Tag Archives: APSC

Nada Tamim receives Alumni Award for Excellence in Undergraduate Academic Advising

Nada TamimNada Tamim, director of undergraduate programs for the Department of Animal and Poultry Sciences, has received the university’s 2016 Alumni Award for Excellence in Undergraduate Academic Advising.

Established by the Virginia Tech Alumni Association, the Alumni Award for Excellence in Undergraduate Academic Advising is presented annually by the Office of the Provost to a Virginia Tech faculty member who has been particularly dedicated and effective while advising undergraduate students. Recipients may be nominated by university colleagues or students, are selected by a committee of former award winners, receive a $2,000 prize, and are inducted into the university’s Academy of Advising Excellence.

“Nada Tamim is an outstanding and gifted undergraduate advisor,” wrote David Gerrard, professor and head of the Department of Animal and Poultry Sciences. “She has a commitment to excellence and expects her advisees to adopt this approach to education. Through our undergraduate advising office, the classroom and a number of informal settings, Nada exudes a positive attitude and helps students reach their dreams.”

See the full story on Virginia Tech News.

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Faculty awarded Certificate of Teaching Excellence

Congratulations to Anton Baudoin, Elizabeth Gilbert, and Susan Day who were recently recognized for their ongoing and exemplary commitment to teaching students in the college with the Certificate of Teaching Excellence. They will be formally recognized in May, and a news release at that time will further detail their accomplishments.

Anton Baudoin, an associate professor in the Department of Plant Pathology, Physiology, and Weed Science, focuses on biology and control of fungal diseases of grapes, with an emphasis on powdery and downy mildew, and Botrytis bunch rot.

Elizabeth Gilbert, an assistant professor in the Department of Animal and Poultry Sciences, is focused on the molecular and cellular signaling mechanisms associated with energy metabolism in skeletal muscle and adipose tissue across different species.

Susan Day, an associate professor in the Department of Horticulture, is dedicated to uncovering practical information that will improve tree health and canopy cover in urbanizing environments and conducts research in a variety of urban forestry issues.

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Inside the ARECS: Southwest sheep sale

The Agricultural Research and Extension Centers are a network of 11 research centers located throughout the state that emphasize the close working relationship between the Virginia Agricultural Experiment Station and Virginia Cooperative Extension. “Inside the ARECs” highlights the work and accomplishments of these 11 centers and will appear in every Insights.

Virginia Tech’s Southwest Virginia Agricultural Research and Extension Center in Glade Spring recently completed a record-breaking ram sale.


The sale was the culmination of four years of a forage-based ram lamb evaluation. The program had seen continuing growth with an inaugural year in 2012 yielding strong participation from breeders around the region who consigned more than 60 rams. In 2015, the program grew to 21 producers from eight states participating, consigning 110 rams to the test. Thirty-six of the high performing rams on test were sold at the annual educational field day on Sept. 26. The sale average was $1,222 per head. The high selling ram brought $2,600, and was consigned by Roxanne Newton of Hahira, Georgia. This was the highest sale average to date, topping last year’s record breaking sale average of $875 per head.

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Scenes from the 2015 CALS picnic

Photos by William McKenzie


Members of CALSSA hand out gift bags.


Hethwood Market provided tasty lunch fare.

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Virginia Tech Horse Judging Team finishes semester strong

Virginia Tech Horse Judging Team

Front, from left: Hannah McDonald, Stevie Williams, Kerri Houser, Harleigh Humphries, Hanna Bartnick. Rear, from left: Ashley Owens, Rachel Owens, and Rachel Bell.

After preparing throughout the spring semester and traveling to Tennessee and Texas to learn the skills and insight to judging stock horses, the Virginia Tech Horse Judging Team had a very successful spring season.

After an incredible few days in Texas visiting with many of the top leaders in the horse industry and evaluating millions of dollars worth of horses, the Hokie team competed against 13 universities in the Southwestern Spring Horse Judging Contest in Gainesville, Texas, on April 15, 2015. The Hokie team of five students placed third overall among 26 horse-judging teams from the top horse programs in the country!

The Virginia Tech Horse Judging Team applied its knowledge of five different performance events and stock horse conformation judging to take home first place in conformation judging followed by Mississippi State University and Texas A&M University. The Hokies team members defended their class places in the reasons competition and finished third, right behind Colorado State and Texas A&M with only a six-point spread between the three schools. Virginia Tech was followed by New Mexico State and Oklahoma State to round out the top five teams in the contest.

Leading the senior team efforts was Hannah McDonald, who placed seventh in halter and reasons to help her earn a sixth-place finish overall among the 150 individuals. Hanna Bartnick placed fifth in halter, and Rachel Owens placed second in reasons and tenth overall individually. Rachel Bell was ninth in halter judging, and Ashley Owens and Kerri Houser rounded out the team effort for the Hokies.

The Senior Limited contest required only two sets of reasons and is designed to give novice horse judges an entrance contest. Harleigh Humphries and Stevie Williams garnered awards in the Limited Division. Harleigh was the second-highest individual overall in the contest, and Stevie finished first in the reasons competition of the Limited Division!

With the strong team finish, the Virginia Tech Horse Judging Team looks forward to the fall judging season and to competing at the Ohio Quarter Horse Congress Contest in October. The team is appreciative of all the excellent horsemen who shared their time and horses to help them reach this pinnacle in the national horse judging competition. The team also appreciates the support of the animal and poultry sciences department, the Alphin-Stewart endowment funds, and the faculty that accommodate these hard working students when absences are unavoidable. The team is coached by Julia McCann, who admires the individual pursuit of excellence among each of the members and the team effort to make the experience rewarding on many levels.

