CFAES Award Recipients from the Office of Research and Graduate Education

Distinguished Junior Faculty Research Award

Joy Rumble
Assistant Professor, Department of Agricultural Communication, Education, and Leadership

Joy Rumble is an Associate Professor of Agricultural Communication within the CFAES Department of Agricultural Communication, Education, and Leadership. Her research concentrates on consumer perceptions of agriculture and has included studies examining perceptions of local food, food safety, GMOs, livestock legislation, and transparent communication in the livestock industry. Dr. Rumble has more than 90 peer reviewed journal articles and has been recognized by numerous organizations for her research. Her outreach focuses on helping producers and professionals within the agricultural industry to communicate more effectively through strategies, including storytelling techniques. Dr. Rumble teaches undergraduate and graduate level courses focused on social science research and evaluation as well as agricultural communication writing. Prior coming to OSU, Dr. Rumble was an Assistant Professor at the University of Florida. Dr. Rumble is originally from Ohio and has a BS in Animal Science and MS in Agricultural Communication from The Ohio State University. She completed her doctorate in Agricultural Communication at the University of Florida in 2013.

Distinguished Senior Faculty Research Award

Jeffery Firkins
Professor, Department of Animal Sciences

After a Ph.D. and postdoc at the University of Illinois, Jeff Firkins started at OSU in 1987 and was promoted to Professor in 2000. He has advised and served on committees of nearly 100 graduate students, including 7 Ph.D.’s from other countries. He served multiple terms on competitive grant panels (manager twice) and numerous planning committees for international conferences in gut microbiology and ruminant physiology. He served six terms as a section editor for three journals. He was a member of the update committee for NASEM’s Nutrient Requirements of Dairy Cattle. Out of about 600 publications and presentations, he has about 160 journal articles and reviews and about 200 invited presentations in more than 20 countries. He was given numerous awards, including Fellow of ADSA (2020). He was director or associate director of OSU’s interdepartmental nutrition doctoral program for 19 years and provided service to OSU and societies in numerous capacities. 

Innovator of the Year Award

Jiyoung Lee
Professor, Department of Food Science and Technology

Dr. Jiyoung Lee is a Professor in the Division of Environmental Health Sciences, College of Public Health, and in the CFAES Department of Food Science and Technology. She has a track record of conducting trend-setting research about pathogen transmission and exposure pathways and their impact on human health. When Dr. Lee looks at water, she uses an innovative approach, ‘One Health & One Water’ paradigm, to address multiple urgent issues, from harmful algal blooms and cyanotoxin control to antibiotic resistance spread and even SARS-CoV-2 with wastewater-based surveillance.  Dr. Lee’s innovations have wide-reaching impacts on human, animal, and environmental health. To fight the health threat of cyanobacteria blooms and toxins, she and her lab invented multiple tools, including a rapid cyanotoxin measurement method that is ten times cheaper than the conventional method and the application of cyanophage and UV for bloom control.  More recently, Dr. Lee and her student invented an autonomous water drone equipped with UV-C LED for on-site treatment.

Distinguished Interdisciplinary Team Research Award

Program of Excellence in Natural Rubber Alternatives (PENRA)

Katrina Cornish
Josh Blakeslee
Jonathan Fresnedo Ramirez
Fred Michel
Osler Ortez
Judit Puskas
Ajay Shah
Alfred Soboyejo

PENRA was created to integrate and accelerate the incubation, demonstration, market entry, and growth of a domestic natural rubber industry. Natural rubber is an agricultural material critical to all sectors of our economy and defense, but we import all that we need - produced from clonal rubber trees grown mostly in Southeast Asia.  The COVID-19 pandemic highlighted the fragility of this extended natural rubber supply chain. PENRA focuses on the creation of the science, technology, and private partnerships needed to support the introduction and scale-up of natural rubber alternatives. Current research focuses on improvement of germplasm, production methods and processing techniques to increase the yield of natural rubber from the rubber dandelion (Taraxacum kok-saghyz), utilization of allergen-free latex from guayule (Parthenium argentatum), and evaluation of the natural rubber potential of other plants.  The development of premium specialty products, such as gloves and sporting goods, are key to initial small scale commercial viability.

Distinguished Graduate Student Mentor Award

Michelle Jones
DC Kiplinger Floriculture Endowed Chair and Professor, Department of Horticulture and Crop Science

Dr. Michelle Jones studied Agricultural Biochemistry at Iowa State University for her BS and received her PhD in Horticulture from Purdue University.  Her love of Floriculture stems from an undergraduate honors research project evaluating the effect of ethylene on carnation vase life. She was on the faculty at Colorado State University for three years and moved to The Ohio State University in 2001.  She is currently a Professor in the CFAES Department of Horticulture and Crop Science and serves as the D.C. Kiplinger Endowed Floriculture Chair. Her current research and extension programs focus on the use of beneficial bacteria and biostimulants to increase nutrient use efficiency and improve disease and environmental stress tolerance in floriculture crops. She also works with greenhouse growers to identify and remediate ethylene damage in production greenhouses and improve the shelf life of flowering ornamentals. Dr. Jones has been privileged to mentor exceptional graduate students while at OSU, and the most rewarding part of her career has been watching them grow into independent researchers and educators.  

William E. Krauss Director’s Award for Outstanding Publication by a Graduate Student

Souyma Ghosh
Graduate Research Associate, Department of Plant Pathology
Advised by Enrico Bonello

Souyma Ghosh is a first-generation college graduate, and currently a 5th year PhD student in the CFAES Department of Plant Pathology, being advised by Dr. Enrico Bonello. He holds an MS in Plant Pathology from the OSU, and another MS in Forestry from Forest Research Institute, India. His research experience involves molecular docking of novel protein-ligand interactions, heavy metal assessment of urban watersheds and riparian basin, and clonal assessment of Eucalypts for disease resistance. His industrial research, prior to returning to college for his PhD, involved marker assisted selection and breeding of commercial tree species in India. His PhD work involves identifying molecules and/or mechanisms that help coniferous trees transmit stress stimuli across distal parts from an infected portion, and over time.