Best of CFAES recognized during awards ceremony
By Sherrie Whaley, CFAES Communications and Chris Booker, Ohio State News / Photos by Ken Chamberlain
COLUMBUS, Ohio -- Several faculty, staff, and students of The Ohio State University College of Food, Agricultural, and Environmental Sciences (CFAES) were recognized for their excellence and achievement Jan. 10 during a CFAES Awards Program. The program preceded the annual State of the College address.
Cathann A. Kress, vice president of agricultural administration and dean of CFAES, delivered the address at Ohio State’s Nationwide and Ohio Farm Bureau 4-H Center, where she celebrated the legacy, impact, and people who make up Ohio State’s cornerstone college.
“I’m so proud of today’s award recipients and I am thankful for each of you – our wonderful faculty, staff, and students for your hard work and dedication to our college,” Kress said.
“I’m so proud of today’s award recipients and I am thankful for each of you – our wonderful faculty, staff, and students for your hard work and dedication to our college.”Dean Cathann Kress
Four CFAES faculty members whose work has demonstrated significant impact in their fields were honored by Kress as inaugural Distinguished Professors of Food, Agricultural, and Environmental Sciences. They included environmental economist Elena Irwin, plant pathologist Sally Miller, food scientist Devin Peterson, and chemical engineer Judit Puskas.
Irwin is widely recognized as one of the leading environmental and regional economists in the world. She is also faculty director of the Sustainability Institute at Ohio State. Miller is globally recognized as a leader in the development and testing of plant disease diagnostic methods, as well as the development of novel approaches to controlling vegetable diseases.
Peterson is globally recognized for his pioneering work on flavor chemistry. His research has changed—and will continue to change—the quality of food enjoyed by consumers. Puskas is internationally recognized for her accomplishments in biopolymer and biomaterial invention and green engineering implementation, both in industry and medicine.
Kress also announced the recipients of three University-level awards:
- Guo-Liang Wang, a professor of plant pathology, was recognized with the Distinguished Scholar Award. Wang has produced pioneering insights into the resistance of crop plants to fungal and bacterial pathogens, specifically disease resistance in rice. He is also an international leader in molecular plant-microbe interactions and a generous collaborator.
- Kent McGuire, CFAES safety and health coordinator, received a university Distinguished Staff Award. He has developed safety initiatives to protect employees in areas such as chemical labs, machine shops, and research farms, implemented strategies to increase safety awareness, and conducted training to reduce employee injuries.
- Thomas Stewart, CFAES lecturer in the Department of Agricultural Communication, Education, and Leadership, won the Provost’s Award for Distinguished Teaching by a Lecturer. An agricultural communication lecturer, Stewart is known among his students for his enthusiasm for the subject material, his love of learning, and his passion for teaching.
And the recipients of four CFAES College Staff Awards:
- Amy Kohmetscher, instructional development specialist with OSU Extension, accepted the Special Recognition Award for going above and beyond in her job duties, specifically her work with online courses both for Extension and the greater CFAES community.
- Shawn Adams, CFAES financial analyst based in Wooster, received the Innovation Award for developing a simplified accounting system for the Shisler Conference Center.
- Matt Chrusciel, instructional lab supervisor in the Department of Food Science and Technology, received the Key Values Award for his “can do” attitude, dedication and support when working with both faculty and students.
- Debbie Carpenter, an Extension program assistant for the Expanded Food and Nutrition Education (EFNEP) program in Lawrence County, accepted the Shirley Brooks-Jones Citizenship Award for her tireless efforts to expand educational offerings for limited resource audiences. During her 26 years with Extension, she has served as a mentor to colleagues and formed 27 partnerships to offer 94 county EFNEP courses from 2014-2018.
Additionally, several CFAES student successes and student organizations were highlighted:
- Agribusiness and applied economics major, Kolsen McCoy, was selected as 2019-20 National FFA president and is now leading an organization of 70,000-plus members.
- Ohio State’s dairy cattle judging team placed first at the World Dairy Expo contest.
- Food science and technology major and 2019 alumnae Sarah Steinbrunner continues working to bring her allergen-friendly chickpea butter spreads, developed while still a student, to market.
- Pre-veterinary Medical Association was named the recipient of the Student Organization Excellence in Leadership and Professional Development Award.
- Agricultural Education Society was recognized with the Student Organization Excellence in Community Engagement Award.
- Animal Science Community Alliance received the Student Organization Excellence in Collaboration Award.
- Citation Needed was named the recipient of the Student Organization Excellence in Supporting the CFAES Mission Award.
- Agricultural Systems Management Club was recognized as Student Organization of the Year.