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Robin Rotman Honored with Win Horner Award for Innovative Writing Intensive Teaching

Robin Rotman, an assistant professor in the School of Natural Resources, was recently honored with the Win Horner Award for Innovative Writing Intensive Teaching for the 2019-20 academic year. Inspired by early Campus Writing Programs Director Win Horner, this award celebrates innovative approaches to teaching writing in the disciplines.

In her Environmental Science 4400W course, Professor Rotman mentors students through complex legal writing, and, by the conclusion of each semester, her students create their own Journal of Environmental Law, Policy, and Justice.

Jason Entsminger Receives Catalyst Award

Jason Entsminger, a PhD student in the Division of Applied Social Sciences (Managerial, Behavioral & Organizational Economics), recently received the Catalyst Award from the Mizzou LGBTQ Resource Center. Entsminger is an active leader in Students for Cultivating Change at Mizzou.

Established in 1998, Catalyst Awards is an annual event aimed at bringing together LGBTQ activists, volunteers, students and community members. Any group, individual or event may be nominated for a Catalyst Award, which is reviewed by a committee overseen by the LGBTQ Resource Center Coordinator.

Jessica Kansman Honored with Student Leadership Award

Described as the embodiment of a student leader, Jessica Kansman, a graduate student in Plant, Insect and Microbial Sciences, has served on numerous board positions where she has organized and help planned a variety of social and recruitment events. For this, she received the Excellence in Student Leadership Award as part of the Mizzou Graduate Professional Council Awards. Her passion for mentorship and communication has had a deep impact on both graduate and undergraduate student. Not only does she do extensive outreach for the community, Jessica also remains committed to assisting her fellow colleagues.

Lisa Groshong Earns MU Distinguished Dissertation Award – Discipline Winner

Lisa Groshong is being honored by the MU Graduate School with the MU Distinguished Dissertation Award for her dissertation titled “Looking Broadly and Deeply into Perceptions of Local Climate Change Impacts Among Visitors to Missouri State Parks.” This work was supervised by Sonja Wilhelm Stanis, associate professor in the School of Natural Resources. The results of Lisa’s research suggest opportunities for state park managers to take action toward locally oriented climate change mitigation, education and communication. Groshong is currently a postdoctoral fellow in the School of Natural Resources at the University of Missouri.

Man Huynh Honored with Postdoctoral Research Award

Man Huynh, a postdoctoral fellow in Plant Sciences, has received the Postdoctoral Research Award from the MU Graduate School. He developed an artificial diet to address the impact of northern corn rootworm. This pest is devastating to maize crops across North America. This research led to multiple first-authored publications, external funding and a commercially-available diet in partnership with Frontier Agricultural Sciences. His advisor, Debbie Finke, associate professor in the Division of Plant Sciences, shared this sentiment in her nomination letter for the award: “Dr. Huynh is a selfless researcher who takes the time to teach and train others, including colleagues from industry or other academic institutions.”

Ben Knapp Earns Purdue Forestry and Natural Resources Outstanding Young Alumni Award

The Outstanding Young Alumni Award recognizes the accomplishments of individuals who have excelled in professional and civic accomplishments and have graduated from Purdue FNR within the last 15 years.

Ben Knapp, who earned his bachelor’s degree in forestry from Purdue in 2003, is an associate professor of silviculture in the School of Natural Resources at the University of Missouri. After completing his master’s and doctorate degrees at Clemson in 2005 and 2012 respectively, Knapp began teaching at Missouri as a tenure-track assistant professor. In 2018, he was promoted to associate professor. He teaches both undergraduate and graduate courses in silviculture as well as a course on Forest Fire Control and Use. Knapp also is the advisor to the University of Missouri Student Association of Fire Ecology, which aims to provide students knowledge of fire ecology as well as hands-on experience implementing prescribed fires and suppressing wildfires.

