Alumni Happenings

Women in agriculture and the life sciences

From left, Dean Alan Grant; Bridgett McIntosh, ’03, ’06, equine Extension specialist, Virginia Tech; Julie McIntire Divis, ’13, quality manager, PRE-Brands in Chicago; Gabriela Lopez, ’10, senior microbiologist, 3M Food Safety in Minnesota; Katie Olson, ’08, global director of dairy product development, ABS Global in Wisconsin; Laura Siegle, ’12, associate Extension agent, Virginia Cooperative Extension; and Carmen Byer Shanks, ’11, assistant professor, Montana State University.

The CALS Alumni Organization and the CALS Diversity Council partnered to host a panel discussion on women in agriculture and the life sciences this spring. Six outstanding recent alumnae, who were recognized at the annual alumni awards program later that afternoon, spoke to alumni, faculty, staff, and students from across the college about topics that included their experiences with controversy, the consumer mindset around agriculture and food, and their advice for students entering the industry.

CALS Alumni director named NAADA president

Jamie Lucero, director of alumni relations in the college, was elected to a two-year term as president of the National Agricultural Alumni and Development Association, an organization that provides enhancement opportunities for more than 350 advancement professionals in institutions of higher education associated with agricultural sciences.

Alumna wins truck for involvement in agriculture

Earlier this year, Sarah Scyphers, ’05, ’06, won the American Farm Bureau Federation’s Young Farmers & Ranchers Excellence in Agriculture Award. The award recognizes individuals for their involvement in agriculture, their leadership ability, and their participation in Farm Bureau and other organizations. Scyphers, a graduate in animal and poultry sciences and career and technical education, is an agriculture education instructor and FFA advisor in Damascus, Virginia. She took home a plaque for her achievement — as well as a brand-new truck!

Jessica Jones, secondary education-agriculture and interdisciplinary studies ’04, of Gladys, Virginia, was one of four finalists for the Young Farmers & Ranchers Discussion Meet Award.

Outstanding Alumni Recognized

  • CALS Hall of Fame: George Flick, university distinguished professor emeritus of food science and technology
  • CALS Hall of Fame: David Kohl, professor emeritus of agricultural and applied economics
  • CALS Outstanding Recent Undergraduate Alumna: Julie McIntire Divis, food science and technology ’13
  • CALS Outstanding Recent Graduate Alumna: Bridgett McIntosh, animal and poultry sciences ’03, ’06
  • Outstanding Alumni Leadership Award: Dave Leonard, animal science ’61
  • Outstanding Ambassador: Elizabeth Galbreath, agricultural sciences ’17
  • Outstanding Faculty Service Award: George Norton, agricultural and applied economics
  • Outstanding Staff Service Award: Brenda French, agricultural technology
  • Outstanding Alumni in International Programs Award: Jesse Austin, animal and poultry sciences ’99, ’01
  • Honorary Alumni Award: John Parker

For more information on these and other award recipients, visit