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UW College of Agriculture and Natural Resources Honors Alumni, Collaborators, Faculty

September 12, 2018
Jim and Jill (Lynch) Anderson, Jody Levin, Adalberto Angel Pérez de León and Scott Shaw

An advocate for issues affecting Wyoming and the director of a laboratory that benefits livestock industries and people worldwide are outstanding alumni award recipients from the College of Agriculture and Natural Resources at the University of Wyoming.

Jody Levin, of Cheyenne, and Adalberto Angel Pérez de León, of Kerrville, Texas, are among award recipients to be recognized during Ag Appreciation Weekend Friday and Saturday, Sept. 14-15.

Others are the Whitney Foundation of Sheridan for its collaboration with the college in developing agricultural educational opportunities with UW; James (Jim) and Jill (Lynch) Anderson, of Colorado, for establishing a scholarship for students; and Scott Shaw, a UW professor of entomology, for his teaching, research and scholarship.

Awards will be presented Friday, and recipients will be recognized on Jonah Field Saturday during the Wyoming-Wofford football game. Full stories are at bit.ly/2018agawards.

Outstanding Alumni

Boulder-area native Levin graduated with undergraduate and graduate degrees and interned with then-Sen. Craig Thomas’ office, later becoming legislative director from 2001-02. She returned to Wyoming and was the state’s first endangered species coordinator.

“I owe everything to the College of Agriculture,” she says.

She launched Levin Strategic Resources LLC in 2009, specializing in government and public affairs representation. This year, she completed her term as president of the Wyoming Capitol Club. She is a member of the UW College of Agriculture and Natural Resources Dean’s Advisory Board.

“She has been a staunch advocate for issues affecting Wyoming citizens, and her grassroots advocacy and community outreach have made her a trusted liaison between the people and government,” says Ben Rashford, head of the Department of Agricultural and Applied Economics in the college.

Pérez grew up in Veracruz, Mexico. He received his master’s degree at the University of Georgia and his doctorate from UW. He continued his graduate vesicular stomatitis research with the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) Agricultural Research Service (ARS) and now is the laboratory director of the USDA ARS Knipling-Bushland U.S. Livestock Insects Research Laboratory in Kerrville.

“It’s no secret I stood on the shoulders of giants,” says Pérez of his experience as a doctoral student in the college. One of those he credits is his co-adviser Jack Lloyd, who died in March.

Christopher Chase, then with the USDA ARS Arthropod-Borne Animal Disease Research in Laramie, made a recruitment trip to visit Perez in Georgia.

“When I first met him, it was apparent there was something special about Beto,” Chase says. “Now, he has made his mark as a world-renowned leader in developing policy and plans for national programs in both veterinary and medical entomology.”

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Research/Outreach Partner Award

The Whitney Foundation’s agricultural efforts include more than $3 million toward building curriculum with the College of Agriculture and Natural Resources and establishing the Edward E. Whitney Agricultural Instructor position at Sheridan College. In addition, the foundation agreed to enter a 50-year free lease with UW for the Adams Ranch, immediately south of Sheridan College, for use by the Wyoming Agricultural Experiment Station.

“We believe Mr. Whitney would be quite pleased to see these educational opportunities for both local and the state’s youths,” says Whitney Benefits Vice President Roy Garber, of Big Horn.

Legacy Award

Jill (Lynch) Anderson was raised on her parents’ ranch in Weston County and attended a one-room schoolhouse. She graduated from high school in Newcastle, then received her education degree at UW. Jim Anderson was a graduate student of the UW geology department when they married.

Jill’s parents homesteaded in 1933. The Lynch Ranch has been a family-owned working cattle ranch for 85 years. Jim’s dad’s parents homesteaded in the early 1900s in Laramie County. His mother’s parents moved to the Chugwater area from Iowa, circa 1928.

The couple established the Earl and Minnie Lynch Agriculture Scholarship in 2015 to honor the Lynches’ determination and dedication and, specifically, to support students pursuing graduate degrees in the college. In addition, Jim and his mother, Marie, established the Earl F. and V. Marie Anderson Endowment to support graduate students in natural resource development geology.

Andrew Vanvig Distinguished Faculty Award

Shaw, a professor of entomology and the Insect Museum curator in the UW Department of Ecosystem Science and Management, is the recipient of the Andrew Vanvig Lifetime Distinguished Faculty Achievement Award. During his 25-year tenure at UW, Shaw has discovered and named more than 190 insect species from 29 different countries.

He has written more than 150 scientific publications about insects. Shaw has mentored 21 graduate students and established an undergraduate honors course in tropical ecology that includes opportunities to conduct research at the Yanayacu Biological Station in Ecuador. In recognition of his teaching excellence, Shaw received the College of Agriculture and Natural Resources Outstanding Educator Award in 2010.

Shaw is the author of the book “Planet of the Bugs: Evolution and the Rise of Insects.” He worked with a third-grade class at Big Horn Elementary School in Sheridan County to designate Sheridan’s green hairstreak (Callophrys sheridanii) as the state butterfly.


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