Awards: UF/IFAS students win food packaging design competition

Bruce WeltUniversity of Florida students were awarded first place in a food packaging design competition during an international food processing and packaging convention held this week in Chicago.

The winners, Gaby Cruz, Colleen Delaney, Michael Grandinetti and Alex Tipton, are students in UF’s agricultural and biological engineering department, part of the Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences’ College of Agricultural and Life Sciences.

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Honors: Faculty member named outstanding leadership director

Hannah CarterHannah Carter, director of the University of Florida Wedgworth Leadership Institute and an assistant professor in agricultural education and communication, has been named the 2012 Outstanding Director by the International Association of Programs for Agricultural Leadership (IAPAL).

“It’s an honor and a recognition of the work I’ve done, not only in the Wedgworth Leadership Institute but within the realm of agriculture and natural resources,” Carter said.

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Appointments: Wysocki named CALS associate dean for academic programs

Allen WysockiAllen Wysocki, a longtime UF/IFAS faculty member, has taken on a newly created post with the College of Agricultural and Life Sciences, serving as associate dean for academic programs. He officially began on Sept. 1.

He will handle many duties for CALS, including distance education, statewide programs, international programs, the honors program, study abroad and faculty development.

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Appointments: UF/IFAS prof to lead horticulture group’s education efforts

Sandra WilsonUF/IFAS environmental horticulture professor Sandra Wilson has been elected the education division vice president for the American Society for Horticultural Science.

Wilson, who leads the environmental horticulture program at the University of Florida’s Indian River Research and Education Center near Fort Pierce, will lead ASHS efforts to advance horticultural science education around the globe.

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Honors: Faculty, students honored at recent state entomology meeting

Phillip KaufmanUniversity of Florida Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences faculty and students were honored at the recent Florida Entomological Society annual meeting held in Jupiter from July 22-25.

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Appointments: IFAS’ Karen Koch secretary-elect for ASPB

Karen KochUF/IFAS’ Karen Koch, a professor in horticultural sciences, has been chosen secretary-elect for the American Society of Plant Biologists and will serve a three-year term starting in October.

Koch, a fellow in the organization, will lead the group’s National Program Committee, which organizes its national meetings.

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Awards: Faculty awarded at agriculture, biological engineering meeting

James JonesThree faculty members with the University of Florida Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences received international recognition at the American Society of Agricultural and Biological Engineers annual meeting in Dallas held from July 29 to Aug. 1.

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Awards: IFAS faculty, graduate students, lauded at NACTA conference

Samira DaroubSeveral University of Florida IFAS faculty members and graduate students earned acclaim at the North American Colleges & Teachers of Agriculture’s annual awards program held June 29 at the University of Wisconsin, River Falls.

The awards were given at the North American Colleges and Teachers of Agriculture’s 58th annual conference.

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Awards: 2 UF/IFAS faculty members receive prestigious ASPB Awards

Andrew HansonKaren KochGAINESVILLE, Fla. – Two University of Florida horticultural sciences faculty members received awards from the American Society of Plant Biologists at the group’s annual meeting July 20-24 in Austin, Texas.

Andrew Hanson, an eminent scholar in UF’s Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences, received the Charles Reid Barnes Life Membership Award. It is the group’s oldest award, established in 1925, and honors meritorious work in plant biology.

Hanson was recognized for his unique and many contributions to the field of plant biology, his “exemplary use of comparative genomics approaches to deepen our understanding of plant metabolic pathways, and his research in the areas of folate biosynthesis and biofortification,” according to the organization.

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Awards: UF’s Gardening in a Minute wins silver media award

Tom WichmanFlorida Master Gardener Coordinator Tom Wichman has been recognized for his role as host of “Gardening in a Minute,” a radio feature co-produced by UF’s Center for Landscape Conservation and Ecology, IFAS Extension and WUFT-FM.

