32 Honored with Awards; Many Promoted Across the State



Dr. Don Tyler, UT Institute of Agriculture, center

Dr. Don Tyler (shown on his soapbox), a recently retired professor in biosystems engineering and soil science, was honored with the Institute’s AgResearch Impact Award. Tyler’s research has saved literally millions of acres of top soil through no-till agricultural practices – where one crop is planted on top of the residue of a past crop without plowing the ground. In 2015 he was honored by the White House as a “Champion of Change for Sustainable Agriculture." Shown with Tyler are Dr. Bill Brown, Dean of UT AgResearch (left), and Dr. Larry Arrington, UTIA Chancellor.


A NOTE TO OUR READERS: Please click on the highlighted names to see a description of each award/winner.

KNOXVILLE, Tenn. – The University of Tennessee Institute of Agriculture recently presented several awards to top faculty, staff, researchers and outreach experts. Thirty-two people were recognized at UTIA’s annual Awards and Promotions Luncheon held in early August. Many of the awards are gifts made possible by past faculty, alumni and friends of the Institute.

“We are so proud of the many talented and dedicated people working for the UT Institute of Agriculture across the state,” says UTIA Chancellor Larry Arrington. “It was an honor to recognize all these award winners for their hard work.”

The 2016 winners are:

Bill and Ann Hicks New Extension Worker Award – Justin Thomas, UT Extension - Bradley County

Vernon and Ida Darter Award​ – Heather Kyle-Harmon, UT Extension - Knox County

Lloyd and Nettie Downen Award – Justin Crowe, Tennessee 4-H Administrator

G.L. Carter 4-H Agent Award​ – Staci Foy, UT Extension – Henry County

Alice Ann Moore 4-H Agent Award​ – Joe Griffy, UT Extension – Stewart County

Tennessee Association of Agricultural Agents – Hicks Award –
Alan Bruhin, UT Extension – Sevier County
Rebekah Norman, UT Extension – Montgomery County
Melody Rose, UT Extension – Greene County

Charles and Julie Wharton Award of Extension Achievements –
Judy Kovach​, UT Extension – Robertson County
Bob Shumake​, UT Extension – Weakley County
Tom Stebbins​, UT Extension – Hamilton County

Cavender Award for Best Publication – Heather S. Wallace, UT Extension, Kayla Sizemore, UT Child and Family Studies​, Scott Stewart, UT Extension, Angela Thompson-McClure, UT Extension​

J.E. Moss Achievement Awards –
Bob DeNovo​, UT College of Veterinary Medicine
Shigetoshi Eda, UT AgResearch
Amy Fulcher, UT Extension
David Golden, UT College of Agricultural Sciences and Natural Resources

E.J. Chapman Award​ – Catheryn Hance, UT College of Veterinary Medicine

Gamma Sigma Delta Team Award – Master Teacher Program Team, UT College of Veterinary Medicine

Webster Pendergrass Award
– Rebecca Gompf, UT College of Veterinary Medicine, Small Animal Clinical Sciences

Mildred Pendergrass Award​ – James Newburn, UT Gardens Curator

AgResearch Impact Award
– Don Tyler, UT AgResearch

Professional/Academic Award – Sabrina Klepper, UT College of Veterinary Medicine, Small Animal Clinical Sciences

William Miles Community Service Award​ – Marcy Souza, UT College of Veterinary Medicine, Biomedical and Diagnostic Services

B. Ray Thompson Award​ – Mike Buschermohle, UT Extension

Williams – “Prof” Lidvall Teaching Award – Paris Lambdin, UT Entomology and Plant Pathology

T.J. Whatley Young Scientist Award​ – Jennifer DeBruyn, UT Biosystems Engineering and Soil Science

In addition to these awards, the following UTIA professionals received promotions:

To Professor:
Seong-Hoon Cho – UT Agricultural and Resource Economics

Silke Hecht – UT College of Veterinary Medicine, Small Animal Clinical Sciences
Dayton Lambert - UT Agricultural and Resource Economics
Nicole Labbe – UT Forestry, Wildlife and Fisheries
Shelly Newman – UT College of Veterinary Medicine, Biomedical and Diagnostic Services
Adam Taylor - UT Forestry, Wildlife and Fisheries

To Associate Professor with tenure:
David M. Butler – Plant Sciences
Jennifer M. DeBruyn – Biosystems Engineering & Soil Science
Amy F. Fulcher – Plant Sciences
Sharon R. Jean-Philippe – Forestry, Wildlife & Fisheries
Andrea L. Ludwig – Biosystems Engineering & Soil Science
Justin D. RhinehartAnimal Science

From Extension Program Leader II to Extension Program Leader III:
M. Allisen PennCentral District Agricultural Extension Office

From Extension Program Leader I to Extension Program Leader II:
Martin R. Koon, Jr. – Central District Agricultural Extension Office

From Extension Specialist II to Extension Specialist III:
Megan B. Leffew  – UT Center for Profitable Agriculture

From Extension Specialist I to Extension Specialist II:
Lori A. Gallimore – ALEC/4-H Youth Development

From Extension Agent II/County Director to Extension III/County Director:
Barbara A. Berry – Gibson County Extension Office
Christina C. Carr – Overton County Extension Office
Sondra L. Ganus Thorne – Hardin County Extension Office


From Extension Agent II to Extension Agent III:
G. Renee Badon – Dickson County Extension Office
Shelly N. Barnes – Wilson County Extension Office
W. Gregg Upchurch – Cumberland County Extension Office

From Extension Agent I/County Director to Extension Agent II/County Director:
J. Blake Ramsey – Hawkins County Extension Office

From Extension Agent I to Extension Agent II:
Mary Beth Antunes – Williamson County Extension Office
Kathleen F. Dees – Hardeman County Extension Office
Aneta W. Eichler – Sequatchie County Extension Office
Jonathan W. Johns – Franklin County Extension Office
J. Trent Jones – Smith County Extension Office
Sarah E. Keenan – Sumner County Extension Office



Through its mission of research, teaching and extension, the University of Tennessee Institute of Agriculture touches lives and provides Real. Life. Solutions. ag.tennessee.edu

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Contact: Charles Denney, 865-382-8058 (mobile), cmdenney@utk.edu