Tag Archives: Awards

Jeff Burr – December Employee of the Month

Congratulations to the December Employee of the Month Jeff Burr! He serves as the research specialist senior and greenhouse manager in the Department of Horticulture.

Jeff Burr (second from left) receiving his award with Roger Harris, Zeke Barlow, and Dean Alan Grant

Jeff Burr (second from left) receiving his award with Roger Harris, Zeke Barlow, and Dean Alan Grant

His nominator noted that the “recent blooming of the corpse plant, Phil, was a huge success in terms of visitors, social media, and exposure for the college and a large part of the reason for this was Jeff Burr. Though his job title is greenhouse manager, during Phil’s blooming cycle, he served as social media manager, botany interpreter, crowd-controller, and all around great ambassador for the college.

Burr opened a Twitter account to promote the greenhouse and Phil. The #stinkyphil campaign earned more than 1.7 million impressions and he was a big part of this success.
When he learned that Phil was going to bloom outside of his typical work schedule, Burr kept the greenhouse open late on Friday, then opened the doors on Saturday and Sunday when more than 1,000 people visited Phil.

H answered hundreds of questions about Phil and always did so with a deep well of knowledge, but just as importantly, with a great attitude and a sense of humor. Though people waited more than an hour in line to see Phil, Burr made the entire environment light and lively. His nominator also noted that he was a tremendous ambassador for the college and Virginia Tech and was an integral part of a very successful campaign that helped spread the words ‘College of Agriculture and Life Sciences’ around the globe.

As the December employee of the month, he will receive a plaque, gifts from the college, have his photo displayed in the case in Hutcheson Hall, and will be eligible to be considered for the 2015-16 Employee of the Year award.

Congratulations, Jeff!

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VALOR selected for national award

The Virginia Agriculture Leaders Obtaining Results program received the 2015 National Association of Agricultural Educators Outstanding Postsecondary/Adult Agricultural Education Program Award.

The award was presented at the National Association of Agricultural Educators annual convention in New Orleans on Nov. 18. VALOR is one of only four programs nationwide that received the 2015 award.

The Virginia Agriculture Leaders Obtaining Results program was one of four education programs to receive the 2015 National Association of Agricultural Educators Outstanding Postsecondary/Adult Agricultural Education Program Award. Megan Siebel, right, director of the program, is pictured with the other winners (from left) Brydon Kaster, Craig Grisham, and Bert Bodiford.

The Virginia Agriculture Leaders Obtaining Results program was one of four education programs to receive the 2015 National Association of Agricultural Educators Outstanding Postsecondary/Adult Agricultural Education Program Award. Megan Siebel, right, director of the program, is pictured with the other winners (from left) Brydon Kaster, Craig Grisham, and Bert Bodiford.

The program is a two-year fellowship for adults working in agriculture who want to develop their communication, problem solving, and critical thinking skills, in addition to broadening their knowledge of global and local agriculture. The mission of Virginia Agriculture Leaders Obtaining Results is to develop leaders who can effectively engage all segments of the Virginia agriculture community to create collaborative solutions and promote agriculture.

The program is housed in the Department of Agricultural and Extension Education and receives funding from participant fees, the college, and Virginia Cooperative Extension, as well as from philanthropy from individual donors, industry organizations and, agribusinesses. Its success stems from raising participants’ awareness of the diversity and profitability of agriculture in Virginia.

Each of the four regional Outstanding Postsecondary/Adult Program Award winners was recognized at the NAAE convention in New Orleans. The Outstanding Postsecondary/Adult Agricultural Education Program award is sponsored by Monsanto as a special project of the National FFA Foundation. NAAE is the professional association for agricultural educators. Its mission is “professionals providing agricultural education for the global community through visionary leadership, advocacy, and service.” The national headquarters for NAAE is located in Lexington, Kentucky.

See the full news release on Virginia Tech News.

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Virginia Cooperative Extension wins national award for strengthening rural economies

Virginia Cooperative Extension was recently recognized by the National Institute of Food and Agriculture for its commitment to strengthening rural economies.

The award recognizes an Extension initiative called Stronger Economies Together, a program that promotes collaboration among rural communities by pooling shared economic assets among municipalities and expanding the vision of local policymakers in rural areas to think regionally beyond their own counties.

