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Intranet: College Newsletter

Spring/Summer 2009


Chinnan Named Winner of Food Engineering Award

Chinnan is shown (left) receiving his award from ASABE President Jim Dooley.

The American Society of Agricultural and Biological Engineers has named Manjeet S. Chinnan winner of the 2009 IAFIS-FPEI Distinguished Food Engineering Award. The award was presented June 24 in Reno, Nevada, at the 2009 ASABE Annual International Meeting.

A University of Georgia professor of food engineering in the food science and technology and the biological and agricultural engineering departments, Chinnan was selected in recognition of his outstanding accomplishments as an educator and researcher in food engineering, which have impacted the health and well being of underserved populations worldwide.

He has developed and applied techniques for optimizing food processes and food products. His research focuses on drying and postharvest operations of peanuts; modified atmosphere packaging of horticultural commodities using synthetic films; rheological properties of foods, mass diffusion rates during drying and deep-fat frying operations; development and characterization of edible films. He has also conducted research on the use of edible films for the preservation of horticultural commodities; the reduction of fat absorption during deep-fat frying; recovery/regeneration of abused drying oils/fats; and, more recently, the microencapsulation of bioactive compounds derived from plant materials.

Chinnan led a team of researchers in the implementation of a 10-year project of the U.S. Agency for International Development that resulted in the development of new products and transfer of processing technologies to private industries in Bulgaria and neighboring regions. He assisted in the commercialization of vitamin-A-fortified peanut butter to alleviate deficiency of this essential nutrient among the economically disadvantaged in the Philippines.

He has authored or coauthored more than 535 refereed journal articles, conference proceedings, technical publications, and book chapters. He is a member and fellow of the Institute of Food Technologists and a member of the American Institute of Chemical Engineers, the American Peanut Research and Education Society, the American Society of Horticultural Science and the Institute of Packaging Professionals.

Sponsored by the International Association of Food Industry Suppliers Foundation and the ASABE Food and Process Engineering Institute, the award was presented to Chinnan earlier this year, at the IAFIS Annual Conference. Representation is also given at the ASABE Annual International Meeting. The award consists of a gold medal, a bronze medal, and a $2,000 cash award, plus travel expenses to the IAFIS Annual Conference.

The American Society of Agricultural and Biological Engineers is an international educational and scientific organization dedicated to the advancement of engineering applicable to biological, agricultural, and food systems.

Dronenburg Receives Udall Scholarship

DronenburgCAES junior Ashley Dronenburg has been named one of two recipients of the 2009 Morris K. Udall Undergraduate Scholarship, a national award recognizing second- and third-year students pursuing careers related to the environment or Native American policy.

"As the quality of the students at the University of Georgia continues to increase, so do the accolades," said UGA President Michael F. Adams. "I am pleased that we have produced two Udall Scholars this year in Ashley Dronenburg and Mark Milby. Their success is further evidence that the students who are educated in this state can compete with anyone in the nation."

Dronenburg and Milby are the fourth and fifth UGA students to receive the scholarship since 2003. The Morris K. Udall Scholarship and Excellence in National Environmental Policy Foundation awards the $5,000 scholarships to honor the work and legacy of Udall's 30- year public service career in the U.S. House of Representatives.

"Ashley and Mark are exceptional scholars who have used their creative energies to improve the environment," said Ron Carroll, UGA ecology professor and faculty representative for the scholarship. "After each of my encounters with them, I find myself asking, 'How can I follow their careers?' My sense is that it won't be difficult because we will all be reading about their accomplishments in the future."

A double major in journalism and environmental economics and management from Lawrenceville, Dronenburg is a graduate of Collins Hill High School. Through reporting and campus activities, she has demonstrated her commitment to raise awareness about current environmental issues. She has published service articles on biodiesel use in Athens and ways to "be green" on a student budget in UGAzine, a student magazine published by UGA's Grady College of Journalism and Mass Communication. Another article profiling UGA's student-run Herpetological Society is slated for publication in the fall.

