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Intranet: College Newsletter

Fall/Winter 2008

Awards and Honors

Paul E. Sumner earns Donnie H. Morris Award of Excellence in Extension

Morris award

The 2008 Donnie H. Morris Award of Excellence in Extension was presented to Paul E. Sumner, a senior public service associate in the CAES Department of Agricultural and Biological Engineering. This award was established by the Georgia Fruit and Vegetable Growers Association to recognize UGA Cooperative Extension personnel for their important contributions to Georgia fruit and vegetable operations. Individuals eligible for this award must be nominated by a GFVGA member.

Sumner, who has worked at UGA since 1978, earned both his B.S. and M.S. in agricultural engineering from the university. Over the course of his career with Extension, Sumner has assisted numerous county agents and their clients with facility designs, selection and calibration of chemical application equipment and the procedures for cooling and drying crops.

Sumner's public service and outreach programs include reducing gas emissions in commercial vegetable production, increasing chemical application deposition with pecan air blast sprayers and efficient application of agricultural pesticides.

Previously known as the Extension Award of Excellence, the award was renamed for the late Donnie Morris who was a leader in the Georgia fruit and vegetable industry and an enthusiastic supporter of GFVGA and UGA Cooperative Extension. He was a pioneer in the Georgia blueberry industry, an innovator with his company and a man of great character.

Photo: Bill Brim (left), 2008 GFGVA President, presents Paul Sumner (right) with the Donnie H. Morris Award for Excellence in Extension.

Jordan receives lifetime achievement award

JordanUniversity of Georgia professor Jeffrey Jordan has received the Southern Agriculture Economics Association lifetime achievement award, the highest honor bestowed by the association.

Jordan was selected for the award based on his commitment to interdisciplinary and applied research in the area of agricultural economics. The award recognizes him for leading collaborative projects in areas ranging from water resource economics to sustainable agriculture, to poverty and education.

A member of the agricultural and applied economics faculty at the University of Georgia campus in Griffin, Ga. since 1982, Jordan was named program director of the Southern Sustainable Agriculture Research and Education program in 1999. As director, he allocates more than $4 million annually in southern regional grants. Under this leadership, Southern Region SARE grants have grown significantly.

Jordan has received numerous honors over his career including the prestigious USDA Superior Service award for his research in postharvest handling of fruits and vegetables.

He research findings have been published in more than 30 different refereed journals. He has also published a book on the tri-state water wars.

A trail blazer, Jordan laid the foundation for water resource economics and developed an award-winning course in water resource economics. He is now exploring why children drop out of school and the effect this has on community development.

In addition to his professional accomplishments, Jordan is an active member of the Griffin-Spalding County community. He currently serves as co-director of Partners for a Prosperous Griffin-Spalding County, a 300-member community effort that strives to reduce area poverty.

Jordan and his wife Laura reside in Griffin with their two children

Griffin Campus names Employees of the Year

Griffin EOY

The UGA Griffin Campus named Chris Boyle (Physical Plant), Rodney Connell (Crop and Soil Sciences) and Monica Townsend (Entomology) as this year's Employees of the Year during a ceremony held March 13. Also nominated for the honor were Sharon Dowdy (Office of Communications), Todd Norwood (Center for Food Safety), Bob Perry (Field Research Services), Inna Potrebko (Food Science and Technology), Jeremy Smith (Plant Genetic Resources Conservation Unit), Sam Stephens (Plant Pathology) and Sandra Young (Assistant Dean's Office Group). Pictured left to right are (front row) Potrebko, Dowdy, Townsend, Boyle, Young, (back row) Perry, Norwood, Smith, Stephens and (not pictured) Connell.

Martinez recognized by Spanish national association

MartinezAlfredo Martinez-Espinoza has been awarded the Spaniard National Association of Greenkeepers' Honorific Award for his continuous support and advancement of the association. A CAES associate professor of plant pathology, Martinez was the invited speaker at the association's annual congress in Bilbao, Spain. The congress was attended by more than 250 turfgrass scientists, golf course superintendents, sod producers and sports field managers from the Spanish provinces and the Canary Islands.