The team was recognized at a ceremony at the NIFA Day of Appreciation in Washington, D.C.

“We place high value on the teams of researchers and other individuals who have enacted positive change on the future of agriculture and science through their work,” Sonny Ramaswamy, director of the National Institute of Food and Agriculture, said in a news release.

The project is a collaboration of the National Institute of Food and Agriculture, the U.S. Department of Agriculture Rural Development, the Regional Rural Development Centers, and a team of land-grant Extension faculty, including Martha Walker, community viability specialist in the Department of Agricultural and Applied Economics in the Virginia Tech College of Agriculture and Life Sciences.

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Stephanie Slocum – January Employee of the Month

Congratulations to Stephanie Slocum, the January Employee of the Month! Stephanie serves as the dean’s office coordinator in the college.

Stephanie Slocum receiving her award with CALS Director of Finance Steven Kleiber (left) and Dean Alan Grant

Stephanie Slocum receiving her award with CALS Director of Finance Steven Kleiber (left) and Dean Alan Grant

Since May 1, Slocum has shown a tremendous amount of professionalism and positive energy while being asked to assume a number of critical roles in the Dean’s Office. She helped by “taking on the Dean’s complicated and complex calendar, travel arrangements, and additional administrative support roles. She assisted with the Dean’s Advisory Council and created detailed and thorough minutes for that important meeting. Stephanie managed these additional duties with positivity, thoughtfulness, and a collaborative team-oriented spirit.”

During the same time, Slocum was tasked with handling the logistics for the AREC tours and was also brought in to the CALS Finance team’s reorganization. In this three month period, she “showed a desire to learn, grow, and take on new duties. College administration asked a lot of Stephanie over this time frame and she always approached these requests with a positive attitude, a team spirit, a high level of professionalism, and an ability to follow through and get things done.”

As the January employee of the month, she will receive a plaque, gifts from the college, have her photo displayed in the case in Hutcheson Hall, and will be eligible to be considered for the 2015-16 Employee of the Year award.

Congratulations, Stephanie!

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Virginia Tech Horse Judging Team competes in two national competitions

Football games may dominate the fall social calendar for many Hokies but not the Virginia Tech Horse Judging Team. This past fall, eight students came together to prepare for two national competitions.

Pictured from left: Stevie Williams, Hanna Bartnick, Lexy Golub, Harleigh Humphries, Taylor Franzreb, Rachel Bell, Hannah McDonald, Rachel Owens, and Julia McCann, coach

Pictured from left: Stevie Williams, Hanna Bartnick, Lexy Golub, Harleigh Humphries, Taylor Franzreb, Rachel Bell, Hannah McDonald, Rachel Owens, and Julia McCann, coach

This team of students made the extra commitment to learn the criteria for conformation and performance judging of 12 different events in the quarter horse judging contests. In addition to the challenges of judging everything from hunter under saddle to ranch riding, equitation, reining, and calf tie down, students became very competent in the delivery of oral reasons, a competition category where students orally defend their class placings to a judge and are scored on their accuracy and quality of delivery.

Judging in the limited division at the Ohio Quarter Horse Contest in Columbus, Ohio were Taylor Franzreb of Navesink, New Jersey; Lexy Golub of Leesburg, Virginia; Harleigh Humphries of Middleburg, Virginia; and Stevie Williams of Centreville, Virginia. The limited division competitors judge the full slate of classes but give fewer oral reasons than competitors in the senior team division. Competitors in the limited division only compete for individual awards. Lexy and Harleigh tied for fifth overall in the limited division. Both Stevie and Lexy placed in the top ten individuals in performance and reasons while Taylor was tenth in reasons.

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Ames Herbert wins Insect Research and Control Conference award

Ames Herbert was named as the 2016 recipient of the Insect Research and Control Conference Award for Excellence in Cotton Integrated Pest Management. This is a very prestigious national award, presented at the Beltwide Cotton Conferences. The award recognizes the outstanding career contributions of an individual to applied arthropod integrated pest management across the U.S. Cotton Belt. Herbert was recognized for excelling in industry, research, extension, or educational programs that have benefited the cotton industry. The annual recognition is sponsored by Dow AgroSciences and consists of an inscribed trophy and a monetary reward. The award was presented to Herbert at the Beltwide Cotton Conferences in New Orleans, Louisiana on Jan. 6.

