IFAS News

University of Florida

UF CALS students earn top honors at annual banquet

Topic(s): CALS, Honors and Appointments

GAINESVILLE, Fla. — Students who earned honors from the University of Florida College of Agricultural and Life Sciences at its April 14 banquet show exemplary scholarship, leadership and commitment to the community.

“One of our top priorities for CALS is to recruit and retain outstanding students,” UF CALS Dean Elaine Turner said. “Our annual Scholarship and Leadership Awards Banquet gives us the opportunity to showcase the achievements of those students. The award winners are truly the best of the best. I’m so proud that they chose CALS to further their education.”

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UF CALS doctoral student named UF teaching assistant of the year

Topic(s): CALS, Honors and Appointments

 

Bertrhude Albert.  2016 CALS Scholarship and Leadership Awards Portrait.

Berthrude Albert

See link to video below the story

GAINESVILLE, Fla. — Imagine your instructor using rap to get her point across. That might pique your interest and make you listen more attentively, especially if you’re a university student.

Rapping is one of many approaches Berthrude Albert uses to get her students to listen. Her teaching acumen has led to her being honored with the 2016 Jack L. Fry Excellence in Teaching Award, given to a graduate student by the University of Florida College of Agricultural and Life Sciences. Albert also was honored this year as one of two to win the Calvin A. VanderWerf Award as the best graduate teaching assistant of the year for the whole university.

Albert teaches a course titled, “Effective Oral Communication,” which is a graduation requirement for many majors at UF.

“When they first get to class, they’re so nervous,” said Albert, who expects to earn her doctorate in agricultural education and communication in December. “I know that part of public speaking is being comfortable in your own skin. I put myself out there. Even if it’s silly, just put ourselves out there and see what happens when we put our guards down.”

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Many career options for this year’s UF CALS grads

Topic(s): CALS, Families and Consumers, Honors and Appointments, IFAS

CALS Commencement Javan Brown 032616

Javan Brown

GAINESVILLE, Fla. — Unlike most graduating college seniors, Javan Brown gets up at 5:30 every morning. While his classmates sleep in, Brown goes to the Army ROTC center on the University of Florida campus to go through physical training and to train other cadets.

Brown will graduate Friday from the UF College of Agricultural and Life Sciences with a bachelor’s degree in family, youth and community sciences. He will be among 658 UF CALS students earning bachelor’s degrees at the April 29 commencement. Another 84 will receive master’s degrees while 59 will get doctorates, according to figures provided by the UF CALS dean’s office. CALS is part of the UF Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences.

When he gets his diploma, Brown will also be commissioned as a second lieutenant in the U.S. Army. He intends to make the military his first career. After that, who knows? He has a passion for helping others.

“People can improve their position,” Brown said. “But if they don’t know how, it’s tough. I want to motivate and empower people. If you get a map and identify where you want to go, you can succeed.”

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UF/IFAS professor wins national communicator’s award

Topic(s): Agriculture, Announcements, CALS, Departments, Honors and Appointments, IFAS

Kevin Folta

GAINESVILLE, Fla. — Kevin Folta, a professor at the University of Florida Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences, has received the prestigious 2106 Borlaug CAST Communication award from the Council for Agricultural Science and Technology (CAST). Folta, chair of the horticultural sciences department at the University of Florida, was lauded for being an outstanding teacher, mentor, researcher, and organizer.

“Folta focuses on clear, credible information when communicating science to non-scientific audiences,” said Kent Schescke, CAST executive vice president. “He does an excellent job in training scientists, farmers, physicians and students to perform public outreach in scientific or controversial topics.”

As a department chair, Folta provides statewide administrative leadership in UF’s teaching, research, and Extension fruit and vegetable programs. He coordinates and supports faculty efforts in more than 50 research programs at seven locations, ranging from citrus breeding and biotechnology to organic and sustainable production.

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UF/IFAS professor wins prestigious national teaching award

Topic(s): Agriculture, Announcements, CALS, Departments, Honors and Appointments, IFAS, RECs, Research

Thetford.Students

GAINESVILLE, Fla. — Mack Thetford, an associate professor based at the UF/IFAS West Florida Research and Education Center, has been selected the 2016 American Society of Horticultural Science Outstanding Undergraduate Educator award. Thetford, whose teaching and research focus on landscape ornamentals and plant propagation, will be honored at the ASHS awards ceremony in Atlanta on Aug. 8.

The ASHS Outstanding Undergraduate Educator award recognizes an educator who has had a distinguished and outstanding undergraduate education teaching career in horticultural science for a period of 10 or more years. Thetford has taught at UF for 21 years.

“Dr. Thetford’s teaching efforts at the WFREC are appreciated, and I am grateful for the depth of knowledge and passion that he brings to the profession,” said Wes Wood, director of the West Florida REC.