ACCG Fellows named

Keith Mickler and Joann Milam have been named fellows by the Association of County Commissioners of Georgia. Keith is the ANR Agent in Floyd County and Joann is the FACS Agent in Washington County. These two outstanding agents will participate in the fellowship program for the upcoming year. They will work in close coordination with ACCG Liaison Jeff Christie and ACCG policy staff to ensure that the levels of cooperation and understanding between Extension and ACCG are maximized.

Mao honored by American Water Works Association

Liang Mao won second place for his poster entitled "Lignin Peroxidase-Mediated Removal of Estradiol in the Presence of Natural Organic Matter" at the American Water Works Association Annual Conference. Liang is a visiting Ph.D. student, and the award-winning poster resulted from his research at UGA under the supervision of Dr. Qingguo "Jack" Huang, an assistant professor in the Department of Crop and Soil Sciences on the Griffin campus.

Hudson elected President of the Athens Symphony


Richard A. (Dick) Hudson (Agricultural Leadership, Education, and Communication Department) has been elected president of the Athens Symphony. The two-year term began in November. The Athens Symphony is in its 31st year, performing 6 concerts annually at the Athens Classic Center with its 90-piece orchestra and 125-voice chorus.

Hudson's presidency follows a number of community positions he has held, serving on the Oconee County Board of Education, as president of the Athens Rotary Club and coordinating the university's and community's involvement in the 1996 Olympics. At the college, Hudson coordinates the agricultural communication major, teaches a number of classes, advises students and helps facilitate the college's new directions in the area of executive programs.

Paterson, Strand named AAAS Fellows

PatersonTwo UGA CAES researchers have been named Fellows of the American Association for the Advancement of Science. Election as a fellow is an honor bestowed upon AAAS members by their peers.

The newly named fellows are Andrew H. Paterson (top), Distinguished Research Professor, crop and soil sciences, and Michael R. Strand, research professor, entomology. Paterson was recognized for distinguished contributions to the agricultural sciences, particularly for revealing the evolution and organization of plant genomes and genetic determinants of productivity and quality. Strand was honored for distinguished contributions to our understanding of insect parasite/host relationships and for elucidating the development of polyembryonic insects.

Strand“Selection as an AAAS fellow is a major milestone in the careers of our most talented scientists and important recognition of their ground-breaking contributions,” said David Lee, UGA vice president for research. “Their accomplishments bring distinction and pride to the University of Georgia.”

This year 486 AAAS members were awarded this honor as a result of scientifically distinguished efforts to advance science or its applications, according to the association. New fellows will be presented with a certificate and a gold and blue rosette pin (the colors represent science and engineering respectively) at a ceremony on Feb. 14, during the AAAS Annual Meeting in Chicago.

UGA publication on native plants wins regional award

award photo

A University of Georgia Cooperative Extension publication entitled Native Plants for Georgia: Trees, Shrubs and Woody Vines earned top honors from the American Society for Horticultural Science at its southern region meeting February 2, 2009 in Atlanta. Each year publications submitted by faculty from land grant institutions in ten southeastern states compete for the top honor, and only the best receive the society's Blue Ribbon Award. The publication was the result of a two-year collaboration between UGA faculty and members of the Georgia Native Plant Society. View the free 140-page native plants publication with over 400 color photos.

Faculty and staff members honored by the Office of the Vice President for Public Service and Outreach

The Office of the Vice President for Public Service and Outreach honored faculty and staff members at its annual meeting and awards luncheon last week. CAES and Cooperative Extension faculty and staff were recognized with several awards.

