2015 Alumni Society Award Recipients
Student Leadership Award: Undergraduate
Stephan Melson, Agricultural Education Major; Agronomy and Applied Economics Minors
Stephen has served in several leadership positions as a student: as the CFANS Student Board representative for the Agricultural Education Club 2014-2015, student co-chair for the coordination of Celebrate Ag & Food Day, and Director of Public Relations and Alumni for FarmHouse Fraternity in 2014. In addition to his club involvement, Stephen tutors fellow agronomy students, and volunteers regularly for charitable organizations in his community. His peers appreciate his infectious enthusiasm and his contributions to the St. Paul campus community.
Student Leadership Award: Graduate
Justin Carlson, ‘13, B.S. Nutrition
Justin is an active member in the Department of Food Science and Nutrition (FSCN) and a mentor to his fellow students. As a member of the American Society of Nutrition, Justin represented CFANS and the FSCN department at the Experimental Biology conference in April 2014 as an elected presenter. He was recently appointed the Advocacy Chair of the American Diabetes Association while serving as a Young Professional Leadership Committee Member, and serves as the acting Communication Committee Chair for the Minnesota Institute of Food Technologists (MN IFT). He instructed Advanced Human Nutrition within the department when one of his professors was on a semester leave, and created a positive learning environment for his students. His nominator notes that Justin is always willing to go the extra mile for someone and has inspired many students to become more active and involved.
Outstanding Friend Award
R. James Ertl
Jim has dedicated his professional life to the advancement of agricultural education and the FFA; many of his efforts are in partnership with the University of Minnesota and CFANS. Since 1981, Jim has coordinated the Minnesota State FFA Convention in conjunction with CFANS leadership, which serves to host over 3,500 prospective CFANS students annually. He works with faculty to develop and implement career development events that also serve to highlight departments within the college. He also partners with the university through the Minnesota State Fair, specifically the CHS Miracle of Birth Center, by coordinating U of M Vet Med students to assist in the 12 day exhibit that shares with the fair-going public the important role that people play in caring for animals.
Distinguished Staff Award
Dale Nordquist, ’75, B.S. Agricultural Business Administration; ’82, M.S. Agricultural Economics
Dale has been an integral part of the Center for Farm Financial Management since its inception and serves as the bridge between the technical aspect of business simulation in agriculture and active entrepreneurs. His knowledge and guidance have been invaluable to agricultural educators and farm families across Minnesota, and his influence in developing the Finpack program has aided agricultural lenders in their financial analysis.
Distinguished Faculty Award
Claudia Parliament, ‘80, M.S. Agricultural Economics
As a faculty member of the Department of Applied Economics since 1985 and during her concurrent 20-year tenure as Executive Director of the Minnesota Council on Economic Education (MCEE), Claudia has taught, mentored and broadened the experiences of undergraduate and graduate students and her academic peers. Her work in economic education has served hundreds of Minnesota educators, and has also had significant international scope, working with the emerging economies in the former Soviet Union and South Africa. Her concern for financial education needs of disadvantaged adult populations in Minnesota prompted her creation of the “Community Mentorship Program" - a unique program partnering local community agencies across the state with regional Extension educators to build the agency's capacity to deliver financial education. Over 95 agencies across Minnesota have participated, benefitting at least 2,700 low-income or immigrant individuals and their households. Her work has forged invaluable links between CFANS and industry partners, state policymakers, and emerging peer departments in the developing world.
Alumni Advocate Award
David Pfarr, ‘88, B.S. Agronomy
David has been an outstanding advocate for CFANS and the University of Minnesota, especially in the area of student recruitment. His nominator described him as having a "personal mission" to tell prospective college students about the U of M's land-grant legacy and let them know the university is the center for research that improves Minnesota lives and industry. As an extension educator for thirteen years, David worked closely with rural leaders to extend research and education, and he has mentored many to be involved in agricultural education and policy.
Alumni Service Award
Bruce Johnson, ’79, B.S. Forest Products
Bruce is a committed alumnus and donor, an ardent volunteer, an employer, and a terrific mentor. As President of Viking Forest Products, he is one of the leaders in the forest products and building materials industry. He has made recruiting from the Bioproducts Marketing and Management (BPMM) program a top priority in his organization; his passion for this program runs so deep that he and his company recently set up an endowment for BPMM undergraduates as a way of giving back. He has been a great champion for the Department of Bioproducts and Biosystems Engineering and the greater CFANS community and his leadership on the BBE Adisory Council and board has made a significant impact.
Distinguished Alumni Award
Mohammed Sadiki, ’90, Ph.D. Plant Breeding
Mohammed is one of the distinguished Moroccan students trained under a 20-year partnership between the University of Minnesota (USAID funded program) and Morocco's new Institut Agronomique et Veterinaire Hassan II (IAV) from 1969 to 1993. With thirty years of professional career experience and expertise at the crossroads of academic, scientific, research and innovation and agricultural development, he has contributed significantly to his profession and to the development of the agriculture sector in Morocco. During his time at IAV, Dr. Sadiki advanced from Director of Research and Graduate Studies to becoming the Director of the Institute. He influenced the entire revision of the curriculum and implementation of the program structure for the fields of study; a systemic change that has had international impact. The Institute is recognized as one of the premier institute of higher education and research on the continent of Africa. More recently, in his role as Secretary General of the Ministry of Agriculture and Maritime Fisheries, Mohammed has been key to implementation of the Green Morocco Plan—an innovative strategy transforming the national system of agriculture through research, education, policy development and private sector programs.
Lifetime Achievement Award
James H. Hammill, ’57, B.S.; ’62, M.S. Agricultural Economics
Jim's lifelong leadership, service, and gifts have supported the continued excellence of the Minnesota Council on Economic Education (MCEE), the Department of Applied Economics, CFANS, University of Minnesota Extension, and the University of Minnesota. During his long career with the Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis, he was integral in forming the Upper Midwest Agricultural Credit Council (UMACC) to expand awareness of best practices in lending policy and practices and clarification of Federal Reserve requirements for ag bankers. He recognized the need for agricultural education and worked closely with educators at the University of Minnesota, elected officials, regulators, farmers, and bankers to craft strategic solutions to the pressing issues in the upper Midwest farm economy. After his retirement, Jim became very involved with the MCEE, which flourished under his twenty years of service (1992-2012), and continues to benefit from his legacy of leadership. Under his influence, MCEE helped establish the need for state academic standards in economics courses, and state mandates of teaching economics and personal finance that have left a powerful and lasting educational legacy.