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Clark Gantzer Receives 2021 Soil and Water Conservation Society’s Associate Editor Excellence Award

Clark Gantzer, professor emeritus of soil, environmental and atmospheric sciences, was the recipient of the 2021 Soil and Water Conservation Society’s (SWCS) Associate Editor Excellence Award in recognition of associate editors for their contributions to the success and development of the Journal of Soil and Water Conservation. Gantzer’s research focuses on soil and water conservation, and management and applied soil physics.

The SWCS awards are presented each year to individuals and organizations who have made outstanding contributions in advocating and advancing the conservation of soil, water and related natural resources.

CAFNR Abstract Presented During North American Colleges and Teachers of Agriculture Annual Conference

During the recent North American Colleges and Teachers of Agriculture (NACTA) annual conference, a peer-reviewed research abstract from a group of CAFNR faculty and staff was presented “live” during the virtual conference. A total of 208 abstracts were submitted and only 12 were presented during the conference. The abstract is titled “Factors Influencing College Choice of Matriculants and Non-Matriculants: A Generational Comparison.”

Adam Cletzer, assistant professor and director of student services in the Division of Applied Social Sciences; Jon Simonsen, associate professor and director of graduate studies in the Division of Applied Social Sciences; and Julie Scroggs, director of student recruitment in the CAFNR Office of Academic Programs; submitted the abstract.

Leon Schumacher Receives 2021 Provost’s Award for Leadership in International Education

Leon Schumacher, professor and agricultural systems technology program coordinator, received the 2021 Provost’s Award for Leadership in International Education. This award recognizes MU faculty who have provided outstanding leadership in strengthening MU’s international dimension.

Schumacher’s research focuses on topics such as precision agriculture, smart farm initiative, Internet of Things (IOT), automated farming systems and energy conservation including biodiesel, biomass and ethanol, as well as curriculum-related issues associated with agricultural systems technology.

Alba Argerich Receives 2021 Provost’s Outstanding Junior Faculty Teaching Award

Alba Argerich, assistant professor in the School of Natural Resources, received the 2021 Provost’s Outstanding Junior Faculty Teaching Award. This award recognizes junior faculty for superior teaching and advising on the MU campus.

Argerich is an aquatic scientist interested in understanding the effects of land use on water quality and ecosystem integrity using experimental and modeling approaches. Her current projects include an analysis of the use of different bioengineering techniques to restore water quality in nutrient-loaded streams, the study of natural variability and trends of aquatic nutrients in reference streams, and an experimental analysis of the effects of contemporary forest practices on water quality and quantity.

Felix Fritschi Receives 2021 Chancellor’s Award for Outstanding Research and Creative Activity

Felix Fritschi, C. Alice Donaldson Professor in Bioenergy Crop Physiology and Genetics in the Division of Plant Sciences, received the 2021 Chancellor’s Award for Outstanding Research and Creative Activity. This award gives special recognition to MU faculty members who are still in the developmental phases of their careers, have made outstanding contributions in research and/or creative activity and have great promise for achieving wider recognition.

Fritschi has a research/teaching appointment in plant physiology. His main research interests are in the area of plant responses to abiotic stress. In particular, he emphasizes on effects of water deficit and heat on plant growth and productivity. He teaches an introductory classes on grain crop production, crop physiology, and photosynthesis in crop production. In addition, he co-teaches a class on research with plant stress agents.

Hendrickson Receives Award Through The Agriculture, Food and Human Value Society

Mary Hendrickson, associate professor in Rural Sociology, received the Excellence in Instruction Award at the Agriculture, Food and Human Value Society (AFHVS) virtual conference on Thursday, June 10.

The Excellence in Instruction Award honors a member for outstanding teaching related to agriculture, food, and human values at the undergraduate and/or graduate level. To be a recipient of this award, a nomination letter from a fellow AFHVS member outlining the recipient’s innovations and commitment to teaching and learning related to a particular course is required in addition to 2 endorsements from other AFHVS members.

