CFAES Award Recipients from OSU Extension

Distinguished Early Career Extension Faculty Award

Sarah Short
Assistant Professor, Department of Entomology

Sarah Short earned her Ph.D. in Genetics and Development in 2012 from Cornell University, where her research was supported by a Ford Foundation Pre-Doctoral Diversity Fellowship. She then continued her training as a Ruth L. Kirschstein postdoctoral fellow at Johns Hopkins University. Dr. Short joined the CFAES Department of Entomology at The Ohio State University as an Assistant Professor in August 2018. Her research is broadly focused on understanding variation in transmission of infectious diseases by mosquitoes. She studies how mosquitoes interact with harmful and helpful microbes, the formation of microbial communities within mosquitoes and ticks, the impacts of commensal microbes on pathogen susceptibility and transmission, and the ecological and evolutionary forces shaping mosquito immune defense. Her Extension program is focused on protecting Ohioans from mosquito and tick bites and increasing awareness about biting arthropods and the diseases they transmit. 

Distinguished Extension Faculty Award

Maurice Eastridge
Professor and Extension Dairy Specialist, Department of Animal Sciences

Maurice Eastridge, Professor and Extension Dairy Specialist, has been on the faculty in the CFAES Department of Animal Sciences at OSU since March 1986. He also currently serves as Senior Associate Chair of the Department. His responsibilities include teaching, Extension, and research in dairy cattle nutrition and management. At the university and college levels, he has been recognized for his outstanding service to students and student development, and he has received several awards for his Extension and research programs, including the DeLaval Dairy Extension Award, Applied Dairy Nutrition Award, and Purina Teaching Award from the American Dairy Science Association. He was inducted into the Ohio State Fair Hall of Fame in 2022. He chairs the Board of Directors for the Tri-State Dairy Nutrition Conference, has served as Chair of the Board of Directors for the North American Intercollegiate Dairy Challenge, and is editor of the bi-monthly publication, Buckeye Dairy News.

Distinguished Early Career Extension Professional Award

Laura Akgerman
Disability Services Coordinator for Ohio AgrAbility, OSU Extension, and the CFAES Diversity Equity and Inclusion Office

Laura Akgerman is Disability Services Coordinator for Ohio AgrAbility, OSU Extension, and the CFAES DEI Office. She is a two-time OSU graduate, with a Bachelor’s in English, Master’s in Rehabilitation Services, Graduate Certificate in Aging and Gerontology, and is completing a Certificate in Assistive and Rehabilitative Technology. She is a Delaware County 4-H alumna. Laura works with farmers with disabilities, presents on farming and gardening with a disability, agritourism, Caregiver support, Universal Design and Assistive Technology. She works on the Family and Community Education to Prevent Opioid Misuse and Abuse grant; the CFAES Department of Food Agricultural and Biological Engineering’s Extension/outreach team; GenerationRx; and serves as a Content Expert on Transformative Rehabilitation Opportunities for Children with CP in Appalachian and Rural Communities Research Study (College of Medicine). Her community work includes serving as Secretary of the Ohio Rural Health Association, and Chair of the AgrAbility Fact Sheet Writing group. Working at OSU, with farmers, Extension, and the disability and rural health communities is a dream job, and it is an honor and privilege to work with so many amazing colleagues across the state.

Distinguished Extension Professional Award

Mary Wicks
Research Associate, Department of Food, Agricultural, and Biological Engineering

Mary Wicks has served as the program coordinator for the Ohio Composting and Manure Management (OCAMM) program since 1999 and for the Program for Bioproducts and the Environment (PROBE) since 2014. Her outreach efforts include implementing educational programs, such as the Manure Science Review and Ohio Compost Operator Education Course, both held annually since 2001; creating OCAMM odds & ends, a monthly e-newsletter delivered to over 550 subscribers; and writing lay articles and educational materials. She also provides support for developing research and outreach grant proposals. Mary enjoys the many opportunities to collaborate with and learn from OSU Extension professionals, CFAES faculty, and agency, commodity, and industry stakeholders. She holds a B.S. in geology from Virginia Tech, M.B.A. from the University of Houston, and M.A.T. from the University of Alaska, Anchorage.

Distinguished Multidisciplinary Team Extension Award

Agronomic Crops Team

The Agronomic Crops (AgCrops) Team was formed in 1995 to provide an Extension program that linked all disciplines together to provide an integrated delivery mechanism designed to address corn, soybean, wheat, and forage producer needs in a timely manner. The AgCrops Team is comprised of approximately 40 core members, including county Extension educators, water quality specialists, field specialists, and state specialists. Specialists cover crop management, entomology, weed science, agricultural engineering, and soil fertility for all major field crops (corn, soybean, small grains, and alfalfa). The team represents six departments within CFAES (Extension, Horticulture and Crop Science, School of Environment and Natural Resources, Food, Agricultural, and Biological Engineering, Plant Pathology, and Entomology). The team meets weekly over Zoom during the growing season and every other week during the winter and in-person twice per year. The team is co-led by: Laura Lindsey (Horticulture and Crop Science), Stephanie Karhoff (Extension), and Amanda Douridas (Extension).