College Honors Faculty, Students, Staff

May 23, 2024

Hyungchul Han. Stacey Cordua. Erik Froyen. Rosa Lamas Serratos. Pia Spors. Myungyo Yu.  Michelle Baggett.

These seven people are the 2024 recipients of the Huntley College of Agriculture awards.

Teacher of the Year

Hyungchul Han, an associate professor in the Department of Animal & Veterinary Science, was named the college’s Teacher of the Year. The award is given annually to the faculty member who demonstrates exceptional teaching ability.

The criteria for evaluating nominees include caring, the ability to manage the learning process, subject matter competence, zeal for teaching, and efforts given to planning.

Students cited Han’s enthusiasm and passion for teaching and his desire for students to succeed.

“He explains concepts in a clear and concise way that makes the most difficult concepts easy to understand,” one student wrote. “After having the honor of taking two of his courses, I have been able to retain the information presented and apply my knowledge to different courses due to his constant effort of teaching effectively."

Han’s passion for education is also seen outside the classroom, another student said.

“He provides students with research opportunities, which is so important for graduate school,” the student wrote. “He provides advice on applying to graduate school as well.”

Han came to Cal Poly Pomona in 2018 from Colorado State University, where he was an associate professor. He earned his doctorate from Oklahoma State University.

Staff of the Year

Stacey Cordua, an animal health technician in the department, was chosen for the college’s Staff of the Year Award.

One faculty member praised Cordua for her organizational skills and willingness to answer questions.

“Stacey also supports many students in the animal health science program in preparation for a career as a veterinary technician,” the faculty member added. “Students commonly frequent her office asking for advice, and she is always happy to sit down with each student and provide feedback and advice to give them the best chance of success.”

A student credited Cordua with being a great mentor, especially when teaching how to shoot dental radiographs properly.

“She gave us helpful tips and reminders as the semester went on, but also pushed us to develop skills of our own, rather than just be walked through the process every time,” the student said. “Her technique helped me out a lot, and on top of that, she has a patient and encouraging attitude that has really fostered confidence in myself and my peers.”

Prior to joining the college in 2020, Cordua was the lead registered veterinary technician at Claremont Veterinary Hospital and earned her associates' degree at Mt. San Antonio College.

Cordua will receive $500 and her name will be inscribed on a permanent plaque in the college.

Staff Advisor of the Year

Rosa Lamas Serratos was named the Staff Advisor of the Year, which is given to the staff member who does the best quality work in advising students on academics and their career plans. 

“Rosa goes above and beyond to provide advising to her assigned students, as well as unassigned students,” one person said in a nominating statement. “She will work with students beyond their allotted appointment times, if needed, because she wants to make sure she can fully support them.”

She previously served as COMPASS program coordinator for Whittier College’s Center for Engagement with Communities and was a special events and community outreach coordinator for the Southern California University of Health Sciences. She has an MBA from the University of La Verne.

Faculty Advisor of the Year

Erik Froyen, an assistant professor in the Department of Nutrition & Food Science, was chosen as the Faculty Advisor of the Year. The award is given to the faculty member who does the best quality work in advising students on academics and their career plans. 

“He was there to help me with any concern I had, even after I passed his class,” one person wrote in nominating Froyen. “He would even provide useful knowledge in passing our other classes if need be.”

Froyen earned his doctorate in nutritional biology from UC Davis. He was an adjunct professor at Cal State Northridge and the University of Phoenix before joining Cal Poly Pomona in 2017.

Julian A. McPhee Outstanding Student Scholar

The Julian A. McPhee Outstanding Student Scholar Award recipient is Pia Spors (’24, agribusiness and food industry management). The award is given to the college valedictorian.

Spors was recognized at commencement, where she was given the honor of addressing the graduating class.

She called the last few years “amazing” and said she had learned much during that period. Spors thanked her family and friends for their support and help, saying she would not have achieved this honor without them.

“To my professors, thank you for teaching me and for pushing me to think in new ways,” she added. “You’ve helped me to become the person who I am today, and I’m truly thankful for that.”

John E. Andrews Student Leader of the Year Award

Myungyo “Emily” Yu and Michelle Baggett are the graduate and undergraduate recipients, respectively, of the John E. Andrews Student Leader of the Year Award.

The honor is given each year to an undergraduate and graduate student for scholarship, service, and contributions to others, including fellow students, their departments, the food and agricultural industry, and the community.

Baggett, a plant science student, was named the undergraduate award recipient.

“She frequently sparked class discussion and encouraged her fellow students when they were struggling,” a faculty member said. “She clearly demonstrated that she is a leader among her peers.”

But her leadership wasn’t limited to the classroom. Baggett’s instructors praised her for managing the honey lab for the campus apiary through her work-study program.

“Since she started working on the project, she has improved upon all the products sold and developed new products. When Michelle stared in the honey lab, the only products produced were candles and honey,” a faculty member said. “The apiary now produces soap, scented candles, candy, and flavored honey.”

In addition, Baggett participated in the “Socal Farm to Table Ambassador” program, a USDA grant-funded program to promote urban agriculture.

She led many tabling events to promote the college’s urban agriculture classes and programs and attended local community events and met with various urban farmers.

Yu, the graduate student recipient, is in the international apparel management master’s degree program, where she has participated in research projects with several faculty.

But it was her assistance to undergraduate students that won her praise from one of her instructors.  

“She supported first-year students by discussing designs and ideas for a 3D print project. She also attended their final presentations, which helped create a positive learning environment,” one faculty member said. “She also offers support to undergraduate students in the textile labs, offering training for the lab equipment.”

In addition, she mentored several other undergraduate students on research projects they presented at conferences or a case study for an intercollegiate competition.

Yu also represented her department in several events, including the College Expo and BroncoBound Open House; CPP Explore Day; and the LA County Fair, where she demonstrated natural dye techniques and textile designs.