Hendrickson has been teaching in the classroom since 2007. Before entering the classroom, she did work for extension, doing more non-formal education. She said she found her work in Extension translated well once she transitioned into the classroom. Hendrickson’s favorite part of teaching is the classroom discussion she has with her students, and the insightful questions they pose.

Biochemists Receive New TRIUMPH Funding Initiative Through MU School of Medicine

A new pilot grant program led by Senior Associate Dean Bill Fay announced 30 awards to School of Medicine (SOM) investigators, including multiple awards to MU Biochemistry faculty. Four biochemists are principal investigators on a TRIUMPH award, and four others are co-investigators. This program is part of the SOM’s initiative to transform research at MU by promoting advances in translational research and precision medicine. An additional key aim of TRIUMPH is to promote the success of the NextGen Precision Health Institute, scheduled to open in fall of 2021. The awards were announced March 2021.

The maximum size of the awards is $100,000, covering a period of two years. The Biochemistry-associated faculty and award titles are:

  • Lesa Beamer (PI); John Tanner (co-I). Unified view of inherited metabolic diseases: enzyme dysfunction phenotypes.
  • Mark Hannink (PI); Gary Weisman (co-I). Molecular Mechanisms of Drug Resistance in Head and Neck Squamous Cell Carcinoma.
  • Xiao Heng (PI); Xiaoqin Zou (co-I). A novel platform for peptide design with applications to targeting antibiotics resistance.
  • Thomas Quinn (PI); Gary Weisman (co-I). Novel use of P2X7 receptor antagonists to protect salivary glands in PSMA-617 targeted radiotherapy for prostate cancer.
  • Lixing Reneker (PI, Ophthamology); Dennis Lubahn (co-I). The estrogen’s role in age-related dry eye disease (DED).
  • Olga Baker (PI, Otolaryngology). Building a better saliva substitute.

Pei Liu Earns Dr. Richard Wallace Faculty Incentive Grant

Since its launch in 1994, the Mizzou Alumni Association (MAA) has provided start-up funds of about $700,000 to more than 300 faculty members for the initiation of research or professional development projects. The MAA supports the development of faculty through its Dr. Richard Wallace Faculty Incentive Grants program.

Pei Liu, an assistant professor of hospitality management, was a 2021 recipient of one of the Dr. Richard Wallace Faculty Incentive Grants. Liu has been engaged in a variety of applied research projects funded by USDA ranging from consumer consumption behaviors (i.e., recognizing clients’ needs and wants, evaluating current practices in commercial restaurants and institutional facilities to promote nutrition and healthy eating habits) to employees’ food safety practices in ethnic restaurants. Her specialties include: consumer behaviors in foodservice operations, food safety training in foodservice operations and healthy food marketing.

CAFNR Faculty, Staff and Students Earn MU Graduate and Postdoctoral Awards

Numerous CAFNR faculty, staff and students were recently honored during the seventh annual MU Graduate and Postdoctoral Award ceremony.

  • Gold Chalk Award: Corinne Valdivia, professor and Doane Professor of agricultural economics
  • International Student Award: Anadil Iftekhar, doctoral student, rural sociology
  • Graduate Support Staff Award: Johnette Blair, office support assistant, Division of Applied Social Sciences
  • MU Graduate Faculty Mentor Award: Rocio Rivera, associate professor, Division of Animal Sciences
  • Sandra K. Abell Science Education Award: Jade Cooper, graduate student, Division of Animal Sciences
  • Gutermuth Award for Community Engagement: Victoria Burnett, graduate student, School of Natural Resources

No-Ya Yu Wins “Three Minute Thesis” Competition

No-Ya Yu, master’s student in agricultural & applied economics, won the “Three Minute Thesis” competition at the 2021 Southern Agricultural Economics Association meetings. The title of her presentation was “Nudging meat eaters toward healthier and sustainable substitutes: An online supermarket experiment.”