Wichman received a silver media award for on-air radio talent from the national Garden Writers Association. Wichman, the UF/IFAS statewide coordinator for the Master Gardener program, has hosted the feature since it first aired Oct. 2, 2006.

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Appointments: Two interim IFAS leaders appointed

Barry BreckeKen QuesenberryInterim appointments have been made to fill openings in leadership roles with IFAS’ agronomy department and at the West Florida Research and Education Center.

Jack Payne, UF senior vice president for agriculture and natural resources, has appointed Ken Quesenberry as interim chairman of the agronomy department, and Barry Brecke as interim director of the West Florida REC in Milton.

In the agronomy department, Quesenberry, an emeritus professor in forage breeding and genetics, will take on the administrative duties of department chair.

Brecke is an emeritus professor in weed science, whose research focuses mostly on weed management in turfgrass and row crops. He previously served as the West Florida REC’s associate director.

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Events: Florida 4-H invites alumni to 40th anniversary for 4-H event

1970s Ledj EventThey call it “Ledj,” and many Florida 4-H alumni describe it as one of the most rewarding experiences of their lives.

The event is Florida 4-H Legislature, a simulated legislative session held every summer in Tallahassee at the state Capitol. There, bills are debated and then passed or vetoed by 4-H’ers ages 14 to 18 who act as representatives, senators, lobbyists, reporters, judges and other figures involved in the state’s official business.

To mark the event’s 40th anniversary, the Florida 4-H Youth Development Program is hosting the first Ledj alumni gathering, June 28-29 in Tallahassee.

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News: Researcher runs program that spurs student interest in science

William OverholtAs part of a middle and high school mentoring program, a University of Florida professor is helping train the scientists of the future.

Since 2004, William Overholt, an entomology and nematology professor at UF’s Indian River Research and Education Center in Fort Pierce, has worked with students each year to conduct individual science research projects.

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Awards: Teacher receives national accolade from Project Learning Tree

Brooke MohrWakulla County teacher Brooke Mohr has made a point of incorporating environmental education from Project Learning Tree in her classroom, and now the organization is honoring her efforts.

Mohr, a fifth-grade teacher at Medart Elementary School, is one of five people chosen by PLT as 2012 National Outstanding Educators. She’ll be formally recognized at a PLT conference in Deadwood, S.D., May 14-17.

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Awards: Faculty research noted by landscape ecology organization

Emilio BrunaResearch by UF faculty member Emilio Bruna was recognized by the United States Chapter of the International Association for Landscape Ecology (IALE) as the outstanding contribution to the field in 2011.

The award was announced April 10 during ceremonies in Providence, Rhode Island.

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Events: UF College of Veterinary Medicine to Hold Open House April 14

Girls with pet dogNorth Florida pet owners and animal lovers are invited to attend the University of Florida’s College of Veterinary Medicine open house from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Saturday, April 14.

The free event takes place at the college’s main campus, 2015 SW 16th Ave, Gainesville, FL.

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Events: Healthy Horses Conference Set for April 28

HorsesFor anyone who owns horses or helps care for them, the Healthy Horses Conference offers an affordable way to get the latest information on significant equine health issues. Presented by UF’s College of Veterinary Medicine, the conference is taught by faculty experts but designed for laypeople.

It happens 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Saturday, April 28 at the UF vet school, 2015 S.W. 16th Ave. in Gainesville. Registration fee is $39 for adults, $15 for students, graduate students and those under 12 years old. Registration may be available at the door but early registration is recommended, as space is limited.

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New Hires: Tennille Herron named IFAS web manager

Tennille HerronIf you’ve ever been part of an effort to create a new website, you know how overwhelming a task it can be. IFAS Information and Communication Services is hoping to make that task a little easier with the hiring of a new IFAS web manager.

Tennille Herron comes to the job after nine years with the Florida Center for Library Automation. In her new role, she will work to ensure that IFAS’ web presence is clear, consistent and of good technical quality, and will serve as a central contact for those in IFAS working to boost web presence.

