College of Agriculture and Life Sciences presents awards to faculty and staff

March 22nd, 2021

AMES, Iowa – Iowa State University’s College of Agriculture and Life Sciences honored faculty and staff with awards in teaching, advising, research, extension and outreach, diversity and global engagement during a virtual ceremony March 22.

Teaching and Advising Awards

Marshall McDaniel, assistant professor in agronomy, received the Early Achievement in Teaching Award. He teaches undergraduate and graduate courses in soil and plant growth, and soil and plant relationships.

Brad Skaar, associate professor in animal science, received the Outstanding Achievement in Teaching Award. He has taught for more than 35 years, focusing on beef cattle production, curriculum and outcomes assessment, and beef cattle genetics.

Kate Gilbert, associate teaching professor in food science and human nutrition, received the Excellence in Teaching by Term Faculty Award. She teaches large courses required for undergraduate majors, as well as small, highly interactive discussion-based courses.

James Wright, associate teaching professor in agricultural and biosystems engineering, received the Distance Education Teaching Award. He teaches two of the largest courses in the department, both part of the core curriculum for instructional technology and agricultural systems technology.  

Rodrigo Tarté, assistant professor in animal science, received the Early Advisor Award. He advises approximately 50 undergraduate students, providing not just course advisement and degree guidance, but career mentorship and life skill development.

Nathan Dobbels, academic advisor in agricultural education and studies, received the Professional and Scientific Early Advisor Award. He advises approximately 165 students, providing the support and care they need while also challenging them to rise to their potential.

Jennifer Bundy, assistant professor in animal science, received the Outstanding Advisor Award. She advises more than 90 undergraduate students and serves as coordinator of the undergraduate academic advising program for animal science and dairy science.

Amber Kargol, academic advisor in food science and human nutrition, received the Professional and Scientific Outstanding Advisor Award. She advises more than 180 students in five of the department’s majors and co-coordinates the department’s first year learning community.

Research Awards

Bradley Miller, assistant professor in agronomy, received the Early Achievement in Research Award. His focus is on examining spatial variations in environmental processes that affect soil properties.

Michelle Soupir, professor in agricultural and biosystems engineering, received the Mid-Career Achievement in Research Award. Her work is in improving water quality through basic and applied research on pollutant fate and transport.

Lie Tang, professor in agricultural and biosystems engineering, received the Outstanding Achievement in Research Award. His focus is on agricultural automation and robotics for acquiring crop plant information for autonomous field operations and plant phenotyping.

Maro Ibarburu, associate scientist with the Egg Industry Center, received the Professional and Scientific Research Award. Ibarburu’s work includes compiling and providing critical egg industry statistical data and analysis for the egg industry.

Extension and Outreach Awards

Wendong Zhang, assistant professor in economics and extension land value economist, received the Early Achievement in Extension and Outreach Award. He works with Iowa’s landowners and farmer-operators to address critical issues in land valuation.

Amy Powell, extension youth STEM program specialist in animal science, received the Professional and Scientific Early Achievement in Extension and Outreach Award. She focuses on developing animal science curriculum for youth audiences.

J. Arbuckle, professor in sociology and extension sociologist, received the Outstanding Achievement in Extension and Outreach Award. He conducts the Iowa Farm and Rural Life Poll, an annual survey of farmers established in 1982.

Matthew Wenger, program coordinator with the Meat Science Extension program in animal science, received the Professional and Scientific Outstanding Achievement in Extension and Outreach Award. He coordinated the Pass the Pork and Beef Up Iowa programs to provide meat for Iowans experiencing food insecurity as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Professional and Scientific and Staff Awards

Yongjie Ji, research scientist in economics with the Center for Agricultural and Rural Development, received the Professional and Scientific Outstanding New Professional Award. He brings highly-valued technical skills to his work, which unites economic expertise, advanced graphic design and innovative computer programming.

Ben Drescher, animal science farms director, received the Professional and Scientific Excellence Award. He provides direct supervision of the beef, dairy, swine, sheep, horse and poultry farms that are part of the animal science department.  

Cherie Hill, a clerk with the Iowa State Seed Lab in the Seed Science Center, received the Merit Award for Achievement and Service. She oversees the Customer Care section where she is responsible for receiving and organizing seed samples, and distributing them to internal labs.

Diversity, Global Engagement and Team Awards

Aileen Keating, associate professor in animal science, received the Faculty Award for Diversity Enhancement. Her research is focused on the impact of environmental exposure on female fertility and health, and the environmental racism that is present.

Elaine Phompheng, student services specialist in agricultural and biosystems engineering, received the Professional and Scientific Award for Diversity Enhancement. She contributes to diversity efforts in the department through learning communities, recruitment activities and retention efforts.

Jack Dekkers, C.F. Curtiss Distinguished Professor in animal science, received the Outstanding Achievement in International Agriculture Award. His international contributions include teaching international post-graduate courses; organizing international scientific conferences; leading study abroad courses; and developing international research collaborations.

The Brenton Center for Agricultural Instruction and Technology Transfer received the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences Team Award. The COVID-19 pandemic created a challenge to convert all on-site college courses to remote instruction during a two-week period in March 2020, while working remotely. The Brenton Center staff successfully handled the demand for live-streamed classes and webinar events, along with the creation of spring virtual convocation. In the summer they brought virtual learning workshops to faculty and staff and captured more than 100 labs for virtual delivery.

The Brenton Center team, led by Gaylan Scofield, includes: Christina Carter, business administrator; Callie Gitch, marketing specialist; Casey Smith, student services specialist; Todd Vens, Lili Zhou and David DeHass, instructional designers; and Rod Fischer, Allison Kayser and Daniel Ossian, media production specialists.

Contacts: 

Julie Stewart, Agriculture and Life Sciences Communications, 515-294-5616, jstewart@iastate.edu