CAHNRS faculty, staff honored with WSU’s 2023 Showcase awards
Washington State University honored four people from the College of Agricultural, Human, and Natural Resource Sciences (CAHNRS) for their contributions during this year’s Showcase, the university’s celebration of academic excellence.
“The university’s annual awards recognize outstanding members of our community for their achievements in scholarship, teaching, service, and community engagement. The individuals selected have made substantial contributions to their disciplines, the university, and beyond,” WSU Provost Elizabeth Chilton wrote in an email to the entire university.
The four CAHNRS honorees are:
- John Reganold, Regents Professor, Department of Crop and Soil Sciences
- Girish Ganjyal, associate professor, School of Food Sciences
- David Crowder, associate professor, Department of Entomology
- Colette Casavant, director of Student Success and Academic Programs
“I’m grateful to work in the same college as these dedicated and talented honorees,” said Wendy Powers, Cashup Davis Family Endowed Dean of CAHNRS. “They exemplify the hard work done by everyone in CAHNRS to conduct research, work with students, and help build up our state.”
V. Lane Rawlins President’s Award For Distinguished Lifetime Service
John Reganold, a Regents Professor of Soil Science and Agroecology, will mark his 40th anniversary at WSU later this year. Reganold’s research examines organic and conventional farming’s effects on soil health, environmental quality, financial performance, and other sustainability indicators. Over time, his work has expanded to include no-till systems, integrated systems, and mixed-crop livestock systems.
“It’s an honor to be recognized for my work, both in research and in teaching,” Reganold said. “I’m humbled, and it comes at the right time. My career is slowly coming to an end, but I look at the young faculty in our college and I’m excited for them. Right now, agricultural scientists are being recognized as critical in addressing global food and ecosystem security issues.”
Rawlins Award recipients demonstrate excellent service in administration, teaching, research, Extension, or a professional field that has had a profound influence on the university’s direction and progress.
Sahlin Faculty Excellence Award – Outreach & Engagement
Girish Ganjyal, Extension food processing specialist, was nominated for this award by multiple colleagues within and outside the School of Food Science. Ganjyal assists food processing firms and growers through various services and training programs. In addition to Extension and research, he dedicates significant time to teaching students and providing them opportunities to learn and grow.
Ganjyal pursued a career in food science because he saw produce being wasted while growing up in India. His program is aimed at reducing that waste.
“We’re helping processors get their food products to consumers safely,” Ganjyal said. “This award is honoring all those people around me who play a big role in making it all happen. It is truly very humbling to be honored with this prestigious award.”
Sahlin Awards honor faculty members who epitomize the highest level of excellence in the pursuit of the university’s goals.
Faculty Mid-career Award
David Crowder recently learned he will be promoted to full professorship in Entomology later this year, a big step for a university scientist. His work in Extension, research, and teaching, especially in student mentoring, landed him that promotion and this Showcase award.
Crowder, who also directs WSU’s Decision Aid System, said being mid-career means he’s past the most stressful part of his career: establishing his lab and ensuring he has funding for research. He can now focus more on mentoring students and planning out longer-term projects.
“It’s nice to think about the impact our lab can have over three to five years,” Crowder said. “I feel like I better understand WSU and the role we play. I think I have another couple of decades of good science left.”
The Mid-Career Award honors faculty who have demonstrated a strong commitment to WSU’s land-grant mission and its scholarship, teaching, and engagement elements.
President’s Employee Excellence Award
Last year, Colette Casavant’s department experienced a transition in leadership, and she stepped up to temporarily lead CAHNRS’ recruiting and retention efforts, all while continuing in her role as director of Student Success and Academic Programs. As director, she advises students and leads the college advising team. She also started and mentors the WSU chapter of Minorities in Agriculture, Natural Resources, and Related Sciences.
“I’m always there to help students, as any advisor is,” Casavant said. “We’re the first connection point many students have with the university, and often the best way to support students is to support advisors.”
Casavant was one of five to receive this award, which recognizes statewide employees’ outstanding contributions to the university.
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