Congratulations to the faculty, staff and students who received awards during the Soil and Crop Sciences’ annual meeting held on January 14 in College Station.

Two faculty members were recognized with pins for their years of service. Professor Hongbin Zhang, Ph.D. was recognized for 30 years of service and Wayne Smith, Ph.D., professor and associate department head, for 50 years of service.

The department also gave 18 additional awards that included the following:


B.B. Singh Administrative Staff Award: Judy Young
Young is a senior administrative coordinator and serves as the personal assistant to the department head and provides planning and scheduling and other administrative duties.

Administrative Support: Moji Olokode
Olokode is the administrative assistant to the Associate Department Head/Extension Program Leader. She assists with travel, maintains promotion and tenure files, and manages the front desk in the department’s business office.

Extension Awards

Extension Faculty Team Award: John Smith and Joel Pigg
Smith is an Extension Program Specialist and specializes in water resources and sustainable agriculture. Pigg is an Extension Program specialist that specializes in water well safety.

Collaborating County Extension Agent: Dennis Tyler Mays
Mays is an Extension Agent-IPM that serves Hill and McLennan Counties.

Technical/Extension Staff Support: - Field Support: Katrina Horn
Horn is a research associate and crop testing coordinator with the Texas A&M AgriLife Crop Testing Program based in College Station.

Special Service/Recognition: Beau Henderson
Henderson is the farm services manager at the AgriLife Research and Extension Center in Lubbock.

Research and Extension Collaboration: Meghyn Meeks, Ph.D.
Meeks is a Research Associate at the AgriLife Research and Extension Center in Dallas.

Research Awards

Research Faculty: Katie Lewis, Ph.D
Lewis is an associate professor in Lubbock whose specialty is soil fertility and soil chemistry.

Graduate Student Research – Agronomy: Shilpa Singh
Shilpa is a Ph.D. student in Agronomy, focused on weed science, advised by Dr. Muthu Bagavathiannan.

Graduate Student Research – Plant Breeding: Catherine Danmaigona Clement
Catherine is a Ph.D. student in Plant Breeding advised by Drs. Steve Hague and Jane Dever and Libo Shan.

Graduate Student Research – Soil Science: Joseph Burke
Burke is a Ph.D. student in Soil Science advised by Drs. Katie Lewis and Julie Howe.

Research Support – Field Support: Shannon Baker
Baker is a Research Associate at the AgriLife Research and Extension Center in Amarillo specializing in wheat and UAVs.

Research Support – Lab Support: Josh Doria
Doria is a Master’s student in Soil Science and a lab technician in Dr. Julie Howe’s lab

Postdoctoral Research: Vanaja Kankarla, Ph.D.
Kankarla is a postdoctoral research associate in Dr. Muthu Bagavathiannan’s lab. She is responsible for project/program management, planning research, design and implementation, and student mentoring.

Teaching Awards

Teaching – Faculty: A. Peyton Smith, Ph.D.
Smith is a professor of Soil Science. Her specialty is soil carbon dynamics. She teaches Soil Science 301, mentors several graduate students and oversees undergraduate research projects.

Graduate Student Teaching: Brody Teare, Ph.D.
Teare received his Ph.D. in Molecular and Environmental Plant Sciences in December 2021. He completed his research under Dr. Dirk Hays.

Student Awards

Undergraduate Student Support: Miles Marburger
Marburger is a senior Agricultural Communications and Journalism major who works in the department’s administration office.

The photos can be viewed on the Soil and Crop Sciences Facebook page