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Award winners recognized at College of ACES banquet

Published April 14, 2015

URBANA -- The University of Illinois College of Agricultural, Consumer and Environmental Sciences (ACES) honored outstanding faculty and staff at the annual Paul A. Funk Recognition Awards Banquet held Monday, April 13, at Pear Tree Estate in rural Champaign, Ill.

The Paul A. Funk Recognition Award is the College of ACES' highest honor. It is presented annually to faculty for outstanding achievement and major contributions to the betterment of agriculture, natural resources, and human systems, said ACES Dean Robert Hauser, host of the evening's award ceremony.

The awards program was established in 1970 by the Paul A. Funk Foundation of Bloomington, Ill., as a memorial to the late Paul A. Funk, who attended the college as a member of the class of 1929 and devoted his life to agriculture.

The three recipients of the Funk Awards—Elvira de Mejia of Food Science and Human Nutrition, Brian Diers of Crop Sciences, and Alan Hansen of Agricultural and Biological Engineering—headlined this year's ceremony.

The Spitze Land-Grant Professorial Career Excellence Award went to Scott Irwin of Agricultural and Consumer Economics. Karen Chapman-Novakofski of Food Science and Human Nutrition received the Faculty Award for Global Impact.

The five recipients of the ACES Alumni Association Award of Merit were: Dan Hoge, ’66, B.S., Animal Sciences, ’68, M.S., Animal Sciences, Cambridge, Ill.; Susan Johnson, ’93, Ph.D., Nutritional Sciences, Louisville, Colo.; Daniel Kittle, ’78, M.S., Plant Pathology, ’80, Ph.D., Plant Pathology, Carmel, Ind.; Gregory Oltman, ’72, B.S., Ornamental Horticulture, Barrington, Ill.; and Kenna Rathai, ’93, B.S., Ag Communications, Saint Anne, Ill.

The Senior Faculty Award for Excellence in Teaching went to Soo-Yeun Lee of Food Science and Human Nutrition, while the College Faculty Award for Excellence in Teaching went to Nicholas Paulson of Agricultural and Consumer Economics.

Sandra Rodriguez-Zas, Animal Sciences, and Ryan Dilger, Animal Sciences, received the Senior Faculty Award and College Faculty Award, respectively, for Excellence in Research.

The Senior Faculty Award for Excellence in Extension went to Mohammad Babadoost of Crop Sciences, while the College Faculty Award for Excellence in Extension went to Nicholas Paulson of Agricultural and Consumer Economics.

The Teaching Associate Teaching Award was given to Margaret Norton of Crop Sciences.

The John Clyde and Henrietta Downey Spitler Teaching Award went to Barbara Fiese, Human and Community Development.

The Team Award for Excellence went to the members of the STRONG* Kids/I-TOPP** team: Kelly Bost, Human and Community Development; David Buchner, Kinesiology and Community Health; Sharon Donovan, Food Science and Human Nutrition; Barbara Fiese, Human and Community Development; Diana Grigsby-Toussaint, Kinesiology and Community Health; Craig Gunderson, Agricultural and Consumer Economics; Jessica Hartke, Nutritional Sciences; Charles Hillman, Kinesiology and Community Health; Rodney Johnson, Animal Sciences; Brenda Koester; Human and Community Development; Soo-Yeun Lee, Food Science and Human Nutrition; Janet Liechty, School of Social Work; Brent McBride, Human and Community Development; Salma Musaad, Human and Community Development; Margarita Teran-Garcia, Food Science and Human Nutrition; Jennifer Themanson, Human and Community Development; Donna Whitehill, Nutritional Sciences; and Angela Wiley, Human and Community Development. (*Synergistic Theory and Research on Obesity and Nutrition Group, **Illinois Transdisciplinary Obesity Prevention Program)

The Professional Staff Awards for Excellence were given to Elizabeth Reutter, Food Science and Human Nutrition, for Sustained Excellence in Advising, Teaching, and Outreach; Lowell Gentry, Natural Resources and Environmental Sciences, for Sustained Excellence in Research; and Linda Tortorelli, Human and Community Development, for Innovation and Creativity.

Luis Mejia, Food Science and Human Nutrition, received the Service Recognition Award.

Dianne Carson of Crop Sciences and Donna Stites of Agricultural and Consumer Economics received the Staff Award for Excellence. Maria Rund, Human and Community Development, was awarded the Marcella M. Nance Staff Award.

The Graduate Student Research Awards went to Kale Monk, Human and Community Development, and Laura Chatham, Crop Sciences, for Ph.D. work and M.S. work, respectively.

Louis V. Logeman Graduate Student Teaching Awards were given to Adam Ahlers, Natural Resources and Environmental Sciences, and Kimberly Crossman, Human and Community Development.

For more information and videos, go to http://awards.aces.illinois.edu/.