Keith DelaplaneThe Walter Barnard Hill Distinguished Public Service Fellow, UGA's highest award in public service and outreach, recognizes sustained, distinguished and superb achievement in university public service that improves the quality of life in Georgia, the nation or abroad. This year's Hill Fellow is Keith Delaplane, professor and extension entomologist who is a world-renowned expert in the beekeeping industry. Delaplane co-founded the Young Harris College Beekeeping Institute and is the creator of the award-winning, internationally-broadcast television series Honeybees and Beekeeping: A Year in the Life of an Apiary. Currently, he is working with the state of Georgia to find a solution for the decline of honeybee populations, an issue known as Honeybee Colony Collapse Disorder that will potentially impact the world's food supply.

Barentine Brewer Risse Roberts Rupured

The Walter Barnard Hill Award for Distinguished Achievement in University Public Service and Outreach is awarded to faculty for their outstanding contributions to the improvement of the quality of life in Georgia or elsewhere.

This year's Hill Award recipients are (photos from left to right) Ronnie Barentine (Pulaski County extension coordinator), Robert Brewer (Towns County extension coordinator), Mark Risse (professor and extension engineer) and Phillip Roberts (professor and extension entomologist), all of the College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences, and Michael Rupured (consumer economic specialist) of the College of Family and Consumer Sciences.

CampbellThe Public Service and Outreach Staff Award for Excellence honors outstanding effort, encourages workplace creativity and innovation, and celebrates the achievements of public service and outreach staff. The Staff Award for Excellence recipient from Cooperative Extension was Dianne Campbell (senior accountant for the Southeast District Cooperative Extension).

Congratulations to these outstanding professionals for their hard work and dedication to the service of the people of the State of Georgia.


College News

Cunningham named acting homeland security coordinator

Dan Cunningham, professor of poultry science, has been appointed the acting coordinator for CAES Homeland Security. In his role as Extension poultry specialist, Dan has worked on agro-security issues and is familiar with many of the programs and personnel involved in the homeland security grant. He will be filling in on a part-time basis for Don Hamilton, coordinator of homeland security, while Don recovers from a stroke. We are pleased and appreciative that Dan has agreed to fill this critical role in the college. To report issues/concerns regarding homeland security please call Tammy Cotton at 706-583-0505 or email her at

Sorority makes donation to UGA Griffin Campus

AKA DonationThe Xi Beta Omega chapter of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Inc. recently donated $150 to the Young Scholar summer internship program at the University of Georgia Griffin Campus. Open to gifted high school students in the area, the Young Scholar Program can be presented each year thanks to donations like the one from AKA. Pictured left to right during the check presentation are UGA Griffin Campus Assistant Dean Jerry Arkin, AKA member Jewel Walker-Harps, GC development officer Montrese Adger- Fuller, GC program coordinator Be-Atrice Cunningham and GC graphic artist and AKA member Dana Mays.

Professor Gil Landry meets with Governor

This fall, UGA CAES Professor and Georgia Center for Urban Agriculture Director Gil Landry helped Governor Sonny Perdue and First Lady Mary Perdue plant an Athena Elm on the grounds of the Governor’s Mansion. The new tree replaces a tree previously destroyed by storms. Mary Kay Woodworth, president of the Georgia Urban Agriculture Council, also helped with the planting. The Athena Elm was donated by Select Sustainable Tree Trust (SSTT).


Happenings and Events

Griffin campus employees ride float in Christmas parade


Griffin campus employees donned their red and black to support the university in the annual City of Griffin Christmas parade held Dec. 7.

Griffin campus holds annual Christmas breakfast

Griffin breakfastThe Griffin campus celebrated its annual Christmas Breakfast on Dec. 12. Griffin faculty, staff and retirees enjoyed a morning filled with fun, fellowship and homemade biscuits. Kimberly Hayes (left) and Mary Flynn were two of the many employees who made the event possible. A photo collection from the event can be viewed here.

