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UF/IFAS to honor 3 faculty members for global work

GAINESVILLE, Fla.— Recognizing their leadership in global agricultural affairs, the University of Florida Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences will honor three faculty members with the 2015 UF/IFAS International Awards. There ceremony will be held from 3:30 p.m. to 5 p.m. on Feb. 11 in the Keene Faculty Center, Dauer Hall.

Gregory MacDonald, Robert McCleery and E. Vanessa Campoverde will be celebrated for their contributions to both UF/IFAS and the world.

“This is a great distinction and honor for each that reflects the global stature of their career accomplishments and the high esteem in which they are held not only here in UF/IFAS but also worldwide,” said Jack Payne, senior vice president for agriculture and natural resources.

MacDonald, who has been a professor in the agronomy department for nearly 17 years, will be honored with the UF/IFAS International Fellow Award. He has garnered $2.1 million in funding for international development and is currently the principal investigator for a four-year USAID-Peanut Mycotoxin Innovation Lab project on technologies to improve peanut production, processing and utilization in Haiti.

MacDonald is the co-principal investigator and collaborator for another four-year project in Ghana and Malawi. He was also the former principal investigator for two USAID-Peanut Cooperative Research Support Program projects in Guyana.

“I am humbled for receiving this award,” MacDonald said. “I am honored to be recognized for my efforts to help change agronomy and agriculture.”

McCleery will be honored with the UF/IFAS International Achievement Award for his extensive research on improving and understanding how land-use changes alter wildlife communities and ultimately impact human well-being. Along with his collaborators, McCleery uses an interdisciplinary approach aimed to conserve wildlife populations and understand how land-use changes influence ecosystem services important to human populations.

“I am extremely honored and appreciative of this award,” said McCleery. “Hopefully, this will inspire others to help preserve the ecosystem.”

McCleery has two major research efforts in southern Africa. Since joining UF, he has established a research training center in Swaziland, Africa, which was recognized by Popular Science as one of the top 10 labs for undergraduates run by U.S. universities.

Campoverde has been a UF/IFAS commercial ornamental horticulture Extension agent in Miami-Dade County since January 2011. She will be recognized with the UF/IFAS Award for Excellence in Internationalizing Extension. Her achievements range from presentations in Colombia, Peru and the Netherlands, to hosting professionals in Paraguay, Netherlands, Colombia, Costa Rica, South Korea, China and Tanzania.

“I appreciate this honor and I am happy that my achievements made a difference in the agriculture world.” Campoverde said.

Campoverde has participated in three Associate for International Agricultural and Extension Education conferences, and created teaching and education materials that have been utilized by her Extension peers.

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By: Brinkley Clark, 954-600-8257, clarb1563@yahoo.com

 

Source: Jack Payne, 352-392-1971, jackpayne@ufl.edu