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Intranet: College Newsletter

Spring/Summer 2008


C. Michael French Inducted into the Arkansas Agriculture Hall of Fame

Dr. C. Michael French

C. Michael French, former head of UGA Cooperative Crop and Soil Sciences Extension, has been honored for his educational achievements with induction into the Arkansas Agriculture Hall of Fame. French is associate director of programs for the University of Arkansas Division of Agriculture’s Cooperative Extension Service.

Mao recognized by American Water Works Association

Visiting Ph.D. student Liang Mao won the second place award at the American Water Works Association annual conference held June 8 through 12 in Atlanta.  The award was for his poster entitled Lignin Peroxidase-Mediated Removal of Estradiol in the Presence of Natural Organic Matter.  Mao is working on the CAES campus in Griffin with Assistant Professor of environmental water chemistry Qingguo "Jack" Huang.

UGA Griffin Campus leader wins national award 

Photo: Dean Gerald ArkinUniversity of Georgia Griffin Campus Assistant Dean Gerald Arkin has been awarded the Excellence in Leadership Award by the Southern Association of Agricultural Experiment Station Directors.  The Agricultural Experiment Stations are a network of agricultural research programs working in every state and U.S. territory.

The award recognizes individuals who have served the SAAES and the national Land-Grant University System with exemplary distinction.  Arkin has served SAAESD in a multitude of roles for more than two decades including being vice chair of the association in 1994 and chair in 1995.

In addition to his service to SAAES, Arkin was nominated for the leadership award based on his role in the joint USDA-Agriculture Research Service/SAAESD Plant Genetic Resource Conservation Unit program on the campus in Griffin and the groundwork he laid for enhancing cultural diversity in the UGA College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences. He was also nominated due to his leadership of the advocacy and marketing committee of the Experiment Station Committee on Organization and Policy.

A respected scientist in the fields of agroecosystems modeling and agricultural meterology, Arkin first came to Griffin in June of 1987 when he accepted the position of assistant dean of campus which was then known as the Georgia Experiment Station.

He came to Georgia from the Blackland Research Center in Temple, Texas where he had served as resident director for the Texas Agricultural Experiment Station since December of 1983. Prior to this, Arkin served as a research agricultural engineer at the Blackland Center.

He earned his B.S. in Agricultural Engineering from Cornell University, his M.S. in Agricultural Engineering from The University of Georgia and his Ph.D. in Agricultural Engineering from the University of Illinois.

Throughout his career as a research scientist, Arkin has authored or co-authored numerous scientific publications and worked on the creation of many management-oriented crop simulation models that are used worldwide.

He is a member of several scientific and professional organizations including the American Society of Agricultural Engineering of which he is a Fellow. ASAE Fellows are chosen for their unusual professional distinction and must have a minimum of 20 years of experience. He is also a fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS).

Arkin’s leadership on the Griffin Campus led to the creation of the undergraduate and graduate education program which now awards UGA degrees from the College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences, the College of Family and Consumer Sciences, the Terry College of Business and the Franklin College of Arts and Sciences.  In 2006, Arkin was named assistant provost for the UGA Griffin Campus.

IAFP honors Frank with educator award

Photo: Dr. Joseph FrankJoseph Frank, professor of Food Science and Technology, has been named the 2008 Elmer Marth Educator Award recipient by the International Association for Food Protection. The award is presented to an individual for outstanding service to the public, the IAFP and the arena of education in food safety and food protection.  IAFP is a non-profit association of food safety professionals comprised of a diverse membership of over 3,000 members from 50 nations.  Frank will formally receive the award at the association's annual meeting set for Aug. 3-6 in Columbus, Ohio.

Compton named Outstanding Advisor/Mentor

CAES poultry scientist Mark Compton has been presented the UGA Outstanding Advisor/Mentor Award. The award is presented each spring to faculty and staff members for excellence in advising undergraduate students on class selection and course of study, assisting them with academic problems and providing guidance on related matters such as decisions about graduate school and careers.

For 20 years, Compton has advised an average of 60 students each semester. His department head, in a nominating letter, said Compton provides students with “a plethora of options and then educates and empowers them to make sound decisions.”

Students say Compton is devoted and passionate about advising, and praise him for giving freely of his time and taking a personal interest in their academic progress.

Patricia Hoyt, a program coordinator in the Terry School of Business, also received the honor. The award is administered by the UGA Office of the Vice President for Instruction.

W. Joe Lewis is recipient of the 2008 Wolf Foundation Prize in Agriculture

Photo: Joe LewisTifton-based agricultural scientist W. Joe Lewis is a recipient of the 2008 Wolf Foundation Prize in Agriculture, one of the most prestigious agricultural awards in the world. He was honored by the Consulate General of Israel for the Southeast at a reception at the UGA Tifton Campus Conference Center March 13.