Dronenburg has been involved with Students for Environmental Awareness since her freshman year and has served as president for the last two years. She has been successful in increasing membership and therefore support and participation in large-scale campus events and community service projects, such as America Recycles Day and the local celebration of Earth Day. She also works with the Go Green Alliance, a coalition of UGA environmental groups. Dronenburg most recently created a student volunteer partnership with the State Botanical Garden of Georgia.

"Receiving the scholarship and becoming part of the Udall community will give me an incredible opportunity to monitor the pulse of environmental news and developments in our country and across the globe," said Dronenburg. "I hope to perpetuate Representative Udall's inspiring legacy as a communicator of environmental issues."

After earning her UGA degrees next spring, Dronenburg would like to pursue master's degrees in journalism/mass communication and environmental economics to prepare for a career in environmental journalism.



Turf Specialists Help Hondurans Manage Soccer Stadium Turfgrass

During a spring outreach trip to Central America, UGA CAES turfgrass specialist Clint Waltz (far left) and horticulture specialist Marco Fonseca (second from right) meet with Hondurans who are responsible for the care of turfgrass on soccer stadiums.

In May a group of UGA CAES faculty, staff and students traveled to Honduras as members of the educational international trip for the third and last year of the USAID- HED project funded $125,000 grant.

The group finalized training of Hondurans in the UGA DDDI system to identify agricultural diseases/pests in order to efficiently reduce crop losses. They also shared turfgrass maintenance tips with Hondurans who manage soccer stadium turfgrass.

The team visited five soccer stadiums.

1 & 2. "Tiburcio Carias Andino" soccer stadium in the capital city of Honduras, Tegucigalpa and the "Olympic" sports complex.

3. The "Municipal" soccer stadium in the Caribbean coastal city of Ceiba, location of the Honduran Agricultural University (CURLA).

4. & 5. The "Olympis" soccer stadium and the "Francisco Morazán" in San Pedro Sula, the second largest and oldest city of Honduras founded by Hernán Cortes in 1660.

At each site, the scientists shared their expertise on turfgrass management with stadium employees.

The outreach trip included Tim Murphy (turf weed specialist), Paul Raymer (turf plant breeder), Clint Waltz (Extension turf specialist), Marco Fonseca (Extension horticulturist), County Extension Agents Jake Price (Lowndes County) and R.J. Byrne (Thomas County), UGA Griffin campus students Randy Cooper and Matt Aderhold and their professor Bodie Pennisi, Sarah Moon (USDA Griffin Campus), Amy Robinson (USDA-NRCS Soil Conservation), Jean Fowler (UGA CIID), Robert Fowler (philanthropist) and Mark Jaglarz (horse trainer).

(Information provided by Marco Fonseca.)

Griffin Campus holds spring graduation reception

Griffin gradsSeven CAES students were honored Friday, May 8 for completing their degree requirements on the Griffin Campus. The new graduates are, pictured left to right, (front row) Wes Jacobs, Justin Merrick, Kristen Merrick, Jessica Norris, (back row) Kyle McGee, Justin Moss and Marcus Jones.



Art @ the Rock

Art at the Rock

Rock Eagle 4-H Center will host the first annual Art @ the Rock on Nov. 21, 2009. The juried art show will include the following art forms: clay, drawings, paintings, graphic art, fiber/leather, glass, jewelry, metal, mixed media, painting, photography and wood. In addition to the artwork, a chili and chowder lunch will be served, musicians will provide entertainment and local crafts and homegrown creations will be sold.  For more information, contact Tina Maddox at or 706-484-2873.






Susan Varlamoff (Director of the CAES Office of Environmental Sciences) and her husband Ivan welcomed their first grandchild on April 8. Sidney Varlamoff weighed 8 lbs. 6 oz and was 21 inches long when she made her debut. Her parents are Pierre and Susie Varlamoff.



Sandra Harwood (administrative assistant, Peanut CRSP, Griffin Campus) and her husband Steve welcomed their third grandson, Thaddaeus Harrison Harwood on June 22. Baby Thad weighed 5 lbs, 12 oz. His parents are Brian and Candace Harwood.