Knapp has authored or co-authored more than 50 publications and given more than 60 presentations at professional conferences. His research focuses mostly on the understanding of the ecological effects of silviculture and synthesizing that information to better apply forest management practices. In total, Knapp and his co-investigators have secured more than $2.3 million in external grant funding. In 2019, Knapp co-authored a publication with current FNR professor Mike Saunders regarding problems with regenerating desirable hardwood species in the eastern United States. He also joined with faculty at Purdue and the University of Kentucky to author a $10 million proposal to establish a White Oak Initiative to investigate the long-term use, regeneration and sustainability of the species.

In addition to his teaching duties, Knapp is the superintendent of the university’s Baskett Wildlife Research and Education Center. The Center, located 15 miles from the University of Missouri campus, is used for outreach, extension and recruiting. In addition to use for undergraduate and graduate student activities, it has also provided a home for forestry field competitions for high school Future Farmers of America chapters, meetings for the Society of American Foresters and even a maple syrup camp, which exposes students and K-12 teachers to educational and career opportunities in natural resources.

Professionally, Knapp is the communications coordinator for the silviculture working group of the national Society of American Foresters. He has previously been honored with two early career awards from the University of Missouri College of Agriculture, Food and Natural Resources (CAFNR): the 2018 Outstanding Early Career Teacher Award and the 2019 Early Investigator Research Achievement Award.

Harold Chapman Named Alumnus of the Year by CAFNR Alumni Association

Harold Chapman, who received a bachelor’s in Ag Mechanization from CAFNR in 1985, has been named 2020 Alumnus of the Year by the CAFNR Alumni Association.

Chapman is the complex general manager for eight Missouri locations of Crown Power and Equipment and was instrumental in helping design an equipment lease program with CASEIH equipment that has transformed CAFNR’s Missouri Ag Experiment Station and its network of research centers across the state. Chapman worked with John Poehlmann, now-retired Assistant Director, Agricultural Experiment Station Director, and Don Schindler, Manager of Farm Operations, to provide the research centers with top-of-the-line equipment. The program started in 2011, and currently provides more than $9 million of farm equipment annually at a cost that fits the budgets of the 17 different centers and fits their needs in the field.

Other universities also have versions of this program, but CAFNR’s program is the envy of many of these institutions because Chapman endeavored to design a program that met CASE IH Inc., CAFNR and CASE IH dealers’ needs in a manner that would be an incentive for each to be involved.

“The significance of Harold’s work is extensive,” Poehlmann said in his nomination of Chapman. “College classes offered in CAFNR utilize some of the equipment for real life field calculations. Research scientists now have modern farm equipment available that compliments their research needs on the road to discovery. Dependability of the equipment is not questioned when hurrying to get a research trial in. Harvesting delivers better yields because of advanced equipment. Labor savings result from high dependability, larger equipment and more efficient engines. New research tools often require the higher hydraulic capacity of modern tractors to operate well. It has taken a team to make this work that includes dealers, farm superintendents, MU accounting, professors and ultimately, buyers of the equipment once the year is over for each. Harold Chapman is the coach that makes it successful.”

“Prior to the inception of this lease program, it was common to find 50-year-old (or older) equipment doing general farm work, and it was being used to do agricultural research, too,” said David Davis, Superintendent of Forage Systems Research Center. “I believe that without Harold’s perspective gained from being a CAFNR graduate and his willingness to take the lead in developing this lease program that this transformation may not have happened.”

Karl Kerns Honored with Distinguished Dissertation Award

Karl Kerns, a postdoctoral fellow in animal sciences, has received the MU Distinguished Dissertation Award from the Graduate School as part of the Sixth Annual Graduate and Postdoctoral Award Ceremony. Kerns’ dissertation, “Zinc Ion Fluxes on the Pathway to Mammalian Sperm Fertilization Competency,” was supervised by Peter Sutovsky, professor of animal sciences. The research used a combination of new techniques to explain sperm zinc ion fluxes and develop a new sperm fertilization competency test. The test has been submitted for international patenting by the University of Missouri. The findings from Kerns’ dissertation have been published in the highly regarded Nature Communications. Sutovsky says Kerns’ work “has the potential to create new knowledge and paradigms in livestock reproductive management, human reproductive medicine, and developmental biology.”

