2005 Awards Banquet: Honoring Old and New

A new tradition began at the 2005 Biosystems Engineering & Environmental Science banquet, as we awarded the inaugural John J. and Dorothy G. McDow Faculty Excellence award. Dr. McDow, a former department head, was instrumental in achieving accreditation for our engineering program some 40 years ago. More recently, he has worked with the department to endow this award, and was on hand to present it to soil scientist Michael Essington.

During the past year, Michael’s contributions were recognized by his induction to the level of Fellow in two professional organizations, the Soil Science Society of America, and the American Society of Agronomy. In both organizations, Fellow is the highest recognition bestowed, with only 0.3% of the active and emeritus members attaining it. Michael was recognized both for his research, and for his contributions to student learning, particularly through authoring a textbook that is now in widespread use throughout the world.

Another renowned “old-timer” in the department was Dr. Marley Sharp, known for loaning a few dollars to students to help tide them over until their next payday. The 2005 Marlay A. Sharp award for the Top Biosystems Engineering Freshman Scholar was given to Kimberly N. Geary.

“Top Scholar” awards were given to the following students:
  • Top Underclass Scholar in Environmental & Soil Sciences -- Wendy Jones.
  • Top Sophomore Scholar in Biosystems Engineering -- Erin Byers.
  • Top Upperclass Scholar in Environmental & Soil Sciences -- Robert Hull.
  • Top Upperclass Scholar in Biosystems Engineering -- Brady Lewis.

“Professional Promise” awards were made to:
  • Undergraduate Student in Environmental & Soil Sciences -- Elizabeth England.
  • Undergraduate Student in Biosystems Engineering -- Preston McCary.
  • Graduate Student in Biosystems Engineering -- Roberto Barbosa.
  • Graduate Students in Environmental & Soil Sciences -- Jason Windingstad and Youngho Seo.
As an intermission, Tom Ammons, faculty advisor to the UT Bluegrass Music Club, along with members from the club, gave a short musical presentation. By way of thanks, Tom was presented with an enlargement of a recent club picture that had run in The Daily Beacon.

The Outstanding Service Support Staff award went to Luci Carleton, Administrative Services Assistant. Luci can often be found in the office after hours working to sort out the details on a grant that needs to go out soon, or updating finance or personnel records. Despite the challenges of her job, she always has a positive attitude, and perhaps most importantly, a bowl of candy on her desk.

The Outstanding Service Faculty award was presented to Neal Eash, who has distinguished himself by his commitment to teaching, and by his willingness to help out with functions like Open House and other recruiting efforts. His style of working with students, colleagues, and staff reflects his genuine love of people.

The Distinguished Alumnus award was given to William D. “Bill” Mayfield. Bill has established himself as a leader in the field of cotton-related engineering, and has held positions of statewide and national responsibility in cotton-related areas (as an aside, we were only able to fit a small fraction of his resume onto the banquet program).

In addition to internal awards, we took time to recognize faculty members recently given outside awards:
  • College of Agricultural Sciences and Natural Resources Outstanding Advisor award – Daniel Yoder.
  • College of Agricultural Sciences and Natural Resources W. F. & Golda Moss Outstanding Teacher Award (with greater than ten years service) -- Willie Hart.
  • College of Engineering Outstanding Teacher in Biosystems Engineering Award -- John Wilkerson.

In conclusion, thanks to the Entertainers for catering another fine meal, George Grandle and the awards committee for their efforts, Rob Freeland for photos, and all the others who contribute to the success of the Department of Biosystems Engineering & Environmental Science.

Raj Raman
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