2023

Awards and Recognitions for FY2023

(Beginning July 1, 2022 — Ending June 30, 2023)


Congratulations to all who were recognized this year!

The 2023 UGA Tifton Campus Award recipients were announced on Thursday, October 26th during the annual Awards Ceremony at the Tifton Campus Conference Center.

Tifton Campus Awards Ceremony 2022

Awards for Excellence

Award Recipient
Senior Scientist - Research/Extension Dr. Xinzhi Ni, USDA
Junior Scientist - Research/Extension Dr. Simer Virk
Post-Doc
Dr. Osariyekemwen Uyi
Graduate Student, Ph.D.
Ved Parkash
Graduate Student, M.S.
Coleman Byers
Technical Support - Senior John Paulk
Technical Support - Junior Earl Keel, USDA
Service Unit Support Dewayne Dales
Administrative Support Christy Foster
Student Employee Maggie Yates


Certificates of Service

40 Years of Service

  • William Branch, Crop & Soil Sciences

35 Years of Service

  • Mike Hudson, Horticulture

30 Years of Service

  • Rodney Hill, Crop & Soil Sciences
  • Neal Roberson, Field Research Services

25 Years of Service

  • Vickie Garrick, Information Technology
  • Karen Shannon-Mcbrayer, Conference Center
  • Tina Wood, Conference Center

20 Years of Service

  • Joann Conner, Horticulture
  • Michael Foster, Plant Pathology
  • Jennifer McBlanchett, Crop & Soil Sciences
  • Staci Mullis, Crop & Soil Sciences/Conference Center
  • James Spurlin. Business Office
  • Gregory Thomas. Horticulture

15 Years of Service

  • Melissa Brannon, Horticulture
  • Jodi Figgatt, Horticulture/Crop & Soil Sciences
  • Steven Mcleod, Crop & Soil Sciences
  • James Thompson, Plant Pathology
  • Lina Young, Business Office

10 Years of Service

  • Mark Abney, Entomology
  • Kayla Botton, Library
  • Jimmy Carver, State Surplus/Federal Excess Property
  • Christina Foster, Plant Pathology
  • Michelle Pitts, Business Office
  • Kurt Seigler, Facilities Management & Operations


Recent Retirees

  • Jason Brock, Plant Pathology
  • Ken Spurlin, Business Office

2023 Student MVP Award

(Sponsored by the Georgia Cotton Commission)

Bailey A. Rayfield

2023 Prince Scholarships

(Presented by Ms. Heather Stripling, Prince Automotive Group)

Samuel E. Hester
Bailey A. Rayfield
Alexis M. Rineair

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University of Georgia Graduates


Fall, 2022

Agribusiness
Garrett S. Bates
Brianna A. Evans
Coleman B. Hollis

Agriscience and Environmental Systems
Lee Cresswell
Miller W. Hayes

Master of Plant Protection and Pest Management (MPPPM)
Cody H. Adams (Dr. Albert Culbreath, faculty advisor)
Derrick R. Bowen (Dr. Bhabesh Dutta, faculty advisor)
Will S. Brown (Dr. David Riley, faculty advisor)
Pamela L. Halliday (Dr. Jean Williams-Woodward and Dr. Elizabeth McCarty, faculty advisors)
Cody T. Powell (Dr. Jean Williams-Woodward, faculty advisor)

Master of Science (MS)
Devendra Chalise (Dr. John Snider, faculty advisor) – summer 2022 graduate
Hayden Godwin (Dr. Scott Tubbs, faculty advisor) – summer 2022 graduate
Michael Goodnight (Dr. Simerjeet Virk, faculty advisor)
Amos D. Kaldor (Dr. Jason Schmidt, faculty advisor)
Kylie M. Lennon (Dr. Jason Schmidt, faculty advisor)
Swikriti Pandey (Dr. Jason Schmidt, faculty advisor) – summer 2022 graduate
Andrew R. Russell (Dr. Wesley Porter, faculty advisor)
Shelby K. Sangster (Dr. George Vellidis, faculty advisor)

