2020 Faculty Awards Presented

Posted on Wednesday, September 30th, 2020

The annual OAC Faculty Awards were presented at the virtual "OAC Welcome Back Event" held on September 25, 2020. Each year, the OAC Alumni Foundation presents the G.P. McRostie Faculty Award to a faculty member who plays a significant role in education and the OAC Alumni Association chooses three faculty members who have made outstanding contributions in teaching, research or extension. Congratulations to all recipients!


OAC Alumni Foundation G.P. McRostie Faculty Award

The G.P. McRostie Faculty Award recognizes the importance of effective advising and mentoring by faculty who play a significant role in the education of OAC students. The 2020 recipient:

Prof. Asim Biswas, School of Environmental Sciences.

Prof. Biswas contributes greatly to the school through his student mentorship and training. He is praised for his leadership and intellect. He has supervised/co-supervised over 60 trainees in the last six years, at various levels, including 18 ongoing. Biswas has authored 88 peer-reviewed papers, with an additional 33 in process, with the majority of these having student mentees as lead or second author, demonstrating his dedication to student success. One of Biswas’s students had this to say:

“Dr. Biswas is an energetic and motivational advisor who leads a very diverse group in SES. He’s proved to be a dedicated professor who constantly works to improve his teaching skills, while connecting with students and contributing to our community.”

OAC Alumni Association Distinguished Teaching Award

The distinguished teaching award recognizes the importance of effective teaching by faculty who play a significant role in the education of OAC students. The 2020 recipient:

Prof. Wayne Caldwell, School of Environmental Design and Rural Development

Prof. Caldwell’s commitment to teaching spans close to over three decades. He is an effective advocate for learning through his many contributions to course instruction, curriculum development, teaching strategies, student supervision, and new faculty mentorship. He has been described as one of the most thoughtful, generous and admired teachers the University of Guelph can have. One of Wayne’s previous students had this to say:

“Throughout my time spent at Guelph, no other individual has taught me and guided me as much as Dr. Caldwell has. His incredible enthusiasm and passion for teaching is infectious. He inspires me every day to continue to learn and develop my skills, always encouraging me along the way.”

OAC Alumni Association Distinguished Researcher Award

The distinguished research award recognizes outstanding research accomplishments by an OAC faculty member. The 2020 recipient:

Prof. Youbin Zheng, School of Environmental Sciences

Prof. Zheng has been conducting controlled environment plant production research for more than 20 years, and his program has been recognized internationally for its quality and significance. He is regularly invited as a keynote speaker for industry and academic gatherings both locally and internationally. Zheng is an exemplary researcher in OAC, with more than 100-peer reviewed publications and 94 scientific journal papers. One of Zheng’s colleagues had this to say:

“To describe Youbin’s work as innovative does not do justice to the visionary approach that he has consistently and successfully implemented throughout his distinguished career. Youbin has continued to support established industries in controlled-environment, greenhouse and nursery plant production, with research that has had lasting impacts on these sectors.”

OAC Alumni Association Distinguished Extension Award

The Distinguished Extension Award recognizes effective extension efforts used successfully in extension outside the University classroom by an OAC faculty member. The 2020 recipient:

Prof. Ivan O’Halloran, School of Environmental Sciences

Prof. O’Halloran has been a university professor for the past 22 years and the majority of that time has been with the University of Guelph, Ridgetown Campus. O’Halloran is a dedicated researcher with a passion for extension and outreach. He has worked extensively with farmers, industry and government on areas of nutrient cycling and soil fertility questions. One of O’Halloran’s colleagues had this to say:

“Dr. O’Halloran is frequently in contact with colleagues and industry experts to refine and promote best practices for fertilizer and manure management. He is also working with the 4R Nutrient Stewardship program to ensure farmers are applying crop nutrients from the Right Source, Right Rate, Right Time, and Right Place. We have always been impressed by Dr. O’Halloran’s research, his publishing achievements, and his track-record of engaging with practitioners.”

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