Photo: Tucker wedding
Mr. and Mrs. Adam Tucker



Congratulations to Cindy Esco and Adam Tucker who were united in marriage on May 16 at Mount Calvary United Methodist Church in Tifton, Ga. Based on the Tifton Campus, Cindy has been employed with UGA for almost 15 years. She is a Web Developer in the Office of Information Technology.


Get Well Wishes

Joyce Presley (Haralson County 4-H Program Assistant) had ankle reconstructive surgery on July 21. Joyce will be out of the office for six to eight weeks. Please keep Joyce in your thoughts and prayers. Cards may be sent to Joyce at 156 Cherokee Circle, Buchanan, GA 30113.



Sympathy is extended to Dr. Stephen Garton (CEA Forsyth County, NW District) on the death of his father-in-law, Mr. Fred Partington. Please remember Dr. Garton and his wife Melanie at this time. Condolences can be sent to Stephen and Melanie Garton, Forsyth County Extension, 101 E. Maple Street, Suite 200, Cumming, GA 30040.

Sympathy is extended to the family of Frederick Pickett, a recent retiree from the Central GA Research & Education Center. Mr. Pickett passed away on Monday afternoon following a brief battle with pancreatitis.

Sympathy is extended to Bob Perry (Field Research Services - Griffin Campus) on the death of his father, Charles R. Perry. Cards may be mailed to Bob at  231 Larcom Lane, Griffin, GA,  30224.

Sympathy is extended to Steve and Rachele Gibson on the passing of their youngest daughter, Ava Jane Gibson, on Wednesday, August 5, 2009. Steve is the CAES Human Resources Coordinator/Recruiter. The family will receive friends at Milledge Avenue Baptist Church, 1690 S. Milledge Ave., Athens, Ga., on Monday evening August 10, beginning at 5 p.m. A memorial service will begin at 7 p.m. to celebrate and remember. In lieu of flowers, the family asks donations be sent to Camp Swamp ( Cards may be mailed to Steve and Rachele at 190 Tremont Circle, Athens, GA 30606.

Sympathy is extended to Beth Horne (Assistant Dean's Office, Griffin Campus) on the death of her mother, Sally Johnston. Mrs. Johnston passed away Thursday, July 23. Condolences may be sent to Beth's home address 404 Maddox Road, Griffin, GA 30224. In lieu of flowers, donations in memory of Mrs. Johnston may be made to either the First Baptist Church Television Ministry, P.O. Box 908, Griffin, GA 30224 or Gideon's International, P.O. Box 842, Griffin, GA 30224.

Sympathy is extended to Sylvia Pryor (retiree, Crop and Soil Sciences, Griffin Campus) on the death of her husband, Howard Pryor. Cards and notes can be sent Mrs. Sylvia Pryor, 104 Bobolink Drive, Griffin, GA 30224.

Sympathy is extended to Richmond County Secretary Sue Norman, on the death of her husband Mike Norman. He died Wednesday, June 10 following an extended illness. A Memorial Service will be at Posey's Funeral Home in North Augusta, SC. Memorials may be made to the American Lung Association, 3630 J. Dewey Gray Circle, Augusta, GA 30909. Sue's home mailing address is 229 Garrett Road, Edgefield, SC 29824.

Northeast District regrets to announce the passing of Richard Norris, husband of NED Senior Accountant Sally Norris, following an extended illness. Arrangement details are not available at this time. Sally's mailing address is 34 Ridgeway Drive, Danielsville, Georgia 30633. Please keep Sally in your thoughts during this difficult time.

Sympathy is extended to the family of Aubrey Varner, retired Fayette County (NW District) Extension Agent, who passed away on Memorial Day, May 25, 2009. In Lieu of flowers, donations may be made to the Fayetteville First United Methodist Church or to the Bold Spring United Methodist Church Cemetery Fund, 330 Bold Spring Road, Carnesville, GA 30521.

Sympathy is extended to the family of Margaret Houston Jarrett, former Floyd County Extension Home Economist. Mrs. Jarrett passed away at the age of 73 on Sunday, May 10, 2009. In lieu of flowers, donations for music and missions will be accepted by the First Baptist Church of Rome, P.O. Box 1189, Rome, GA 30162-1189.

Sympathy is extended to Greg Bowman (Bartow County) on the death of his mother-in-law, Katherine Dodd. Ms. Dodd passed away Thursday afternoon. Cards of sympathy can be sent to Tonya and Greg Bowman, 297 Bowman Rd, SW Calhoun, GA 30701.

Sympathy is extended to Steve Gibson (CAES Human Resources Coordinator/
Recruiter) on the death of his father Richard Gibson, who passed away yesterday in Texas. Please keep Steve and his family in your thoughts. Condolences can be sent to Steve at 104-B Lumpkin House, UGA, Athens, GA 30602.

Sympathy is extended to Sheldon Hammond (Northwest District Program Development Coordinator) on the death of his father-in-law William (Bill) James Sudekum, Sr. who passed away April 27. The funeral service will take place at Hendersonville Memorial Gardens in Hendersonville, TN, Wednesday, April 29 at 3:00 p.m.

Sympathy is extended to Chris Boyle (Griffin Campus - Physical Plant) on the death of his father, Jack Boyle, who passed away April 11 after an extended illness.

Sympathy is extended to Will Duffie (former CEC in Burke County) on this death of his father, William David Duffie Sr. Mr. Duffie passed away April 17. Memorial gifts may be made to a favorite recreation department or high school athletic department in memory of Mr. Duffie.

Sympathy is extended to Bo Ryles (State 4-H Leader) and Teresa Holm (County Extension Agent - Forsyth County) on the death of their brother-in- law and brother, Pete Chamberlin. Mr. Chamberlin passed away April 9. Cards of condolence for can be sent to Teresa Holm, 101 E. Maple Street, Suite 200, Cumming, Ga., 30040-2615.

Sympathy is extended to the family of Maylon Purcell, who worked for Cooperative Extension in Union and Catoosa counties. Mr. Purcell passed away on April 14, 2009 at the age of 90.

Robert Cavis, husband of Joanne Cavis (Muscogee County, NW District), died on Friday, July 3, 2009 in Columbus. A memorial service will be held on Wednesday, July 8, 2009, at 1:00 p.m. at St. Luke United Methodist Church (1104 Second Avenue, Columbus) in the sanctuary. The family will greet guests following the service. In lieu of flowers the family suggests a donation to the First Saturday December or Samaratin Fund programs at St. Luke. Send condolences for Joanne Cavis to 6138 Canterbury Drive, Columbus, GA 31909.



Retired ag. economist John Allison, 75, will be riding his bicycle 500 miles the week of July 12 to raise money for Habitat for Humanity. John will be taking part in the Habitat 400, a 7-day bicycle ride. The race takes place in Minnesota and riders will be allowed to take rest stops every 20 miles and sleep in air-conditioned gyms at night. John must raise $800 to participate and the funds will go to the Griffin-Spalding County Habitat for Humanity. If you would like to donate, mail checks written to Habitat 500 to John Allison, 103 Summit Drive, Griffin, Ga. 30224.



Note of Thanks

I would like to thank everyone for all the cards and shared leave that I received when I was out of work from surgery.  I know that Extension is family and I found out first hand just how lucky I am that I work for such a great group.  When I was feeling down and out I would go to the mail box and I would have several get well cards and nice notes. Those cards got me through some bad days of pain and therapy and let me know that someone out there did care.  I still have 14 more weeks of therapy and I hope you will continue to pray for me that I will soon heal. 

I would like to especially thank my CEC, Kandi Edwards and my Ag Agent, Brenda Jackson because they had to do my job and theirs.  Thanks Brenda & Kandi!!

Lynn Rhodes, Secretary

UGA Cooperative Extension, Whitfield County