Herbert is a professor of entomology at the Tidewater Agricultural Research and  Extension Center. He has an extensive program that emphasizes profitable yet environmentally sound methods to manage pests in the wide variety of row crops grown in Virginia. As a testament to his excellence, he was selected for this national award even  though cotton is not as significant a commodity in Virginia relative to the southern states. Herbert is highly respected and works collaboratively with grower and industry groups, Extension agents and university researchers. Herbert serves both as Extension project leader for the Department of Entomology and the state IPM coordinator.

Congratulations!

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2016 NEAFCS award system is open

The 2016 National Extension Association of Family and Consumer Sciences Awards system is open! It’s the end of the year and that means it’s time to update your eFARS.

This is a great time to take a look at your 2015 accomplishments and see how they fit with the award categories. Please consider nominating  yourself or a colleague for this recognition offered to VEAFCS and NEAFCS members. Many of the awards come with monetary prizes to help support your work. Deadline for submission is Feb. 22, 2016.

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Wine Award nominees due Feb. 5

The deadline to submit a nominee for the Wine Award for our college is Feb. 5.

The William E. Wine Award is presented to three individual faculty members each year in recognition of “a history of university teaching excellence.” Faculty teaching dossiers, following the pattern set by the Academy of Teaching Excellence, are submitted to college Wine Award nomination committees, and each college committee selects one nominee to be sent forward to the University Wine Award Selection Committee.

Please submit nominations to Anya Work by the due date for consideration.

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Kim Edmonds and Karen Munden recognized at NEAFCS conference

Karen Munden (left) and Kim Edmonds

Karen Munden (left) and Kim Edmonds

Members of the Virginia Extension Association of Family and Consumer Sciences, administrators, and specialists from Virginia State University and Virginia Tech attended the National Extension Association of Family and Consumer Sciences Conference Nov. 2-6, 2015. It was held at the Historic Greenbrier Hotel located in White Sulphur Springs, West Virginia.

Concurrent session presenters representing the Virginia Affiliate included Linda Jackson-Cole, “Mastering the Art of a NEAFCS Award Submission; Jennifer Abel, “How to Create and Run an Energy Masters Volunteer Program”; Johanna Hahn and Anne Carter-Carrington, “Evidence-based, Learner-centered Activities Teaches Teens About Nutrition, Physical Activity, Cooking and Food Safety.” Johanna, Anne-Carter, and Lynn Margheim also submitted a poster presentation, “Teen Cuisine, A Curriculum for Ages 12-18, Changes Food, Physical Activity, Food Safety and Cooking Behaviors of 4-H Youth.” During the national program Donna Daniel, Cristin Sprenger, and Kim Edmonds served as volunteers.

VEAFCS president Jane Henderson and vice president Twandra Lomax-Brown also attended the conference to support and congratulate award recipients from Virginia.

The recipients include Henrico County Extension agent Kim Edmonds, who received the NEAFCS Distinguished Service Award, which recognizes Extension FCS educators having 10 or more years of experience for leadership, outstanding programs, and personal and professional growth; and Virginia Beach Extension agent Karen Munden who was elected to serve as the southern region director for 2015-17. In this role, Munden will represent the largest region of southern states affiliate members and territories that include Arkansas, Alabama, Florida, Georgia, Kentucky, Louisiana, Mississippi, North Carolina, Oklahoma, Puerto Rico, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas, Virginia, and Virgin Islands.

Congratulations to Kim and Karen on their accomplishments!

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Nominate a deserving staff member today

Anyone can nominate a deserving staff member to be considered for the Employee of the Month award. All staff in the college, on- and off-campus, are eligible. Please submit nominations electronically through our award webpage. Paper or email nominations may be sent to Dean Alan Grant at 104 Hutcheson Hall, mail code 0402, or emailed to algrant@vt.edu.

Nominations are valid for six months. If your nominee has not been selected within six months of submitting the nomination, please resubmit.

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