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2012 Faculty Awards

Awards for Excellence in Extension, Teaching and Research.

The Outstanding Teaching Award

Dr. James W. Dunn.  Professor Dunn’s teaching contributions are threefold: (1) He is an exemplary classroom instructor whose classes emphasize both theoretical understanding of economic principles and practical applications of these ideas to real-world situations; (2) As undergraduate coordinator of both the 4-year and 2-year Agricultural Business Management Programs (AG BM/2 AGB) he provides guidance, counsel, and informal education to the program’s 161 enrollees; and (3) He is a major player in international educational programs directed to professionals in Eastern Europe with the goal of assisting these nations to improve their farming practices and living conditions as they seek to rebuild their countries’ agricultural systems following decades of totalitarian state management by the Soviet Union. 

The Outstanding Extension Educator Award

Dr. Jeffrey Hyde.  Dr. Hyde’s extension programs teach farm managers about critical issues associated with business management, including business planning, exploration of alternative marketing opportunities, including value-added options, and technology adoption. In recognition of his excellent record of program leadership within Penn State Extension, he was appointed in 2008 as the Extension State Program Leader for Entrepreneurship and Value-Added Agriculture.

The Outstanding Research Award

Dr. Jeffrey Catchmark.  Dr. Catchmark’s research focuses on the structure of cellulose, and its application in sustainable composite materials. Cellulose is the most abundant renewable biopolymer on earth, being a major component in plant cell walls. Cellulose is also produced by some bacteria as an exopolysaccharide or biofilm. Specific research areas include the structure of the elementary cellulose fibril and fibril assemblies, the interaction of cellulose with proteins, cellulose degrading enzymes, and other biologically derived polymers, the biosynthesis of cellulose by the bacteria Gluconacetobacter hansenii and its application as a biomedical material useful for health care, and the development of sustainable cellulose nanocomposite materials which exhibit improved fiber efficiency, wet strength, and water barrier properties. A major focus of the cellulose nanocomposite research is the development of new compostable or recyclable packaging and food handling materials, which do not contain non-biodegradable polymers.