry position. 

Bourassa’s current applied research topic areas are based on needs identified through her extension programming and include alternative methods for euthanasia of large birds, the impact of stunning methods on bird physiology and product quality, and effects of primary processing parameters on carcass microbiology. Her extension activities include working with the commercial poultry processing industry as well as educating youth and small flock owners about poultry processing and food safety. 

Katie Shadell, Zach Morgan earn STAR scholarships 

Undergraduate horticulture students Katie Shadell and Zach Morgan earned Southeast Top Agricultural Recruits Scholarships, also known as STARS, this spring. 

The STARS program is available to outstanding students majoring in agriculture at Southeast-based land grant universities. Its purpose is to recruit top students for job opportunities in the Southeast produce industry. 

Ideal candidates are rising seniors in undergraduate majors related to the growing and marketing of produce and related products who also hold a minimum 3.2 GPA or higher. Additionally, it is preferred that students have demonstrated an interest in growing and/or marketing of produce.  

Scholarship recipients attend the Southeast Produce Council’s Southern Exposure conference and expo and have the opportunity to meet with hundreds of produce industry grower/shipper members as well as the nation’s leading retailers and foodservice distributors. 

Michelle Worosz earns Top 20 paper recognition 

Professor Michelle Worosz in the Department of Agricultural Economics and Rural Sociology coauthored a paper on the subject of “teaching critical thinking via the ‘Wicked Problem’ of food insecurity.” Every year the Library Instruction Round Table Top Twenty Committee reviews the library instruction literature from the previous year and identifies the 20 best instruction articles for that year. Worosz’ paper was named one of the Top 20 by the committee for 2020. 

Rachel Osborne earns undergraduate award in research symposium 

Undergraduate poultry science student Rachel Osborne was named the Undergraduate Student Winner for the College of Agriculture in the Auburn Research Student Symposium this spring. 

Her presentation was titled “Analysis of poultry processing wastewater microbial load throughout wastewater stream.”  

This project was the basis of Osborne’s Undergraduate Research Fellowship under the mentorship of Dianna Bourassa. This high impact experience will serve her well as she enters graduate school at the University of Georgia upon graduation.  

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<p><a href="https://agriculture.auburn.edu/author/kmo0005auburn-edu/" target="_self">Kristen Bowman</a></p>

Kristen Bowman

Kristen Bowman is a communications and marketing specialist with the College of Agriculture. She received her bachelor's degree in journalism from Auburn University and loves Doctor Who, Harry Potter, and being outdoors with her husband and two children.

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