Georgia Runner Magazine spotlights 'Bo' Ryles

Photo: Roger 'Bo' Ryles

State 4-H Leader Roger 'Bo' Ryles' love for running, cars, music and 4-H is highlighted in Georgia Runner Magazine.

First Bill and June Flatt Professor in Foods and Nutrition named

Mary Ann Johnson, a University of Georgia College of Family and Consumer Sciences foods and nutrition professor, has been named the first Bill and June Flatt Professor in Foods and Nutrition (FDN). "I'm just as proud as I can be," said Bill Flatt, who endowed the professorship along with his wife, June. "She's a great teacher, researcher and mentor leader of the graduate program. She's nationally and internationally recognized for her outstanding abilities. She's a great choice."

Flatt is professor emeritus of foods and nutrition. He has been a part of the UGA faculty since 1969 and served as dean of the UGA College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences for 13 years. In addition to the professorship, the Flatts have established a number of scholarship endowments for undergraduate and graduate students.

Stewart joins ADS faculty

Dr. Lawton Stewart has joined the college's department of animal and dairy sciences.  He holds a joint extension (75%) and research (25%) appointment.  Stewart’s job responsibilities include development of an innovative and nationally recognized beef cattle extension and research program.  He is housed on the Athens campus.

Webb is new Archway professional

Gail Webb has joined the CAES as the newest Archway Professional. She will be housed in the Clayton County Extension office and will work closely with Extension faculty there.  She begins her position on June 23.

Henning appointed to new position

Frank Henning is taking on a new role for CAES. On July 1 Henning, former Athens-Clarke County ANR agent, will move into the position of EPA Region IV EPA/CSREES Liaison. In his new role, he will coordinate programs/activities between EPA and participating land grant institutions from eight states. Henning will have offices on the UGA campus (Hoke Smith building) as well as in EPA headquarters in Atlanta.

Morgan County agent connects U.S./Soviet Republic dairymen

Photo: Everett Williams (far right) explains his dairy waste management system to (left to right) Kimbrough, interpreter Lara Reshatava and Rusak.Williams Dairy in Morgan County was the site of a recent visit by a dairy farmer from the Soviet Republic of Belarus. Serghey Rusak visited Georgia on a fact-finding mission for current waste management regulations and systems that work well. William Kimbrough, president of K and K Engineering, Inc. in Tybee Island, Ga., arranged for the tour through Morgan County UGA Cooperative Extension Agent Bobby Smith. The visitors toured Williams Dairy in Morgan County and Eatonton Dairy in Putnam County to see the dairy waste management facilities. Rusak was gathering information to assist him in building an up-to- date dairy waste management system back in Belarus.  Everett Williams (far right) explains his dairy waste management system to (left to right) Kimbrough, interpreter Lara Reshatava and Rusak.

Adolphson named director of UGA Engineering Outreach Service

Photo: Dr. Ryan Adolphson Ryan Adolphson, who has served as the director of the Georgia Industrial Technology Partnership as an international spokesman and adviser on biomass energy and fuel technologies, has been named director of the University of Georgia Engineering Outreach Service. Adolphson succeeds Thomas Adams, who retired from the university in January.

Adolphson has been involved in several technology and technology-transfer policy areas at UGA since 1995, serving as director of the university’s Fiber Processing Pilot Plant Facilities and coordinator of the UGA biomass processing facilities for bio-energy and fuels research and development. As a program coordinator in the Engineering Outreach Service, he has traveled and consulted widely on the development of renewable energy and fuels, including roundtable discussions with President George W. Bush in 2007.

For the full story on Adolphson’s appointment, go to:

New Department Head for Agricultural and Applied Economics

The college welcomes Dr. Octavio A. Ramirez to his new position as head of the agricultural and applied economics department. Ramirez’s appointment is effective June 1. 

See Full story...



CAES teaches Barrow students about agriculture

Members of Sigma Alpha, along with several CAES faculty members, participated in the first Ag Awareness and Safety Day at Barrow Elementary.  The teachers reported that the presentations were both educational and meaningful for their students, and the day really did flow smoothly with all the extra hands.  To see photos of the event, go to

UGA Tifton Agricultural and Environmental Awareness Day

Photo: Children at UGA  dairyMore than 900 third-graders from Tifton, Berrien, Cook, Lowndes and Ben Hill counties toured 38 learning stations at the UGA Tifton Agricultural and Environmental Awareness Day May 1. They dug in the dirt and looked to the sky and pretty much learned about everything in between.

