On Friday, December 7th, three outstanding members of the SIPS Soil and Crop Sciences Section were recognized at the annual MacDonald Musgrave Awards ceremony. These awards, the highest honors bestowed by the Section, represent the desire of two crop science faculty members, Dr. Robert Musgrave and Dr. Harry MacDonald, to recognize outstanding accomplishments with the Section of Soil and Crop Sciences, at the time known as the Department of Agronomy. Recipients were Christine Yao-Yun Chang, Post-Doctoral Associate with the Sun research group, Amy Collins, Assistant to the Chair, and Eugene Law, PhD candidate. The awards were presented by SCS Chair, Professor Antonio DiTommaso.
Christine Chang is recognized for her innovations in using advanced sensing and computing technology for digital agriculture. Christine mentors the students working in the Sun lab, leads field crews in collecting data critical to the research program and creates collaborative opportunities between the Sun program and others doing related work in the Department of Earth and Atmospheric Sciences, the section of Plant Breeding and Genetics and the College of Engineering, as well as within Soil and Crop Sciences. She has also been awarded a USDA NIFA post-doctoral research fellowship in 2018, one of the most prestigious awards for post-doctoral associates in the field of agricultural research.
Amy Collins is the Assistant to the Chair for the sections of Soil and Crop Sciences and Plant Breeding and Genetics, where she is recognized for her expert service to both programs. In addition to her expertise in performing her role, she is known for modeling the ideals of Cornell’s skills for success. As the first person visitors and new section members meet when they join SCS, Amy’s welcoming and inclusive manner showcase the type of caring, accepting culture that SCS strives to cultivate.
Eugene Law was awarded the graduate student MacDonald Musgrave award. In addition to his outstanding academic achievements, Eugene is recognized for the time and energy he has contributed to social justice and equity issues at Cornell. He is currently the Chair of the Diversity and International Students Committee of the GPSA, a Graduate Facilitator for the Intergroup Dialogue Project, and participates on the SIPS Diversity and Inclusion Working Group. In Spring 2018, Eugene served on the Presidential Task Force on Campus Climate and was awarded the Office of Inclusion and Student Engagement’s Diversity and Inclusion Change Agent Award, among numerous other awards and acknowledgements. His contributions beyond campus include volunteer work with a local Boy Scout troop and as a STEM mentor in the Syracuse City School District.
In addition to awarding the MacDonald Musgrave Awards, Toni DiTommaso presented Tim Setter with a McGraw Tower desk clock for his many years of service as Section Chair for Soil and Crop Sciences. Harold van Es and Jeffrey Melkonian were recognized for their role in development of Adapt-N, winner of the $1M Tulane Prize.