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)
Benjamin L. Aigner (Dr. Mark Abney, faculty advisor)
Justin Burt (Dr. Jennifer Tucker, faculty advisor) – summer 2022 graduate
Nicholas Hurdle (Dr. Timothy Grey, faculty advisor)
Josiah M. Marquez (Dr. Abolfazl Hajihassani, faculty advisor)
Gurpreet K. Virk (Dr. John Snider, faculty advisor)
Hannah E. Wright (Dr. Stanley Culpepper, faculty advisor)


Spring, 2023

Agricultural Education
Carson M. Deal
Kristin P. Edwards, Cum Laude
Alexis M. Rineair, Magna Cum Laude
Kylie F. Whitworth, Cum Laude

Agriscience and Environmental Systems
Samuel E. Hester, Magna Cum Laude
Bailey A. Rayfield, Summa Cum Laude

Biological Sciences
Sara H. Newman

Master of Agricultural and Environmental Education (MAEE)
Abby E. Green (Dr. Barry Croom, faculty advisor)
Danielle N. Taylor (Dr. Barry Croom, faculty advisor)

Master of Plant Protection and Pest Management (MPPPM)
Albertha Parkins (Dr. Jason Schmidt, faculty advisor)

Master of Science (MS)
Ismalia Adeleke (Dr. Sudeep Bag, faculty advisor)
Rebekah B. Lawson (Dr. John Snider, faculty advisor)
Caitlyn B. Lawton (Dr. Camp Hand, faculty advisor)
Joshua M. Lee (Dr. John Snider, faculty advisor)
Amrit Pokhrel (Dr. John Snider and Dr. Simerjeet Virk, faculty advisors)
Madan Sapkota (Dr. Simerjeet Virk, faculty advisor)
Mary L. Tostenson (Dr. Wesley Porter, faculty advisor)
Savannah B. Warren (Dr. Scott Monfort, faculty advisor with Dr. Scott Tubbs and Dr. Timothy Grey as co-advisors)

Doctorate of Philosophy (PhD)
Chadwick Abbott (Dr. Eric Prostko, faculty advisor)
Maricel C. Gonzales (Dr. Bob Kemerait, faculty advisor)
Jermaine D. Perier (Dr. David Riley, faculty advisor)
Chiara Rossi (Dr. Cristiane Pilon, faculty advisor)
Taylor R. Singleton (Dr. Stanley Culpepper, faculty advisor)


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Student Awards and Accomplishments


 

CROP AND SOIL SCIENCES DEPARTMENT

Students advised by Dr. Cristiane Pilon

Kelvin Jimmy Awori (PhD)

  • 2nd Place PhD Poster Presentation titled “The Potential of Using Wild Peanut Genotypes to Enhance Photosynthetic Heat Tolerance in Peanuts” at the 2023 American Peanut Research and Education Society (APRES), July 2023, Savannah, GA.
  • Received a scholarship from the American Community Gardening Association (ACGA) and Natural Resource Conservation Service (NRCS) to attend the 2023 American Community Gardening Association Bi-National Conference on Celebrating the Diversity of Growing, September 2023, Houston, TX.

Morgan Sysskind (MS)

  • 1st Place MS Poster Presentation titled “Stomatal Conductance and Fluorescence in Rainfed Peanuts: Spatial and Temporal Variability Assessment” at the 2023 American Peanut Research and Education Society (APRES), July 2023, Savannah, GA.

Students advised by Dr. Wesley Porter

Kaylyn Reagin (PhD)

  • 2022: 1st Place Sustainable Intensification Graduate Student Oral Competition. American Science of Agronomy Annual Meeting. Baltimore, MD.
  • 2023: Trusted Adviser Spotlight Honoree. Field to Market: Alliance for Sustainable Agriculture June Plenary Meeting. St. Louis, MO.
  • 2023: Named President of the American Peanut Research and Education Society Graduate Student Organization and Graduate Student Representative for the Board of Directors.

Luke Fuhrer (PhD, College of Engineering)

  • 1st place in the Cotton Engineering student oral competition at the 2023 Beltwide Cotton Conference.
  • Received the 2023 Peary Wilemon-National Cotton Ginner’s Scholarship through the National Cotton Council.
  • Received level 1 cotton ginner certification through the National Cotton Council.

