2018 OAC Faculty & Staff Awards Presented

Posted on Friday, September 14th, 2018

On September 13th, at the OAC Welcome Back BBQ, four faculty members were presented with the 2018 OAC Alumni Association and OAC Alumni Foundation faculty awards. In addition, the inaugural staff awards were presented.

OAC Alumni Distinguished Teaching Award

Prof. Helen Hambly-Odame, School of Environmental Design and Rural Development, received the Distinguished Teaching Award, which recognizes the importance of effective teaching by faculty who play a significant role in the education of OAC students.

Helen and Rene pose with award.
Helen Hambly-Odame and Rene Van Acker, OAC Dean.

During her career at Guelph, Dr. Hambly-Odame has had success teaching a variety of courses in the areas of capacity development and extension through the School of Environmental Design and Rural Development. 

One of her students had this to say: “I couldn’t imagine how I could focus on studies without the strong moral support of Dr. Hambly. Her versatile teaching style, her connections to people, organizations, experts and donors is an inspiration. In a nutshell, Dr. Hambly is a very humble, kind and intelligent person.” 

OAC Alumni Distinguished Researcher Award

Prof. Flavio Schenkel, Department of Animal Biosciences, received the Distinguished Researcher Award, which recognizes outstanding research accomplishments by an OAC faculty member.

Flavio and Rene pose with award.
Flavio Schenkel and Rene Van Acker, OAC Dean.

Dr. Schenkel's research has had tremendous impact. In 2014 his research contributions were acknowledged by the Canadian Society of Animal Science as the recipient of the award in Technical Innovation in the Production of Safe and Affordable Food. This year he received the prestigious international J.L. Lush award in Animal Breeding for outstanding research in the field of animal breeding awarded by the American Dairy Science Association.

Dr. Schenkel has been instrumental in the implementation of the leading edge national genomic evaluations in dairy cattle in Canada by the Canadian Dairy Network (CDN). He was the leader in a genomic selection project, which led to implementation of genomic selection in Canada in 2009, as a new way to evaluate and select dairy cattle.

A colleague has said of Dr. Schenkel, “Dr. Schenkel has done a truly remarkable job of working throughout the research/innovation continuum, which really distinguishes him from his peers, who often excel in one area, but seldom in both.”

OAC Alumni Distinguished Extension Award

Prof. Brady Deaton, Department of Food, Agriculture, and Resource Economics, received the Distinguished Extension Award, which recognizes effective extension efforts used successfully in extension outside the classroom.

Brady and Rene pose with Award.
Brady Deaton and Rene Van Acker, OAC Dean.

Since joining the University of Guelph in 2004, Dr. Deaton has worked tireless to extend his reach of knowledge related to contemporary food, agricultural and resource issues. His extension program is a natural extension of his own research. These extension activities focus on three pillars: stakeholder engagement related to farmland valuation; engagement with the lay public on agriculture and food related issues through public media; and a podcast series, entitled FARETalk, that addresses contemporary issues in the food, agricultural and resource space.

One of his colleagues said of Brady, “Brady is exceptionally talented at bringing his knowledge and expertise to bear on debate related to food, agricultural and resources issues of relevance to various stakeholders. His innovative use of podcasts, continual stream of lay articles, and stakeholder engagement around farmland valuation and food security issues helps him stand out in terms of impact outside academia.”

OAC Alumni Foundation G.P. McRostie Faculty Award

Prof. Tina Widowski, Department of Animal Biosciences, received the G.P. McRostie Faculty Award, which recognizes the importance of effective advising and mentoring by faculty who play a significant role in the education of OAC students.

Bruce, Tina and Rene pose with award.
Bruce Stone (OAC Alumni Foundation), Tina Widowski and Rene Van Acker, OAC Dean.

Tina Widowski began her career at the Department of Animal Biosciences in 1990 as a research associate. Since being hired as a professor in 1998, Tina has advised 49 graduate students (44 graduated, 5 current), acted as an advisory committee member for an additional 51 students, and worked tirelessly to ensure her students achieve success as they continue on in their careers. 

Her students said of her, “As each of us continues on to our respective careers, we will take all of the lessons that Tina has taught us. Her advice that a successful career is not only measured by the number of publications and presentations, but by the real-life impact that you are able to make and that there is more than one pathway to success will continue to guide us on our individual journeys going forward. Our collective success and all that we have been able to achieve in our careers thus far is because of Tina’s mentorship. Tina truly deserves the recognition of the G.P. McRostie Faculty Award.”

OAC Outstanding Staff Recognition Award (under 10 years of service)

Gwen Dalton, OAC Dean's Office, received the OAC Outstanding Staff Recognition Award as a staff member with under 10 years of OAC service.

Gwen and Rene pose with award.
Gwen Dalton and Rene Van Acker, OAC Dean.

Gwen is the OAC Awards Assistant in the Dean’s Office.She has worked with the college for 7 years in both the awards office and the program counselling office. Gwen is a key support person for the Dean’s Office, and is relied upon for support by our entire OAC community, including Ridgetown Campus.

Her nominators had this to say: “Gwen’s diligent support of the students, donors and staff of the Ontario Agricultural College is unmatched. She has always been known for her cooperative attitude and willingness to help others, and we have the pleasure to work with Gwen and feel she makes our everyday lives better. When drafting this letter, we realized we could have asked for dozens of others to co-sign, because Gwen is so well liked and respected. She is known across the college for her attention to detail, friendly demeanour, willingness to help and professionalism.”

OAC Outstanding Staff Recognition Award (over 10 years of service)

Jen Kingswell, Department of Plant Agriculture, received the OAC Outstanding Staff Recognition Award as a staff member with more than 10 years of OAC service.

Jen and Rene pose with award.
Jen Kingswell and Rene Van Acker, OAC Dean.

Jen is the Administrative Assistant to the Chair in the Department of Plant Agriculture. She has worked for the department for 32 years. Jen is a key support person for the Chair, but also the entire Department of Plant Agriculture, including the various research stations and Ridgetown Campus.

One of her nominators had this to say: “Jen is tremendous in her role. She always projects a cheerful attitude toward everyone in the department and outside. She is very helpful and patient. I believe her character represents all that is good in the University.” 

People sitting on Johnston Green.

Check out the Flickr photo album: 

"2018 Welcome Back BBQ &
OAC Faculty & Staff Awards"

 

Recipients of the 2017 faculty awards.

Read more: 

"2017 OAC Faculty Awards Presented"

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