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Hokies earn top honors at Congress Horse judging contest

Hokies earned top honors in the Senior Limited Collegiate Horse Competition, one of the largest horse judging competitions in the country, which was held Oct. 15, 2014 in Columbus, Ohio.

The Congress Horse Judging Contest challenges competitors to place 11 different classes including three conformation classes and eight performance classes. Each class is made up of four high-quality horses. The performance classes included western pleasure, reining, western riding, hunter under saddle, hunter hack, equitation, trail, and new to the contest this year, the ranch horse pleasure class.

All American Quarter Horse Judging Contest

Pictured (left to right): Ashley Owens of Lebanon, Virginia; Hannah McDonald, assistant coach of Cross Junction, Virginia; Hanna Bartnick of Roanoke, Virginia; Rachel Bell of Blacksburg, Virginia; and Rachel Owens of Virginia Beach, Virginia.

Winning the individual halter/conformation horse judging competition was Rachel Owens. Teammate Rachel Bell finished fifth in halter judging. Hanna Bartnick was only one point out of first place in judging performance classes and finished second. The reasons competition comprised of scores for oral presentations to explain the students’ decisions for class placings highlighted three Hokies in the top rankings. Hanna Bartnick was first, Rachel Bell was second, and Rachel Owens was seventh high individual in the reasons.  Overall, Hanna Barnick placed second and Rachel Bell was seventh high individual in the contest.

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From the Dean — August 2014

Alan Grant, dean

Alan Grant, dean

Dear Colleagues,

The weather was beautiful for the 19th annual faculty and staff awards ceremony and picnic on July 24.  It was a wonderful opportunity to enjoy camaraderie, share a great lunch, and celebrate the outstanding accomplishments of some of our faculty and staff.

This year’s Andy Swiger Award was presented to Glenda Gillaspy, professor of biochemistry. The Andy Swiger award recognizes a faculty member who has demonstrated both a talent for and a commitment to the fundamental elements of the land-grant mission of serving students and citizens both directly and through the generation of new knowledge. We were pleased that Andy Swiger was in attendance to help present the award. Glenda has demonstrated both a talent for and a commitment to the fundamental elements of the land-grant mission.

Pablo Sobrado, associate professor of biochemistry, received the college’s Award for Excellence in Basic Research for his outstanding contributions to elucidation of novel enzyme mechanisms and drug discovery.

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Work study students partner with community service agencies

Dozens of federal work study students are taking advantage of a special program at Virginia Tech that allows them to work off-campus with partnering community service agencies.

When the Community Service Work Study program began in 2012, eight students served in five community agencies. Last year, the program expanded to 29 students in more than 10 organizations. The program coordinator said they hope to continue the growth of the program to serve 20 agencies by the end of 2015.

“There is no better job than a community service job that exemplifies our university’s motto, Ut Prosim (That I May Serve),” said Gloria Hoover, federal work study coordinator in the Office of University Scholarships and Financial Aid.

Cassidy Kees of Madison, Virginia, a rising senior majoring in animal and poultry sciences, has worked the last year at Habitat for Humanity’s ReStore in Christiansburg.

While Kees helps with a variety of projects, her main task has been to repurpose items in the store. “We had a bunch of shutters that were not selling on their own. We had to come up with a way to give people a different view of how they can use them,” Kees said. She adapted them into shelves. “I try to take something we have a lot of and give it a new purpose so that more people will buy it.”

“I love working here because I get to come and be creative,” Kees said. “It’s nice after a stressful school week to come here and work on a project. Then to see that project have positive feedback is really nice too.”

Community service organizations that partner with the program provide 20 percent of the students salary, while the Virginia Tech-directed federal work study program covers the remaining 80 percent. Virginia Tech handles all employment processing and payment to the student.

For the full story, please visit Virginia Tech News.

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Students recognized with Departmental Outstanding Senior Awards

Every year, each department in the college nominates one student as the Outstanding Senior from their unit. Stephanie Myrick of Woodbridge, Virginia, who majored in applied economic management with minors in civic agriculture and food systems and leadership and social change, was selected from these nominations as the college’s Outstanding Senior.

The Outstanding Seniors from other departments included:

  • Brent Ashley from the Department of Dairy Science
  • Colleen Beard from the Department of Horticulture
  • Laura Griffin from the Department of Food Science and Technology
  • Alyson Howard from the Department of Agricultural Technology
  • Shannon Lloyd from the Department of Human Nutrition, Foods, and Exercise
  • Kimberly Pittard from the Department of Crop and Soil Environmental Sciences
  • Morgan Slaven from the Department Agricultural and Extension Education
  • Kirsten Ulmer from the Department of Animal and Poultry Sciences
  • Kelly Young from the Department of Biochemistry
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Dining Services awarded 2014 Governor’s Environmental Excellence bronze rating

Virginia Tech Dining Services has received its first Governor’s Environmental Excellence award, a bronze rating, for its sustainability efforts on campus.

Dining Services has partnered with the college to bring milk from the Virginia Tech Dairy, meat from the Department of Animal and Poultry Sciences meat lab, and produce from the research facility at Kentland Farm into dining facilities.

The Farms and Fields Project in Owens Food Court is the gold standard for sustainable dining at Virginia Tech. This shop offers sustainable, organic, and local options throughout the school year.

As Virginia Tech continues to strengthen its national reputation for outstanding dining, Dining Services continues to work to stay at the leading edge of food-service trends. In recent years, the department has focused building a stronger sustainable food system at the university.

“This award recognizes our efforts to create sustainable dining options through collaborations on campus,” said Rial Tombes, sustainability coordinator for dining services and CALS alumna.

For the full story, visit Virginia Tech News.

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