Texas A&M faculty, students recognized at international meeting in Phoenix

Writer: Kay Ledbetter, 806-677-5608, skledbetter@ag.tamu.edu

COLLEGE STATION – Individuals from Texas A&M University are being recognized during the “Resilience Emerging from Scarcity and Abundance”  international annual meeting of the American Society of Agronomy, Crop Science Society of America and Soil Science Society of America.

The annual meeting of the three societies will be Nov. 6-9 in Phoenix, Arizona, with more than 4,000 attendees expected. The annual awards are presented for outstanding contributions to agronomy through education, national and international service, and research.

“It reflects the stature of our department nationally to have so many Texas A&M AgriLife scientists honored with these prestigious awards,” said Dr. David Baltensperger, soil and crop sciences department head in College Station.

Dr. David Stelly

Dr. David Stelly

Dr. David Stelly will be recognized as a Crop Science Society of America Fellow. He is a professor of cytogenetics, genetics, genomics and plant breeding in the soil and crop sciences department with a joint appointment to Texas A&M AgriLife Research and Texas A&M in College Station.

Stelly graduated with a bachelor’s from the University of Wisconsin, a master’s in plant breeding and cytogenetics from Iowa State University, and doctorate in plant breeding and genetics from the University of Wisconsin.

The award citation stated he is internationally recognized for cotton cytogenetics, cytogenomics, reproductive cytology, genetics, applied genomics and wide-cross breeding research.

He has authored over 150 peer-reviewed articles, and has held leadership positions in domestic and international organizations that increased the vivaciousness of plant breeding research and education, and ushered forth quantum leaps in cotton genomics.

Stelly is active in Crop Science Society of America, International Cotton Genome Initiative, National Association of Plant Breeders, and a member of others. He served as a member of the National Academy of Sciences Committee that recently published a review on genetically engineered crops.

Dr. Jane Dever

Dr. Jane Dever

Dr. Jane Dever, an AgriLife Research cotton geneticist in Lubbock, was named as an American Society of Agronomy Fellow.

According to the award recognition, Dever, as the Cotton Improvement Program project leader in Lubbock, is a recognized expert on seed and germplasm issues. Her research focus includes developing new and differentiated germplasm with enabling technology, and screening exotic germplasm collections for native traits to be used in breeding cotton.

She has co-developed over 30 cultivars and 32 germplasm lines, mentored graduate students and visiting scientists, and authored 26 peer-reviewed and 118 professional publications.

Dever is a recipient of two Vice Chancellor’s Awards in Excellence, the Cotton Genetics Research Award, organic cotton Golden Hoe Award and Blue Legacy Award in Agriculture.

She earned her bachelor’s, master’s and doctorate all from Texas Tech University in Lubbock, with concentrations in textile technology and management, crop science and agronomy, respectively. She has been with AgriLife Research since 2008, working previously with Bayer CropScience.

Dr. Steve Hague

Dr. Steve Hague

Dr. Steve Hague, associate professor of cotton genetics and breeding in the Texas A&M AgriLife Research Cotton Improvement Lab in College Station, will be receiving the Crop Science Teaching Award from Crop Science Society of America.

Hague earned his bachelor’s degree from Texas A&M University-Commerce, a master’s degree from Texas Tech University and a doctorate from Texas A&M University. He was a cotton and soybean agronomist at the Louisiana State University AgCenter, and a transgenic cotton breeder for Bayer CropScience before joining Texas A&M University in 2006.

Hague’s award recognition states that through his teaching appointment, he teaches conventional undergraduate courses – plant breeding and genetics, and international cropping systems.

He has trained a dozen graduate students and led several high-impact learning experiences for undergraduate students such as study abroad programs to Mexico and Australia, internships, undergraduate research and crops judging.

He has been an invited speaker at national and international teaching conferences, and served and chaired on multiple ASA and CSSA educational committees as well as committees for his department and university.

Dr. Sam Feagley

Dr. Sam Feagley

Dr. Sam Feagley, AgriLife Extension state soil and environmental specialist in College Station, was presented the Agronomic Resident Education Award.

