The College of Agriculture and Life Sciences at Iowa State University presented annual awards to faculty and staff at its spring semester convocation February 15. Award winners include:
* Phil Spike, a professor of animal science, received the Outstanding Adviser Award. Spike has advised students for the past 33 years. Since 1998 he has advised 60 to 70 students each semester. Spike is chair of the animal science advising committee and has coordinated a Web page to assist students and advisers in the department. Students submitted nomination letters stating that Spike helped them succeed both academically and professionally.
* Lyric Bartholomay, assistant professor in entomology, received the Early Achievement in Teaching Award. Bartholomay began teaching classes on the effects of insects on human health at ISU in 2005. Both peers and students describe her as a passionate teacher who engages students and helps them develop critical thinking skills.
* Janette Thompson, associate professor of natural resource ecology and management, received the Outstanding Achievement in Teaching Award. During the past 14 years Thompson has taught nine different courses ranging from freshman orientation to basic and applied forest biology. Thompson also played a key role in the development of the department's curriculum, which is based on student-centered learning.
* Palle Pedersen, assistant professor in agronomy, received the Early Achievement in Research Award. Pedersen joined the agronomy department in 2003 and immediately began impacting Iowa soybean production. Pedersen is internationally recognized for his research and has received more than $3.2 million in support for his research and Extension initiatives. Pedersen also received the Raymond and Mary Baker Agronomic Excellence Award for his contributions to the department.
* Matt Liebman, Henry A. Wallace Endowed Chair for Sustainable Agriculture and professor of agronomy, received the Outstanding Achievement in Research Award. Liebman began his career at ISU in 1998 and has focused on agricultural ecology as it relates to cropping systems and weed management. During that time he has received more than $5 million in grants to support his research.
* Alison Robertson, assistant professor of plant pathology, received the award for Early Achievement in Extension. Since Robertson arrived at ISU in 2004, she has established an Extension education program focused on the biology and management of diseases in Iowa crops. From 2005-2007 she conducted the first state-wide assessment of soybean diseases in Iowa. Her program has focused on maximizing productivity and profit for Iowa producers by increasing the understanding and management of soybean diseases.
* Mike Owen, professor of agronomy, received the award for Outstanding Achievement in Extension. Owen has shared weed management information and research with farmers and agronomists throughout Iowa for the past 28 years. Owen developed two graduate courses for the Masters of Agronomy distance education program and coordinated the Integrated Crop Management conference, which attracts more than 400 attendees each fall.
* The Resource and Environment Policy division at the Center for Agriculture and Rural Development (CARD) received the ISU Team Award. Catherine Kling, professor of economics, heads the team that includes: Hongli Feng Hennessy and Silvia Secchi, both associate scientists; Philip Gassman and Manoj Jha, both assistant scientists; and Todd Campbell, systems analyst. The team has developed new ways to model the interface between ag and water quality. The models can be used to analyze costs and benefits of improving water quality. The team has attracted $1.5 million in competitive grants since 2003.
* Gail Nonnecke, professor of horticulture, received the Excellence in International Agriculture Award. Nonnecke has shared her expertise with scientists from Uganda, China, India, Latvia and Hungary. She also is a leader in the horticulture global program and understands the benefits of studying abroad. She collaborated with a peer to initiate a study abroad program in Scotland in 1998, which has attracted more than 100 students.
* Cindy Pease, secretary in the economics department, received the Merit Staff Award for Achievement and Service. Pease uses her technical editing skills to assist faculty and staff in preparing manuscripts, presentations and research materials. She also is described as easy to work with and provides quality services and support to faculty and staff in the department.
* Ann Bugler, a program coordinator in the Brenton Center for Ag Instruction and Technology Transfer, received the Professional and Scientific Staff Award for Achievement and Service. Bugler has provided technical support and advice to students, faculty and staff for the past 11 years in the Center. Her nomination letters describe her as an excellent communicator, innovative and creative.
* Nancy Grudens-Schuck, associate professor in agricultural education and studies, received the Faculty Award for Diversity Enhancement. Grudens-Schuck incorporates assignments into her courses that help students understand all aspects of diversity. She also helps faculty, staff and students understand that it's everyone's responsibility to be aware of issues related to diversity.
* Doug Kenealy, professor in animal science, received the Student Recruitment and Retention Award. Kenealy has taught or advised 13,000 students since he began in 1975. His activities include recruiting sessions with prospective students and training sessions with current students on how to succeed academically.
* John Burnett in natural resource ecology and management received the Learning community Coordination Award. He initiated one of the first learning communities in the department. Students in learning communities share common interests and classes, allowing them to build relationships with peers and faculty. Burnett believes the learning communities help students succeed academically. This year Burnett initiated a learning community for transfer students.
* The Dean's Citation for Extraordinary Contributions to the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences was presented to Mark Huss, Joe Detrick and Dennis Shannon for their expertise and assistance with the opening of the new dairy farm. Huss was project manager for construction of the farm and is an engineer and manager of Agricultural Project Services with ISU facilities. Detrick is dairy farm manager and coordinated the movement of more than 300 cows from the Ankeny farm to the new farm south of Ames. Shannon, farm manager for ISU Research Farms, coordinated the auction of surplus farm machinery and equipment from the Ankeny farm and coordinated clean up of the Ankeny farm.