MSU's College of Forest Resources honors faculty, staff at annual awards ceremony

By: Vanessa Beeson

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Posted: 11/26/2018

MSU's College of Forest Resources honors faculty, staff at annual awards ceremony Photo By: David Ammon

Mississippi State's College of Forest Resources and the Forest and Wildlife Research Center recently honored several faculty and staff during an annual awards ceremony.

At the campus event recognizing faculty and staff in the areas of teaching, research and service achievements, George Hopper praised the honorees for their dedication to advancing the field of natural resources. Hopper is both dean of the college and FWRC director.

"Our faculty are national experts in their respective fields. They are dedicated to training the next generation of leaders and discovering new ways to enhance and sustain our natural resources. It is an honor to recognize their efforts in teaching, research and outreach," Hopper said.

This year's honorees include:

—Professor David Evans, Department of Forestry, CFR Teaching Award. As a central figure in the forestry department's spatial technology/remote sensing curriculum, Evans teaches a dendrology course required of all forestry and wildlife, fisheries and aquaculture majors. He said he's most proud of his work in engaging students in that course, with his classroom evaluations exceeding 4.0. He also teaches two split level courses—special technologies in natural resource management and remote sensing applications. He advises approximately 20 undergraduate students each year, and he currently guides the work of two master's students and serves on three additional thesis committees. Evans volunteers as part of the summer field program and serves as coordinator for the natural resource technology concentration that is part of the natural resource and environmental degree.

—Assistant Professor Garrett Street, Department of Wildlife, Fisheries and Aquaculture, CFR Research Award. In his three years at MSU, Street has published 20 research manuscripts, included in such top tier journals as Ecology and Evolution. He's submitted 17 grant proposals and has received $1.8 million in outside research funding. Each year, undergraduate scholars have conducted research in his lab. He also advises four graduate students and serves on seven additional master's committees. His students have written manuscripts and participated in more than 30 presentations at regional and national meetings. Additionally, he serves as associate editor for the journal Animal Ecology and review editor for the journal Frontiers in Ecology and Evolution.

Service Award Winner—Extension Professor Daryl Jones, Department of Wildlife, Fisheries and Aquaculture, CFR Extension Award. As coordinator for Natural Resource Enterprises, Jones has helped landowners generate more than $2 million in revenue through recreational activities on their lands. His workshops have attracted more than 250 participants who collectively own over 100,000 acres of land.

—Assistant Professor Marcus Lashley, Department of Wildlife, Fisheries and Aquaculture, CFR Early Career Award. In his three years at MSU, Lashley has published 28 research manuscripts with an additional 12 submitted and in review. He's submitted 33 grant proposals and received more than $1.68 million in outside research funding. He advises six master's and two doctoral students while serving on six additional graduate committees.

—Extension Professor Stephen Dicke, Department of Forestry, CFR Service Award. Dicke serves on the Mississippi Forestry Association board of directors and is a trustee for the Mississippi Forestry Foundation. He also chairs MFA's Project Learning Tree committee, an international award-winning environmental curriculum for school teachers. Under his leadership, nearly 1,000 educators have been trained. He also serves as regional chair for the Mississippi Tree Farm program, overseeing 20 counties in Central Mississippi. He developed a Mississippi Forest Stewardship Manage Plan Template for landowners and foresters and has been active in the MFA's Youth Forestry Committee, as a service-leader for Boy Scout Forestry Days, attended by more than 700 scouts.

Professorships—Professor and Head Andrew Kouba, Department of Wildlife, Fisheries and Aquaculture, named the Dale H. Arner Professor of Wildlife Ecology and Management. Kouba's leadership contributed to a department that published 89 peer-reviewed manuscripts and garnered more than $5 million in extramural grants in 2017. He also worked to restructure the department's curriculum, adding more 8,000-level courses and more options for Maymester classes. In 2017, he authored or co-authored nine peer-reviewed publications, as well as eight presentations/posters and helps manage a Graduate Recruitment Assistance Grant from the MSU Office of the Graduate School to increase female and minority graduate student enrollment.

—Professor and Head Rubin Shmulsky, Department of Sustainable Bioproducts, named the Warren S. Thompson Professor of Wood Science. Shmulsky has served the Department of Sustainable Bioproducts, (formerly Forest Products) for nearly 15 years, earning his master's and doctoral degrees from the program in the 1990s. He has taught several courses, authored 74 peer-reviewed publications as well as four textbooks. He has served as principal investigator on several research projects including a five-year multistate program focused on valuing Southern pine. He advises and serves on the committees of several graduate students and is involved in professional organizations including the Forest Products Society, where he was a recent international conference chair and executive board member.

—Professor Changyou Sun, Department of Forestry, named the George L. Switzer Professor of Forestry. A faculty member in the MSU Department of Forestry for 15 years, Sun has authored 55 refereed publications, taught nearly a dozen different courses in forestry, advises 10 undergraduates each semester, and currently serves on five graduate committees. He is associate editor of economics for Forest Science and on the editorial board of International Forestry Review.

Doris Lee awards—Edward Entsminger, research associate II, Department of Sustainable Bioproducts, Doris Lee Memorial Outstanding Professional Staff Award. Entsminger, who has been in the department for four years, was recently promoted to his current position and is engaged in research and outreach, including managing the Wood Magic Science Fair Mobile Unit, which reaches more than 10,000 secondary students each year around the state. He has authored or co-authored six peer-reviewed articles, one book chapter and more than 35 popular articles.

—Christopher McGinnis, building maintenance technician II, Department of Sustainable Bioproducts, Doris Lee Memorial Outstanding Support Staff Award. McGinnis, who has been with MSU for four years, is responsible for infrastructure maintenance of a 10-acre complex with more than 90,000 square feet of floor space.

Caption: Faculty excellence award winners Assistant Professor Garrett Street, Assistant Professor Marcus Lashley, Professor David Evans and Extension Professor Stephen Dicke took home the categories of research, early career, teaching and service, respectively. (Photo by David Ammon)

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