David Petritz, recently retired associate dean of agriculture and director of Purdue Extension, has received the 2007 National Distinguished Service Ruby Award from Epsilon Sigma Phi. The award is the highest and most prestigious recognition presented by the organization of Extension professionals. It recognizes outstanding thinking, performance and leadership in Extension. Petritz delivered the prestigious Ruby Lecture at the 2007 ESP National Conference in Charleston, S.C., in September.
Don D. Jones, professor and Extension specialist in agricultural engineering, on July 1 assumed the duties of assistant program leader for Purdue Extension. His focus will be Extension’s programming in topics related to ag and natural resources and environmental impact. Jones, a Purdue faculty member for more than 30 years, has focused on animal agricultural production and environmental quality issues throughout his career. He has written one book, 13 handbooks, 96 numbered Extension publications, and more than 80 environmental education computer programs, most for use by students and the public.
Indrajeet Chaubey has joined the department as an associate professor. He comes to Purdue from the University of Arkansas, and he earned his doctorate in biosystems engineering from Oklahoma State University. He specializes in ecohydrology and ecological engineering.
Two Ag Comm projects won four educational materials awards from the Association of Natural Resource Professionals.Wildlife CSI: Unraveling the Mysteries of Wildlife Crop Damagewon a gold award in the mixed materials category and silver awards in the video/DVD/CD category and the Web-based course category. The author is Brian MacGowan, wildlife Extension specialist in Forestry and Natural Resources; graphic designer was Chip Morrison; editor was Jane W. Brown; videographers were Steve Doyle and Mike Kerper. The Hardwood Lumber of the Central Midwest CD won a bronze award in the video/DVD/CD category. The author is forestry professor Dan Cassens. Morrison was the designer; Brown was the editor.
An Ag Comm project that highlights various Purdue Extension programs won a second-place award from the National Agricultural Alumni and Development Association. The Success Has Many Faces DVD and its unique packaging won in the category for event and promotional materials. Doyle was the producer/writer/video editor and Brown was the writer/editor. Russ Merzdorf designed the packaging, and videographers and photographers were Jamie Loizzo, Joan Crow, Kerper and Morrison.
Alan Ward is the department’s new educational technology specialist. He previously was a course delivery coordinator at Indiana State University in Terre Haute.
Wally Tyner, professor and former department head, is a 2007 Lugar Energy Patriot for his economic analysis of energy policy. The award by Sen. Richard Lugar recognizes members of the business community, professionals, scholars or students who demonstrate leadership and initiative in taking action to reduce America’s dependence on foreign energy sources.
H. Holly Wang is a new associate professor, and Scott Downey, PhD ’07, and Luc Valentin have joined the department as assistant professors. Wang received her master’s and doctoral degrees from Michigan State University. She worked at Washington State University for the past 10 years as an assistant and associate professor.
Downey spent 15 years in the financial services industry before joining the faculty this year. He is also associate director of the Center for Food and Agricultural Business, where he has directed and instructed programs for the past seven years. His research interests include key account management and factors affecting the attitudes of large dairy owners.
Valentin recently completed his PhD in agricultural economics at Kansas State University. He researches the economic impacts of BSE on the beef industry, the effects of best management practices on profitability and the consequences of policies aimed at reducing atrazine pollution.
The university board of trustees has approved the appointment of Gebisa Ejeta, MS ’73, PhD ’78, as Distinguished Professor of Agronomy.
A faculty member since 1984, Ejeta’s research group focuses on the genetic analysis and breeding of sorghum for resistance to drought, plant diseases and the parasitic weed called striga. Ejeta has served on technical and management advisory boards of several institutions, including the Consultative Group on International Agricultural Research, the Food and Agricultural Organization of the United Nations, the Rockefeller Foundation and the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation.
Mitch Tuinstra, MS ’93, PhD ’96, will join the department this month as a professor, coming from Kansas State University. He is internationally recognized for his research in sorghum breeding.
Lori Unruh Snyder has joined the department as an assistant professor. She previously was a lecturer and undergraduate coordinator for plant sciences at the University of Florida. She earned her doctorate in crop science from North Carolina State University.
Jianxin Ma, who joined the department in 2006 as a research assistant professor, has been hired as an assistant professor. His research objectives are to develop genetic and genomic tools for soybean breeders.
He earned his doctorate in plant genetics and breeding from the Chinese Academy of Agricultural Sciences.
Professor Layi Adeola is the recipient of the American Feed Industry Association Award in Nonruminant Nutrition Research. A faculty member since 1991, Adeola received the award in July at the national meeting of the American Society of Animal Science in San Antonio, Texas.
Tamilee Dawn Nennich will join the department this month as an assistant professor. She previously was an assistant professor and Extension dairy specialist at Texas A&M University. Her area of specialization at Purdue will be dairy cattle nutrient management.