Congratulations to Adrienne Brundage, Ph.D., Robert Jensen, Alexandria Payne, and Kerry Siders who all received Vice Chancellor’s Awards in Excellence this year. These awards recognize the commitment and outstanding contributions displayed by faculty, students and staff members across Texas A&M AgriLife.
The Teaching Award was presented to Adrienne Brundage, Ph.D., instructional assistant professor, Department of Entomology. A member of both the Entomology and Forensic and Investigative Sciences faculties, Brundage teaches numerous online, face-to-face, and hybrid entomology and forensic sciences courses. The Forensic and Investigative Sciences newsletter and website she manages are valuable recruitment tools for prospective students. One of her colleagues observed that Brundage “knows students; she knows the effort it takes to engage them, and she is never afraid to lean full-force into that effort.”
The Graduate Student Research Award was presented to Alexandria Payne, doctoral candidate, Department of Entomology. Payne’s research investigates the interaction of bees, ants and viruses—especially the possibility that ants can harbor honey bee viruses and help spread viruses between colonies. Her research advances the understanding of the decline of pollinators. Awarded the National Science Foundation Graduate Research Fellowship and a Texas A&M Doctoral Diversity Fellowship, she received over $370,000 in grants, fellowships and awards. Payne is a founding member of Aggie Women in Entomology and served as financial director and president.
Extension Education Awards
The County Agent Award was presented to Kerry Siders, AgriLife Extension integrated pest management agent, Hockley and Cochran counties. Siders has conducted over 400 applied research and demonstration trials related to integrated pest management and crop production for cotton, grain sorghum, peanuts and other crops. His data helps producers make reliable pest and production management decisions and provides industry unbiased information about new products. Siders has developed innovative outreach methods such as an IPM text messaging service and a newsletter with updates on research, growing conditions and policy.
The Business and Operational Staff Award was presented to Robert Jensen, business administrator, Unit Business Services. Whether helping student workers get their paychecks on time, graduate assistants complete their employment paperwork, or faculty manage complex grant budget issues, Jensen anticipates problems and suggests efficient uses of funding sources. He also assists with annual performance evaluations for staff members. According to one nominator, Jensen’s leadership and expertise related to business activities for the College and Texas A&M AgriLife Research “are the ‘glue’ that holds the department together.”
A full list of award winners was announced on AgriLife Today.