Helping peers, students and their world, ten individuals and a team of researchers and students were singled out for their exceptional contributions to the College of Agricultural, Human, and Natural Resource Sciences, at the college’s Faculty and Staff Awards presentation, Tuesday, April 23, at Ensminger Pavilion.
Now in its fourth year, the event recognizes the best and brightest of CAHNRS, said host André-Denis Wright, Dean of CAHNRS.
2019 Award winners include:
R.M. Wade Foundation Award for Teaching Excellence: Jim Durfey, Senior Instructor, Department of Crop and Soil Sciences, and leader of the Agriculture Technology and Management Program.
Students in Agriculture Technology and Management, or AgTM, learn how to mesh precision agriculture, electronics and data skills with crop science, finance and real estate to run the farms of the future. As a senior instructor, Durfey teaches 20 or more credits worth of courses each academic year, while mentoring students in a variety of experiential and independent-learning situations. He is also the sole advisor of the approximately 100 students in the program, providing career guidance.
Team Interdisciplinary Award: Honey Bee Health Team; Steve Sheppard, Brandon Hopkins, Tim Lawrence, Susan Cobey, Jennifer Han, Nicholas Naeger, Erin O’Rourke.
Sheppard oversees a prestigious honey bee breeding program that enhances U.S. breeding stock by importing germplasm from bees’ native ranges, while Hopkins is a world leader in germplasm cryopreservation and the use of controlled atmosphere facilities for overwintering and disease treatment.
Lawrence’s Extension program focuses on the impacts of humans on pollinators, working with pesticide applicators, growers, and the public to reduce pesticide exposure and improve pollinator habitat. Cobey is a leading authority in instrumental insemination and controlled breeding in bee populations, while Han is leading work to develop a biological control agent against the Varroa mite, a devastating parasite.
Naeger spearheads research into treatments for honey bee viruses that have recently swept through U.S. bee populations. Finally, O’Rourke manages the bee diagnostic clinic, providing vital information to beekeepers as they manage the many threats facing bees.
Faculty Excellence in Research Award: Tom Marsh, Distinguished Professor, School of Economic Sciences, and Paul G. Allen School for Global Animal Health.
Researching the economics of international trade, natural resources and global health, Marsh teaches doctoral courses in econometrics. He is a fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science and an elected member and part of the Board of Directors of the Washington State Academy of Sciences.
Excellence in Advising Award: Brenda Boyd, Associate Professor, Department of Human Development.
Specializing in early childhood education, Boyd has helped advance the professional status of those who teach our youngest learners for her entire career. She has directed Human Development’s Child Development Lab for 15 years, and serves as the Executive Director of the WSU Children’s Center. She also leads the Early Childhood Education certificate program, and is the academic advisor for all Human Development majors pursuing that certificate. Boyd is past president of the Washington Association for the Education of Young Children and of the Washington Early Childhood Teacher Preparation Council.
Early Career Excellence Award: Mike Pumphrey, Associate Professor, Crop and Soil Sciences; O.A. Vogel Endowed Chair of Spring Wheat Breeding and Genetics.
Developing resilient, high-quality spring wheat varieties for diverse Northwest production environments, Pumphrey has released eight wheat varieties since 2012, which account for approximately 60 percent of spring wheat production acres in Washington state. He has active research, funded by diverse sources, focused on genetic understanding and improvement of resistance to challenges such as stripe rust and Hessian fly, as well as stable falling numbers, improved wheat quality, and better understanding of yield-related traits. He currently teaches an undergraduate course in Crop Growth and Development, and a graduate course in Advanced Plant Breeding.
Land Grant Mission Award: Kate Evans, Professor, Department of Horticulture.
Evans has led WSU’s apple breeding program since 2008 and established an industry-funded pear rootstock breeding program in 2015. As a result of national and international collaborations, her apple program was the first to use DNA-informed seedling selection for fruit quality. The latest release from the apple program, Cosmic Crisp®, has an unprecedented level of industry adoption with more than 5 million trees destined for planting by spring 2019. Evans is chair of the U.S. Plant Breeding Coordinating Committee, leading the effort to assess U.S. plant breeding capacity and solve plant breeding problems.
Faculty Excellence in Extension Award: Doug Collins, Extension specialist soil scientist, Food Systems Program, WSU Puyallup Research and Extension Center.
Collins focuses on managing and monitoring soil fertility on diverse organic vegetable farms, and evaluating soil quality in different vegetable cropping systems. He is interested in soil variability across landscapes, as well as biological indicators of soil quality, and currently serves on the organic advisory board for the Washington State Department of Agriculture.
Administrative Professional Staff Excellence Award: Lisa Clyde, Administrative Manager, Department of Human Development.
Co-located at WSU Pullman, WSU Vancouver, and the WSU Global campuses, Human Development includes the WSU Children’s Center and the Center for Transformational Learning and Leadership, and is the administrative department for the interdisciplinary Prevention Science Graduate Program. Clyde provides vital support for personnel searches, budgets, contracts, grants, property inventory, and more, as well as back up for graduate program coordination.
Administrative Professional Technical Staff Excellence Award: Ronald Nugen, Senior Scientific Assistant, Institute of Biological Chemistry.
Nugen is responsible for designing, maintaining and repairing research instruments within the Institute. His education and experience, combined with self-motivation, intelligence, creativity and safety consciousness make him an important team member for the Institute. Hired by Facilities Operations in 1997, and earning his bachelor’s degree in electronics engineering while employed there, he holds a pilot’s license and a low-voltage electrician’s license.
Classified Clerical Fiscal Staff Excellence Award: Andrew Lewis, Fiscal Specialist, WSU Puyallup Research and Extension Center.
Lewis provides fiscal administrative support to the faculty, staff and students of Puyallup, Mount Vernon NWREC and CSANR. Drew also participates in the Collegiality Initiative, as well as the Equity, Diversity and Inclusion Taskforce, advancing university efforts to embrace its diversity and promote a culture of inclusion for all Puyallup students, faculty, administration and staff.
Classified Technical Staff Excellence Award: Tonia Green, lab manager and research intern, WSU-UI School of Food Science.
Green has supported research in crop and soil science, and currently in the School of Food Science. Green currently works with Associate Professor Meijun Zhu, supporting the work of many graduate-level students, visiting scholars and scientists from around the world. The lab covers a wide range of food safety issues, including apple post-harvest processing and storage.