Tifton campus folks celebrated their own May 30, 2019 at the annual University of Georgia College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences Tifton Campus Awards Ceremony. 

Awards and Recognitions presented for FY2019
(Beginning July 1, 2018 — Ending June 30, 2019)


View 2019 photos on Flickr

UGA Tifton Campus Awards Ceremony 2019


Awards for Excellence

Award Recipient
Senior Scientist - Research Ye (Juliette) Chen
Junior Scientist - Research Jennifer Tucker
Senior Scientist - Extension W. Scott Monfort
Junior Scientist - Extension Wesley M. Porter
Teaching Ashley Michelle Yopp
Technical Support - Senior Melissa Thompson
Technical Support - Junior Sarah Hobby
Service Unit Support Vickie Garrick
Administrative Support Katie Wilson
Student Employee Jesse Adams
Ambassador Physical Plant Team

University of Georgia Graduates

Fall 2018 Graduates

  • Sierra B. Andrews - Agricultural Education
  • William G. Mims - Agribusiness
  • Emily E. Braswell - MPPPM
  • James K. Fleming - MPPPM
  • Evan P. Huffman - MPPPM
  • Allison D. Couch - MS, Crop and Soil Sciences
  • Jonathon L. Fox - MS, Crop and Soil Sciences
  • Stefano Gobbo - MS, Crop and Soil Sciences

Spring and Summer 2019 Graduates

  • John B. Hancock - Magna Cum Laude - Agribusiness
  • John G. Harrell - Agribusiness
  • Douglas C. Mutert - Agribusiness
  • William A. Henry - Agriscience and Environmental Systems
  • Robert B. Holden - Agriscience and Environmental Systems
  • Dalton M. WestCum Laude - Agriscience and Environmental Systems
  • Lucas W. Brock - First Honor Graduate, Summa Cum Laude - Agricultural Education
  • Julia L. Gonzalez - Agricultural Education
  • Hannah E. Henry - Magna Cum Laude - Agricultural Education
  • Dejanae A. Hooks - Agricultural Education
  • Joseph C. Jones - Agricultural Education
  • Clair B. Jordan - Agricultural Education
  • Troy R. Johnson - Biological Sciences
  • Colby T. Brown, Jr. - MPPPM
  • Sydni C. Barwick - Master of Science
  • Gurpreet K. Virk - Master of Science
  • Matthew A. Bruce* - Master of Science
  • Samuele Lamon* - Master of Science

* The Crop and Soil Sciences Department has developed a Dual Master’s Degree in Sustainable Agriculture with the University of Padova in Italy. Students who complete this program receive Master’s degrees from both universities. This semester, Matthew and Samuele have completed Master’s degrees under this partnership.


Certificates of Service

30 Years of Service

  • Gary Burtle - Animal and Dairy Science
  • Mike Hudson - Horticulture
  • Stevan LaHue - Crop and Soil Sciences

25 Years of Service

  • Henry Dales - Field Research Services
  • Ulysses Flagg - Physical Plant
  • Rodney Hill -  Crop and Soil Sciences
  • Neal Roberson - Field Research Services

20 Years of Service

  • Joann Conner - Horticulture
  • Vickie Garrick - Office of Information and Technology
  • Ronnie Kailing - Physical Plant
  • Karen McBrayer - Tifton Campus Conference Center
  • Tina Wood - Tifton Campus Conference Center

15 Years of Service

  • Wayne Hanna - Crop and Soil Sciences
  • Jennifer McBlanchett - Crop and Soil Sciences
  • Staci Mullis - Crop and Soil Sciences
  • James Spurlin - Business Office

10 Years of Service

  • Jesus Bautista - Horticulture
  • Walter Cook - Entomology
  • Jodi Figgatt - Horticulture
  • Michael Purvis - Plant Pathology
  • James Thompson - Plant Pathology
  • Amanda Webb - Crop and Soil Sciences
  • Gary Whiddon - Physical Plant

