LSU AgCenter Rewards Faculty For Contributions to Diversity

Vallerie A. Maurice, Merrill, Thomas A.  |  4/28/2005 7:47:26 PM

News Release Distributed 01/25/02

The LSU AgCenter recognized eight members of its statewide faculty Friday (Jan. 25) for outstanding contributions to its diversity initiative.

"We are proud to recognize and reward these individuals and groups for their contributions to our vision of a more diverse faculty and serving more diverse clientele," said LSU AgCenter Chancellor William B. "Bill" Richardson. "We know that through such efforts we truly can achieve our mission of improving the quality of life for all the people of Louisiana through the best research and educational programs we can conduct."

The awards, which were presented during the LSU AgCenter’s diversity conference at Pennington Biomedical Research Center in Baton Rouge, recognized individuals for leadership in the area of diversity – contributions to diversity in the workplace, diversity in programming and research and overall excellence in the diversity initiative.

Those recognized with awards were Dr. Gary Cadd, an LSU AgCenter assistant professor in poultry science based in Baton Rouge; Kathy David, an AgCenter extension agent in Tangipahoa Parish; Dr. Freddie Martin, head of the AgCenter’s Department of Agronomy in Baton Rouge; and a group that spearheaded evaluation of AgCenter nutrition education programs.

Cadd received the LSU AgCenter Diversity Initiative Award for Excellence, which honors an individual who has demonstrated outstanding personal growth, has shown commitment and dedication to the inclusion of all people in the AgCenter and exemplifies the AgCenter's desire to assist in providing all employees with the tools necessary to reach their full potential. He was credited with lending commitment, experience and knowledge that were critical to several crucial diversity initiative projects during the past year.

The LSU AgCenter Diversity in Programming Award, which recognizes outreach efforts targeted to under-served or new audiences, as well as the ability to create new programs and services based on the specific needs of such audiences, went to David. She was cited for exceptional work with an occupational safety and health and disease prevention program that targeted specific needs of Hispanic and African-American farm workers in her area.

Martin received the LSU AgCenter Diversity in the Workplace Award, which acknowledged his efforts at recruitment, hiring and retention of a diverse work force. Among his many accomplishments, Martin was credited with "welcoming employees from a variety of backgrounds and by setting an example of fair and equal treatment for everyone," and he also was said to set the tone for a hospitable climate for employees and students of all races and genders.

The LSU AgCenter Diversity in Research Award went to a group responsible for an evaluation system for nutrition education programs conducted by the AgCenter. The group – LSU AgCenter nutrition specialist Dr. Annrose Guarino, human ecology associate professor Dr. Carol O’Neil, and program development specialist Dr. Satish Verma, as well as Dr. Geri Holmes and Dr. Michael Burnett of the LSU School of Vocational Education – were cited with designing a system to gather accountability data from participants with diverse literacy backgrounds and specifically reaching out to adults with special learning needs.

"We have made some great strides in the area of diversity during the past few years, but we couldn't have come this far without the dedication of a lot of people like these award winners," said Vallerie Maurice, the LSU AgCenter's director of multicultural diversity. "It’s really wonderful to be able to recognize them for their dedication, and I look forward to working with them even more on our future efforts.

"With the help of the many people who have become involved in our diversity initiative, we truly can further our efforts to reach more diverse audiences with more diverse programs offered by a more diverse staff."


Contact: Vallerie Maurice at (225) 578-4163 or
Writer: Tom Merrill at (225) 578-2263 or

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