Students advised by Dr. John Snider

Ved Parkash (PhD)

  • Recipient of the Graduate School Student Travel Grant to attend 2023 ASA, CSSA, SSSA International Annual Meeting, St. Louis, Missouri funded by Graduate School, University of Georgia (October 2023).
  • Recipient of Crop Science Graduate Student Scholarship provided to meritorious graduate student in crop science from Crop Science Society of America (CSSA), July 2023.
  • Recipient of the George Hugh Boyd Memorial Scholarship for the 2023-2024 academic year, Graduate School, University of Georgia (June 2023)
  • Recipient of Summer Research Grant funded by Graduate School, University of Georgia (May 2023).
  • Recipient of Gerald O. Mott Meritorious Graduate Student Award in Crop Science from Crop Science Society of America (CSSA), March 2023.
  • Recipient of certificate of nomination for E. Broadus Browne Award for research creativity and effective communication, College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences, University of Georgia, March 2023.
  • Second Place Ph.D. Poster Competition, Southern ASA Annual Meeting 2023, Oklahoma City, Oklahoma, February 4-6, 2023.
  • First Place Award, PhD Student Poster Competition, 2023 Beltwide Cotton Conferences, New Orleans, Louisiana. Jan, 2023.
  • Third Place Award, PhD Student Oral Competition, 2023 Beltwide Cotton Conferences, New Orleans, Louisiana. Jan, 2023.
  • Recipient of the Graduate School Student Travel Grant to attend 2023 Beltwide Cotton Conferences, New Orleans, Louisiana funded by Graduate School, University of Georgia (2023).
  • Recipient of the Graduate Education Advancement Board Fellowship for the 2022-2023 academic year, Graduate School, University of Georgia (Fall 2022).

Students advised by Dr. George Vellidis

Jasia Jannat (PhD)

  • 1st place in the Ph.D. poster competition at the International Conference of Integrative Precision Agriculture, 25 May 2023.

Emily Bedwell (PhD)

  • National finalist for the Philanthropic Educational Organization (P.E.O.) Scholars Award. Awards will be announced May 2024.

Giannis Gallios (MS)

  • Graduated Summer Semester 2023.

Students advised by Dr. Simerjeet Virk

Cole Byers (MS, College of Engineering)

  • Selected as one of the top 10 outstanding students to participate in the 2023 Gateway To Ag Careers Program (GTAC) at the AgGateway Annual Conference in Nashville, Tennessee.
  • Presentation Excellence Award, Graduate Student Competition, 2023 American Society of Agricultural and Biological Engineers (ASABE) Annual International Meeting. Presentation Title “Spray Performance Evaluation of DJI Agras T30 UAS Sprayer at Different Application Parameters”.
  • 2nd Place, Graduate Student MS Poster Competition, 2023 International Integrative Precision Ag Conference. Poster title “Spray Performance Assessment of a DJI Agras T30 Drone Sprayer to Optimize Application Efficiency”.

Ravi Meena (PhD, College of Engineering)

  • Blue Ribbon Educational Aid Award (2023), Contributing author on Extension Publication Titled “Pulse Width Modulation Technology (PWM) for Agricultural Sprayers”. Awarded by the American Society of Agricultural and Biological Engineers at the 2023 ASABE AIM Meeting.

Matt Tucker (MS)

  • 2nd Place, Graduate Student MS Poster Competition, 2023 American Society of Peanut Research and Educational Society (APRES) Meeting. Poster title “Influence of Soil Sampling Grid Size on Application Accuracy and Economics of Site-Specific Soil pH Management in Peanut Fields”.
  • 2nd Place, Graduate Student Oral Competition (Agronomy, Soils, and Physiology), 2023 Beltwide Cotton Conference. Presentation title “Impact of Soil Sampling Grid Size on Efficacy and Economics of Site-Specific Nutrient Application in Cotton”.
  • 2nd Place, Graduate Student MS Oral Competition (Precision Ag Systems community), 2022 ASA-CSSA-SSSA Annual Meeting. Presentation title “Comparative Analysis of Precision Soil Sampling Strategies for Mapping Soil Nutrient Variability and Application Accuracy”.
  • 3rd Place, Graduate Student MS Poster Competition (Precision Ag Systems community), 2022 ASA-CSSA-SSSA Annual Meeting. Poster title “Economic Analysis of Different Grid-Based Precision Soil Sampling Strategies for Site-Specific Nutrient Management in the Southeastern US”.

