ISU College of Agriculture Presents Awards to Faculty, Staff

January 19th, 2006

AMES, Iowa — The College of Agriculture at Iowa State University presented annual awards to faculty and staff at its spring semester convocation on Wednesday. Award winners were:

Thomas Brumm, assistant professor in agricultural and biosystems engineering, received the Outstanding Adviser Award. Brumm has advised more than 50 students each semester for the past five years. Students submitted nomination letters describing Brumm as a passionate adviser committed to helping them identify and achieve their goals.

Amy Kaleita-Forbes, assistant professor in agricultural and biosystems engineering, received the College of Agriculture Early Achievement in Teaching Award. Kaleita-Forbes began teaching soil and water conservation management and water quality courses at Iowa State in 2003. Both peers and students describe her as an enthusiastic teacher who inspires students to think critically and solve problems.

Jack Girton, associate professor of biochemistry, biophysics, and molecular biology, received the Outstanding Achievement in Teaching Award. For the past 20 years Girton has taught genetics to students at every level. Students routinely give Girton high performance evaluations stating his willingness to help them understand the subject.

Carolyn Komar, assistant professor in the animal science department, received the Early Achievement in Research Award. Komar is a leader in reproductive biology research. Her discoveries have helped in the treatment of type II diabetes and hyperlipidemia.

Pat Murphy, food science and human nutrition university professor, received the Outstanding Achievement in Research Award. She started her soybean isoflavone research more than 20 years ago, well before the compounds were recognized as health-promoting phytochemicals. Her work has made significant impacts and contributions to the scientific community.

Palle Pedersen, assistant professor of agronomy, received the award for Early Achievement in Extension. Pedersen came to Iowa State in 2003 after receiving his doctorate degree from the University of Wisconsin-Madison. He is responsible for soybean production and management extension programs and has received $1.2 million in research funds.

Paul Wray, professor of natural resource ecology and management and extension forester, received the award for Outstanding Achievement in Extension. Wray is responsible for forest management and urban forestry extension programs throughout Iowa. After 30 years in extension programming, Wray's name has become synonymous with forestry education.

The Iowa State Agriculture Diversity Committee received the Team Award. The team includes Andrew Manu, committee chair and associate professor in agronomy; Mary de Baca, diversity and special programs coordinator for the College of Agriculture; Nina Grant, director and multicultural liaison officer for the College of Agriculture; Lita Rule, associate professor in natural resource ecology and management; Sande McNabb, plant pathology professor emeritus; and Harold Crawford, agricultural education and studies professor. The team developed a college-wide diversity committee and took the lead in celebrating George Washington Carver's legacy at Iowa State. The team also helped recruit minority students and received recognition from the National Science Foundation (NSF) funding team. The NSF team awarded grants to Iowa State based in part on the number and quality of minority undergraduate and graduate students.

Jay-lin Jane, professor of food science and human nutrition, received the Excellence in International Agriculture Award. Jane is an internationally recognized authority in corn carbohydrate research and has presented in more than 60 meetings outside the United States. During her teaching career she has trained 55 international graduate students. Jane's contributions have increased the visibility of Iowa State globally.

Renea Miller, a clerk in the sociology department, received the Merit Staff Award for Achievement and Service. Miller provides technical and computer support for faculty and staff in the department. She encourages the use of new technologies and has coordinated production of a video, audio CDs, technical reports, banners, posters and graphics.

Allen Christian, ag specialist in animal science, received the Professional and Scientific Staff Award for Achievement and Service. Christian has worked at the Iowa State Swine Teaching Farm for more than 45 years. He manages daily activities at the farm, including genetic selection, nutrition management, reproduction and performance testing. Christian's role at the farm has contributed to the success of students, faculty and the swine industry.

Max Rothschild, Charles F. Curtiss Distinguished Professor in Agriculture and director of the Center for Integrated Animal Genomics, received the Faculty Award for Diversity Enhancement. During the past 26 years Rothschild has worked to support and provide a welcoming environment for minority students. Along with his many research endeavors, his goal has been to enhance the diversity of students, staff and faculty at Iowa State by mentoring students, establishing minority programs and strengthening relationships with the 1890 land grant universities.

Barb Osborn, horticulture department resource and career center coordinator, received the Student Recruitment and Retention Award. Osborn emphasizes the importance of communicating with students. To do this she has organized departmental picnics, pizza meetings and other activities that help students get to know faculty and staff. Since her arrival in 1998, Osborn has visited more than 100 high schools, 30 career fairs and 30 community colleges. Her mission, "to make sure students are first and foremost and given the best information to make informative decisions."

Jean-Luc Jannink, agronomy professor, received the Raymond and Mary Baker Agronomic Excellence Award for his contributions in agronomy. Jannink received the award for his work in applying DNA markers to enhance the breeding and understanding of crop genetic architecture.

The Dean's Citation for Extraordinary Contributions to the College of Agriculture was presented to both Wallace Huffman and Rich Bundy. Huffman, Charles F. Curtiss Distinguished Professor of Economics, provided research data that has been used nationwide to analyze the benefit of public investments in agricultural research. Bundy, executive director for the agriculture development office, led the team that had the second most successful year in fundraising for the college, raising more than $19 million.


Barbara McBreen, Communications Service, (515) 294-0707,