Recent Retirees

Rex Blanchett - Southeast Watershed, USDA ARS

Tony Howell - Crop Genetics and Breeding, USDA ARS

Della Hunt - Tifton Campus Conference Center

W. Carroll Johnson, III - Crop Protection and Management, USDA ARS

Craig Kvien - Crop and Soil Sciences

Dave Moorehead - Center for Invasive Species

Joyce Murphy - Southeast Watershed, USDA ARS

Fidel Rangel - Animal and Dairy Science

Scott Utley - Southwest District Extension

Tim Varnadoe - Southwest District Extension

Dena Watson - Crop and Soil Sciences

Student Achievements

Student MVP

(Sponsored by the Georgia Cotton Commission)

  • Lucas Brock

Marie Gaskins Prince Scholarship - $1000

(Ms. Heather Stripling, Prince Automotive Group)

  • Cassidy Ingram
  • Nicole Taylor

Tift Cultivar Scholarship

(Dr. and Mrs. Wayne Hanna)

  • Lindsey Stone
  • Nicole Taylor

Undergraduate student Lucas Brock (Agricultural Education major) was named Outstanding Senior in Agricultural Education for all of CAES.

Undergraduate student Ben Hancock (Agribusiness major) was featured as an Amazing Student on the UGA website, April 2019.

Undergraduate student Joseph Jones won 1st Place UGA Tifton Campus Poster Competition, Undergraduate Division, titled, “Agricultural Education Courses Taught in Across the United States”.

M.S. student Shanshan Cao won 3rd Place, UGA Tifton Campus Poster Competition, Masters Division, titled, “Genetic Diversity of Muscadine Grapes (Vitis rotundifolia) Using SSR Markers”, May, 2019.

Ph.D. student Leticia de Aguila Moreno won 3rd Place, UGA Tifton Campus Poster Competition, Ph.D. Division, titled, “Physiological Traits as Components of Genotypic Variability of Peanuts under Drought Conditions”, May, 2019.


Animal and Dairy Science

PhD Candidate, Ruth Marison Orellana Rivas received the Phibrio Animal Health Graduate Fellowship. Ruth is the student of Dr. Sha Tao

PhD student Taylor Hendricks won 2nd place – Emerging Scientist Competition (oral) at 2019 American Forage and Grassland Council Annual Conference – St. Louis, MO; received the 2018 National Forage Testing Association Travel Scholarship; won 5th place – Robert F. Barnes Graduate Education Competition (Ph.D Oral Presentation) at 2018 ASA-CSSA Annual Meeting – Baltimore, MD. Taylor is the student of Drs. Dennis Hancock and Jennifer Tucker.

M.S. student Britta Thinguldstad won 3rd Place M.S. Student Competition at 2019 American Society of Animal Science Southern Section Meeting -Oklahoma City, OK; received the 2018 National Forage Testing Association Travel Scholarship. Britta is the student of Drs. Jennifer Tucker and Jacob Segers.

M.S. student Kaylyn Groce received the 2018 National Forage Testing Association Travel Scholarship and the 2018 North Carolina Fair Youth Livestock Scholarship/Farm Credit Association of North Carolina Scholarship.


Crop and Soil Sciences

Weed Science Society of America:

  • Kayla Eason won 1st place, Master’s poster presentation
  • Nick Hurdle won 2nd place, Master’s poster presentation
  • Taylor Randell won 2nd place, Master’s oral presentation
  • Lavesta Hand won 3rd place, Ph.D. oral presentation

Southern Weed Science Society:

  • Kayla Eason won 1st place, Ph.D. Oral presentation
  • Nick Hurdle won 2nd place, Master’s Oral presentation

M.S. student Aaron Bruce received a Graduate International Travel Award ($2000) to attend the European Conference on Precision Agriculture in Montpellier, France, where he will present a paper on his thesis research.  Aaron is working with Drs. Vellidis and Morari (University of Padova).

