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CAHNRS, Extension Employees Honored

PULLMAN, Wash. – Faculty and staff of Washington State University’s College of Agricultural, Human, and Natural Resource Sciences and WSU Extension were honored Saturday (April 12) at the 49th annual CAHNRS awards banquet.

William Johnston, professor of crop science, received the R.M. Wade Foundation Award for Excellence in Teaching and Learning. Johnston, who grew up working on an 18-hole golf course owned by his family in Pittsburgh, Pa., has taught and directed a productive turfgrass research program at WSU since coming to WSU in 1980. He has taught or been involved in teaching 12 crops classes, four which did not exist before he came to the university.

Maggie Kettwig, an academic coordinator in the School of Economic Sciences, received the CAHNRS’s Excellence in Advising Award. Kettwig, who has been employed by WSU since 1987, has spent all but three years of her career working with students. She has full advising responsibilities for 150 undergraduates and helps graduate students in processing paperwork as well as with policies and procedures. She also supports teaching assistants regarding WSU policies.

John Browse, a fellow in the Institute of Biological Chemistry, received the CAHNRS Faculty Excellence in Research Award. Browse, who was named a Regents Professor in 2006, has dedicated his professional life to the study of lipid metabolism. His discoveries of various enzymes have important scientific and industrial ramifications and have resulted in papers in such publications as Science, Nature, and PNAS. DuPont has used one of his discoveries to improve the nutritional value of such plants such as soybeans.

Joe Harrison, extension dairy specialist at the WSU Puyallup Research and Extension Center, received the CAHNRS Faculty Excellence in Extension Award. Harrison began his career at WSU in 1984 with an emphasis on dairy nutrition. Since then, the focus of his work has changed numerous times to meet the needs of the state’s dairy and livestock industries. He currently leads two national educational outreach programs and is recognized nationally as a leader in agricultural environmental management.

John Brown, professor, scientist and extension specialist, received the Individual Integrated Award. This award is presented to an eligible faculty member for high-quality scholarly accomplishments which demonstrate the integration of teaching, research, and/or extension programs. Brown, a member of the WSU faculty since 1977, conducts physiological research on insects and teaches courses on insect physiology and insecticide toxicology. He also develops integrated pest management programs for perennial crops. He has published 65 refereed publications with co-authors from six countries; has developed five courses, three of which he still teaches; and has been an active extension trainer of adult audiences seeking pesticide education credit. During his career, he served as chair of the Entomology Department for eight hears and generated more than $600,000 in development gifts and pledges.

Barb Smith, administrative manager, of the Entomology Department, received the Administrative Professional Staff Excellence Award. She also administers the fiscal needs of the Food and Environmental Quality Laboratory and the WSU-TriCities, entomology faculty.

Meg Gollnick, a research technician supervisor and program manager of the Winter Wheat Breeding, Cytology, and Genetics Program, received the Classified Technical Staff Excellence Award. Gollnick oversees the work of more than 24 employees and organizes events connected with the Winter Wheat Program. She organized the first R.E. Allan Plant Breeding Symposium and coordinated the return of the Spillman Stone to campus.

Darcie Young, an employee of the Department of Community and Rural Sociology for 17 years, received the Classified Clerical-Fiscal Staff Excellence Award. As the only classified staff member in her department, Young provides a broad range of support, encompassing everything from editing and preparing documents to producing Extension bulletins, posters and presentations. She also serves as the department’s academic coordinator and provides computer support. She also developed the department’s web site.

The Vineyard IPM Team led by Douglas Walsh, an agrichemical and environmental extension specialist, and Gary Grove, associate professor of plant pathology and extension plant pathologist, both at the WSU Prosser Irrigated Agriculture Research and Extension Center, received the CAHNRS Team Interdisciplinary Award. This award will be given to a group of faculty, staff, and/or students who have made significant contributions through an application of interdisciplinary scholarship in research, teaching, and/or extension. They, along with Holly Ferguson, an extension coordinator at Prosser; Sally O’Neal, extension coordinator specialist at the WSU Tri-Cities Food and Environmental Quality Laboratory; Tim Waters, WSU Franklin County area extension educator; and Jeff Lunden, scientific assistant at Prosser, collaborated to create an integrated pest management program that has resulted in an 84 percent reduction in insecticide use, a 73 percent reduction in fungicide use among grape producers and an annual savings of $5.5 million for growers.

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