College honors staff achievements

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    KIRSTEN GUDMUNDSE

    Several faculty and staff members of the College of Biology and Agriculture received achievement awards at the college’s annual opening social last Friday.

    Distinguished Service awards were presented to Mark Gardner, animal caretaker for the college, and Wesley “Skip” Skidmore, Monte L. Bean Life Science Museum assistant curator of animals.

    Awards were also presented to four other faculty members. Associate Professor of Microbiology Kim O’Neill received the Creative Achievement in Research award, Agronomy and Horticulture Chair Richard Terry received the Distinguished Teaching award, Associate Professor in Food Science and Nutrition Kay Franz and Professor of Botany and Range Science Bruce Smith received College Professorship awards.

    Awards were chosen by the College of Biology and Agriculture dean’s office and faculty members.

    “For all the awards, we looked for excellence in their respective fields. For the staff awards we looked for excellence in their service, such as going the extra mile to assist the faculty and the college,” said Associate Dean Richard Heninger.

    Gardner, who has worked at BYU for five years, is responsible for taking care of animals for the college’s animal research lab. He was honored to receive a Distinguished Service award at the social.

    “Winning the award tells me that they must be satisfied with my work and are confident with my work as well. That is the biggest satisfaction knowing they are pleased with what I am doing,” he said.

    Skidmore also received the Distinguished Service award. He began working with the Bean Museum as a student in 1976 and now assists faculty curators and students with research and helps create museum exhibits.

    “I was totally surprised to win this award. When I think of those who get awards like this, I think of more noticeable, people-oriented jobs. My job is more quiet and behind the scenes, so this award was completely not expected,” Skidmore said.

    O’Neill won the Creative Achievement award for cancer research, he said. O’Neill has been at BYU for five years.

    Terry was chosen for the Distinguished Teaching award because of his dedicated efforts in the college.

    “For the teaching award, we looked at the innovations and excellence in teaching as judged by the faculty and students,” Heninger said.

    Franz, who’s been at BYU for 28 years, was honored to have her work recognized with the College Professorship award.

    “I feel appreciated for all the things that I have been working on. The award gives me an acknowledgment that my work is important,” she said.

    Smith, also a College Professorship award recipient, was pleased with the recognition as well.

    “I was surprised and thrilled to get this award,” he said. “I consider it one of the greatest honors in a college.” Smith has done research on plant metabolism in collaboration with other faculty members

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