Feagley earned his bachelor’s and master’s degrees from Texas A&M and his doctorate from the University of Missouri. He has received the Irrometer Award and is an Agronomy Fellow. He has received numerous teaching awards from Louisiana State University and Texas A&M.

Feagley is known nationally and internationally for his research in nutrient management

from organic and inorganic nutrient applications, land reclamation of surface-mined lands, saline/sodic soil remediation and revision of the Texas Phosphorus Index, according to the award documentation. He has authored over 50 peer-reviewed publications.

During his career, he has garnered over $3.7 million in grant funding; chaired five doctoral students, 11 master in science and three master in agriculture students; served on 24 doctoral, 26 master in science and three master in agriculture committees, and taught over 2,400 students through seven undergraduate courses and three graduate courses since 1979. Additionally, he has taught over 14,300 people through Extension programs since 1994.

William Peebles

William Peebles

William Peebles, a senior plant and environmental soil science major at Texas A&M, is being recognized by the Golden Opportunity Scholars Institute through the Agronomic Science Foundation.

This scholars program matches undergraduates with scientist mentors. The program encourages students to pursue careers in the agronomic, crop and soil sciences. It is supported by the Golden Opportunity Fund through the Agronomic Science Foundation.

Peebles works at the Texas A&M Cotton Improvement Lab, where he assists with cotton breeding efforts and conducts undergraduate research, and is the merchandise coordinator for the Texas A&M Agronomy Club.

Following completion of his bachelor’s degree, Peebles plans to pursue a master’s degree in plant breeding, according to his award information. He hopes to be a plant breeder one day for a university or a non-profit organization with the goal of improving food security.

The Texas A&M University Soil Judging Team won the Region IV, collegiate soil judging contest

soils-team2The Texas A&M Soil Judging Team won the soil judging contest in Ruidoso, New Mexico, in early October. They were the overall winners, and won the Team Judging event for soil. Four of the five team members finished in the top ten, with the fifth only two places out. Sam Shroyer led the team, finishing as the 4th high indidivual, followed closely by Nicole Shigley – 5th high, Kacie Wynn – 7th high, Michael Bartmass – 10th high, and Rory Tucker – 12th high. Coach Cristine Morgan is very proud of the team and the effort they made.

The TAMU Soils Team from left to right: Sam Shroyer, Michael Bartmass, Sarah Vaughn, asst. coach;Nicole Shigley; Dr. Cristine Morgan, coach; Cristine’s daughter Claire Morgan(front); Kacie Wynne, and Rory Tucker

The TAMU Soils Team from left to right: Sam Shroyer, Michael Bartmass,
Sarah Vaughn, asst. coach;Nicole Shigley; Dr. Cristine Morgan, coach;
Cristine’s daughter Claire Morgan(front); Kacie Wynne, and Rory Tucker

Dr. B.B. Singh received a Lifetime Achievement Award as a Distinguished Mentor from G.B. Pant University in India

Singh-AwardDr. B.B. Singh, a visiting professor in the Soil and Crop Sciences Department at Texas A&M University, recently received a Lifetime Achievement Award as a Distinguished Mentor from the Pantnagar Clan, a global network of alumni from Govind Ballabh Pant University of Agriculture and Technology in Pantnagar, India.

G.B. Pant University was the first college in India to be patterned after the United States land grant system. Dr. Singh was a member of the first batch of students to graduate from that university, earning his B.Sc. degree in 1960. In 1968 he returned to G.B. Pant as a member of the faculty working as a soybean breeder and Associate Professor. He taught Introductory Genetics and Introductory Plant Breeding at the undergraduate level, as well as graduate courses in plant genetics and the principles of plant breeding until 1978 when he became a researcher at the International Institute of Tropical Agriculture in Nigeria.

“All of my students have become very successful in their professional and personal lives,” Dr. Sing said with admiration. “They give major credit for their success to the excellent teaching and mentoring they received while they were at G.B. Pant University.”

According to Singh, the Pantnagar Clan selected ten different teachers in different subjects to honor during the Foundation Day Celebration. Because Singh was unable to attend to ceremony last fall, the group gathered again in July to make his presentation.

“For my students go to that much effort, with this kind of feeling, it really meant a lot to me,” Singh stated. “And the plate they gave me is most heartwarming because all the national landmarks in India are on it and in the middle is my name.”

Dr. Singh came to A&M in 2006 to work on cowpea and cropping systems with Dr. Bill Payne. He continues to do research, teaches SCSC 645 – World Agriculture and International Plant Breeding, and has a Friday lunch seminar with the students.

He still returns to G.B. Pant University for three months each year to present lectures to new batches of students there.

“Teaching is my passion,” stated Dr. Singh. “I am so happy my students recognized that. They have touched my heart.”

 

ASA CSSA Awards

Several Soil and Crop Sciences faculty members have been selected to receive awards at the Agronomy Society of America and Crop Science Society of America annual meetings in the fall.

Jane DeverDr. Jane Dever has been named as an ASA Fellow, the highest award bestowed by the Society.  Dr. Dever specializes in cotton breeding, conducting her research at the Texas A&M AgriLife Research and Extension Center in Lubbock.  One of the primary goals in her research program is to use classical breeding to incorporate native traits into cultivars for organic production.

Dr. Dever originally joined the Lubbock staff in 1983 as a Graduate Research Assistant. While completing her Master’s and Ph.D. at Texas Tech, she moved up the ranks through Research Associate to Associate Research Scientist. In 1992, Dever left the A&M system to work briefly at Tech, and then the private sector.  Dr. Dever returned to the A&M System in 2008 as a Professor at the Lubbock Center.  She has authored or co-authored 23 peer-review journals and has advised or co-advised 3 postdoctoral research associates, 14 PhD students and 13 Master’s students. She has be awarded the “Golden Hoe” by the Texas Organic Cotton Marketing Cooperative for her contributions to the organic cotton industry and has earned the Cotton Genetics Research award.

Sam FeagleyDr. Sam Feagley has been selected to receive the ASA Agronomic Residence Teaching Award. This award considers classroom skills, innovative teaching methods, performance by graduates and student-teacher interactions as well as accomplishment and awards earned as classroom teacher.

Dr. Feagley earned his B.Sc. in Chemistry and his M.Sc. in Soil Fertility and Chemistry at Texas A&M, and his Ph.D. in Soil Chemistry from the University of Missouri. He returned to A&M 1995, joining the faculty as a Professor of Soil Science and the Texas A&M AgriLife Extension State Soil Environmental Specialist.  He teaches SCSC 301 – Introduction to Soil Science; SCSC 420/620 – Brazilian Agriculture and Food Production Systems, a study abroad course; and SCSC 615 – Reclamation of Drastically Altered Lands.  He has authored 31 peer-reviewed journal articles, taught numerous undergraduates, advised/co-advised 4 postdoctoral research associates, 5 PhD students and 11 Master’s students. While at LSU, Dr. Feagley was received several Outstanding Teacher Awards; and at A&M has received a Special Achievement Award for Teaching from the Soil and Crop Sciences Department, as well as a Vice Chancellor’s Award in Excellence for Teaching.

Steve HagueDr. Steve Hague will be receiving the CSSA Crop Science Teaching Award.  This award focuses on excellence in teaching crop science at graduate and undergraduate levels. It is based on an evaluation of classroom skills, innovative teaching approaches, student-teacher interactions and awards earned as a teacher.

Dr. Hague is an Associate Professor specializing in cotton breeding. He teaches SCSC 304 – Plant Breeding and Genetics; SCSC 305 – Production Agronomy Experiences; and SCSC 421 – a study abroad course in Mexico. In his classroom, Dr. Hague emphasizes high-impact learning experiences. He advises the A&M Crop Judging team, has authored/co-authored 59 peer-reviewed journal articles, advised or co-advised six PhD students and five Master’s students.  He has supervised six undergraduate research projects and 26 undergraduate internships.  He has previously received the Special Achievement award for Teaching from the Soil and Crop Sciences Dept. at Texas A&M.

Crop Science Society of America Announces 2016 Award Recipient

StellyMADISON, WI, Jul 13, 2016 – The Crop Science Society of America (CSSA) announces the following 2016 award recipient to be formally presented at the CSSA Awards Ceremony on 2016-11-09 during the scientific society’s Annual Meeting, Nov 6-9, Phoenix, AZ – Sheraton Grand Phoenix Ballroom C. The annual awards are presented for outstanding contributions to agronomy through education, national and
international service, and research.

David M. Stelly, Texas A&M University, College Station, TX – CSSA Fellow: David Stelly is Professor at Texas A&M University and AgriLife Research, in College Station, Texas. Dr. Stelly graduated with a B.Sc. from the University of Wisconsin (UW), M.Sc. in Plant Breeding & Cytogenetics from Iowa State University, and Ph.D. in Plant Breeding & Genetics from the UW. He is internationally recognized for cotton cytogenetics, cytogenomics, reproductive cytology, genetics, applied genomics and wide-cross breeding research.

He has authored over 150 peer-reviewed articles. He has held leadership positions in domestic and international organizations that increased the vivaciousness of plant breeding research/education, and ushered forth quantum leaps in cotton genomics. He is active in Crop Science Society of America, International Cotton Genome Initiative, National Association of Plant Breeders, and a member of others. He served as a member of the National Academy of Sciences Committee that just recently published a review on genetically engineered crops.

CSSA Fellow

Fellow is the highest recognition bestowed by the Crop Science Society of America. Members of the Society nominate
worthy colleagues based on their professional achievements and meritorious service. Up to 0.3 percent of the Society’s
active and emeritus members may be elected Fellow.
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For more information on the 2016 awards, including award descriptions, visit: www.crops.org/awards/view.
or contact Sara Uttech, Senior Manager-Governance & Membership, 608-268-4948, suttech@sciencesocieties.org. For
more information on the Societies’ Annual Meetings, visit: www.acsmeetings.org.

2016 Plant Breeding Symposium

More than one hundred fifty people attended the 2nd Annual Plant Breeding Symposium held February 18, in the MSC Bethancourt Ballroom on the Texas A&M University campus. An additional eighty-five participated via the webinar.

According to Ammani Kyanam, one of the graduate students coordinating this year’s event, the webinar participants tuned in from four different countries. There were students from several other colleges/ universities, and a large number from the industry.

This year’s symposium, title “Healthier Food for a Healthier World”, featured speakers from DuPont, CIMMYT, and several universities from across the U.S.  In addition, three Soil and Crop Sciences grad students, Alfred Delgado, Sarah Ajayi, and Nicholas Pugh, were selected to present their research during the symposium.

A visiting, potential Masters student, Samuel Vigue, was impressed by the way the symposium was run. He has been at other symposia, and he really appreciated that the presenters here focused on the benefits of the research rather than just the technical aspects.

“I am glad he picked up on that,” stated Dustin Wilkerson, another of the six graduate students on the organizing committee. “We wanted to focus on the human benefits and to highlight the desired end result of the research. I am glad it was evident.”

“As to the success of the webinar, I think it really speaks to the credit of our speakers and to Texas A&M University’s reputation to have people from all over the world join our webinar,” Wilkerson stated. The entire organizing committee considers web access to be a crucial part of the symposium, and will definitely include a webinar again next year.

In conjunction with the symposium, graduate students participated in a research poster contest.   First place went to Silvano Ocheya, PBS Poster 2nd_Geraldo De CarvalhoPBS Poster 1st_Silvano Ocheyawho is working on his PhD in Plant Breeding; second place was Geraldo De Carvalho, who is also a PHD student in Plant Breeding; and third place went to Tessa Ries, a Masters student in Plant Pathology.

