Published on 05/18/16

UGA CAES honors graduate students at annual reception

By Merritt Melancon

If it weren’t for graduate students, many of the labs at the University of Georgia would be eerily silent.

This army of young people — there are about 450 in the UGA College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences alone — performs the heavy lifting that makes science possible.

From tending research crops to running analyses in the lab, graduate students provide the labor that makes the college a leader in life sciences research.

This spring, the college recognized its best and brightest graduate students at the 2016 Graduate Student Recognition Reception on May 2, 2016.

“Graduate students are the engine that makes research and instruction possible, and CAES is lucky to have some of the best at the university,” said CAES Assistant Dean for Research Harald Scherm. “Every year we are more impressed by the caliber of the students in our graduate programs and by the work they produce.”

CAES Assistant Dean for Academic Affairs Jean Bertrand presented students with Outstanding Teaching Awards, recognizing graduate teaching assistants who went above and beyond to spark the curiosity of undergraduate students and help them understand difficult concepts.

This year’s Outstanding Teaching Award winners:

  • Minglu Gao, Department of Plant Pathology
  • Lauren Hudson, Department of Food Science and Technology
  • Brian Jordan, Department of Plant Pathology
  • Holly Kinder, Department of Animal and Dairy Science
  • Macc Rigdon, Department of Animal and Dairy Science
  • Soye Shin, Department of Agricultural and Applied Economics
  • Lark Widener, Department of Animal and Dairy Science

CAES Associate Dean for Research Robert Shulstad presented the 2016 E. Broadus Browne Awards for Outstanding Graduate Research. These awards are named for pioneering CAES research head and UGA Experiment Station Director Edmund Broadus Browne, honoring his distinguished service. The objectives of these awards are to encourage research creativity and effective communication in students seeking master’s and doctoral degrees.

This year’s E. Broadus Browne Award winners:

  • Erin Froetschel of the Department of Agricultural and Applied Economics won first place in the master’s-level competition with a presentation, “Can pesticide use be reduced by managing landscape complexity?” Froetschel’s major professor is Dr. Liz Kramer.
  • Forrest Goodfellow of the Department of Animal and Dairy Science won first place in doctoral-level competition with a presentation, “Labeling and Tracking the Fate of Neural Stem Cells: A Step Toward Regenerative Medicine.” Goodfellow’s major professor is Dr. Steve Stice.
  • Shuyang Zhen of the Department of Horticulture won second place in doctoral-level competition with a presentation, “Improving the Efficiency of Photosynthetic Lighting for Crop Production with Far-red LEDs.” Zhen’s major professor is Dr. Marc van Iersel.

To view more photos from the May 2 recognition ceremony, visit the Graduate Student Awards 2016 Flickr album.

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