CAES celebrates with Griffin campus graduates

CAES 08 GradsSix CAES students participated in the Griffin Campus Graduation Reception Dec. 18 marking their transition into UGA alumni.  The graduates are shown being congratulated by CAES Dean and Director Scott Angle (far left) and CAES Associate Dean for Academic Affairs Joe Broder (far right).  Pictured left to right are Angle, Patrick Standley, Lorna Nissen, Jennifer Selman, Michelle Gerlosky, Dow Redding and Broder.  Not pictured but also a CAES winter 2008 graduate is Ashley Christopherson.


Family News


Jennifer Abke (Coweta County Extension agent) is proud to announce the arrival of Adam Abke. Baby Adam was born August 25 and was 21 inches long and weighed 7 pounds 13 ounces.

ruth's grandkids Ruth Jarret (Office of Communications) and Bob Jarret (USDA – Griffin) welcomed their second grandchild, Alexander, on Sept. 11.  Little Alexander was 8 pounds 12 ounces and 20.5 inches long. Proud parents Catherine and Scott Lazzari reside in New England. Alexander is shown being welcomed into the family by big sister Madeleine.

The ParsonsCongratulations to Mary Ann Parsons and her husband Mike on the birth of their daughter, Haley Grace Parsons. Haley was born on Nov. 25 and weighed 6 lbs. 9 oz and was 19.25 inches long. Mary Ann is the Director of Development for the Georgia 4-H Foundation.

Angela Rowell (Office of Communications - Athens) and her husband Matt announce the birth of Lydia Novella Rowell. Little Lydia was born on Dec. 13. She weighed 7 lbs 4 oz. and was 20.5 inches long.


Get Well Wishes

McKissick Recovers

I want to thank my Extension Family for all the letters and notes of support and encouragement you have sent to me over the past couple ofmonths. These notes of encouragement and caring from coworkers really have helped sustain me in my recovery. I can't tell you how many times at a low point during this time, a new card, letter, flower, or call reached me with just the right message and how much this has meant to me. I have been truly blessed in many ways, not the least of which is to have such friends among those with whom I work and a family such as Extension.

John McKissick

Thank you from Evelyn Baughman

I would like to thank my “Extension Family” for their prayers, food, visits and cards during my extended recovery after my auto accident.  There was a continuous stream of get well cards and wishes each day.  You will never know how much these were appreciated and needed.  I am reminded often of how lucky I was and I can only say God was my co-pilot in my car that day. At times like these we are reminded of how fragile life can be and how thankful we should be for each day we are allowed here.

Evelyn Baughman



Sympathy is extended to the family of Robert E. Burns who passed away March 25 following a long illness. Dr. Burns worked as a plant physiologist with the USDA on the Griffin Campus before transferring to the Agronomy Department.  He retired in 1984. Those who wish to may make memorial donations to the charity of their choice or to the University of Georgia Griffin Campus  Research and Education Garden with checks made payable to ARCH Foundation, c/o Wayne Gardner, 1109 Experiment Street, Griffin, GA 30223.

Sympathy is extended to the family of former CAES Dean Bill Flatt on the death of his wife June Nesbitt Flatt. Mrs. Flatt passed away on March 27. Visitation with the family will be held on Tuesday, March 31, from 5:30 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. at Lord & Stephens Funeral Home, East (next to Walmart). A memorial service will be on Wednesday, April 1, at 2 p.m. at the First Presbyterian Church in Athens.

Sympathy is extended to the family of Alford McKenzie, retired Emanuel County Extension Agent. In lieu of flowers the family requests donations to the Alford and Clemmie McKenzie 4-H Scholarship Fund, Emanuel County 4-H Foundation, P. O. Box 1791, Swainsboro, GA  30401 or the charity of one's choice. Condolences may be mailed to the family addressed to Ms. Rhunette Brinson, P. O. Box 1013, Swainsboro, GA  30401.

Sympathy is extended to John Parks (District Extension Director, Northeast District) on the death of his father, John David Parks, Sr. who passed away on March 28. The funeral will be held on March 30 at 2pm at the Bernstein Funeral Home Chapel. Visitation will be prior to the service at 1pm.

