May 16, 2012

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Vic Lechtenberg 

Lechtenberg receives Inaugural Morrill Award

Vic Lechtenberg, PhD ’71, dean of the College of Agriculture from 1993 to 2004, is the recipient of the Inaugural Morrill Award.

The award commemorates the 150th anniversary of the Morrill Act, which allowed for the creation of U.S. land-grant colleges and universities in 1862. The award was established to honor outstanding career achievements of Purdue University faculty members.

Lechtenberg, now special assistant to the president of Purdue and director of the Purdue Center for Regional Development, was cited for a career that embodies the award's spirit of excellence and synergy among teaching, research and engagement.

Sonny Ramaswamy

Ramaswamy, former Purdue Ag associate dean, now heads NIFA

Sonny Ramaswamy, associate dean in the Purdue University College of Agriculture from 2006 to 2009, was appointed by President Barack Obama as director of the U.S. Department of Agriculture's National Institute of Food and Agriculture. He began in his new role May 7.

Ramaswamy most recently was dean of the College of Agricultural Sciences at Oregon State University.

At Purdue, Ramaswamy served as director of Agricultural Research Programs, now called Agricultural Research at Purdue, and was associate dean for research.

NIFA is part of USDA's research, education and economics mission area. It links the USDA with universities and other public and private organizations to advance research, Extension and higher education in the food and agricultural sciences and related environmental, social and human sciences.

AgEcon bestows Apex Awards; 2 alumni among recipients

The Department of Agricultural Economics has presented its annual Apex Awards in recognition of individuals with a strong connection to the department and who have made outstanding contributions in their fields.

This year's honorees are: Jim Hicks, B.S. ’61, president and chief executive of Jim Hicks and Company of Brea, Calif.; Nadine McGowan, Hoosier Division manager for Vector Marketing & Cutco Cutlery of Olean, N.Y.; Felix Jens Spinelli, PhD, ’91, a senior agricultural economist with the U.S. Department of Agriculture's Natural Resources Conservation Service in the Resource Economics, Analysis and Policy Division; and Kip Tom (Purdue Midwest Food and Agribusiness Executive Program), managing member of Tom Farms and president of CereServ Inc., both of Leesburg, Ind.

The Apex Award, started in 2004, has now been given to 36 people.

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