LSU College of Agriculture honors students, faculty, alumni at awards ceremony

Hannah Venerella  |  4/23/2018 2:58:10 PM

(04/23/18) BATON ROUGE, La. — The LSU College of Agriculture recognized outstanding alumni, faculty, students and donors at its Awards and Recognition ceremony on April 12 at The Club at LSU Union Square.

Outstanding Alumni awards were presented to horticulture alumnus Reynold Minsky, owner of Minsky Pecan Market and Providence Foods LLC., and dairy science alumnus and farmer Jerry Peters.

LSU AgCenter Northeast and Central regions director Tara Smith received the Early Career Outstanding Alumni award. Smith received her doctorate in entomology from LSU in 2006.

“Her contributions to the state’s largest vegetable crop are invaluable. She is sought out nationally for her knowledge and well-respected opinion on all things sweet potato,” said Rene Simon, president of the LSU College of Agriculture Alumni and Friends Association.

Natural resource ecology and management senior Meghan Roberts received the Gerald and Norma Dill College of Agriculture Alumni Association Outstanding Senior Award.

“Meghan is simply one of the most academically talented students that I have encountered in my 15 years of teaching higher education. She is truly a gifted learner,” said Mike Kaller, associate professor of renewable natural resources and Roberts’ adviser.

Agricultural and extension education junior Madelyn Easley received the K.C. Toups Memorial Les Voyageurs Award. Easley is the Les Voyageurs social chair and public relations officer and president of Collegiate FFA at LSU.

Chinmay Tikhe, entomology alumnus and postdoctoral researcher at John Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, received the LSU Alumni Association Distinguished Dissertation Award in Science, Engineering and Technology.

Tikhe received his doctorate in entomology from LSU in 2017. This award goes to the top dissertation at LSU in the science, engineering and technology category.

Tikhe’s dissertation focused on microbes in the termite gut and how they can be used to control termites. Requirements for this award state that a student must demonstrate a mastery of research techniques, ability to do original and independent research, and skill in formulating conclusions that in some way enlarge upon or modify accepted ideas.

Entomology doctoral student Emily Kraus received the Ray and Dorothy Young Endowed Assistantship in Louisiana Row Crop Integrated Pest Management.

Entomology department head Mike Stout said of all the students he has mentored over the past twenty years, Kraus has the greatest potential to contribute significantly to agriculture.

The ceremony recognized professorships and chairs, which provide perpetual support for outstanding faculty members by allowing them to pursue research and innovative teaching methods.

Entomology professor Claudia Husseneder is the recipient of the Paul K. Adams Professorship;

agricultural economics and agribusiness professor Krishna Paudel is the recipient of the Gilbert Durbin Professorship; plant pathology and crop physiology professor Jeff Hoy is the recipient of the Floyd S. Edmiston Sr. Professorship; Agricultural Economics and Agribusiness department head Michael Salassi is the recipient of the A. Wilbert’s Sons Professorship.

Jim Simon, general manager of the American Sugar Cane League, represented the league for their endowment of an LSU AgCenter chair in sugar production.

The American Sugar Cane League Chair in Sugar Production will support faculty members who demonstrate excellence in research areas related to improving the productivity, profitability and sustainability of the production segment of the Louisiana sugar industry.

The ceremony recognized Curtis, Kirsten and Keagan Finley for creating the Nathaniel “Kayne” Finley College of Agriculture Endowed Scholarship and the Odom family for establishing the Warner & Verlyn Odom Memorial Scholarship in Horticulture.

The Fluker Farms Entomology Support Fund created by David Fluker is a recently created endowment in the college through a joint gift with the LSU School of Veterinary Medicine. This endowment will go toward programmatic support in the Department of Entomology.

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The LSU College of Agriculture Awards and Recognition ceremony honored outstanding alumni, faculty, students and donors on April 12 at The Club at LSU Union Square. Recognized were Chinmay Tikhe, Claudia Husseneder, Tara Smith, Madelyn Easle, Jeff Hoy, Michael Salassi, Reynold Minsky, Meghan Roberts, Krishna Paudel, Jerry Peters and Emily Kraus. Photo by Hannah Venerella/LSU AgCenter

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