Sympathy is extended to the family of Bulloch County Extension Agent Diane T. Miller. Dr. Miller, 60, passed away on March 23. In lieu of flowers, the family requests donations be made to the Nursing Ministry of First Baptist Church in Statesboro.

Sympathy is extended to the family of retired County Extension Agent Anita Reed, who passed away recently. Condolences can be sent to Carolyn Lipcomb at 3454 Spring Circle, Decatur, GA. 30032.

Sympathy is extended to Jule-Lynne Macie (Rockdale County Extension coordinator) on the death of her father, Edward L. Leithauser who passed away on March 18. Cards may be mailed to Jule-Lynne at 2636 Paces Landing Drive, Conyers, GA 30012.

Sympathy is extended to retired Pierce County Extension secretary Verdia White on the death of her husband John Daniel White. Mr. White passed away on March 9. Sympathy may be expressed by signing an online registery at Cards of sympathy can be sent to Verdia and her family at 5266 Highway 203, Blackshear, GA 31516.

Sympathy is extended to the family of retired 4-H agent Betty Lowe Jackson.  Ms. Jackson, 73, passed away Feb. 28.  She served UGA Cooperative Extension for 30 years in Meriwether County.

Sympathy is extended to the family of Johnny Harrell (CAES radio producer).  John passed away unexpectedly on Oct. 15.  Sympathy cards can be mailed to John’s mother, Mrs. Hazel Harrell, at 646 Highway 41 South, Tifton, Ga., 31794. 

Sympathy is extended to Greg Price (Northwest District Extension director) on the death of his father Raymond Price on Oct. 26. Address condolence notes to Greg and Becky Price, 1020 Hickory Lane, Watkinsville, Ga., 30677.

Sympathy is extended to Tim Williams (director of the Peanut CRSP) on the death of his wife Sheila Anne Williams.  Dr. Williams passed way Sept. 3.  In lieu of flowers, the family requests donations to the ALS Association.  Donations can be mailed to 27001 Agoura Road, Suite 250, Calabasas Hills, CA 91301 called in to 888-949-2577 or made online at

Sympathy is extended to Sandra Stringer (Expanded Food and Nutrition program assistant in Hall County) on the death of her mother Emma Jean Stephens.  Ms. Stephens passed away on Sept. 3, 2008. Cards of sympathy can be sent to Sandra and her family at 4331 Martin Road, Flowery Branch, GA  30542.

Sympathy is extended to Mary Glenn (retired EFNEP Agent in DeKalb County) on the death of her husband Jim Glenn, Sr.  Mr. Glenn passed away on August 26. In lieu of flowers, contributions can be made to the Vera Hollis Blackshear Educational Fund Inc. in memory of Mary’s late sister.  Please direct contributions and cards to Mary at 964 Allgood Rd., Stone Mountain, GA 30083.

Sympathy is extended to the family of Josephine Miller who passed away Dec. 15. Ms. Miller was initially employed in 1946 in the Home Economics Department which later became the Food Science Department. Based on the Griffin campus, she retired in 1987 as an associate professor in that department.

Sympathy is extended to Stan Thain (Bio. & Ag. Engineering - Griffin) on the death of his father, L. Mendes Thain.  Mr. Thain passed away Dec. 22 at the age of 92.

Sympathy is extended to Caroline Richardson (CEA McDuffie County) on the death of her mother, Eloise Todd Richardson.  Ms. Richardson passed away Dec. 19 following an extended illness.

Sympathy is extended to George Granade (Field Research Services - Griffin) on the death of his father James Raymond Granade Sr.  Mr. Granade, 90, passed away Dec. 24.  Notes of condolence may be sent to George at 213 Watering Hole Pass, Williamson, Ga., 30292.

Sympathy is extended to the family of Robert Church, 99, former Peach County Extension agent.  He retired in 1969 after a very impressive Extension career.  Mr. Church was instrumental in the development and success of the ham and egg shows held throughout Georgia in the early Extension years.