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UF/IFAS scientists honored as UF Research Foundation professors

Topic(s): Agriculture, Biofuels, Crops, Cultivars, Economics, Environment, Honors and Appointments, IFAS, Nutrition, RECs, Research, Soil and Water Science

GAINESVILLE, Fla. — Six University of Florida Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences faculty members, who are trying to solve global issues as wide-ranging as better alternative fuels and nutrient absorption, have been named as UF Research Foundation Professors for 2016-19.

The recognition goes to faculty who demonstrate a distinguished record of research and a strong research agenda that’s likely to continue to distinguish them in their fields.

“UF/IFAS faculty research continuously shows its value in practical ways, but these faculty members stand out because the University of Florida is recognizing their outstanding work,” said UF/IFAS Dean for Research Jackie Burns. “Their scientific research helps solve global issues ranging from potential solutions to citrus greening to growing crops in a changing climate to finding new sources of alternative energy.”

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UF/IFAS recognizes top faculty research

Topic(s): Agriculture, Announcements, Aquaculture, Economics, Environment, Honors and Appointments, IFAS, Nutrition, Pests, RECs, Research

GAINESVILLE, Fla. — Whether it’s hybrid termites, grain pathogens, mosquito mating or something in between, University of Florida Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences researchers are studying important topics and helping to solve global issues.

The UF/IFAS Research Dean’s Office recently recognized more than two dozen UF/IFAS faculty members for their impactful research, and Dean for Research Jackie Burns said she could not be more proud of the scientists.

“We recognize that these research articles are examples of the many published by UF/IFAS that are highly impactful and help reach solutions to worldwide issues including food shortages, nutrition, diseases and economic development,” Burns said. “Our faculty perform top-quality, globally-recognized scientific work, and we’re proud to recognize them.”

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UF/IFAS student to participate in White House science panel on April 13

Topic(s): Announcements, CALS, Departments, Honors and Appointments, IFAS, Research

GAINESVILLE, Fla. — A University of Florida/IFAS student will serve on a panel at the White House Science Fair on April 13. The science fair is the last of President Obama’s administration.

Kiona Elliott is a third-year student majoring in horticultural sciences, and has been asked to reflect on her past experience in the White House Science Fair, discuss the importance of STEM training and talk about her current research activities. She currently attends UF as a McNair Scholar, named for astronaut Ronald McNair who perished in the Challenger Disaster in 1986.

“I am honored to represent UF/IFAS during the White House Science Fair,” Elliott said. “The university has nurtured my passion for the sciences, and the faculty have been supportive as I pursue my educational goals.”

Elliott performs research with Dr. Kevin Folta’s group in the horticultural sciences department, in the College of Agricultural and Life Sciences, examining uses for a potentially new class of plant growth regulators that could improve sustainable farming.  She has presented her work at national meetings, and plans to enroll in a leading graduate program with a focus on using technology to ensure food security for developing nations.

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UF/IFAS researcher’s findings resonate 30 years later

Topic(s): Announcements, Aquaculture, Economics, Honors and Appointments, IFAS

Jim Anderson (2)

GAINESVILLE, Fla. — A University of Florida Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences professor wrote an article 30 years ago that’s still so significant that a scientific journal has recognized it as an “enduring” article.

James Anderson, a UF/IFAS professor of food and resource economics and director of the UF/IFAS Institute for Sustainable Food Systems, has been honored by the journal Marine Resource Economics for his 1985 paper, “Market Interactions between Aquaculture and the Common-Property Commercial Fishery.”

“I was quite surprised and honored, especially since it was the first time the award was given, and at the time the article was written, almost no one in the economics profession was giving any attention to the economics of aquaculture and its relationship to traditional capture fisheries,” Anderson said. Capture fisheries are found mostly offshore. “Most articles written 30 years ago have been forgotten, but I know some researchers are still looking at this one – that’s a good feeling.”

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UF/IFAS researchers head to Brazil seeking Zika answers

Topic(s): Entomology and Nematology, Families and Consumers, Honors and Appointments, IFAS, RECs, Research

Chelsea Smartt studies the ability of mosquitos to resist pesticides commonly used to control these pests and prevent transmission of disease.

 

GAINESVILLE, Fla. — A University of Florida Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences researcher will return to Brazil to study the ability of two mosquito species to transmit the Zika virus.

The yellow fever mosquito – Aedes aegypti – and the Asian tiger mosquito – Aedes albopictus – are considered the main culprits behind the transmission of chikungunya, dengue and zika viruses.

Among other outcomes, this work will provide real-time information about the involvement of the Asian tiger mosquito in the outbreak, as most scientists are focusing on involvement of the yellow fever mosquito, said Chelsea Smartt, UF/IFAS associate professor at the Florida Medical Entomology Laboratory in Vero Beach, Florida. Information gathered by Smartt and her colleagues would improve the ability of mosquito control officials to respond to these viruses ahead of human cases.

“This would aid disease control efforts by being able to detect the virus ahead of human cases,” she said.

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