Glenn Blumhorst Honored with the Citation of Merit Award from the CAFNR Alumni Association

Glenn Blumhorst, who received a bachelor’s degree in Agriculture (Ag Econ emphasis) from CAFNR in 1985, was honored with the 2020 Citation of Merit Award from the CAFNR Alumni Association. As the President and CEO of the National Peace Corps Association, Blumhorst, who also received an MPA (International Development Management emphasis) from Mizzou in 1987, has transformed the 30-year-old non-profit into a robust, mission-driven social impact organization mobilizing 225,000 former Peace Corps volunteers, staff and 175 affiliate groups to act on their Peace Corps ideals. Before his current position, which he has held since 2013, he has had various roles with ACDI (Agricultural Cooperative Development International)/VOCA (Volunteers in Overseas Cooperative Assistance), including, most recently, Chief of Party and Country Representative in Bogota, Colombia, where he introduced a $61-million USAID program providing ethnic minorities access to the nation’s economic and political life.

Blumhorst and his wife, Catherine, a 1987 graduate of the Sinclair School of Nursing, served together in Guatemala as Peace Corps volunteers and then as missionaries. He grew up in Slater, Missouri, and has lived in or traveled to 65 countries and all 50 states.

“As a Mizzou alum myself, I have worked closely for more than two decades with the National Peace Corps Association. Glenn’s five years as its president have given this organization a bold new direction that has had a profound impact on the future of NPCA as a leading non-profit advocating voluntary public service in the United States and the world,” said nominator David Arnold, MA Journalism ‘70. “The University of Missouri can be proud of its role in preparing Glenn Blumhorst for a life of exemplary, impactful service.”

“Thanks to Glenn’s advocacy, the University of Missouri’s Returned Peace Corps Volunteer Program, building on the Paul Coverdell Fellowship Program, was singularly named as the top national Peace Corps program, with recognition given at the annual meeting of the Association of Public and Land Grant Universities (APLU), the only university in the nation to be recognized in this way,” said Brady Deaton, Chancellor Emeritus, University of Missouri. “His loyalty to his alma mater has guided his career and remains the bedrock of his continuing public service to our country. He has embraced the policy perspectives gained during his studies here at Mizzou, and continued to grow as a professional and contributing alumnus honoring the values of CAFNR and our university in every aspect of his work.”

Clay Haynes Named Honorary Member of the CAFNR Alumni Association

Clay Haynes, Engineering Manager for Black & Veatch, has been named a 2020 honorary member of the CAFNR Alumni Association. Haynes is the husband of Dana Brown Haynes, retired CAFNR Director of Alumni Relations. Over the years, Haynes helped with many of the CAFNR Alumni Association’s events and activities, including the CAFNR Week Bonfire, Tiger Classic Golf Tournament and Steak Fry, Alumni Gathering at the Missouri State Fair, out-state alumni events, and the CAFNR Unlimited Banquet and Auctions, where he helped with auction item transport and assembly (including numerous pedal tractors and a windmill!), in addition to clean up and loading of vehicles after the event.

“Clay Haynes has been an unequivocal presence and volunteer for the Mizzou Ag Alumni Association. Although not a CAFNR grad, he is always a fixture at many of our events, lending a helping hand and supporting our College and alumni association. Clay would never expect praise; he volunteers quietly and unassumingly,” said nominator Dana Rogge, past President, CAFNR Alumni Association. “I feel it is only fitting that we bestow Honorary Membership to Clay for his tireless volunteer efforts on behalf of our College.”

“Those involved from a board member perspective with our beloved organization and its numerous activities fully understand the meaning of ‘all hands on deck’! And when that call is made, board members rise to the occasion. However, there are a few who also rise to the occasion even though they have no ‘contractual obligation’ and Clay Haynes is one of those individuals,” said Tony Francis, past president of the CAFNR Alumni Association. “Volunteer boards are only as strong as the individual members who comprise that board and dedicate time and talent to help the organization find success. It is truly an added benefit when an organization has such strong support from friends like Clay Haynes who are more than happy to lend a hand for the good of the cause. Clay is a true friend of CAFNR and has been an integral part of the success of the MU Ag Alumni Association over the course of many years.”