Amrit Pokhrel (MS)

  • 1st Place, Graduate Student MS Oral Competition (Precision Ag Systems community), 2022 ASA-CSSA-SSSA Annual Meeting. Presentation title “Utilizing UAV-based RGB and Multispectral Imagery to Predict Yield-Contributing Physiological Parameters of Cotton”.
  • 3rd Place, Graduate Student Oral Competition (Cotton Engineering Systems), 2023 Beltwide Cotton Conference. Presentation title “Utilizing UAS Multispectral Imagery to Estimate Yield-Contributing Physiological Parameters of Cotton”.

Madan Sapkota (MS)

  • 1st Place, Graduate Student MS Poster Competition (Precision Ag Systems community), 2022 ASA-CSSA-SSSA Annual Meeting. Poster title “Spray Deposition and Quality Assessment at Varying Ground Speeds for a Boom Sprayer with and without a Rate Controller”.
  • 3rd Place, Graduate Student MS Oral Competition (Precision Ag Systems community), 2022 ASA-CSSA-SSSA Annual Meeting. Presentation title “Fungicide Spray Coverage and Penetration into Peanut Canopies at Different Application Volumes and Droplet Sizes”.

Additional Student Awards within Crop and Soil Sciences Department (not previously mentioned):

Agronomy, Physiology, and Soils Conference
Navneet Kaur - 1st place PhD Talk (Dr. John Snider, Faculty Advisor)
Caitlyn Lawton - 2nd place MS Poster (Dr. Camp Hand, Faculty Advisor)

Sustainability Conference
Mary Logan Tostenson - 2nd place MS Poster (Dr. Wes Porter, Faculty Advisor)

Cotton Improvement Conference
Samantha Jo Wan - 2nd place Graduate Student Talk (Dr. Peng Chee, Faculty Advisor)

 

ENTOMOLOGY DEPARTMENT

Students advised by Dr. Glen Rains

Shekhar Thapa (MS, College of Engineering)

  • First Place, M.S. Student Poster Competition, 2023 IIPA Conference, Athens, GA, May 2023.

Canicius Mwitta (PhD, College of Engineering), Peter Ngimbwa (PhD, College of Engineering), Denis Kiobia (PhD, College of Engineering), and Shekhar Thapa (MS, College of Engineering)

  • First Place Team Award, Student Hackathon: Crop Track Competition, 2023 IIPA Conference, Athens, GA, May 2023.

HORTICULTURE DEPARTMENT

Students advised by Dr. Patrick Conner

Gaurab Bhattarai (PhD)

  • Received a 2023 Young Minds Award from the International Society for Horticultural Science, and also a 2023 Borlaug Scholarship.

NESPAL/IPBGG

Students advised by Dr. Peggy Ozias-Akins

Stephanie Botton (MS)

  • 2nd Place Poster Competition winner 2022 IPBGG Annual Retreat.
  • 1st place 2023 Broadus Browne MS competition.
  • 2023 John Ingle Innovation in Plant Breeding Award.

Raegan Holton (MS)

  • 3rd Place and $200 for research presentation, “Screening Various Peanut (Arachis hypogaea L.) Genotypes for Aflatoxin Contamination Using in vitro Seed Colonization of Aspergillus flavus.” Joe Sugg MS Graduate Student Competition as part of the 2021 Annual American Peanut Research and Education Society meeting.

Sydney Webb (MS)

  • 1st place in Joe Sugg MS oral competition held at the 2023 American Peanut Research and Education Society annual meeting.

Sameer Pokhrel (PhD)

  • Awarded George Hugh Boyd Memorial Scholarship.

Gema Nugraha (MS)

  • 3rd place among graduate student posters at AAGB 2023 (Advances in Arachis Genomics and Biotechnology) in Huntsville, AL. Title: Constructing Arachis correntina Genome Sequence from Neoallotetraploid Arachis ipaensis x Arachis correntina hybrids.