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Honors: Gamma Sigma Delta inducts 41 new members at annual ceremony

GSD inducteesThe Gamma Sigma Delta agricultural honorary held its 57th annual initiation ceremony and awards reception March 21 in the Presidents room at Emerson Alumni Hall.

The University of Florida chapter of the honorary organization now has 41 new members, bringing the group’s total membership to about 730, said Daniel Lee, an associate professor with IFAS and the chapter’s past president.

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Honors: Two UF/IFAS faculty members elected 2012 AAAS Fellows

Lena MaGeorge CasellaTwo faculty members with the University of Florida’s Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences have been elected 2012 Fellows of the American Association for the Advancement of Science.

George Casella, a distinguished professor of statistics, and Lena Ma, a professor of soil and water science, were among six UF faculty members inducted Fellows at the AAAS annual meeting, held Feb. 16-20 in Vancouver, B.C.

They were selected for the honor based on meritorious efforts to advance science and its applications.

Casella, who has been with UF since 2000, was elected to the AAAS section on statistics. Ma, a UF faculty member since 1994, was elected to the AAAS section on agriculture, food and renewable resources.

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Events: UF school announces 5K race in Austin Cary Memorial Forest

Austin Cary Memorial ForestLocal runners have a chance to race while enjoying the scenic splendor of a University of Florida landmark, as the School of Forest Resources and Conservation presents the inaugural Flatwoods 5K in the Austin Cary Memorial Forest.

The race is open to the public and begins at 8 a.m. March 24. A one-mile fun run starts shortly after the 5K begins.

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Events: Event to celebrate restoration of historic cabin

Archie Carr cabinThe late Archie Carr remains one of the University of Florida’s best-known faculty members, thanks to his accomplishments as an author, conservationist and pioneer in Florida wildlife studies.

What’s not so well known is a building that helped Carr develop his appreciation for nature—a Cracker-style cabin his father built in the 1930s on the banks of Lake Nicotoon outside Umatilla. As a young man, Carr spent countless hours there, hunting, fishing and enjoying the company of his family in Florida’s unspoiled wilderness.

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Awards: Two UF/IFAS students receive Guy Harvey Scholarships

Felipe CarvalhoSarah StephensVisual artist Guy Harvey is well known for his love of marine wildlife – his iconic paintings of marlin and other saltwater game fish are seen everywhere from T-shirts to specialty license tags to art galleries.

Not surprisingly, Harvey is a passionate supporter of marine conservation, which led him to establish the Guy Harvey Ocean Foundation as a way to fund research and educational programs.

In 2010, the foundation teamed with the Florida Sea Grant program to fund the Guy Harvey Scholarship Award; each year it provides a $5,000 scholarship to one or more Florida university students whose research focuses on novel strategies for improving sustainable management of large marine fish.

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News: Jim Jones named to National Academy of Engineering

Jim JonesClimate-science expert Jim Jones, a distinguished service professor emeritus in the agricultural and biological engineering department and director of the Florida Climate Institute, has been elected to the National Academy of Engineering, or NAE.

He was one of 66 new members announced Feb. 9. Election to NAE is one of the highest professional distinctions an engineer can achieve. Potential members can only be nominated by a current member and are elected by the NAE membership.

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News: Plant pathologist helps high-school student succeed in competition

Andrew JosephJacksonville high school senior Andrew Joseph is what you’d call a self-starter.

As a tenth-grader, he read an article about scientists developing disease-resistant transgenic wheat. Andrew was intrigued, but he also asked the question, “what about rice?” As the world’s most-consumed cereal crop, rice is important to more people than wheat, he reasoned.

Andrew settled on a goal—adding two E. coli genes to the rice plant Oryza sativa, causing it to produce trehalose. Then he set about finding a mentor who could provide advice and access to sophisticated lab equipment that wasn’t available at his school, Episcopal School of Jacksonville.

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