2011 GSD initiation event honors academic and agricultural leadership

On April 13, the N.C. State University chapter of Gamma Sigma Delta (GSD), the Honor Society of Agriculture, recognized and honored academic achievement and contributions to agriculture by faculty, students, staff and alumni of the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences, as well as of the colleges of Natural Resources and Veterinary Medicine. Honored as faculty initiate was Dr. Sophia Kathariou, CALS professor of Food, Bioprocessing and Nutrition Sciences, while Deborah Hamrick, a 1981 graduate in horticultural science, and Kevin Howell, a 1988 political science graduate, were the 2011 GSD alumni initiates.

Kathariou, who joined the FBNS faculty in 1999, was recognized for her significant contributions to basic science and to agriculture. Her research bridges the epidemiology, ecology and evolution of two major foodbourne pathogens, Listeria and Campylobacter. Her lab was among the first to systematically pursue the epidemiology of Campylobacter colonization of turkeys and swine in conventional farm operations.

Hamrick, director of specialty crops and member of the public policy staff of the N.C. Farm Bureau Federation, is nationally known as an advocate for agriculture. She works on behalf of emerging agricultural enterprises, such as aquaculture, apiculture, viticulture and ornamental horticulture, and is a supporter of the state’s local foods and agricultural products. Prior to joining the Farm Bureau, she founded the flower industry magazine FloraCulture International.

Howell, who acts as N.C. State’s principal liaison to elected officials at the city, county and state levels, in conjunction with the chancellor, develops and promotes the university’s legislative agenda. In this role he has worked on behalf of the College and the agricultural community, in support of agricultural research, teaching and extension. He also holds a J.D. degree from UNC-CH.

They were honored during GSD’s annual banquet at the McKimmon Center, along with some 73 seniors, graduate students and College of Veterinary Medicine students, who were inducted into the honor society. — Terri Leith

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