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Faculty and Staff

Goodnight Early Career Innovators Named

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Five faculty members from NC State University’s College of Agriculture and Life Sciences are among [24] winners of the university’s new Goodnight Early Career Innovators Award.

The CALS recipients are:

  • Khara Grieger, Department of Applied Ecology. Her areas of expertise are risk assessment, risk management and stakeholder engagement related to the governing of emerging risks and new technologies. 
  • Ricardo Hernández, Department of Horticultural Science. His research focuses on the production of specialty crops under indoor production systems with the technology to control the environment.
  • Anders Huseth, Department of Entomology and Plant Pathology. The broad emphasis of Huseth’s field crops ecology research is to understand interactions among nature, crops and farmers by revealing synergies and conflicts among pest control, environmental and socio-economic goals. 
  • Manuel Kleiner, Department of Plant and Microbial Biology. Kleiner studies the metabolism, physiology, and evolutionary ecology of microbial symbioses and uncultured microorganisms.
  • Natalie Nelson, Department of Biological and Agricultural Engineering. Using statistical, process-based and machine learning models, she studies estuarine and coastal water quality, land-sea connectivity and the influence of climate and land use change on agroecosystem productivity in the Atlantic-Gulf Coastal Plains.

Recipients were chosen because they show outstanding promise for future achievement and impact in science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) fields or in STEM education.

CALS Dean Richard Linton said the awards program is evidence of a strong university commitment to faculty excellence.

“It’s a great day when we can recognize and reward faculty members who are making a difference in their fields at an early stage in their careers and who also show the potential to improve the world through their research, teaching and extension efforts,” Linton said. “These are deserving recipients, and I’m proud of their contributions.”

The Goodnight Early Career Innovators Awards program supports early career faculty excellence and promotes retention of tenure-track assistant professors in STEM or STEM education. The awards will be made each year for the next three years. Recipients receive $22,000 annually for three years to support their work.

See NC State’s news release for more information about the Goodnight Early Innovators Award program and other winners.