Alcorn School of AREAS recognizes staff at Awards and Recognition Ceremony

The School of Agriculture, Research, Extension, and Applied Sciences (AREAS) celebrated its first Awards and Recognition Ceremony on April 20, 2016 in the Ray Johnson Assembly Center of the Extension and Research Complex on the Lorman campus.

In February 2015, the awards and recognition committee was established with the provided charge: to develop policies, procedures, and guidelines by which the personnel in the School of AREAS could survey, nominate and select their colleagues and peers for their noted accomplishments in the categories of Research, Extension, Teaching, Staff, and the Overall Dean’s Award.

Dr. Andra D. Johnson, assistant director of research, greeted the AREAS faculty, staff, and invited guests. He posed the question, “Can anything good come out of Alcorn?” and responded with “come and see.” He proclaimed that the event was a “come and see” moment and that better was forthcoming. He ended his message with lasting words from his grandmother, saying, “You ain’t seen nothing yet.”

The purpose of the event was given by Deidre Knox, executive assistant to the dean. In her message, she thanked Dr. Ivory W. Lyles, dean and director of land-grant programs, School of AREAS, for his vision and the various committees for supporting that vision.

“To the honorees, we salute you and we celebrate you for being the first Awards and Recognition honorees. Thank you for your commitment, dedication and hard work,” she said.

Guests were entertained with musical selections by the ASU Male Quintet, conducted by Karl Twyner. Several songs were featured such as Glory, Glory, Praise His Name, and Troubles in My Way.

Dr. Keith McGee, interim chair, Center for Biotechnology, provided the award selection criteria.

“We were looking for were individuals known as being active in their respective departments,” he said.

The voting process was conducted by survey and by popular vote. The honorees are as follows:

The Teaching Award of Excellence was given to Dr. Martha Ravola, associate professor. “I am happy and feel affirmed to be nominated and selected by my dean, colleagues, and peers,” Ravola asserted. An accomplished academician and researcher, she began her work at Alcorn in 2009 in the Department of Human Sciences. In October 2015, she was promoted to assistant vice president for Academic Program Support and Graduate Studies.

The Research Award of Excellence was given to Dr. Magid Dagher, director of the Mississippi Small Farm and Agribusiness Center and Professor of Agricultural Economics.

“I think the award [ceremony] is a good thing for the staff, faculty, and students. It shows appreciation for the hard work that is done by people in all of the categories that were mentioned,” he said. “It makes me feel better about the institution when we have a culture where we recognize and show appreciation for substantial contributions that are made to elevate the institution to a higher level.”

The Extension Award of Excellence was given to Anthony Reed.

“I consider winning this award the wind beneath my wings,” he said. Reed serves as interim associate administrator for Alcorn’s Extension Program, and is working on all special projects and initiatives within the School of AREAS. Reed directs and oversees the day-to-day activities for all programs that Alcorn Extension implements throughout the state of Mississippi.

The Staff Award of Excellence as well as the Overall Dean’s award was presented to Marriel Hardy.

“It always feels good to be recognized, especially when you hold something near and dear to you heart like I do Alcorn,” he stated. He serves as the television producer/director for the Office of AREAS Communications, and is responsible for all aspects of digital audio/visual content production.

The closing remarks were given by the Dean Lyles. He thanked the committee for their hard work in putting the event and everything associated with it together.

“This is the first, things will get better,” he declared. He ended by thanking the honorees for all of their hard work and encouraging others to strive to become honorees next year.

Media Interns Renita Lacy and Monique Mansfield, contributed to this story.

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