CAHNS Closes Out Ag Week with Recognition of Top Teacher, Young Researcher, Students of the Year

Dr. Chandra Reddy, Dean of the College of Agriculture, Human and Natural Sciences, left, and Dr. Patricia Crook, Associate Vice President of Academic Affairs, right, present Dr. Sujata Guha with her award as Outstanding Teacher, during a ceremony in the Ferrell-Westbrook Auditorium. Photo by John Cross (TSU Media Relations) See more photos on Flickr


NASHVILLE (TSU News Service) – From teacher of the year to the top young researcher and most outstanding student, the College of Agriculture, Human and Natural Sciences Friday recognized its top performers of 2014.

The ceremony culminated the celebration of CAHN Week, including activities dedicated to each major science program in the College, a Minorities in Agriculture, Natural Resources and Related Sciences Day; and the launching of a Professional Science Master’s in Applied Geospatial Sciences.

Dr. Chandra Reddy, dean of CAHNS, assisted by Dr. Patricia Crook, associate vice president for Academic Affairs, presented certificates and cash awards to the honorees during a ceremony in the Ferrell-Westbrook Research Complex Auditorium on the main campus.

Staff, faculty and students of CAHNS, as well as other senior TSU administration officials and representatives of the various colleges, as well as stakeholders from other institutions and agencies attended the ceremony.

Those honored were:

Dr. Sujata Guha, Outstanding Teacher– Described as a “committed and engaging teacher,” Dr. Guha, associate professor of Chemistry, reaches out to students of varied educational backgrounds to effectively communicate important concepts. She has worked with academically challenged students and students with learning disabilities to build their self-confidence and organizational skills. As Graduate Program Coordinator, Dr. Guha developed and implemented student learning outcomes, mentored and counseled students, and helped them with making career choices. An 11-year member of the TSU faculty, Dr. Guha has published a textbook, Fundamentals of General Chemistry: Part I.

Dr. Karla Addesso, Outstanding Young Researcher – In 2012 Dr. Addesso joined the TSU Otis Floyd Nursery Research Center in the Department of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences as an assistant professor. In less than two years, Dr. Addesso has authored or coauthored several research articles in two referee journals and Extension publications. She holds a Ph.D. in Entomology from the University of Florida, and a B.S. in Biology from the College of New Jersey.

Ikenna Okekeogbu, Outstanding (Doctoral) Graduate Student – A Ph.D. student in the Department of Biological Science, Okekeogbu’s research is focused on the identification and analysis of aluminum-regulated protein and genes in tomato plant. He is a member of the American Society of Plant Biologists, Crop Society of America, and the American Society of Agronomy. He is interested in utilization of molecular research to address the issue of global food security.

Also recognized were: Justine Stefanski, Outstanding Extension Agent; Tamla Thompson, Outstanding Administrative Support; Sarabjti Bhatti, Outstanding Technical Support; Zinia Jaman, Outstanding (Master’s) Graduate Student; Derek Jerome Platt, Outstanding Undergraduate Student – College of Agriculture, Human and Natural Sciences; Kourtney Daniels, Outstanding Undergraduate Student – Department of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences; and Johnathan A. Fitzgerald, Outstanding Undergraduate Student – Department of Biological Sciences

For their cash awards, Drs. Guha and Addesso, and Stefanski received $1,000 each; Bhatti, Thompson, Okekeogbu and Jaman $500 each; Platt, Daniels and Fitzgerald $350 each.

Special awards were also presented to:

Hubert Hamer, Outstanding Alumnus – Hubert, a 1980 graduate of TSU with a bachelor’s degree in Agricultural Science, is the director of the USDA Division of National Agricultural Statistics Service.

Dr. Herb Byrd III, Outstanding Partner – Dr. is the director of Extension Evaluation and Staff Development of the University of Tennessee and human resource officer for the Institute of Agriculture.



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