Congratulations to the March Employee of the Month – David Dunaway! He is an agricultural technician at the Eastern Virginia Agricultural Research and Extension Center.
David Dunaway (left) receiving his Employee of the Month plaque from Robert Pitman, director of the Eastern Virginia Agricultural Research and Extension Center
Dunaway’s nominators praised his work ethic noting that he “ has worked at the Eastern Virginia AREC for almost 17 years. During that time he has learned, grown, and taken on more duties at a higher level than he was originally hired for. He has assumed additional duties and responsibilities of a more complex and/or varied nature that include advising faculty and staff with regard to equipment needs, modifications, and safety; construction or modifications of research equipment; serving as a crew chief for harvesting operations; and assisting with training of summer wage employees.”
His equipment and machinery knowledge and expertise are sought and utilized by campus faculty who conduct research projects at Warsaw. In the spring of 2016, he learned to operate a new auto-steer system that was installed on one of the tractors in minimal time.
“During extremely busy times, we frequently find ourselves planting one crop and harvesting another simultaneously. Dunaway can be trusted to take charge of whatever task and/or team he is given for the day and keep things on track and rolling.”
As the March Employee of the Month, Dunaway will receive a plaque, gifts from the college, will have his photo displayed in the case in Hutcheson Hall, and will be eligible for the 2015-16 Employee of the Year award.
Professor Michael Weaver is being recognized for his commitment to work-life harmony.
Weaver is the 2016 recipient of the Hokie Wellness Supervisor Spotlight Award.
In recognition for his commitment to work-life harmony, Michael Weaver is the 2016 recipient of the Hokie Wellness Supervisor Spotlight Award. He is pictured here receiving his award with Susan Terwilliger (left) and Holly Gatton.
According to his colleagues, Weaver, a professor in the Department of Entomology and the director of Virginia Tech Pesticide Programs, recognizes the importance and unpredictability of family and the need for flexibility in the workplace.
“Dr. Weaver embodies an esprit de corps that motivates us all,” said Holly Gatton, project manager for the Department of Entomology.
Weaver is credited with mentoring employees as they pursue advanced degrees and supporting their work-life balance needs.
“I don’t think I do much more than anyone else to deserve recognition for my supervision. It is always a learning experience,” he said. “I just happen to be blessed with some super co-workers. They are supportive and quite easy to manage.”
We are seeking nominations for two research awards: CALS Excellence in Basic Research and CALS Excellence in Applied Research Awards. The deadline for nominations is May 27, 2016. Each award winner will be receiving $5,000 from the college to be used in support of his/her research program. The award winners will be recognized during the CALS faculty and staff picnic in early August.
Please share this information with your unit’s awards committee and let me know if you have any questions. These nominations should be made by the department head or the chair of the award committee and should be sent to Robin Williams. Previous nominees will be considered by the award committee for up to two additional years, if not selected the first year of consideration, for a total of three years.
Native Virginian J.B. Daniel recently received the American Forage and Grassland Council’s Pastureland Conservationist of the Year award for his exceptional education and outreach to promote sustainable grazing practices statewide.
This annual award recognizes a natural resources conservation service employee who has exemplified outstanding service to the agency, our clients, and the science of grazing land management. Daniels received this recognition for excelling in five categories: communication, training, partnerships, conservation application, and job complexity.
(Left to right) J.B. Daniel receives his award from NRCS National Rangeland Management Specialist Sid Brantly and AFGC President Gary Wilson.
As the state’s forage and grassland agronomist, Daniel is committed to education and outreach. He serves as an advisor to the Virginia Forage and Grassland Council, providing key support to the annual VFGC winter conference series with an annual attendance of more than 500 producers and grazing advisors. He also spearheaded the development of the Beginning Grazier School, a multi-day, immersion-style training course on management-intensive grazing.
Demonstration farms are another key component of his outreach strategy to promote sustainable practice implementation. In 2010, Daniel began working with Shenandoah Valley farmers to launch a project promoting year-round grazing and reduce the need to feed stored hay. Many other demonstration farms have now been added throughout the state, and other initiatives followed to explore the use of annuals in livestock grazing systems and the silvopasture practice, which integrates forage grazing and forest production.
