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Intranet: College Newsletter

Spring/Summer 2006


Plains Research and Education Center Honored

The University of Georgia Southwest Georgia Research and Education Center in Plains, Ga., received the Honored Institution Award June 29 from the National Weather Service for 50 years of consistent weather data collection.

The center currently collects daily temperature, rainfall, evaporation and soil temperature data for the NWS Weather Forecast Office in Atlanta. The center began collecting data in January 1956.

Former President Jimmy Carter presented the award to Stan Jones, the center’s superintendent.

Pictured left to right: Nate Mayes, NWS cooperative program manager; Mike Asmus, from the NWS Southern Regional Headquarters; Former President Jimmy Carter; Stan Jones, UGA SWGREC superintendent; Steve Brown, interim assistant dean, UGA Tifton Campus; and Gary Beeley, NWS science operation office.

Georgia 4-H's military kids programs commended

Georgia 4-H's Operation Military Kids program was among the national 4-H Youth Development Programs recently recognized for exceptional service to children, youth and families of military personnel around the world. The 4-H programs were recognized with a Department of Defense Certificate of Commendation personally signed by Secretary of Defense Donald H. Rumsfeld.

Dr. Cathann A. Kress, director of youth development, National 4-H Headquarters, Cooperative State Research, Education and Extension Service, United States Department of Agriculture, accepted the certificate of commendation during the State 4-H Military Liaison meeting held in March. State 4-H military liaisons guide establishment of 4-H clubs on military bases by bringing together and providing assistance to officials of local Army and Air Force installations, counties and the local 4-H program. Each state 4-H military liaison was presented with a framed copy of the certificate of commendation with a personalized message on the back.

County Agents Complete Training

Wade Parker, Marcie Simpson, Kris Peavy, Cheryl Poppell and Laura Griffeth received their certificates for completing the county extension coordinator orientation program at the end of March. Pictured in the back is Tony Tyson, associate dean for Cooperative Extension.

Joy English and Mitch Gilmer were named Employees of the Year for the Griffin Campus on March 24 during the campus' 17 th annual Recognition Conference. Joy is an administrative associate in the Food Science and Technology Department and Mitch is an information analyst in the Crop and Soil Science Department. Also nominated for the award were Evelyn Baughman (Northwest District Extension), Matthew Evans (Biological and Agricultural Engineering), Donnie Hice (USDA Plant Genetic Resources Conservation Unit), Bob Perry (Field Research Services), Henry Powers (Physical Plant) and Hannah Smith (Food Science and Technology).

The following Griffin Campus employees were presented meritorious service awards.

Donnie Hice & Marie Miller

10 years

Donnie Hice, Marie Miller and (not pictured) Monique Leclerc

15 years

Mike Doyle, Scott NeSmith and (not pictured) Dee Dee Coker and
James Worley.

Yen-Con Hung, Mitch Gilmer, Chaarles Gunter, Carol Robacker and Jerry Davis

20 years

Yen-Con Hung, Mitch Gilmer, Charles Gunter, Martha Coffey, Jerry
Davis and (not pictured) Carol Robacker.

Bill Blum

25 years

Sherrod Baden, Keven Calhoun, Stan Prussia, Bill Blum and (not
pictured) C.J. Chang and David Spradlin.

Joy English & Joy Adams

30 years

Joy Adams, Joy English and (not pictured) Rodney Connell.


GLYNN CO. SEA MONKEYS WIN ENVIRONMENTAL EXCELLENCE AWARD Congratulations to Robi Gray, Glynn County 4-H Program Assistant, and her Senior 4-H Sea Monkeys Club. The group was awarded won one of eight $10,000 prizes in the Seaworld/Busch Gardens/ Fujifilm Environmental Excellence Awards. The award was in recognition of their Orange Tide Project.

The Georgia Cotton Commission recently honored Grady County Extension Coordinator Tim Flanders and Dooly County Extension agent Steve M. Brown. Tim received the Georgia King Cotton Senior Award. This award is presented to county agents with 10 or more years of experience. Steve was presented the King Cotton Junior Award. This awarded is presented to county agents with less than ten years of experience. The junior award is also the Allen B. Fulford Award and honors the accomplishments and memory of Allen B. Fulford who was a county agent and state cotton agronomist.