Sympathy is extended to Robin Smith (Secretary - Haralson County) on the death of her father Charles Heath.  Mr. Heath passed away Jan. 1. (Robin's husband Tommy is also recovering from open heart surgery.) Cards may be sent to Robin at 1030 Coppermine Rd., Buchanan, Ga., 30113.

Sympathy is extended to Gina Gailey (Banks County - CEA) on the death of her husband Michael.  Mr. Gailey passed away on Dec. 26, 2008. Cards may be sent to Gina at P.O. Box 962, Homer, Ga., 30547.

Sympathy is extended to Joey Bristol, Oconee County 4-H program assistant, on the death of her father. Funeral services were held in Clearfield, Pennsylvania on Jan 28. If you would like to send your condolences, Joey´s home address is 1070 Twelve Oaks Circle, Watkinsville, Ga., 30677.

Sympathy is extended to the family of Bruce Beck, former DeKalb County Extension agent and Cobb County Extension director. Condolences may be sent to Ann Beck, Bruce's wife, at 1499 Wheeler Drive, Lawrenceville, Ga., 30045. In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to the Trinity Lutheran Church.

Sympathy is expressed to Evelyn Baughman, Northwest District Extension administrative specialist I, on the death of her  brother-in-law, Ray Mercer Anderson, Jr. Please keep Evelyn and her family in your thoughts and prayers.  Cards can be sent to Evelyn & Harry Baughman, 349 Kelley Road, Brooks, Ga., 30205.

Sympathy is extended to the family of Mrs. Burma Corley who passed away on Jan. 17. Berma retired from the UGA Griffin Campus in 1990 after 27 years of service, many of which were in the Assistant Dean´s Office. In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to the First Baptist Church, Benevolence Fund, P.O. Box 908, Griffin, Ga., 30224, or to a charity of your choice in memory of Mrs. Burma Corley.

We are saddened to announce the passing of Mrs. Ellen H. Tankersley on Feb 17, 2009. Mrs. Tankersley is the Mother of Brian Tankersley, Tift CEC and Wayne Tankersley, retired DED. Arrangements for Ellen H. Tankersley will be at Begg´s Funeral Home, 200 May Ave., Lincolnton, Georgia (706-359-4117). Visitation will be held on Thursday, Feb 19 from 6:00- 8:00PM. The funeral will be held on Friday, Feb 20 at 11:00AM at Double Branches Baptist Church, 1011 Camp Daniel Marshall Rd., Lincolnton, Georgia.

Cards can be sent to Brian Tankersley, 453 Rigdon Aultman Road, Tifton, Ga. 31793 or Wayne Tankersley, 2840 Monticello Rd., Madison, GA 30650. In lieu of flowers, donations can be made to Double Branches Baptist Church Cemetery Fund or Building Fund. Memorials can be sent to Double Branches Baptist Church, P. O. Box 602, Lincolnton, GA 30817. Please keep the Tankersley Family in your thoughts and prayers.



Goodbye greetings from Steve Moraitakis

It is very difficult for me to leave without wishing everyone the very best holidays, the very best for the future and a most prosperous 2009.  I have enjoyed my career with the UGA Cooperative Extension Service immensely and feel it is a wonderful organization.  There is so much good that all of you are doing out there, keep up the great work.

I have treasured every moment and know each of you will as well.  This economic time we are experiencing is just temporary.  Believe me; I have experienced them during my career as well as previous employees before I started in 1979.  This is really nothing new but to those who have not experienced it before it may be troublesome.

Every time I have experienced such I just remind myself that "this too shall pass" and it will.  I will be retiring effective Jan. 1, 2009, but will be working part-time, 10 hours per week, on county dollars until further notice.  Please feel free to contact me anytime I may be of help.  I want to say thank you and to wish everyone the very best.

Your friend always in Gordon County,