Ph.D. student Lorena Lacerda received a first place award for the best graduate student presentation in the Airborne and Satellite Remote Sensing category at the American Society of Agronomy - Crop Science Society International Meeting. Lorena's paper was titled: "Assessing the Use of UAV-Based Multispectral and Thermal Imaging in Detecting Crop Water Status Variability in Cotton.”  Lorena is working with Drs. Vellidis and Snider.

M.S. student Gurpreet Virk won 1st Place Oral Presentation titled, “Physiological Processes Contributing to Early Season Crop Vigor in Cotton,” and 3rd Place Poster Presentation titled, “Cotton Seedling Vigor As Affected By First True Leaf Physiology Under Different Field Conditions” at the Annual Beltwide Cotton Conferences, January 2019, New Orleans, LA. Preet is advised by Dr. John Snider.

Ph.D. student Simerjeet Virk won 1st Place, Cotton Engineering Oral Competition, titled, “Considerations for Planter Downforce and Seeding Rate to Maximize Emergence in Singulated versus Hill-drop Planted Cotton”  at the Annual Beltwide Cotton Conferences, January 2019, New Orleans, LA; won 1st Place, UGA Tifton Campus Poster Competition, PhD Division, titled, “Evaluating Planter Downforce in Varying Soil Textures for Maximizing Crop Emergence in Cotton”, May, 2019. Simer is advised by Dr. Wesley Porter.

M.S. student David Daughtry won 2nd Place (Oral and Paper) Student Competition titled, “Using an Unmanned Aerial System to Collect Mid-Season Multispectral Data for Estimation of Plant Nitrogen Status in Cotton.” at the Annual Beltwide Cotton Conferences, January 2019, New Orleans, LA; won 2nd Place Oral Student Competition titled, “Collection, Processing, and Analyses of in-Season Cotton Multispectral and Fertility Data Utilizing Unmanned Aerial Systems,” at the American Science of Agronomy and Crop Science Society Meeting, Baltimore, Maryland. David is advised by Dr. Wesley Porter.



M.S. student Sarah Hobby was the runner up for the T. L. Bissell Award (best MS student research paper) at the 2019 Annual Meeting of the Georgia Entomological Society. Sarah works in Dr. Mike Toews lab.

M.S. student Lauren Perez won the T.L. Bisell Award (best MS student research paper) at the 2019 Annual Meeting of the Georgia Entomological Society. Lauren works in Dr. Mike Toews lab.

Apurba Barman was awarded a $10,000 grant from the Georgia Farm Bureau to document and identify invasive whiteflies in Georgia farm landscapes.

Apurba Barman won three different awards for Insect photography (Best of Show, Portrait and Microscopic) at the 2019 Annual Meeting of the Georgia Entomological Society.



Ph.D. student Davis Gimode was selected by UGA-CAES Global Programs to attend The World Food Prize> award ceremony and the 2018 World Food Prize Borlaug Dialogue International Symposium "Rise to the Challenge"; won 3rd Place PhD poster award at the Institute of Plant Breeding, Genetics and Genomics annual retreat, May 13-14, 2019.

Ph.D. student Yuji Ke won 2nd place PhD poster award at the Institute of Plant Breeding, Genetics and Genomics annual retreat, May 13-14, 2019.

M.S. student Samuele Lamon won 1st place UGA Tifton Campus Poster Competition, M.S. Division, titled, “Introgression of A02 top and A03 bottom Genomic Regions from A. cardenasii Conferred Disease Resistance to Leaf Spots in Peanut”; won 3rd place in the Joe Sugg graduate student competition at APRES, July 2018.

Ph.D. student Chandler Maddox was awarded a USDA-NIFA grant for predoctoral research on introgression of disease and pest resistance traits from wild into cultivated peanut.


Plant Pathology

Will Hemphill (MS student, advised by Jonathan Oliver) won Cedric Kuhn Award for Outstanding M.S. Student (2019), from the Georgia Association of Plant Pathologists; won 2nd Place, E. Broadus Browne Award for Outstanding Graduate Student Research (2019), from the CAES; won 2nd Place, M.S. Research, Tifton Campus Centennial Celebration Student Poster Symposium and Competition (2019).