Monique Leclerc
(Professor, Crop and Soil Sciences, Griffin Campus) has been named Associate Editor of the Elsevier Journal 'Agricultural and Forest Meteorology'. An international publication, this journal has the headquarters in Amsterdam and has a high impact factor (around 3.4). Monique has served as guest editor for many special issues for the journal, served as book review editor since 2000, and has been a member of the journal's Editorial Board since 1990. In addition to her journal appointment, LeClerc has been named to the American Meteorological Society Steering and Activity Committee for Agricultural and Forest Meteorology. 

Karl Espelie
(professor, Entomology, Athens ) and Rob Shewfelt (professor, Food Science and Technology, Athens ) are among five of UGA's outstanding teachers to be named Josiah Meigs Teaching Professors. The professorship recognizes excellence in instruction at the undergraduate and graduate levels. Meigs Professors receive a permanent salary increase of $6,000 and a fund of $1,000 for departmental use. The professorship is named in honor of Josiah Meigs, former president of UGA. For more information on Espelie and Shewfelt, see the UGA Columns features at

Michael Adang
(Professor, Entomology, Athens Campus) was presented the Inventor's Award March 29 during UGA's 27 th annual Research Awards Banquet. The award is sponsored by the nonprofit UGA Research Foundation. The Inventor's Award is presented to an inventor for a creative and innovative discovery that has made an impact on the community. Adang studies insects that have natural tolerance for or an acquired resistance to toxins that are typically used to protect crops. Technologies he created have resulted in 12 patents. He discovered a new protein that increases the effectiveness of the bioinsecticide Bacillus Thuringiensis (Bt). He calls his discovery, "Bt Booster" as it expands the range of insects that Bt works against and reduces the amount required to be effective. InsectiGen, a new biotech company based at UGA's Georgia BioBusiness Center , has been formed to commercialize Bt-Booster as a biological control agent. - Courtesy Columns -


Steve Brown (Entomology, Athens) and Brian Tankersley (Cooperative Extension - Tift County) were among this year's recipients of the Walter Barnard Hill Awards for Distinguished Achievement in University Public Service and Outreach. The award recognizes distinguished achievement in public service and outreach by UGA faculty members and service professionals. Each Hill Award winner receives a permanent salary increase, a medallion and a framed certificate. The award is named in honor of Chancellor Walter Barnard Hill, who led the University of Georgia from 1899 until his death in 1905 and first articulated the university's modern public service and outreach mission.

Brown is an expert on integrated pest management programs and their impact on peanut production and pests of stored products. He developed a planning tool called the Spotted Wilt Risk Index (SWRI), which helps Georgia farmers reduce the risk of the state's most devastating peanut disease. He also edited and was senior author of a comprehensive extension publication on wireworms, a harmful pest of Georgia crops.

Tankersley, Tift County Extension Coordinator, is recognized for his leadership and innovation in such areas as economic development, agricultural profitability and sustainability, and youth agricultural awareness programs. He plans and conducts agricultural and natural resources educational programs that present farmers and agribusiness people with up-to-date research-based information in critical areas identified by needs assessments and evaluations.

Joy Adams is one of a select few who've lost 12 gallons of blood and lived to tell the tale. Adams wasn't in a horrific accident, but she has probably helped several people who were. She donated her blood one pint at a time at blood drives held at blood drives held on the UGA Griffin Campus. A technician in the Food Science and Technology Department, Joy has been donating "the gift of life" for more than 30 years. She was recently presented a 30-gallon pin from the American Red Cross.

Tom Rodgers, a retired UGA Cooperative Extension faculty member and administrator, has been awarded the Faculty Service Award by the UGA Alumni Association. The award is given to faculty or staff members for distinguished service to the university. Rodgers worked at UGA for more than 30 years, mainly in the area of public service and outreach, and is professor emeritus of housing and consumer economics in the College of Family and Consumer Sciences. He received a bachelor's degree in animal science and a master's degree in agricultural economics from UGA and earned a doctorate in education from North Carolina State University .

He joined Cooperative Extension in 1972 and served as a district agent, extension director for the metro Atlanta district and as head of the statewide 4-H and youth program. He also was head of county operations and served as associate vice president for public service and outreach prior to joining the FCS faculty in 2000. He continues to conduct housing education and assessment programs throughout Georgia . Rodgers has served on the alumni association board of directors and the CAES alumni board. 

UGA's Radon Education Program has been recognized nationally for its commitment to protecting children from environmental health hazards. The program, which is housed in the UGA College of Family and Consumer Sciences, is one of 14 to receive the 2006 Children's Environmental Health Excellence Award. The awards program recognizes individuals, communities and organizations who are leaders in making the environment healthier for children. In the UGA program, four radon educators work in partnership with Family and Consumer Sciences Cooperative Extension agents to teach homeowners and children about the health effects of radon as well as how to test, diagnose and correct home radon problems.