PLANT PATHOLOGY DEPARTMENT

Students advised by Dr. Tim Brenneman

Jessica Bell (PhD)

  • 1st place in the Ph. D. Oral Presentation category at the 2023 annual meeting of the American Peanut Research and Education Society meeting in Savannah, GA in July.

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Faculty and Staff Achievements


AGRICULTURAL AND APPLIED ECONOMICS DEPARTMENT

Dr. Yangxuan Liu

  • Won Third Place, Outstanding Poster Awards, Southern Agricultural Economics Association, 2021.

Dr. Esendugue Greg Fonsah

  • Competitive Grants Award: 2023 – Co-PI: UDSA NIFA/Specialty Crop Research Initiative/USDA-NIFA-SCRI Grant entitled, “Mechanical harvesting management practices and analysis of adoption barriers approach for sustainable management of fresh market onion production in the Southeastern United States”.  Dr. Malla, Subas (TAMU-PI); Dr. Bhabesh Dutta (UGA-PI). Amount: $5, 219,756
  • 2023 – Frank Panyko Distinguished Service Award, Food Distribution Research Society (FDRS), Crystal City Marriott at Reagan National Airport, Washington DC, November 12-14.
  • 2023: Invited Guest Speaker at the 2023 Institute of National Transformation (INT) International Strategic Transformation and Empowerment Platform (STEP) Agripreneurship: The Key to Africa’s Development Conference, Uyo, Akwa Ibom State, Nigeria (October 20-29).
  • 2023-President-Elect: USDA S-1088 Multi-State Research Group S-1088 "Specialty Crops and Food Systems: Exploring Markets, Supply Chains and Policy Dimensions"
  • 2023: North-West University, Office of the Executive Dean, South Africa. Purpose:  Nominated by the Executive Dean, Faculty of Economic and Management Sciences as External Assessor for the Dossiers for Promotion from Associate Professor to Full Professor (August, 29).
  • 2023: Invited Kungfu & Wushu Martial Arts Grand Master (Sifu) to Wushu Energetische Kunste, Berlin, Germany. Purpose:  Assessment of Kungfu & Wushu Martial Artists Disciples/practitioners and Grade/Ranks Awards (Different Color-Belts Levels) (August 15-18).
  • 2023: Visit the International Institute of Tropical Agriculture (IITA), Nigeria. Purpose:  Assess Banana and Plantain Research in Nigeria (August 11).
  • 2023: USAID Feed-the-Future Integrated Rice-Fish Project, Nigeria, West Africa. Purpose: Train rice-fish farmers in Ikwo Local Government Site, Ebonyi State, Southeast Nigeria (August, 08).
  • 2023: USAID Feed-the-Future Integrated Rice-Fish Project, Nigeria, West Africa.Purpose: Train rice-fish farmers in Nwanu Izzi Local Government Site, Ebonyi State, Southeast Nigeria in collaboration with University of Ibadan, Usmanu Danfodiyo University, FAO and MSU (August, 07).
  • 2023: USAID Feed-the-Future Integrated Rice-Fish Project, Nigeria, West Africa. Purpose: Train rice-fish farmers in Onicha Local Government Site, Ebonyi State, Southeast Nigeria (August, 07).
  • 2023: USAID Feed-the-Future Integrated Rice-Fish Project, Nigeria, West Africa. Purpose: Train rice-fish students at Usmanu Danfodiyo University Sokoto (UDUS), and hold top-level meetings with University Administrators, Sokoto State, Northeast Nigeria (August, 04).
  • 2023: USAID Feed-the-Future Integrated Rice-Fish Project, Nigeria, West Africa. Purpose: Train rice-fish farmers in Kimba Site, Kebbi State, Northeast Nigeria (August, 03).
  • 2023: USAID Feed-the-Future Integrated Rice-Fish Project, Nigeria, West Africa. Purpose: Train rice-fish female farmers in Argungu Site, Kebbi State, Northeast Nigeria (August 02).
  • 2023: USAID Feed-the-Future Integrated Rice-Fish Project, Nigeria, West Africa. Purpose: Train rice-fish farmers in Wawu-Jedai Site, Kebbi State, Northeast Nigeria (August 01).
  • 2023: USAID Feed-the-Future Integrated Rice-Fish Project, Nigeria, West Africa. Purpose: Train rice-fish farmers in Bernine Site, Kebbi State, Northeast Nigeria (July 31).
  • 2023:  Chairman of Board Meeting, FOMIC Polytechnic University (FPU), Buea Campus, Cameroon, Central Africa (March 29).
  • 2023: Faculty Advisor/Mentor for International Visiting Scholar (Nana Anima Akrofi Mary), University of Ghana, Legon-Accra, West Africa (January).
  • 2023: Co-Chair/Advisor, Fasakin Idowu Jameson (PhD Student), Department of Agricultural Economics, University of Ibadan, Nigeria, West Africa (2020-2023).
  • Books, Technical Report & Policy Brief – Feed-the-Future Innovation Lab Project Deliverables and Publications by Team UGA, FAO, Rome, Italy & University of Ibadan (UI), Nigeria, West Africa:
    • Fonsah E.G., J. F. Idowu, Halwart, M., X. Yuan, E.K. Ajani, B.O. Omitoyin, A. Bart, G. Burtle and O. Ajayi (2023).  Investment and Business Manual for Fish-Rice Production System in Ebonyi and Kebbi States of Nigeria.  Feed-the-Future Innovation Lab for Fish Aquaculture & Rural Communities: Farm Diversification Project #A0032656RF (UGA, FAO & UI).
    • Fonsah E.G., J. F. Idowu, Halwart, M., X. Yuan, E.K. Ajani, B.O. Omitoyin, A. Bart, G. Burtle and O. Ajayi (2023). “Analyzing End-Market Prospect for Agricultural Output and Identifying Risk Factor: Integrated Rice-Fish in Nigeria”.  Feed-the-Future Innovation Lab for Fish Farm Diversification, The U.S. Government’s Global Hunger & Food Security Initiative, Technical Report-Socio-economic Contribution, pp.1-10.
    • Halwart, M., X. Yuan, E.K. Ajani, B.O. Omitoyin, A. Bart, E.G. Fonsah, G. Burtle and O. Ajayi (2023). “New Development Frontier: Unlocking the Potential of Rice Field Fisheries (RFF) in Nigeria”.  Feed-the-Future Innovation Lab for Fish, The U.S. Government’s Global Hunger & Food Security Initiative, Policy Brief 4:2023