Nabin Sedhain (Ph.D. student, advised by Sudeep Bag) won 2nd Place, Ph.D. Research, Tifton Campus Centennial Celebration Student Poster Symposium and Competition (2019).

Kory Herrington (MS student, advised by Tim Brenneman) won 2nd Place, Student Paper Competition (2018), from the Georgia Association of Plant Pathologists.


Special Accomplishments by CAES Faculty and Staff

Agricultural and Applied Economics

Greg Fonsah

  • 2019 – Recipient of the Erasmus+ Funding for UGA-CAES Teaching Faculty Exchange with the Public University of Navarre (UPNA), School of Economics and Business, Pamplona, Spain to strengthen UGA’s partnership with UPNA. Amount: 1660 Euros (~$2000 depending on exchange rate).
  • 2018UGA-CAES-Ghana Young Scholar Program (YSP) Travel Award ($4,500) to University of Ghana Accra-Legon, University of Cape Coast (UCC), and Kwame Nkrumah University of Arts and Technology, Kumasi, Ghana.
  • 2018 – Appointed by Senate as Examiner for a thesis, entitled; Implication of climate change on livelihood and adaptation of small and emerging maize farmers in the North West Province of South Africa. University of South Africa (UNISA), College of Graduate Studies, Preller Street, Muckleneuk Ridge, City of Tshwane.
  • 2018 – 2nd Place Winner, The American Pomological Society, Ulysses P. Hedrick Award for the manuscript titled: “Screening Underutilized Banana for Carotenoid Content”, Washington, DC (August). Kargar, Mahnaz.
  • 2018Faculty-Mentor Support Award ($1,000), Mandela Washington Fellow, UGA CAES.
  • 2018 - UGA-CAES Travel Award ($4,500) to Tanzania with US-CAES Delegation to Mwenge Catholic University Collaboration Project, Moshi, Tanzania.
  • 2018 – Senate Nomination as External Examiner for PhD Dissertation, Department of Agriculture and Animal Health, College of Agriculture and Environmental Sciences, University of South Africa.


Erik Smith

  • ASHS Southern Region Extension Communications Award for ‘Low-volume Irrigations Systems for Blueberry with Chemigation and Fertigation Suggestions’. Co-authors were Wesley Porter and Jonathan Oliver.  

Andre da Silva

  • ASHS Southern Region High Extension Publication Impact – Blue Ribbon Award for ‘“Hurricane Michael’s Impact on Vegetable Production in Georgia.

Plant Pathology

Tim Brenneman

  • Friends of Southern IPM Lifetime Achievement Award (2019)
  • Fellow of the American Phytopathological Society (2018)

Katherine Stevenson   

  • Excellence in Teaching Award from the American Phytopathological Society (2018)

Bhabesh Dutta

  • Friends of Southern IPM, “Bright Idea” award (2019), for extraordinary achievement in research, extension and implementation of Integrated Pest Management (IPM) in the southern region of the U.S.
  • Excellence in multi-state research award (2018), from the Western Association of Agricultural Experiment Station Directors to the W-3008 onion pest and disease working group.
  • Recognized as “40 under 40” (2018) in the Fruit and Vegetable Industry by Fruit and Vegetable News.

Bob Kemerait

  • Research/Extension Award from the Georgia/Florida Soybean Association (2019)

USDA ARS Faculty/Staff Accomplishments

Administrative Office

Juan Gaytan

  • Selected by the Southeast Area Office for the Location and Administrative Staff Award.
  • Selected as a 2019 Agricultural Research Service (ARS) Agency Employee Recognition Program Winner.

Crop Genetics and Breeding

C. Corley Holbrook

  • Recipient of the 2019 Peanut Research and Education Award presented by the Georgia Peanut Commission.