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Published May 19, 2023
The Wyoming Agricultural Experiment Station (WAES) honored faculty and staff for exemplary performance and research accomplishments at its annual awards banquet earlier this month.
WAES is the research arm of the University of Wyoming College of Agriculture, Life Sciences and Natural Resources. Honorees recognized at the banquet are staff members at research and extension centers operated by the experiment station as well as campus-based faculty.
Early Career Research Award
Cody Gifford, an assistant professor of meat science and the meat lab supervisor in the UW Department of Animal Science, received the 2022 WAES Early Career Research Award. This award recognizes outstanding research conducted by scientists with less than six years of experience directing an independent research program.
“Dr. Cody Gifford exemplifies the highest quality of faculty at UW,” says WAES Director Eric Webster.
Gifford’s research focuses on meat quality and flavor; live animal management factors that impact carcass and sensory characteristics; and the role of meat products in human dietary programs.
“The research breadth that Dr. Gifford is involved with speaks to his diverse skillset and success as a collaborator,” says Hannah Cunningham-Hollinger, an assistant professor of animal genetics. “He has outstanding expertise in meat science at the basic and applied level, knowledge and experience in production systems of both cattle and sheep, and additional expertise in human nutrition.”
Outstanding Research Award
Dan Wall, a professor of molecular biology, is best known for his study of microbial social interactions. His research focuses on myxobacteria, organisms that engage in complex social interactions and serve as models for understanding the evolution of multicellularity.
In recognition of his world-renowned research contributions, Wall received the 2022 WAES Outstanding Research Award, an honor awarded to established scientists in the College of Agriculture, Life Sciences and Natural Resources.
“Dr. Dan Wall is one of those scientists who could be working in a high-tech, medical-related business but chooses to use his talents as a researcher and teacher at UW,” Webster says. “We are lucky to have him in our college.”
WAES Staff Award
Created in honor of Kathleen Bertoncelj, a longtime WAES staff member, the Kathleen Bertoncelj WAES Staff Award recognizes employees who excel in their positions. This year, two people received the honor.
According to his colleagues, Tyler Jones embodies the spirit of the award. As assistant manager of research, outreach and production at the Sheridan Research and Extension Center, Jones is “the perfect combination of researcher and farmer. He makes us all better with his dedication and can-do attitude,” a co-worker and nominator wrote.
“It is hard to find someone who can successfully produce high-quality agricultural products; design, implement, analyze and interpret research studies; and do it all with humility and genuine care for others,” adds Brian Mealor, director of the Sheridan Research and Extension Center.
Ben Hollinger, assistant farm manager at the Laramie Research and Extension Center, also received a 2022 WAES Staff Award.
Faculty and students agree that Hollinger is instrumental to the success of UW’s agricultural research program.
“We are very lucky to have Ben on board,” says Scott Lake, director of the Laramie Research and Extension Center.
Hollinger maintains the center’s beef herd; supports graduate and faculty research; and manages a team of undergraduate student workers, among other duties. This year, he helped launch the first UW High Altitude Bull Test and Sale.
“Ben has showcased extensive forward thinking for research, educational and extension programs,” Gifford says.
About the Wyoming Agricultural Experiment Station
WAES supports fundamental and applied research on agricultural, natural and community resource issues related to the current and future needs of the state, region and beyond. Its mission is to lead research at UW that stimulates the profitability, diversification and sustainability of the agricultural economy. For more information, visit www.uwyo.edu/uwexpstn, email firstname.lastname@example.org or call (307) 766-3667.