Griffin Campus names employees of the year, recognizes years of service

Photo: Dr. Arkin, Dr. Shulstad, Dan Bland, Tony Johnson and David Spradlin

The Griffin Campus held its annual Employee Recognition Ceremony on March 19. Dan Bland, Tony Johnson and David Spradlin were named Employees of the Year.  A research professional in the wheat breeding program, Bland has worked for the UGA College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences for 29 years.  Johnson, the horticulturist for the Research and Education Garden, joined the campus staff 7 years ago.  Spradlin, also a research professional, has worked for the UGA CAES plant pathology department in Griffin for the past 27 years.  Shown left to right during the recognition ceremony are UGA Griffin Campus Assistant Dean Gerald Arkin, Bland, Spradlin, Johnson and UGA CAES Associate Dean for Research Bob Shulstad.

Photo: Griffin Group Awards

Nominees for this year’s award also included Joy Adams (Food Science & Technology), Bonnie Dials (Northwest District Extension), Ken Manley (Plant Genetic Resources Conservation Unit), Marie Miller (Business Office), Glenda Mote (Physical Plant), Jim Quick (Entomology), Jerri Snodgrass (Library) and Sue Thomas (Center for Food Safety).

Years of Service

Photo: Jerry Johnson and Wayne CrawfordJerry Johnson (left) and Wayne Crawford were honored for 30 years of service during the University of Georgia Griffin Campus’ Employee Recognition Ceremony on March 19.  Johnson is a professor of crop and soil sciences and a wheat breeder with the UGA College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences.  He also serves a faculty advisor for the UGA Griffin Campus undergraduate students.  Crawford is the campus’ senior agricultural specialist.  In this capacity, he oversees the maintenance of the campus grounds, Research and Education Garden and more than 60 acres of field plots.

David Cooley (Physical Plant), Jeff Jordan (Ag. & Applied Economics) and Joe Hortz (Physical Plant) were recognized for 25 years of service.  Ruth Donaldson (Plant Pathology), Marilyn Erickson (Center for Food Safety), Gail Patton (SARE) and Lamont Sudduth (Horticulture) were recognized for 20 years of service. 

Fifteen years of service certificates went to Jean Liao (Center for Food Safety), Sue Ellen McCullough (Food Science & Technology), Bill Sandefur (Physical Plant) and Monica Townsend (Entomology).  Ten years of service certificates were awarded to Malgorzata Florkowska (Horticulture), Carole Layton (Center for Food Safety), Glenda Mote (Physical Plant) and Jeri Snodgrass (Library).


Second quarterly art exhibition by UGA employees and family on the Tifton Campus

Photo: Caladium The University of Georgia College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences faculty, staff and family who work on the college's Tifton campus have selected art pieces for inclusion in their second quarterly art exhibition. The artwork is currently on display in the Board Room of the Tifton Campus Conference Center.




Zoie Taylor made her debut into the world on July 22 at 9:15 pm. She weighed 9lbs. and 2 ozs. and is 21 inches. Zoie’s mother, Kim Taylor, Cobb 4-H Agent is doing well and so is Dad, Edrick Taylor. 




Get Well Wishes

Dr. Phatak had by- pass surgery on April 15. This morning they found out that he is bleeding so he is going back to surgery as soon as possible. Also, Mrs. Phatak had a stroke on April 15, and is in the hospital in Atlanta. Both are at Crawford Long Hospital. Please keep the family in your thoughts and prayers. Dr. Phatak is a retired research scientist on the Tifton Campus.



We are saddened to report that Mrs. Virginia "Ginger" Deal, wife of Mr. Bobby Deal, was killed in an auto accident Sunday afternoon near Statesboro.  Mr. Bobby Deal retired from Extension as the SE District 4-H PDC, and prior to that served as CEC in Wayne County.  Many of you know the Deals.

Mrs. Gladys Tingle Williams passed away July 26, 2008 at Monroe County Hospital following a lengthy illness. She retired from work with the Monroe County Extension as 4-H Program Assistant after 23 years of service. After her retirement she continued to serve the youth of Monroe County through volunteering with the 4-H Club where she was affectionately known as the 4-H Lady. She loved every one of the 4-H'er who participated in the 4-H program as if they were her own children.

Sympathy is extended to the family of Mrs. Gladys Spight, retired Extension agent who passed away on Saturday, July 12. Gladys was an agent in Greene County for several years.

Sympathy is extended to the family of Ruthann Cruce Benyshek, wife of Larry Benyshek (former head of the CAES Animal and Dairy Science Dept.).  Ruthann died Sunday July 6 after battling cancer. She worked for the University of Georgia at the Institute of Government, COSMIC and University Computing and Networking Services until her retirement in 2003. In lieu of flowers, the family requests that donations be made to the Athens Regional Medical Center's Palliative Care Services, 1199 Prince Ave., Athens, GA 30606.