The annual event, put on by the Plant Breeding Symposium Organizing Committee including graduate students Laura Masor, Brian Pfeiffer, Francisco Gomez, Ammani Kyanam, Dustin Wilkerson and Smit Dhakal. This symposium is part of the DuPont Plant Sciences Symposia Series presented by DuPont Pioneer. The series connects similar events at universities around the world. The event was also sponsored by Cotton, Inc., Texas A&M’s Office of Graduate and Professional Studies, Texas A&M’s Departments of Soil and Crop Sciences, Horticulture, and Biology, Texas A&M’s College of Agriculture and Life Sciences, Texas A&M’s C.O.A.L.S. Council, Ronin Cooking, Seed Saver’s Exchange, and Johnny’s Select Seeds.

2015 Soil&Crop Sciences Departmental Awards

Faculty and staff gathered January 12 for the annual meeting, awards presentation and reception.

Longevity awards were presented to two professors.  Dr. James Heilman was recognized for his thirty-five years of service. Dr. Lloyd Rooney was not present at the meeting, but received recognition of fifty years of service from Dr. Baltensperger the following day. Dr. Frank Hons was presented with a certificate of appreciation for his service, as he retired after thirty-seven years with the department.

Other awards were:

  • The BB Singh Award for Crop Science Thesis, was awarded to Dr. Amanda Hulse-Kemp.
  • Kelli Norman received the BB Singh Award for Outstanding Achievement by Non-Academic Support Staff.
  • An Administrative Support Award was presented to LeAnn Hague.
  • An Administrative Support Award was presented to Linda Francis.
  • Earning the Collaborating County Agent Award was Corrie Bowen.
  • Diane Boellstorff received the Extension Specialist Award.
  • The Research Faculty Award was presented to Dr. Nithya Rajan.
  • The Graduate Research Award was presented to Silvano Ocheya.
  • Keya Howard received the Graduate Teaching Award.
  • Chor Tee Tan won the award for Research Collaboration.
  • The Research Support – Field award was presented to Daniel Hathcoat.
  • A Special Service Award was presented to Andy Scott of Rio Farms.
  • Joseph Awika received the Teaching Award.
  • Two Technical Staff Support Awards were presented with Kirk Jessup receiving the Field staff award and Ruth Maddox receiving the award for Laboratory staff.
  • The Undergraduate Student Support Award was presented to Kimberly Nutter.

 

Soil Science Society of America Announces 2015 Award Recipient

Frank HonsMADISON, WI, Jun 30, 2015 – The Soil Science Society of America (SSSA) announces the following 2015 award recipient to be formally presented at the SSSA Awards Ceremony on 2015-11-18 during the scientific society’s International Annual Meeting, Nov. 15-18, 2015, Minneapolis, MN. The annual awards are presented for outstanding contributions to soil science through education, national and international service, and research.

Frank M. Hons, Texas A&M University, College Station, TX – Soil Science Education Award: Frank Hons is Professor of Soil Science and AgriLife Research Faculty Fellow in the Department of Soil and Crop Sciences at Texas A&M University in College Station, TX. Dr. Hons received a BA in Chemistry from the University of Dallas and MS and PhD degrees in Soil Chemistry and Soil Science from Texas A&M University. Frank has taught soil science classes for 37 years and has mentored 42 graduate students. He previously received teaching awards at departmental and college levels and the Agronomic Resident Education Award from ASA. Frank is also internationally recognized for his research involving soil biogeochemistry, carbon sequestration and nitrogen dynamics, and he has authored 116 peer-reviewed publications. Dr. Hons is a Fellow of both the American Society of Agronomy and the Soil Science Society of America.

Soil Science Education Award

The Soil Science Education Award recognizes the educational achievements in soil science. Soil scientists making
outstanding educational contributions through activities such as resident, extension, or industrial education are eligible
for nomination. Contributions on which the nomination is based will have been made within the past 10 years. The
award consists of a certificate and $1000 honorarium.

Evaluation:

  • Innovative or unique approaches that encourage learning
  • Demonstrated ability to communicate clearly
  • Ability to motivate change in the audience