For more about the program, see a recent CAES news article at



Advancement Office Welcomes Hughes, Bladon

The CAES Office of College Advancement is pleased to welcome its two newest team members. They will both join the college on August 1, 2006 and be located in Four Towers.

Kristi Hughes will assume the role of Development Coordinator and will focus on development activities related to Georgia Cooperative Extension. She will focus on efforts on major gift fundraising. Her involvement with and understanding of Georgia Cooperative Extension will be an asset to the College. Kristi received her undergraduate in Child and Family Development from the UGA College of Family and Consumer Sciences and will graduate this summer with a Masters in the same area. Most recently, she served as the volunteer coordinator for Operation 4-H: Joint Forces at the Falls camp for military- kids. She has had a background in development through her work with the Mikell Camp and Conference Center and related course work.

Patrick Bladon will be the College’s Annual Giving Coordinator. He will lead our efforts to grow our annual fund through targeted outreach, enhanced stewardship and special appeals. His sales background will help us in segmenting our donor base, targeting our appeals and increasing our contact with donors. Patrick is a UGA Terry College of Business graduate and holds a degree in Business Administration. He recently worked as an Assistant Sales Representative with Blair Television where he interfaced between advertising agencies and media outlets to place airtime advertising.

Rob Cooper will continue to spend the bulk of his time on major gifts fundraising for the College. As Director of Development, he will continue to provide leadership to the OCA.

Juli Fields, Mary Ann Parsons, Linda Lee Enos and Rob Cooper will continue in their roles.



Griffin Employees Enjoy Watermelon Social
Watermelon Social at the Griffin Campus

The Griffin Campus Classified Staff Committee treated the campus’ staff to an afternoon Watermelon Social June 28.  The social was held under the Naomi Chapman Woodroof Pavilion and included samples of several different types of Georgia-grown watermelon. (Photos by Tami Adams)


Griffin Staffers Donate ‘The Gift of Life’

The Griffin Campus collected 53 units of blood forPhoto: Blood drive the American Red Cross during the blood drive held June 29 in the Stuckey Auditorium.  Joe Hortz, the Griffin Campus Red Cross Committee chair, reports that the blood drive at the Stuckey auditorium on June 29 was extremely successful.  Fifty- three good units of blood were collected. Joe Hortz, Griffin Campus Blood Drive Committee Chairman, said a great number of non-UGA walk-in donors gave blood, too.  The following Blood driveGC staffers donated the gift of life: James Chalkley, Todd Hurt, Paul Rose, Chris Boyle, David Spradlin, William Stikes, Ben Magusiak, Dale Hess, Preston Roland, Robert Gresham, Chris Tatum, Carol Woodroof, Hal Peeler, Nancy Mobley, Joy Adams, Kristen Albritton, Ken Manley, Regina Estes, Merrelyn Photo: Blood driveSpinks, Tracie Jenkins, Wayne Harvester, Carlos Welch, Matthew Chappell, Bob Perry, Tony Johnson, Ruth Donaldson, Gwen Roland, Mary Gilbert, Melanie Harrison-Dunn, Chris Ambles, Tami Adams, Rebecca Dyes, Glenda Mote, John Allison, Zhenbang Chen and Elizabeth Magill.  (Photos by Tami Adams) 

Program helps agents feel the affects of poverty

University of Georgia Cooperative Extension Southwest District county agents learned about poverty and how they can help turn the tide of this devastating wave in their home counties.

More than 180 agents on May 25 attended “Building the Capacity for Prosperity,” a training designed to build basic knowledge about poverty and its many factors.

“Each area that we program in agriculture, environment, 4-H youth and family and consumer sciences have opportunities to address in some small way this issue,” said Tony Roberts, Southwest District Extension head.

Extension agents “can be on the front line of dealing with this issue,” said Fritzie Sheumaker, the keynote speaker and director of alternative education in Colquitt County.

Of the 41 counties in the UGA Extension’s Southwest District, 39 have persistent poverty. The district roughly encompasses the area from Stewart County east to Peach County south to Clinch County and west to the Alabama line.

The agents also took a poverty simulation class designed to help participants understand the experiences of low-income families trying to survive.