Sympathy is extended to Sandra Harwood on the death of her father Fred Vickers.  Sandra is the administrative associate for the Peanut CRSP housed on the Griffin Campus. In lieu of flowers, the family has requested donations be made to the Diabetes Foundation.

Sympathy is extended to Cherry Hovatter on the death of her mother, Mrs. Mae Carter who passed away on June 13. Cherry is the Spalding County, Extension Agent for 4-H Youth Development.

Sympathy is extended to Dr. Gary Burtle on the death of his mother-in-law, Thera Brogden, who passed away on Wednesday, June 11th.

Sympathy is extended to April Sorrow on the death of her mother-in-law, who passed away on May 24. April is an news editor with the Office of Communications in Athens.

Sympathy is extended to Joi West, on the death of her mother who passed away on May 27. Joi is Catoosa County's 4-H Program Assistant.

Sympathy is extended to Laurie Cantrell on the death of her father, Dale Austin Bittinger, who passed away on May 26. Laurie is the Program Development Specialist for FACS in Statesboro.

Sympathy is extended to Billy Skaggs, Hall County CEC, on the death of his mother-in-law Celeste Forrester, who passed away Sunday, May 18.

Sympathy is extended to Bill Starr, Schley County Extension Coordinator, on the death of his father, William E Starr who passed away on May 11.

Dr. Dale Carley, Sr.Sympathy is extended to the family of Dale Carley, Sr., who died May 4.  Carley was a professor in the department of agricultural and applied economics on the Griffin Campus until his retirement in 1995.  He began work here on April 1, 1965.  In the lieu of flowers the family has requested contributions be made in memory of Carley to the Pine Valley Girl Scout Camp for the Ropes Course or to the First United Methodist Church, Griffin, Ga., for the Amick fund, the memorial garden fund or the music fund.

Sympathy is extended to Mike and Robert Pippin on the death of their mother, Sara Pippin who passed away on April 27th. Mike and Robert both work on the Tifton Campus.

It is with great sorrow that we inform you of the passing of William Zachary "Zach" Kirk, infant son of Kyle and Jessica Brim Kirk.

The family asks in lieu of flowers that donations be made to the March of Dimes, Northeast Georgia Division, 2955 Horizon Park Dr. Suite B, Suwanee, GA 30024. Online tributes may be made at

Please keep this family in your thoughts and prayers.

Sympathy is extended to Judy Haygood, Secretary in Cherokee County, NW District, on the death of her father who passed away on March 22. Please remember Judy and her family at this time.

We are deeply saddened to report the death of Dr. Paul Vendrell.  Dr. Vendrell suffered a fatal heart attack at his home on Saturday, March 22.  Please keep Dr. Vendrell’s family in your prayers.

We are saddened to share the following information about Cereta Hamilton, 4-H Secretary in the Clayton County office, who passed away this morning, March 7. She had become ill suddenly Wednesday evening at home. Please remember Cereta's family in your thoughts and prayers.

Sympathy is extended to the family of Mel Tanner, retired Jasper County CEC. Mel passed away on March 5th. Please keep his family in your prayers.



Photo: Dan Dennison, Larry Beuchat and Don Conner

Distinguished Research Professor Larry Beuchat retires

The Center for Food Safety held a retirement reception for Larry Beuchat on April 10.  Shown congratulating Beuchat (center) on his retirement are Dan Dennison (left) and Don Conner (right). Dan is a part-time program coordinator for the UGA Center for Food Safety and is retired from The Coca-Cola Company.  Don, a former graduate student of Beuchat's, is the head of the poultry science department at Auburn University.

Food microbiologist Larry Beuchat has retired after 36 years of service to the CAES Department of Food Science and Technology.

Throughout his career at UGA has won many honors: the D.W. Brooks Faculty Award, Distinguished Faculty Research Award, Gamma Sigma Delta Senior Faculty Award, Outstanding Graduate Professor, Distinguished Research Professor and Research Professor.

His industry honors include the Indo-American Fellowship, Fulbright Senior Lecturer Award, Sir Frederick McMaster Fellowship, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's Donald C. Mackel Award (co- recipient) and "Food Safety" Magazine's Distinguished Service Award. He also received the Outstanding Alumnus Award from both Penn State University and Michigan State University.

In 2005, Beuchat was recognized as the third most cited agricultural scientist in the world over the past decade.  In 2004, he received the Nicholas Appert Award from the Institute of Food Technologists. The award, IFT's highest honor, recognizes outstanding contributions to food technology. Before joining the university faculty in 1972, he held positions with H.J. Heinz, Hanover Brands Inc. and Quaker Oats.