LSU AgCenter honors top faculty, staff with 2007 awards

Kenneth Gautreaux  |  12/21/2007 4:26:07 AM

News Release Distributed 12/21/07

The LSU AgCenter honored five individuals and two teams with its top awards for faculty members as well as two staff members for their outstanding service during its annual conference Dec. 17-18 in Baton Rouge.

The top awards for research faculty went to two animal scientists in Baton Rouge, Dr. Phil Elzer and Dr. Dan Satterlee. The top awards for extension faculty went to disaster recovery specialist Pat Skinner, also of Baton Rouge; watershed agent Tom Hymel of Jeanerette; and Lisa Benoit, 4-H agent in St. Landry Parish.

Team awards for faculty members were presented to a group of LSU AgCenter scientists studying coastal plants studies and a group involved in training food service personnel in the proper techniques for recovering prepared and packaged foods and for the safe distribution of this food.

The awards for outstanding support staff members went to Mary Hoy, a research associate in the Department of Plant Pathology and Crop Physiology, and Joseph Alexis Jr., the research farm manager at the Coastal Area Research Station in Port Sulphur.

Awards and the recipients were:

–Rogers Excellence in Research Award – Elzer, professor in the Department of Veterinary Science, was recognized for his work during in the past five years with brucellosis, a disease that causes fertility issues in both large and small animals.

–Doyle Chambers Research Award – This award recognizes long-term contributions to science, and Satterlee, an expert in poultry behavior, was instrumental in the development of a vaccine that increases fertility in both male and female poultry. This vaccine has led to a marked increase in egg production in broiler hens.

–Excellence in Extension Award – Skinner, who is in the Department of Biological and Agricultural Engineering, was recognized for her disaster recovery work related to hurricanes Katrina and Rita and the development of Web-based materials designed to help citizens recover from these storms.

–Floyd S. Edmiston Award – Hymel was recognized for his work in geographic information system (GIS) mapping of the storm surge caused by Hurricane Rita. This information was crucial in the development of a federal disaster program for area agricultural producers and is being used to identify areas at risk from storm surge.

–Rosalie Biven 4-H Youth Development Service Learning Award – Benoit played a pivotal role in numerous service-learning projects including literacy efforts, raising funds for the Muscular Dystrophy Association and collaborating with the Girls and Boys Clubs.

–Outstanding Service Award for Associates – Hoy conducts research with viruses related to sweet potatoes. She runs the tissue culture lab, works in the greenhouse operations and participates in field research activities. Hoy plays a key role in assisting student workers and graduate students with their research-related activities.

–Ganelle Bullock Staff Outstanding Service Award – Alexis, who was described as the glue holding the research station together, was responsible for restoring operations to the station after Hurricane Katrina. He was able to accomplish this despite losing his own home and possessions during the storm. This station was formerly called the Citrus Research Station.

–Tipton Team Research Award – The coastal plants study team comes from several parts of the AgCenter. Members from the School of Plant, Environmental and Soil Sciences include Dr. Niranjan Baisakh, post-doctoral researcher; Dr. Gary Breitenbeck, professor; Dr. Steve Harrison, professor; Dr. Carrie Knott, assistant professor; Mike Materne, coastal ecologist/wetland plant specialist; and Dr. Prasanta Subudhi, associate professor. Members from the Department of Plant Pathology and Crop Physiology include Dr. Marc Cohn and Dr. Ray Schneider, both professors. Members from the Rice Research Station in Crowley are Dr. Herry Utomo, assistant professor, and Ida Wenefrida, post-doctoral researcher. The team was recognized for its work in the development of coastal plants to aid in the implementation of coastal reclamation projects.

–Denver T. and Ferne Loupe Extension Team Award – This award went to faculty at the LSU AgCenter and the Southern University Ag Center who were instrumental in training individuals in the food service and food recovery industry to reduce the spread of foodborne illness. From the LSU AgCenter were Dr. David Bankston, professor in the Department of Food Science; Dr. Beth Reames and Dr. Mike Keenan, both professors in the School of Human Ecology; Dr. Ken McMillin, professor, School of Animal Sciences; Betsy Neely, professor, and Craig Gautreaux, assistant communications specialist, both in Communications. Off-campus team members include Bertina McGhee, parish chair, Orleans Parish; Alexis Navarro, extension agent, Jefferson Parish; Dr. Sally Soileau, extension agent, East Baton Rouge Parish; Berteal Rogers, extension agent, Madison Parish; Terri Crawford, extension agent and program coordinator, Northeast Region, Winnsboro; and Shelia Haynes, parish chair, West Carroll Parish. De’Shoin Friendship, assistant specialist, School of Nutrition, Southern University, was also on the team.

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Writer: Craig Gautreaux at (225) 578-5673, or cgautreaux@agcenter.lsu.edu

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