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WSU CAHNRS Students, Employees Honored

PULLMAN, Wash. — Students, faculty and staff of Washington State University’s College of Agricultural, Human, and Natural Resource Sciences were honored for their achievements at the 45th annual college awards banquet on Saturday (April 17).

Laura Odens, a senior from Ferndale, was named as the 2004 Aggie of the Year. The award recognizes the college’s all-around outstanding senior majoring in either agriculture or natural resources.

Odens, a 2000 graduate of Meridian High School, is the Dairy Club’s representative on the CAHNRS Student Senate and has participated in Cougar Youth Weekend for the WSU Dairy Club for three years, and as coordinator in 2002-2003.

She placed second in the original research presentation at the American Dairy Science Association-Student Affiliate Division competition and third in poster presentations at the Pacific Northwest Animal Nutrition Conference, both in 2003.

Odens is the daughter of John and Joanne Odens, Ferndale.

Cheryl Martin, a senior from Mount Vernon majoring in human development, received the Family and Consumer Scientist of the Year award. The award recognizes the college’s outstanding senior majoring in apparel, merchandising and textiles; interior design; human development; or human nutrition.

Martin, a 2000 graduate of Mount Vernon High School, is a member of the Mortar Board honor society, Student Washington Education Association, the WSU Educators Club, Human Development Club and Kappa Delta Pi, education honorary.

She is the daughter of Lois and Chai Martin, Mount Vernon.

Andrea Barten, an animal sciences major from Snohomish, received the Capital Press Outstanding Junior in Agriculture award. She received $1,000 from the Salem, Ore., regional agricultural weekly newspaper.

Barten, a 2001 graduate of Snohomish High, is a member of the President’s Honor Roll, secretary of the Dairy Club and chair of herd health for the Cooperative University Dairy Students.

She is the daughter of Debbie and Phil Barten, Snohomish.

Interior design major Nicole Jenkins, Clarkston, was named the CAHNRS Outstanding Junior in Family and Consumer Sciences. She received $1,000 from the college scholarship program.

Jenkins, a 2000 graduate of Clarkston High, is a member of the WSU Honors College and on the President’s Honor Roll. She is active in the Campus Crusade for Christ and has been involved in many community projects.

She is the daughter of Michelle and Forest Jenkins, Clarkston.

Katie Engbretson, a sophomore from Paterson, received the CAHNRS Freshman of the Year award, sponsored by Alpha Zeta. The award is made for achievements during the previous academic year.

Engbretson, whose long-term goal is to work in merchandising at a major company, was a recipient of a $5,000 University Achievement Award. She is active in intramural sports and St. Thomas More Chapel and Catholic Newman Center.

She is the daughter of Teresa and Craig Engbretson of Patterson.

Fabio Chaddad, associate professor of agricultural and resource economics, received the R.M. Wade Foundation Award for Excellence in Teaching.

Students nominate faculty for this award.

Chaddad, who joined the faculty in 2002, has taught Introduction to Agribusiness Management, Microeconomic Theory, and Honors Internship. He advises two master’s degree candidates and one student working on a doctorate.

Letters supporting his nomination praised his knowledge, organization, teaching style and interest in their success. One wrote, “Fabio made students enjoy coming to class and leave with a better understanding of the material presented.”

Chaddad received a plaque and check for $1,200.

Stephanie Clark, associate professor of food science and human nutrition, received the CAHNRS Excellence in Advising Award.

Clark, has advised 58 undergraduate students since coming to WSU six years ago. She organized the student Dairy/Food Product Development Team, which since has won several national competitions. Clark also coached the Dairy Product Evaluation Team to successes in regional and national competitions.

A former student wrote in support of her nomination, “Her presence as an advisor, mentor and teacher was crucial in my success at WSU.” Clark received a plaque and check for $1,000.

David Bezdicek, professor of crop and soil sciences, received the college Faculty Excellence in Research Award. Bezdicek, a member of the faculty for 30 years, has conducted research ranging from rhizobia ecology and compost science to soil quality and carbon sequestration.

His early research “on the ecology of the nitrogen-fixing bacterium Rhizobium leguminosarum in the Palouse is truly a unique contribution that stands today as pioneering work,” his nominator wrote.

