College of Ag faculty, staff win honors in annual awards program

By Jamie Creamer / Dec 19, 2017 10:35:24 AM

Thirty Auburn University College of Agriculture employees won top honors for their outstanding accomplishments and dedicated service throughout the year during the college’s 2017 faculty and staff awards program in Auburn in December.

“These individuals have truly gone above and beyond in the past year to advance their respective research, outreach, instructional and administrative programs,” Dean Paul Patterson said. “It is the type of work they have displayed that elevates our college, the Alabama Agricultural Experiment Station and Auburn University.”

The following faculty and staff merited individual accolades.

Alan Wilson, associate professor in the School of Fisheries, Aquaculture and Aquatic Sciences, won the Dean’s Award for Excellence in Instruction.

One of his SFAAS colleagues, Alumni Professor Allen Davis, received the Dean’s Research Award for Senior Faculty, while the Dean’s Research Award for Junior Faculty honor went to biosystems engineering assistant professor David Blersch.

Biosystems engineering’s Sushil Adhikari, Alumni Professor, was presented the college’s 2017 Outstanding Publication Award, and Brenda Ortiz, associate professor in the Department of Crop, Soil and Environmental Sciences, won the Richard L. Guthrie Award for Achievement in International Agriculture.

Kathy Flanders, Extension entomologist and professor in the Department of Entomology and Plant Pathology, earned the 2017 Dean’s Award for Excellence in Extension and Outreach, Senior Level. At the Junior Level, the recipient was Dennis Brothers, Extension poultry housing specialist.

Department of Horticulture student services coordinator and academic advisor Brian Brown received the Dean’s Award for Excellence in Advising and Student Support, and co-worker Nancy Heard, longtime horticulture administrative support associate, was one of two employees from across the college and AAES selected as 2017 Staff Employee of the Year Award winners.

The other Staff Employee of the Year Award for 2017 went to Scott Rikard, manager of the Auburn University Shellfish Laboratory on Dauphin Island.

The Dean’s Grantsmanship Award, which is presented each year to every College of Agriculture and Alabama Agricultural Experiment Station researcher who has been awarded $300,000 or more in extramural grants and contracts in the fiscal year, went to 20 scientists who collectively brought in almost $10.8 million in research funding. The 2017 award recipients were:

  • Assistant professor Ruiqing Miao and professor Joe Molnar, both in the Department of Agricultural Economics and Rural Sociology.
  • Associate professor Christy Bratcher in animal sciences.
  • Assistant professor David Blersch and Water Resources Center Director Puneet Srivastava, both in biosystems engineering.
  • Associate professor Brenda Ortiz in crop, soil and environmental sciences.
  • Alumni Professor Joseph Kloepper and professor Kathy Lawrence, entomology and plant pathology.
  • Food science professor Jean Weese in the poultry science department.
  • Professors Claude Boyd, Allen Davis, Dennis DeVries, Rex Dunham, Terry Hanson and John Liu; associate professors Jim Stoeckel, Alan Wilson and Russell Wright; assistant professor Matt Catalano; and research fellow Steven Sammons, all in the School of Fisheries, Aquaculture and Aquatic Sciences.

Finally, a collaborative group of researchers led by animal sciences associate professor and Auburn University Food Systems Institute Director Christy Bratcher claimed the 2017 Project Team Award.

In addition to Bratcher, the Farm and Consumer Environmental Safety and Security Working Group includes, from Auburn, animal sciences associate professors Luxin Wang and Don Mulvaney, agricultural economics and rural sociology associate professor Michelle Worosz, food science professor Jean Weese, Alabama Water Watch head Eric Reutebuch and Joe Hanna, associate dean in the Harbert College of Business. Two Tuskegee University researchers and a University of Georgia scientist complete the team.

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