Horticulturists host blueberry conference
Photo: Members of 10th North American Blueberry Conference

The 10 th North American Blueberry Research & Extension Workers Conference was held June 4-8 at the UGA Tifton Campus Conference Center . Gerard Krewer and Scott NeSmith, both faculty members of UGA's Department of Horticulture, hosted the two-day event which attracted more than 65 participants from across North America and around the world. Attendees came from Georgia , Mississippi , North Carolina , Alabama , Michigan , New Jersey , Oregon , Idaho , Maine , Tennessee , and South Carolina in the U.S. International participants were from a variety of countries including Canada , Australia , Japan , Chile , Uruguay , Korea , and France .

Conference topics included genetics, plant physiology, cultural management, pest management, soil fertility, and post-harvest issues. The group also toured UGA's Blueberry Research Farm at Alapaha. A post-conference tour of Southeast Georgia and the blueberry industry was also held. Participants visited several commercial operations, including farms and packing facilities, and made their way to St. Simons Island for an evening on Georgia 's beautiful Coast. The conference was sponsored by Driscoll's, Georgia Blueberry Growers' Association, Georgia Fruit & Vegetable Growers' Association, Michigan Blueberry Growers Association, Southern Region Small Fruit Consortium, SunnyRidge Farm, Inc., U.S. Highbush Blueberry Council, and Valent Biosciences




Julian Dylan LollarNancy Mobley announces the birth of her grandson, Julian Dylan Lollar. Her daughter Jennifer and husband Dustin, along with big brother Rylan, welcomed little Julian Dylan into the world at 8:21 a.m., Tuesday, July 18. He weighed 7 lbs. 10 oz. and was 18 1/2" long. Nancy is an administrative assistant on the Griffin Campus unit. She is based in the Horticulture Department.



Madeleine Elaine LazzariRuth Jarret and her husband, Bob, announce the birth of their granddaughter, Madeleine Elaine Lazzari. Their daughter Catherine and husband Scott had little Madeleine at 1:05 a.m., Sunday, July 2. She weighs 6 lbs. 11 oz. and is 19 7/8" long. Ruth is a Web Developer with the Office of Communications.

Elinor Ruark
is proud to announce the birth of her new grandbaby, Abby Land. Elinor's daughter, Holly, gave birth to Abby at 6:07 am, Wednesday, June 28. Abby weighed in at 5 lbs. 10 oz. Elinor is a Publications Specialist with the Office of Communications.

Carol and Izzy Rodriguez (Columbia Co. Extension) are proud to announce that her family welcomes a second Grandson. Joseph Herman Rodriguez debuted on June 5, 2006 weighing in at 7 pounds 5 ounces and 20 inches long.

Greg and Kristen Albritton and their daughter, Grace, welcomed little Aidan on March 9. Aidan was 21.5 inches long and weighed 8 lbs. 1 oz. Kristen is the UGA Griffin Campus business manager.


Todd and Heather Shultz (4-H Staff) are proud parents of a new baby girl. Keely Campbell Shultz. Baby Keely was born March 15. She was 21 inches long and weighed 8 lbs. 6 oz. Heather is a member of the 4-H staff.

Ted and Samantha Graves welcomed a new addition to their family on April 10. Little Johnathan Herbert Graves was 20.5 inches long and weighed 6 lbs. 14 oz. Samantha is the 4-H program assistant in Dawson County.

Mark and Robin Czarnota are the proud parents of a baby girl, Zoe Blair Czarnota. She was born April 23rd at 8:10 pm at Southern Regional Hospital. She weighed 6 lbs. 1 oz. and is 19" long. Little Zoe was welcomed home by her big brother Zach. Mark is an Extension horticulturist on the Griffin Campus.



Get Well Wishes



Sympathy is extended to Teresa Burousas, Pike County secretary (NW District) on the death of her mother, Mrs. Marian Mangham. Mrs. Mangham passed away on August 22nd.

Sympathy is extended to Carol Cochran (retired Administrative Specialist in Dean Scott Angle's office) on the death of her husband, Johnny Cochran who died at home unexpectedly on Monday, August 14th.

Sympathy is extended to the family of Lee Clements who retired from USDA where he was a research technician in the grass breeding department in Tifton. Margaret Clements (wife) retired from the Crop and Soils Department, and David Clements (son) is presently employed in the USDA Crop Protection and Management Research Unit.

Sympathy is extended to Bobby Goodman on the death of his father, Mr. George Robert Goodman, Sr. , who passed away Monday, May 29, 2006. Bobby Goodman is employed at the Physical Plant on the Tifton Campus.

