Don B. Huntley College of Agriculture

College Picks Faculty, Staff, Students for Annual Awards

Published Date: Apr 6, 2018 2:15:00 PM

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The Huntley College of Agriculture is proud to announce this year’s recipients of awards that recognize excellence in our faculty, staff, and students.

Cord Brundage, an assistant professor in the Department of Animal & Veterinary Sciences, is the Mack H. Kennington Advisor of the Year honoree, given to the advisor who does the best quality work in advising students on academics and their career plans.

Colleagues and students cited Brundage’s role as a mentor and advisor on participating in research projects and conferences, applying to veterinary schools, and pursuing potential careers. 

“There is frequently a line outside his door with students eager for his advice,” one wrote about Brundage. “He has been most patient with the semester conversion issues, and I have heard him work with students in order for them to maximize their class schedules.”

Olive Li, an associate professor in the Department of Human Nutrition & Food Sciences, was selected for the Teacher of the Year Award, which is given to the instructor who demonstrates caring, the ability to manage the learning process, subject matter competence, zeal for teaching, scholarly writings, development of new curriculum or teaching materials or other contributions.

Students lauded Li for her passion for teaching, seeking student feedback during the course, and giving specific examples of how course material is applied in real-world settings.

“Dr. Li is a very passionate and capable professor, always trying to engage her students to see how she can change the curriculum and the teaching-learning style to benefit her students,” one student wrote in nominating Li. “She is very caring, providing not only innumerable opportunities to her students, but also life and academic advice.”

Animal Health Technologist Eva Jäger will receive the Staff of the Year Award. A registered veterinary technologist, Jäger works with students in the Department of Animal & Veterinary Sciences, assisting in labs and classes, scheduling surgeries, ordering inventory, and teaching the students.

Her colleagues praised her for her organization, dependability, expertise, and helpful attitude. Those traits were on display during the animal health science program’s preparation for an accreditation visit.

“Eva took the reins on a project to ensure that our clinic in Building 29, laboratory classroom in Building 67, and storage areas were tidy and organized, with all materials clearly labeled,” one wrote on a nominating form. “This was a huge undertaking that took many months. Her leadership ensured that even the smallest detail was not missed by the team of faculty and students.”

Joseph Wolf and Oscar Del Real were named the 2017-18 John E. Andrews Student Leader of the Year Awardees as undergraduate and graduate students, respectively.

A plant science major, Wolf serves as president of the Agricultural Biology Club, where he expanded the club’s mission to a broader ecological focus and recruited 13 executive board officers and more than 40 members from across campus. He also led the students in raising nearly $13,000 from events such as the Insect Fair.

In 2016-17, Wolf was selected as one of 12 Regenerative Communities Program Fellows through the John T. Lyle Center for Regenerative Studies. The program addresses the achievement gap between low-income and higher-income groups by encouraging pathways to higher education for underrepresented students, addressing environmental challenges in communities, and developing university-primary school partnerships.

“Joseph volunteers to speak to entering freshmen in AG 101 classes about the importance of campus involvement, presentations that several students have called inspirational,” a professor wrote in a nominating form.

Del Real is a second-year graduate student in plant science who also works with the grounds crew at Dodgers Stadium. He was instrumental in founding the Cal Poly Pomona chapter of Minorities in Agriculture, Natural Resources, and the Related Sciences (MANRRS). He worked with other students to raise money to attend MANRRS conferences by growing sunflowers at Spadra Farm to sell. They raised more than $6,000 – enough to send 11 students to the national conference in Pittsburgh and 14 to the regional conference at UC Davis.

Del Real also works as a teaching assistant for the plant science department’s plant pathology course

“Students describe Oscar’s teaching style as confident, determined, and knowledgeable,” one professor wrote. “They view Oscar as a role model largely because he maintains so many roles (teacher, volunteer, employee) but never appears to be anything but upbeat, positive, and calm.”

The Huntley College of Agriculture will recognize all the honorees at Commencement on Friday, June 8