Please join us as the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences Alumni Organization hosts the annual awards program that recognizes our outstanding alumni.
The event will be held Friday, April 1 at The Inn at Virginia Tech and Skelton Conference Center in Blacksburg, Virginia.
Please RSVP for the event by March 18. For assistance with online registration or other questions, please contact Jamie Lucero, director of alumni relations.
Nominations for the college’s Diversity and Inclusion Service Award (formerly called the Diversity Enhancement Award) are due April 1.
The award will include a letter of commendation, a plaque, and a monetary award of $500.
Faculty, staff, and students in the college are encouraged to apply. Nominees must be current faculty and staff employees in the college or students enrolled in an undergraduate or graduate program of the college at the time of the nomination. Self-nominations are encouraged. Previous winners cannot apply for the same award category (faculty, staff, or student).
The Diversity and Inclusion Service Award was established in 2006 to recognize outstanding diversity accomplishments of faculty, staff, and students in the college. Individuals should exemplify excellence in advancing the college’s mission of promoting diversity in the college. In 2013, the award was changed to create separate categories for faculty, staff, and students. Award recipients will be recognized at a reception in May. The student award is named for Randolph Grayson, who students continuously cite for the encouragement and support he has given them over the years.
For more information contact CALS Diversity Chair Isaac Magana at 540-231-9650 or CALS Diversity Council Recording Secretary Karen Barnhart at 540-231-5659.
The Weed Science Society of America has honored 30 individuals for their outstanding contributions to the field of weed science. The awards were presented during the organization’s annual meeting, held this year in San Juan, Puerto Rico.
“Our annual awards program recognizes the many outstanding scientists who are spearheading innovations and advancing the weed science profession through their research, teaching, publishing and outreach,” said Dallas Peterson, president of WSSA.
This year’s winners include two of our own faculty:
It’s time to start preparing your submissions for Virginia Association of Agricultural Extension Agents Communications Awards. Below are the 14 categories to choose from:
Award categories (more details):
- Audio recordings
- Published photo and caption
- Computer generated graphics presentation with script
- Program promotional piece
- Personal column
- Feature story
- Newsletter, individual
- Newsletter, team
- Video recordings
- Fact sheet
- Website/online content
- Learning module/notebook
- Bound book
Submissions are due by 5 p.m. March 15.
Communication Awards are open to all members of VAAEA. The Communication Awards Program is defined in more detail in the December 2015 edition of The County Agent. The abstract format, including a sample, are provided to help with your submissions.
Communications Awards submissions are not only a great way to critique your work against your peers, but they are also accompanied by a financial incentive. State winners will receive $50. Sponsors permitting, national finalists receive $250 and national winners receive $500.
Please be mindful that if you apply for an awards category as a collaborative effort, you must receive the collaborators permission prior to submitting the application. Once again, thank you all for the outstanding work and commitment to extending knowledge across the Commonwealth.
Molly Darr and James Wahls, graduate students in the Virginia Tech Department of Entomology, recently won the 2016 Alwood Extension Award. This award, begun in 2014, recognizes entomology graduate students who dedicate themselves to Cooperative Extension and outreach service. The award comes with a $500 scholarship, a plaque, and a commemorative print. It honors the legacy of William Bradford Alwood, Virginia Tech’s first entomologist and a world-renowned scientist.
Alwood Extension Award winners, receiving their awards last month. From left: Mike Weaver, professor of entomology; Ed Jones, director of VCE; James Wahls, award winner; Doug Pfeiffer, professor of entomology; and Molly Darr, award winner
Darr, a Ph.D. candidate, is studying biological control of the hemlock woolly adelgid, an invasive pest that has devastated hemlocks and other trees in the Appalachian region of the East Coast. Originally from Lovettsville, Virginia, she received her bachelor of science from Virginia Tech in 2009. She has received several prestigious awards, including the President’s Prize from the Entomological Society of America in 2015 and the W.B. Alwood Travel Award the same year.
Darr became interested in entomology while working at several field jobs after graduation from college. “I have always been interested in conservation and the inner workings of ecological systems,” she explained. “Studying biological control in the field of forest entomology was perfectly aligned with these interests.”