Sympathy is extended to Teresa Harvey on the death of her father, Mr Edwin Bray. Teresa is the PDC for 4-H in Southeast District.

Sympathy is extended to Pat Murray on the death of her husband, Dick, on March 15. Pat is the program assistant for Polk County.

Sympathy is extended to Angela Kinnel on the death of her grandmother. Angela is the program assistant in Fulton County.

Sympathy is extended to Lynn Thompson on the death of her step-father. Lynn is the 4-H program assistant in Jeff Davis County .

Sympathy is extended to Dianne Campbell on the death of her mother. Dianne works in the Southeast District Extension Office.

Sympathy is extended to Patricia Heggs on the death of her father, Virgil Sims. Patricia is a DeKalb County Extension Agent in the 4-H area.

Sympathy is extended to James S. and Libbie Hudson on the death of James' father, James Hudson Jr. James S. works in the Crop and Soil Science Dept. on the UGA Griffin Campus and Libbie works in the campus' USDA-Plant Genetic Resources Conservation Unit.

Sympathy is extended to Rosalind Swainson on the death of her mother, Lynda Varlack. Mrs. Varlack was 97 years old. Rosalind is the Family & Consumer Sciences Program Assistant in Cobb County .

Sympathy is extended to Don Morris on the death of his mother, Ora Morris. Don is the county extension coordinator in Coweta County and retired Northwest District A&NR PDC.

Sympathy is extended to the family of Mamie Fullilove Futral , 90. A UGA graduate, Mrs. Futral worked for many years on the UGA Griffin Campus (Georgia Experiment Station) as a statistician in the Home Economics Department. She was the widow of the late John Gordon Futral, former department head of the Biological and Agricultural Engineering Department, and the sister of Tom Fullilove, former director of the Georgia Experiment Station.

Sympathy is extended to Dwayne Dales on the death of his father, Henry Dales. Dwayne is with the Bio and Ag Engineering Department in Tifton.

Sympathy is extended to Arch Smith (Associate State 4-H leader) on the death of his father-in-law, Robert Taylor on May 8.

Sympathy is extended to Keith Hawkins (Randolph CEA - Southwest District) on the death of his mother, Hazel Hawkins. Cards can be mailed to Keith c/o PO Box 165, Shellman, GA 39886.

Sympathy is extended to Tammy Cheely (county coordinator on the death of her grandfather, Felton Ennis. Please remember to keep Cards and notes can be sent to Tammy c/o 950 Big Woods Road Mitchell, GA 30820.

Sympathy is extended to Banks County secretary Pat Jarrett on the death of her sister, Amanda Hill. Cards can be mailed to Pat c/o, 5018 Bryant Quarter Rd., Gillsville, GA 30543.



Dear Extension Family,

The time has come for me to say goodbye. I've been offered an exciting new career opportunity with Regions Bank here in Heard County .  My career with The Extension Service has been wonderful. When I walked into that tiny Heard County Office 29 years ago, I had no idea what I was getting into. But now I know I was walking into a career where people care about people, co-workers care about co-workers, and we all have the opportunity to make a difference in the communities where we work and live.

I am so grateful Heard County was willing to hire a newly wed county girl who was still wet behind the ears. My initiation was going to camp my first week on the job.  I had a camper break her ankle that week and when I arrived at the hospital I had a humbling experience when the receptionist politely told me I had come to the wrong hospital. I had taken a left onto 441 instead of a right.  I survived that ordeal and many more to follow but those memories are really quite dim when I think of the many lives that I've had the opportunity to touch. In my early career years I had the opportunity to work with adults as well as youth. May of those adults have now gone to meet their maker but they helped make me the person I am today.

I say all this to say "cherish the moment." Sure I've had tough times too but we grow from those experiences. It has been two years since my official retirement and on March 31 I will be ending two part time years and the final day in my Extension career.  I want to offer my heart felt thanks to each of you for the part you played in my career. Extension has changed tremendously since I started to work but the main focus remains to help people and to enrich lives.

May God richly bless each of you. Ellen Nowicki

Congratulations to Penny Thompson Keller, Oconee and Clarke County Extension Agent, on her retirement.



A Bon Voyage for Mandel Smith

Mandel Smith, CEC and FACS Agent for Dougherty County, is leaving. Her husband has been transferred. We are sad to see her go, but we wish her the best of everything.