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CFAES Monthly : December 2019
Four CFAES faculty honored as Distinguished Professors of Food, Agricultural, and Environmental Sciences
CFAES has selected environmental economist Elena Irwin, plant pathologist Sally Miller, food scientist Devin Peterson, and chemical engineer Judit Puskas as its inaugural Distinguished Professors of Food, Agricultural, and Environmental Sciences. The title was bestowed on a competitive basis to four full professors who have excelled in teaching, research, or outreach and engagement. Their work also must have significantly impacted their fields, students, college, university, and/or the public. The four will be honored at an awards ceremony during the CFAES State of the College address on Jan. 10, 2020, in Columbus.
“The selection committee was extremely impressed with all of the nominees and their impactful contributions,” CFAES Dean Cathann A. Kress said.
Anne Dorrance named to lead Wooster campus
CFAES plant pathologist Anne E. Dorrance has been named to the top leadership position at The Ohio State University Wooster campus. On Jan. 1, 2020, she will begin a four-year term as associate dean and director for the Wooster campus and associate director for the Ohio Agricultural Experiment Station in the college.
“Dr. Dorrance’s appointment to this position is essential to the continuing success of our Wooster campus and the college,” CFAES Dean Cathann A. Kress said.
In her new role, Dorrance will also serve on the Vice President and Dean’s Administrative Cabinet, providing leadership and oversight for the Wooster campus. The campus is home to Ohio State ATI, CFAES’ two-year degree-granting unit, and the Ohio Agricultural Research and Development Center.
Dorrance has been a faculty member in CFAES’ Department of Plant Pathology at Wooster since fall 1997. She currently serves as a professor in the department and was the director of the CFAES Center for Soybean Research.
Dave Benfield retiring as Wooster campus director
Congratulations to Dave Benfield, who is retiring after four decades of making breakthrough discoveries in animal disease prevention, overseeing major campus facilities renovations, and creating hands-on research opportunities for undergraduates.
Benfield will retire Dec. 31 as associate vice president of agricultural administration in CFAES and director of the college’s Wooster campus, a role in which he has served since 2016. He came to the college in 2002 as associate director of OARDC and as a professor in the Food Animal Health Research Program following more than 20 years at South Dakota State University.
Renowned for his contributions to swine disease research, Benfield isolated the porcine reproductive and respiratory syndrome (PRRS) virus in the early 1990s and helped develop the first vaccine and diagnostic tests for what continues to cost the swine industry nearly a billion dollars annually. His research on PRRS has resulted in nine U.S. patents and several foreign patents.
Read a Dec. 12 Wooster Daily Record story about Benfield’s retirement.
Read about donating to the Benfield Scholarship Endowment Fund (#483505), which has been established to provide scholarships for any Ohio State students who are participating or planning to participate in research projects on the Wooster campus.
Renukaradhya Gourapura named Fellow of National Academy of Inventors
CFAES researcher Renukaradhya Gourapura, who has developed a respiratory virus vaccine for pigs now licensed and used by the pork industry, has been named a Fellow of the National Academy of Inventors (NAI).
A professor of veterinary preventive medicine with CFAES’ Food Animal Health Research Program, Gourapura joins a 2019 class of Fellows representing 136 research universities and governmental and nonprofit research institutes worldwide. He is the 10th Ohio State inventor to be chosen as a Fellow of the NAI. His lab uses nanotechnology techniques to create innovative delivery systems for mucosal vaccines that can be given to animals—and, someday, humans—through the nose.
Mark Erbaugh retiring as International Programs in Agriculture director
After serving as director of International Programs in Agriculture for CFAES since 2010 and in various other roles with that office since 1984, J. Mark Erbaugh has announced he will be retiring on Jan. 31, 2020.
During his 35-year career at Ohio State, Erbaugh developed and implemented transdisciplinary international grants and contracts in over 14 countries; designed and coordinated international student degree training programs; administered short-term technical training programs; and coordinated Peace Corps recruiting activities on Ohio State’s Columbus campus with the goal of furthering the globalization of CFAES teaching, research, and outreach programs.
“Please join me in thanking Dr. Erbaugh for his service as director of International Programs in Agriculture and wishing him all the best,” Gary Pierzynski, CFAES associate dean for research and graduate education, said in a Dec. 12 email announcing the news.
With Erbaugh’s retirement, Luis Canas, associate professor in CFAES’ Department of Entomology, will begin serving as interim director of International Programs in Agriculture.
Awards and recognitions
Graham Cochran, CFAES associate dean for operations, and Terry Niblack, retired CFAES senior associate dean, were among 26 Fellows of the Food Systems Leadership Institute honored at the annual meeting of the Association of Public and Land-grant Universities in November in San Diego.
The Fellows were recognized for their accomplishments in completing the FSLI executive leadership development program and for contributions they have made to their individual organizations and to broader higher education and food systems. The FSLI is a two-year program designed for experienced leaders in academia, government, and industry.
AFA Student Advisory Team
CFAES agronomy student Aaron Smith was recently selected as one of the 10 members of the Agriculture Future of America’s (AFA) 2020 Student Advisory Team. Representing 10 schools from 10 states, the students will represent AFA as they interact with agribusiness leaders, campus faculty, and fellow students during their service year.
“As an organization, we value students as leaders,” AFA President and CEO Mark Stewart said. “This group of young people selected as AFA student leaders plays an important role in everything we do. They are our student voice and influence the direction of our programs.”