ISU College of Agriculture and Life Sciences Alumni Honored

October 31st, 2017

AMES, Iowa — The Iowa State University College of Agriculture and Life Sciences (CALS) and the Iowa State University Alumni Association presented awards at the annual Honors and Awards Ceremony on Oct. 27.

Todd Hall received the Floyd Andre Award from the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences. This award honors an alumnus who has made outstanding contributions to production agriculture, agricultural business or who has had a significant impact on Iowa agriculture.

Hall, of Orono, Minnesota, received his bachelor’s degree in animal science in 1982. A champion for global food security, he serves as executive vice president of Cargill. Hall is a member of the company’s executive team, responsible for the strategy, execution and profit and loss of the Cargill’s protein and salt businesses.

Hall is one of four executives to serve on Cargill’s board of directors, helping steer the company’s mission of improving food security, sustainability and nutrition worldwide. He serves as a board member for the Grocery Manufacturers Association, Greater Minneapolis-Saint Paul Regional Economic Development Partnership and Twin Cities Habitat for Humanity. He formerly served on the board of directors for the American Feed Industry Association.

Hall is co-chair of the advisory council for the College of Agriculture and Life Science’s Global Resource Systems (GRS) program. Under his leadership, Cargill supports the GRS program offering resources for faculty, student recruitment and scholarships which will strengthen the curriculum and develop students’ leadership skills and global competencies.

Gerald Klonglan received the George Washington Carver Distinguished Service Award from the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences. The award honors college alumni and friends who have demonstrated outstanding achievement or leadership in making significant, influential or innovative contributions to society.

Klonglan, of Ames, Iowa, is an emeritus professor of sociology at Iowa State University and former associate dean for national programs and assistant director of the Iowa Agriculture and Home Economics Experiment Station. A nationally recognized sociologist and advocate for the college’s global involvement and diversity programs, Klonglan received his bachelor’s degree, master’s degree and doctorate in rural sociology from Iowa State University.

During his tenure, Klonglan led the charge for the college’s educational collaboration and research on a global level. Under his leadership, the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences was top in the nation among Land-Grant institutions for grants awarded from the USDA National Research Initiative Program. His involvement was key to long-term global grant development projects in places like Malawi, Ghana, Zambia, Saudi Arabia and China.

Klonglan was key in establishing research collaborations and graduate education projects with 1890 Land-Grant Colleges and Native American Indian Tribal Land-Grant Colleges—many of which remain in place today. His contributions have been recognized with a USDA Cooperative State Research, Education and Extension Service Award; a Gamma Sigma Delta Distinguished Achievement in Agriculture Award of Merit and an Iowa State University Alumni Association Alumni Service Award.

Catherine Woteki, was honored with the Henry A. Wallace Award by the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences. The award honors a college alumnus or friend who has achieved notable professional achievements nationally or internationally and brought distinction to themselves, the college and the university through significant contributions. 

Woteki, of Washington, D.C., serves as a professor of food science and human nutrition at Iowa State University. As former chief scientist and undersecretary for the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) Research, Education and Economics mission area, she is a world-renowned leader in science policy and a celebrated advocate establishing platforms for international food and agricultural research.

In her role as undersecretary, Woteki developed the federal Office of the Chief Scientist, established the USDA Science Council and implemented the USDA’s first scientific integrity and open data policies. Woteki garnered global respect for envisioning the international forum that became the annual Meeting of Agricultural Chief Scientists at the Group of Twenty (G20) international forum and for chairing the Global Research Alliance on Agricultural Greenhouse Gases.

Prior to her work with the USDA, Woteki served in top leadership positions in the agriculture and food industries, including deputy associate director for science for the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy and global director of scientific and regulatory affairs for Mars, Inc. In 2002, she was named the first female dean of the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences at Iowa State University and director of the Iowa Agriculture and Home Economics Experiment Station. Woteki is one of four Iowa State faculty members who have been elected to the National Academy of Medicine.

Dawn Refsell received the Outstanding Young Professional Award from the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences, honoring an early to mid-career college alumnus who has distinguished themselves through significant advancement and achievement in their discipline, field or area of expertise.

Refsell, of Lathrop, Missouri, received her bachelor’s degree in agronomy in 2001 and master’s degree in crop production and physiology in 2003. She serves as manager of Midwest field development for Valent U.S.A. In her role, Refsell manages the Valent field development team and Midwest Agriculture Research Center, a 77-acre research farm in Illinois she helped design and develop.

Refsell’s leadership and agronomic expertise includes service on a global level. She is a member of the Global Herbicide Resistance Action Committee and serves as the communications lead for the U.S. Herbicide Resistance Action Committee. She is the strategic planning chair for the North Central Weed Science Society and a member of the Weed Science Society of America.

Refsell frequently returns to Iowa State University to speak to classes, judge weed science competitions and serve as a mentor for young women interested in agronomy. She is an active supporter of college initiatives, and has served in the college’s young alumni program, Curtiss League. Refsell’s contributions extend to many civic organizations. She is a flight liaison for the Heartland Honor Flight and serves on the Missouri Patriot Guard and Missouri Patriot Express.

Kyle Flander and Claire Masker were recognized with the Iowa State University Alumni Association’s James A. Hopson Volunteer Service Award. The award recognizes graduates under the age of 40 who have demonstrated early volunteer leadership for Iowa State University.

Flander, of Shawnee, Kansas, received his bachelor’s degree in industrial technology in 2003. He serves as a process improvement engineer for Entrematic/Amarr in Lawrence, Kansas. Flander is an active volunteer in the Kansas City’s Iowa State Alumni Association Club, where he currently serves as treasurer. He served as president of the club from 2012-2015.

During his tenure on the club’s leadership board, he has founded “Cy’s Day at the K,” organized overnight bus trips for Cyclone sporting events and created a sustainable presence for “Cy’s Days of Service” volunteer initiatives in Kansas City. He has played host to Cyclone game-watches, Big 12 basketball tournament events, brewery tours and family events.

Flander has developed events and relationships that have helped Kansas City Cyclones feel stronger connections to Iowa State University and increased school pride and spirit. He also serves as a member of Kansas City’s Myasthenia Gravis Association 5K board.

Masker, of Urbandale, Iowa, received her bachelor’s degrees in 2005 in animal science and agriculture and life sciences education and master’s degree in agriculture and life sciences education in 2008. She serves as the director of public relations for the National Pork Board.

Masker is a frequent guest lecturer for College of Agriculture and Life Sciences classes and Iowa State University student organizations. She also volunteers as a judge for the annual Iowa State Bacon Expo. In 2016, she co-led a swine study abroad trip to China and Japan where she helped students prepare throughout the semester and chaperoned the trip for three weeks.

Masker is a member of the college’s young alumni initiative, Curtiss League. She helped create Young Professionals in Agriculture (YPiA), a networking group for young professionals in her industry. Masker has served on the Agriculture Future of America Alliance Planning Committee and as a member of the Iowa State University Alumni Association’s Young Alumni Council. She is a graduate of the 2015-2016 class of Leadership Iowa and a recipient of the National Agri-Marketing Association’s Best of NAMA Award for social media.

(Editor’s note: Photos of award winners are available by contacting Haley Cook.)


Melea Reicks Licht, College of Agriculture and Life Sciences Communications Service, 515-294-8892

Haley Cook, College of Agriculture and Life Sciences Communications Service, 515-294-0705