Bezdicek was the first director of the WSU Center for Sustaining Agriculture and Natural Resources. For the past five years, he has been the principal investigator for STEEP, a regional research and education program dedicated to developing profitable cropping systems technologies for controlling cropland soil erosion and protecting environmental quality.

He received a plaque and $1,000 for professional development.

Donald D. Nelson, extension beef specialist, received the Excellence in Extension Award.

Nelson has redefined the direction of the WSU beef cattle extension program since coming to WSU in 1989. Because issues facing ranchers and natural resource managers cannot be resolved in isolation, Nelson has created programs that bring interested parties together to seek solutions.

In 1995 he created a statewide Holistic Decision-Making Model for the Development of Sustainable Crop/Livestock and Natural Resource Systems. The $1 million Kellogg-funded effort attracted more than 150 participants during its five year duration.

A colleague has described Nelson as “an innovator, visionary, leader, collaborator, contrarian, sage, mover and shaker.”

Nelson received a plaque and $1,000 for professional development.

Doris Lohrey-Birch, secretary senior in the entomology department, received the Classified Clerical/Fiscal Staff Excellence Award.

Among other things, Lohrey-Birch, who has been with WSU for 25 years, coordinates graduate student applications and keeps international students’ visas in order. Students wrote that she takes a personal interest in their welfare and success. “This even includes waiting outside with students as the faculty are behind closed doors deciding our fates after we have taken qualifying exams or our final thesis defense,” one wrote.

Lohrey-Birch has served as the chief steward for Bargaining Unit 9 for several years and in October 2002 was re-elected as Council 28’s secretary for the Washington Federation of State Employees/AFL-CIO.

She received a plaque and $1,000 for professional development.

The college’s Classified Technical Staff Excellence Award went to Charles T. Golob, a research technician in the crop and soil sciences department.

Golob oversees a field research program for William J. Johnston, professor of turfgrass science. The field research includes more than 2,000 plots at the Turfgrass Research Area on the WSU campus, plus off-campus research sites in western Washington, north Idaho and Western Montana.

Golob is coauthor of a report on emissions from field burning of Kentucky bluegrass post-harvest residue. A colleague wrote,”This report is a great contribution towards the scientific information necessary to create public policy on the imposed and pending burning regulations in Washington and Idaho, respectfully.”

Golob has been with WSU for 19 years. He received a plaque and $1,000 for professional development.

Michael D. Doerr, a senor scientific assistant at the WSU Wenatchee Research and Extension Center, received the Administrative Professional Staff Excellence Award.

Doerr, a 14-year WSU employee, was described as an over-achiever by his colleagues. He provides technical support for Jay Brunner’s research and extension program.

Doerr has been senior author on several research publications, gives presentations at grower meetings and has played a crucial role in the development of a Web site that extends information from Brunner’s program.

Doerr also has taken an active role in developing and teaching WSU entomology courses for place-bound professional crop consultants and Wenatchee Valley College students.

In addition, Doerr has worked with the Wenatchee School District to develop a field experience program for second graders from the Wenatchee Valley. It teaches the integral role that agriculture plays in their daily lives.

At the secondary level, Doerr is helping a local principal coordinate and develop an internship program for the new High Tech High in Quincy.

Doerr received a plaque and $1,000 for professional development.

The college’s Team Excellence Award went the WSU Food Product Development Team in the food science and human nutrition department. The team is made up of graduate and undergraduate students from various disciplines. They develop novel food products containing dairy products through independent thinking and application of classroom knowledge.

The team has received three national awards in the Discoveries in Dairy Ingredients Contest. In 2002 and 2003, the team’s products were selected as one of the six finalists in a national competition sponsored by the Student Association of the Institute of Food Technologists.

Eleven current and past members of the team, Lloyd Luedeke, retired professor of food science and co-advisor of the club from 1998 to 2002, and Stephanie Clark, the team’s current advisor were present. Current team members and Clark each received a plaque. The food science and human nutrition department received $1,000 for team members to use for professional development.

At the same banquet, honors were passed out to top students in each class. In addition, the names of 68 undergraduates were added to the Dean’s Honor Roll and more than $472,000 in scholarships were awarded to 341 students.

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