Sally Thompson, head of the department for six years, has taken a leave of absence from Purdue to serve as director of the Market and Trade Economics Division, Economic Research Service, for the U.S. Department of Agriculture in Washington, D.C. Ken Foster, BS ’81 and a faculty member since 1990, has been appointed interim department head. He had been associate head of the department and director of graduate programs since 2004. Gerald Shively has been appointed director of the graduate program. He has been on the faculty since 1996.
LeeAnn Williams, BS ’94, MS ’96, is the Indiana Academic Advising Network’s 2008 Outstanding Advisor. She is director of the department’s undergraduate advising and student services.
Professor Michael Boehlje received the American Agricultural Economics Association Distinguished Extension/Outreach Program Award at the organization’s annual meeting in Orlando, Fla.
Graduate student Idris Amusan has been selected as a fellow for the Leadership Enhancement in Agriculture Program of the Norman E. Borlaug International Agricultural Science and Technology Fellows Program. The $20,000 award was made on the basis of Amusan’s research to identify mechanisms in corn that make it immune to damage by the parasitic weed Striga hermonthica. The Borlaug LEAP Fellowship honors Nobel laureate Norman E. Borlaug, hailed as the “father of the Green Revolution.”
Susan Eicher, a faculty member since 1996, has been promoted to adjunct associate professor.
T. Joseph Kappock has joined the department as an assistant professor. Kappock received his PhD from Yale University and held a postdoctoral position at Massachusetts Institute of Technology. He formerly was an assistant professor in the Department of Chemistry at Washington University, where he held a National Science Foundation Career Award. His research interests are in the mechanisms of microbial enzymes.
Assistant professor Jim Clemens is one of 25 finalists interviewed by the National Institutes of Health for the
NIH Pioneer Award. Clemens was among the 2,000 scientists who applied for the $2.5 million award designed to support individual scientists of exceptional creativity who propose pioneering and possibly transforming approaches to major challenges in biomedical and behavioral research. The winners were to be announced in late September.
Tom Turpin has been named an honorary Master Farmer by Indiana Prairie Farmer Magazine. The award, first presented in 1928, is given in recognition of farming skills, community activities and public service. Turpin has been a faculty member for 37 years.
Tameshia Ballard has joined the department as an assistant professor teaching undergraduate food processing courses. Ballard also will conduct research on new process development for value-added products, extraction/processing of phytochemicals from agricultural waste materials, and high-pressure processing. Ballard received her PhD from Virginia Tech in Blacksburg, Va.
Shelly Bingle-Coffman is the first 4-H resource development officer for Purdue Extension. She will support and collaborate with the Indiana 4-H Foundation as she works to build a stronger relationship between the foundation and Purdue Extension. Bingle-Coffman has seven years of development experience with organizations in Texas and Indiana and is a Certified Fund-Raising Executive.
5 ag profs added to list of great teachers
Five Purdue Agriculture faculty members are among the 49 latest inductees into Purdue University’s Book of Great Teachers.
They are Ron Coolbaugh, professor of botany and plant pathology; Christian Y. Oseto, professor of entomology; Paul Pecknold, professor of botany and plant pathology; Bernard Y. Tao, professor of agricultural and biological engineering; and Harmon P. Weeks Jr., PhD ’74, professor of forestry and natural resources.
Inductions occur every five years, and honorees include past recipients of universitywide teaching excellence awards and those nominated by students, alumni and colleagues. To be included in the Book of Great Teachers, professors and former professors must have served on the Purdue faculty at least 10 years.
“These professors are passionate about teaching and are making a difference in the lives of students, both inside and outside the classroom,” Purdue Provost Randy Woodson said. “This honor reflects our commitment to excellence in teaching and the faculty that embody this every day.”
The book, a bronze and walnut wall display in the west foyer of the Purdue Memorial Union, was first unveiled in 1999 with 225 current and former faculty honorees. The last ceremony was held in 2003, when 42 faculty members were added to the book.