CENTER FOR INVASIVE SPECIES AND ECOSYSTEM HEALTH

Dr. Chuck Bargeron

  • Walter Barnard Hill Award for Distinguished Achievement in Public Service & Outreach sponsored by UGA Public Service & Outreach

CROP AND SOIL SCIENCES DEPARTMENT

Dr. Cristiane Pilon

  • Selected as Chair-Elect for the Division C-2 Crop Physiology and Metabolism of the Crop Science Society of America in 2023.
  • 2022 Award of excellence for Junior Research Scientist

Dr. Wes Porter

  • J. Tom Cothern Outstanding Young Cotton Agronomist Award

Dr. R. Scott Tubbs

  • Awarded the Research Career Professional Award by the Southern Branch of the American Society of Agronomy in February 2023.

Dr. Simerjeet Virk

  • Ag Tech Researcher/Educator of the Year (2023), CropLife Ag Tech Awards of Excellence by PrecisionAg/Global AgTech Institute
  • Outstanding Reviewer (2023), Awarded by the American Society of Agricultural and Biological Engineers at the 2023 ASABE AIM Meeting
  • Junior Extension Specialist (2022), by the Georgia Association of County Agricultural Agents (GACAA) at their Annual Meeting
  • Educational and Outreach Material Award (2022), to UGA Precision Extension Ag Blog. Awarded by the Extension Education community of the American Society of Agronomy at their annual meeting.

ENTOMOLOGY DEPARTMENT

Dr. Alton “Stormy” Sparks

  • Received the Senior Specialist Award, Georgia Association of County Agricultural Agents.

POULTRY SCIENCE DEPARTMENT

Dr. Claudia Dunkley

  • USAID Farmer to Farmer Poultry Project, Voatolava, Anjahana, Madagascar. PURPOSE: Train members of the Vatolava Fishermen’s Wives Association and the upper village members to develop a profitable poultry production. Trained over two hundred members of the upper and lower communities.