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ARS and Midwest Area Awards


2019 Area Award Recipients Receiving the Agency Award

Science Hall of Fame – Kerry L. O'Donnell, Peoria, Illinois
For pioneering research that revolutionized understanding of genetic, ecological, and phenotypic diversity among fungi of major significance to agricultural production, food safety, and public health. 

Science Hall of Fame – Carroll P. Vance, St. Paul, Minnesota
For solving agriculture problems including symbiotic nitrogen fixation, crop plant acclimation, and legume genomics and his critical contributions to the sustainability of world agriculture. 

Area Senior Research Scientist of the Year – Kenneth A. Sudduth, Columbia, Missouri 
For innovative applications of sensor technology that improve measurement and interpretation of soil and crop variability, impacting the science and practice of precision agriculture. 

Area Early Career Research Scientist of the Year – Jay S. Johnson, West Lafayette, Indiana 
For the discovery of new knowledge and practices to improve animal welfare and productivity.

Outreach, Diversity and Equal Opportunity Award - Supervisory Category – Jamie A. O'Rourke, Ames, Iowa
For outstanding commitment to improving diversity within the Agricultural Research Service through scientific and community outreach. 

Research Leadership and Center Directorship Award – Todd J. Ward, Peoria, Illinois
For innovative and proactive leadership which increased impact, productivity, and recognition for individual, team, and research unit accomplishments. 

Communication - Technology Transfer Training Team – Babette R. Davis, Renee M. Wagner, Peoria, Illinois
For contributing to the development of a comprehensive, web-based, technology transfer training program for scientists.

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2019 Midwest Area Award Recipients

Location and Administrative Staff Award – Heather Lewandowski, Columbia, Missouri
For outstanding administrative support services and innovation, cost savings, and adaptation as location administrative officer.

Administrative and Program Management Award – Terri Gureno, Madison, Wisconsin
For outstanding administrative and support services that improved customer service with improved efficiency through cooperative approaches within the location and agency. 

Office Professional of the Year – Kelli M. Adkins, Lexington, Kentucky 
For outstanding support of the Forage Animal Production Research Unit and to the Midwest Area. 

Technology Transfer Award – Attenuated Swine Influenza Vaccine Team – Amy L. Vincent, Crystal L. Loving, Kelly M. Lager, Ames, Iowa
For development of an attenuated influenza virus vaccine for swine and transfer of this technology to a commercial partner. 

Scientific Support Award – Heather Walker, Peoria, Illinois
For outstanding implementation, management, and/or data summarization of field/laboratory activities that significantly contribute to a research project.

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2017 Area Award Recipients Receiving the Agency Award

Science Hall of Fame – Steven C. Huber, Urbana, Illinois
For seminal discoveries of mechanisms of protein modification in plant enzyme regulation and signal transduction impacting photosynthesis and crop production.

Presidential Rank Award Winner – Jerry Hatfield, Ames, IA
Jerry Hatfield, Director of ARS' National Laboratory for Agriculture and the Environment in Ames, Iowa, received the Meritorious Professional award for his extensive research on agriculture's influence on environmental quality. Hatfield leads the agriculture sector for the National Climate Assessment, part of the Nobel Prize-winning intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change.

Administrative and Program Management Award, Category 2: Customer Service and Technical Expertise – Pamela Groth, St. Paul, Minnesota
For excellence in administrative service, innovative approaches that positively impact multiple units and locations, and effective communication with scientists, partners, and union representatives. 

Office Professional of the Year – Deborah K. Schaefer, Madison, Wisconsin
For exceptional dedication to the development and delivery of efficient, effective communications/tools for the provision of outstanding administrative services. 

Outreach, Diversity and Equal Opportunity Award - Supervisory Category – Michelle Graham, Ames, Iowa
For enhancing diversity and equal opportunities in science. 


2017 Midwest Area Award Recipients

Scientist of the Year – Donald C. Lay Jr., West Lafayette, Indiana
For the development of new knowledge and creative integration of basic and applied research using innovative approaches to improve animal welfare.

Early Career Research Scientist of the Year – Martha Vaughan, Peoria, Illinois
For outstanding research on plant defense response to biotic and abiotic stress.

Research Leadership and Center Directorship Award – Melvin J. Oliver, Columbia, Missouri
For visionary leadership of the Plant Genetics Research Unit and the ARS Research Leader Advisory Council.

Scientific Support Award – Gregory Fuerst, Ames, Iowa
For outstanding and Innovative Contributions Critical for Resistance to Disease in Cereal Crops.

Location and Administrative Staff Award – James Hampton, Wooster, Ohio
For dedicated support and outstanding contributions to the Agricultural Research Service mission as the Administrative Officer off the Columbus and Wooster, Ohio locations.

Technology Transfer Award – Ag Conservation Planning Framework Team – Mark Tomer, David E. James, Sarah Porter, Jessica Van Horn, Ames, Iowa
For outstanding efforts in technology transfer on the Agricultural Conservation Planning Framework Tools to achieve water quality goals.

Administrative and Program Management Award – Communication - Corey Mann, Peoria, IL, Carol L. Moran, Ames, IA
For improving Information Technology communications agency-wide, drawing from customer feedback and incorporating standard templates and processes, shared resources, strong hand offs, and innovative urgent communications.


2016 Area Award Recipients Receiving the Agency Award

Science Hall of Fame - Cletus Kurtzman, Peoria, IL
For groundbreaking research on the identification and utilization of microbes to advance agriculture, biotechnology, and medicine.

Distinguished Senior Research Scientist - Edward Sadler, Columbia, MO
For outstanding leadership and research accomplishments focused on conservation of soil and water resources and delivering ARS data to the U.S. public.

Research Leader and Center Directorship Award - Craig Abel, Ames, IA
For sustained creative leadership encouraging scientific excellence, agricultural impact, and human capital development.

Administrative and Program Management Award
Category 2: Customer Service & Technical Expertise - Carol Moran, Ames, IA
For outstanding customer service as an Administrative Officer for the Ames, IA location and service to ARS.


2016 Midwest Area Award Recipients

Early Career Research Scientist of the Year - Torey Looft, Ames, IA
For pioneering the field of metagenomics analysis of food-producing animals receiving in-feed antibiotics.

Scientific Support Award - Judith Stasko, Ames, IA
For exceptional scientific support and contributions to the NADC research programs.

Outreach, Diversity, and Equal Opportunity Award
Non-Supervisory Category - Gary Amundson, Morris, MN
For serving as role model to elementary students, by using visual aids and hands-on experiences demonstrating the value of soil.

Office Professional of the Year - Lori Burma, Ames, IA
For outstanding administrative support of the Agroecosystems Management Unit, and her leadership role with the Midwest Area Council for Office Professionals and the National Council for Office Professionals.

Location and Administrative Staff Award - Pamela Groth, St. Paul, MN
For excellence in administrative service, innovative approaches that positively impact multiple units and locations, and effective communication with scientists, partners, and union representatives.

Technology Transfer Award - GRIN - Global Development Team

Midwest Area Team Members: Ames, Iowa

Other Team Members: