Office of Engagement honors 3 faculty members, team from Agriculture

May 13, 2015  

WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. —Purdue University's Office of Engagement has named the winners of four faculty and staff engagement awards for 2015.

The awards honor faculty and staff members who combine scholarship and community partnerships to have a positive impact beyond campus.

"These individuals and teams have applied their research to improving the world around us," said Steve Abel, associate vice president for engagement. "The results are felt everywhere from Indiana to across the globe."

The honorees are:

* William Oakes, professor of engineering, the Faculty Engagement Fellow Award. This award is given to a full professor whose work has led to a strong record of engagement.

Oakes is internationally recognized for his work with the EPICS - Engineering Projects in Community Service - program. Through EPICS, students get real-world experience helping solve community problems. Oakes has grown the program and its impact at Purdue, within the local community, nationally and internationally. He was cited in particular for EPICS' work with Habitat for Humanity.

* Robert X. Browning, associate professor of political science and communication, the Faculty Engagement Scholar Award. This award is given to an assistant or associate professor with an outstanding record of early achievement and a strong indication of future contributions to engagement.

Browning founded the C-SPAN archive at Purdue in 1987 and has directed it for Purdue and C-SPAN since the beginning. He has drawn on his knowledge of politics, communication, computer and video equipment, and database and indexing software for the archive. He has built it into a widely used resource for journalists, politicians, candidates, scholars and others.

* Carla Johnson, College of Education associate dean for engagement and global affairs, the Christian J. Foster Award. This award is given to a faculty member who has contributed to K-12 STEM - science, technology, engineering and math - education in Indiana.

Johnson's work in Indiana is focused on engaging industry, business, K-12 schools and higher education in innovative partnerships to advance STEM education. She has worked with the Indiana Department of Education.

* The Purdue Improved Crop Storage (PICS) Team in the College of Agriculture, the Corps of Engagement Award. This award is given to a team of faculty, staff, students and/or community stakeholders for outstanding partnership and achievement in engagement.

The PICS Team, working with Catholic Relief Services, has brought the benefits of research directly to those for whom it has the most potential to help. In this case, those are farming families in Sub-Saharan Africa and beyond.

Members of the team are Corinne E.N. Alexander, associate professor, agricultural economics; Dieudonné Baributsa, research assistant professor, entomology; Carole L. Braund, program administrator, international programs in agriculture; Natalie J. Carroll, professor, youth development and agricultural education; Heather Fabries, managing director, international programs in agriculture; Joan Fulton, professor, agricultural economics; William Horan, Extension educator; Katy G. Ibrahim, retiree, College of Agriculture; James Lowenberg-DeBoer, professor of agricultural economics; Lisa Mauer, professor of food science; Amanda Mosiman, Extension educator; Larry L. Murdock, professor of entomology; George M. Okantey, Extension educator; Maria H. Restrepo-Turner, Extension educator; Jacob Ricker-Gilbert, assistant professor of agricultural economics; and Charles P. Woloshuk, professor of botany and plant pathology.

The engagement awards were presented at a luncheon Wednesday (May 13). 

Writer: Judith Barra Austin, 765-494-2432,

Source: Steve Abel, 765-494-2744, 

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