A tooting of horns: OARDC honors nearly 100 faculty, staff

CFAES’s research arm, OARDC, honored the service of nearly 100 faculty and staff members at its annual Employee Appreciation Night on Oct. 5 in Wooster. Leading the honorees was Harold Keener, professor and associate chair, Department of Food, Agricultural and Biological Engineering (FABE), who this year celebrated a half century of service to the center.

50 years of service

Keener, a leading expert on the engineering of composting systems, began his OARDC career in 1968 as an instructor in the Department of Agricultural Engineering, became assistant professor and eventually professor, was appointed associate chair of FABE in 2006, retired in 2009, and continues to serve as associate chair.

“Harold has contributed 50 years to OARDC, FABE, and the College of Food, Agricultural, and Environmental Sciences,” Wooster Campus Director Dave Benfield said. “He’s a world-renowned scholar and educator in his field and has contributed to the mentorship of numerous faculty and students. His contributions to science and OARDC will leave a lasting legacy.”

45 years of service

Linda Saif, Distinguished University Professor with the Food Animal Health Research Program (FAHRP) and an internationally known virologist and immunologist, was next on the list of service awards, celebrating 45 years with the center. Among her many achievements, Saif is a member of the U.S. National Academy of Sciences and is an elected Fellow of the American College of Veterinary Microbiologists, the American Association for the Advancement of Science and the American Academy of Microbiology.

OARDC Outstanding Staff Award winners

The event also honored the OARDC Outstanding Staff Award winners: Jane E. Douglas, Human Resources, Wooster; and Mary Wicks, FABE, Wooster. The awards, which honor excellent service to customers and colleagues, are given each year to two nonfaculty OARDC employees.

Jane Douglas

Jane Douglas

Douglas, a human resources specialist, “tirelessly promotes wellness, diversity and inclusion, and camaraderie, and develops ideas for team and relationship building to unite folks across campus, across the college and within the community,” one of her nominators wrote. “She is a mentor, adviser, advocate, partner, leader, team player and friend to everyone she works with.”

Wicks, program coordinator for the Ohio Composting and Manure Management program and the Program for Bioproducts and the Environment, “will take on any assignment with leadership and completes it with dedication and efficiency,” a nominator wrote. “She is a team player with a positive mental attitude that is contagious. Her spirit keeps people engaged.”

Mary Wicks

Mary Wicks

Service awards also went to the following faculty and staff; OARDC’s 2017 retirees also were recognized during the event.

40 years of service

Bruce A. Williams, Research Operations, Wooster; Jerry Zeltner, Outlying Research Stations, Northwest.

35 years of service

Michael Davis, Animal Sciences, Columbus; Thomas Gilt, Shisler Conference Center, Wooster; Francis Fluharty, Animal Sciences, Wooster; Ron Kline, Information Technology, Wooster; Michelle Milligan, Animal Sciences, Columbus; Keith Patterson, Animal Sciences, Wooster.

30 years of service

D. Douglas Clevenger, Animal Sciences, Wooster; David J. Drake Sr., Public Safety, Wooster; Jeffrey Firkins, Animal Sciences, Columbus; Phil Harbaugh, Facilities Services, Wooster; Casey Hoy, Campus and Farms Admin, Wooster; Pablo Jourdan, Horticulture and Crop Science, Columbus; Rattan Lal, Environment and Natural Resources, Columbus; Michael Lilburn, Animal Sciences, Wooster; Mark Loux, Horticulture and Crop Science, Columbus; Patricia Patterson, Environment and Natural Resources, Columbus; Michael Pattison, Facilities Services, Wooster; Emilie Regnier, Horticulture and Crop Science, Columbus; Sudhir Sastry, FABE, Columbus; Joseph Scheerens, Horticulture and Crop Science, Wooster; Robin Weimer, FAHRP, Wooster; Michael Wengerd, Research Operations, Wooster.

25 years of service

Veronique Beckrum, Plant Pathology, Columbus; Karen Dodrill, Human Resources, Wooster; Shelly Dee Jepsen, FABE, Columbus; David Kraybill, Agricultural, Environmental, and Development Economics (AEDE), Columbus; Edwin Pickenpaugh, Outlying Research Stations, Eastern; Anthony Stull, Food Science and Technology, Columbus; R. Mark Sulc, Horticulture and Crop Science, Columbus.

