CALS Awards

February 7, 2019


The College of Agriculture and Life Sciences recently selected outstanding faculty and staff to be awarded for their contributions to the education, service, research, and dedication that makes CALS so great. The Department of Agronomy would like to recognize our very own who were awarded.



Thomas Lubberstedt, a professor and K.J. Frey Chair in agronomy and the director of the Iowa State R.F. Baker Center for Plant Breeding, received the Outstanding Achievement in Research Award. He is a pioneer in implementing two novel concepts in plant breeding – the functional marker and invitro nursery. His research is combating Maize Lethal Necrosis Disease, a major threat to maize production in East Africa.

The Early Advancement in Extension and Outreach Award goes to Mark Licht, assistant professor in agronomy and an ISU Extension cropping systems specialist. Licht regularly presents and publishes on cropping systems to farmers, crop consultants, industry representatives, agriculture-based businesses and the general public

Stephanie Zumbach, student services specialist in the agronomy, received the Outstanding Service in Student Recruitment and Retention Award. During the past six years her dedication has helped increase enrollment by 20 percent and helped recruit more women into the program.

Maria Salas-Fernandez, associate professor in agronomy, received the Raymond and Mary Baker Agronomic Excellence Award. Salas-Fernandez joined the department 10 years ago and has developed a successful sorghum-breeding program and made significant contributions in genomics, physiology and phenotyping bringing enhanced knowledge about the genetic mechanisms that affect crop production.

The Team Award goes to the ISU Plant Breeding Education in Africa team. The team was formed to address a critical need to educate the next generation of plant breeders at the Masters of Science level in Africa. The project received support from the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation totaling $2.8 million, which was distributed between the Agronomy and Agricultural Education and Studies departments. Congrats to the team; Walter Suza, Mike Retallick (agriculture education and studies), Kendall Lamkey, Gretchen Anderson, Jessica Barb, Shuizhang Fei (horticulture), Judy Levings (agriculture education and studies), Thomas Lubberstedt, Assibi Mahama, Greg Miller (agriculture education and studies), Siddique Aboobucker, William Beavis, Patrick Golus, Todd Hartnell, Laura Merrick, Andy Rohrback, Arti Singh, Asheesh Singh and Lizhi Wang.