CALS Alumni Honored at Annual Ceremony

Winners of the CALS distinguished and outstanding alumni awards

On the eve of the college’s 25th annual Tailgate celebration, alumni, friends, faculty and staff gathered at the NC State University Club for the annual CALS Alumni Awards ceremony. Dr. Joe Gordon and John C. Howard Jr. were named the college’s 2016 Distinguished Alumni. Also receiving awards at the Nov. 18 event were 13 Outstanding Alumni and 14 Outstanding Young Alumni.

“The alumni we recognize tonight represent the fulfillment of the promise of our land-grant mission in academics, research and extension,” said CALS Dean Richard Linton at the ceremony. “Their professional achievements and service to NC State and their communities, exemplify the extraordinary possibility of achievement to our current students … who are our future alumni and leaders.”

The Distinguished Alumni Awards are granted each year to outstanding graduates of the college to recognize decades of stellar achievement and an ongoing commitment to giving back to NC State University.

Dr. Joe Gordon’s impact extends far beyond the successful network of animal hospitals he has established across the Triangle. A veterinarian by trade and a philanthropist at heart, Gordon works hard to support those in need – animals and fellow human beings alike.

His CareFirst Animal Hospital organization partners with local animal rescue groups, enabling them to expand critical services. This work has inspired other practices to follow suit, creating even more opportunities for animals in need.

Outside the veterinary world, Gordon and his wife, Debbie, have made a huge investment in the lives of North Carolina’s youth with a $3 million gift to establish the Farm to Philanthropy program at NC State. Through two initiatives – ASPIRE and STEAM – the program expands rural students’ access to an NC State education. This award honors the Gordons’ passion for students and philanthropy, Dean Richard Linton said.

 Agricultural pioneer John C. Howard Jr. took a chance when he enrolled in the inaugural class of the Agricultural Institute 56 years ago. Since then, he’s been a state leader in pursuing new farm markets and new technology.

An early adopter of precision agriculture, Howard’s farm has changed dramatically since he graduated from the Ag Institute in 1962, growing to include swine, row crops and equipment sales. Howard served on the North Carolina Board of Agriculture and was appointed by President Ronald Reagan as a member of the National Commission on Agricultural Policy.

This honor recognizes Howard’s years as an integral partner to CALS, Dean Richard Linton said.

Howard has hired many CALS graduates and opened his farm to Dr. Billy Flowers, a professor of animal science, for swine research that can only happen on a large-scale operation. He and his wife, Scarlett, are also faithful supporters of the regional 4-H livestock program.

In addition to Gordon and Howard, the following alumni were honored:

2016 CALS Outstanding Alumni

  • Maria Andrade, Horticultural Sciences
  • Gary Benzon, Entomology and Plant Pathology
  • Stanley Culpepper, Crop and Soil Sciences
  • Maria Gallo, Plant and Microbial Biology
  • Pamela Marrone, Entomology and Plant Pathology
  • Robert Mwanga, Horticultural Sciences
  • Sam Pardue, Prestage Department of Poultry Science
  • Mickey Parish, Food, Bioprocessing and Nutrition Sciences
  • Sepideh Saidi, Biological and Agricultural Engineering
  • Kevin Sarge, Molecular and Structural Biochemistry
  • Vincent Smith, Agricultural and Resource Economics
  • Marshall Stewart, Agricultural and Human Sciences
  • Jerry Wordsworth, Agricultural Institute

2016 CALS Outstanding Young Alumni

  • Nate Bacheler, Applied Ecology
  • Melanie Ball, Agricultural and Resource Economics
  • Kristen Baughman, Agricultural and Human Sciences
  • Joseph Doskocil, Entomology and Plant Pathology
  • April Fogleman, Food, Bioprocessing and Nutrition Sciences
  • Keith Gagnon, Molecular and Structural Biochemistry
  • Stephanie Gupton, Plant and Microbial Biology
  • Stephanie Hansen, Animal Science
  • Keith Kornegay, Agricultural Institute
  • Melissa Mitchum, Entomology and Plant Pathology
  • Dan Moore, Prestage Department of Poultry Science
  • Iliana Santillan-Carrillo, Agricultural and Human Sciences
  • Kristin Stair, Agricultural and Human Sciences
  • Shawn Troxler, Crop and Soil Sciences
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