20 years of service

Joseph Cochran, Secrest Arboretum, Wooster; Christopher S. Dicus, Information Technology, Wooster; Anne Dorrance, Plant Pathology, Wooster; Catherine Herms, Horticulture and Crop Science, Wooster; Dan Herms, Entomology, Wooster; Duc Hua, Horticulture and Crop Science, Wooster; Jyan-Chyun Jang, Horticulture and Crop Science, Columbus; Lynn Knipe, Food Science and Technology, Columbus; Don Kosier, Research Operations, Wooster; April Martin, Marketing and Communications, Wooster; Brian Slater, Environment and Natural Resources, Columbus; Alfred Soboyejo, FABE, Columbus; Pamela Thomas, Administration, Columbus; Julie Townsend, Food Science and Technology, Columbus; Mary Lou Wile, Facilities Services, Wooster.

15 years of service

V.M. Balasubramaniam, Food Science and Technology, Columbus; Gary Crocker, Grace Drake Ag Lab, Wooster; Elaine Eberlin, Horticulture and Crop Science, Columbus; Loren D. Harper, Director’s Office, Wooster; Khandakar R. Islam, OSU South Centers, Piketon; Lori Jones, Entomology, Wooster; David Mackey, Horticulture and Crop Science, Columbus; Debra Shaffer, Fisher/Stone House, Wooster; Sonia Walker, Horticulture and Crop Science, Wooster; Gwen Zimmerly, Secrest Arboretum, Wooster.

10 years of service

Kimberly Brown, Marketing and Communications, Wooster; Jeremy Bruskotter, Environment and Natural Resources, Columbus; Qian Chen, FABE, Columbus; Nathan Douridas, Molly Caren Agricultural Center, London; Warren DuBois, Facilities Services, Wooster; Jane Erbe, Environment and Natural Resources, Columbus; Thaddeus Ezeji, Animal Sciences, Wooster; Maria Elena Hernandez Gonzalez, Molecular and Cellular Imaging Center, Wooster; Michael Kelly, Plant Pathology, Columbus; Timothy Kerr, Horticulture and Crop Science, Columbus; Ginger Koozer, Horticulture and Crop Science, Columbus; Stephen Matthews, Environment and Natural Resources, Columbus; Christopher McCormack, Hawk’s Nest Golf Course, Creston; Casey Meek, Grace Drake Ag Lab, Wooster; Andrew Michel, Entomology, Wooster; Thomas Mitchell, Plant Pathology, Columbus; Kimberly Nolletti, Horticulture and Crop Science, Wooster; Pamela Schlegel, Grant Development and Support Unit, Wooster; Mark Smith, Hawk’s Nest Golf Course, Creston; Yeunsu Suh, Animal Sciences, Columbus; Lingling Wang, Animal Sciences, Columbus; Qiuhong Wang, FAHRP, Wooster; Jody Whittier, Molecular and Cellular Imaging Center, Wooster.

2017 retirees

Herbert Ockerman, Animal Sciences, Columbus; David Scurlock, Horticulture and Crop Science, Wooster; Kevin Jewell, STAR Lab, Wooster; Clayton Dygert, Environment and Natural Resources, Wooster; Julia Hering, Horticulture and Crop Science, Columbus; Patricia Patterson, Environment and Natural Resources, Columbus; David Kost, OSU South Centers, Piketon; Jamie Cano, Agricultural Communication, Education, and Leadership, Columbus; Diane Hartzler, Entomology, Wooster; David Shetlar, Entomology, Columbus; Beverly Barrick, FABE, Columbus; Kathy Jo Burkholder, Horticulture and Crop Science, Columbus; Brian Johnson, Facilities Services, Wooster; Mary Lou Wile, Facilities Services, Wooster; Bruce A. Williams, Research Operations, Wooster.

Benfield, CFAES Dean Cathann A. Kress and Wooster Campus Assistant Director Rhonda Billman spoke and led the program, which drew a full house for dinner in the main conference hall of the campus’s Shisler Conference Center.

OARDC-funded faculty and staff work in Wooster, at the OSU South Centers in Piketon, on Ohio State’s Columbus campus and at eight outlying agricultural research stations around Ohio.

(Photos: Ohio State University Communications, top; Ken Chamberlain, Marketing and Communications, portraits.)