Alumni & friends news

Mohammed Sadiki ('90) receives CFANS Alumni Society Distinguished Alumni Award


Sadiki ('90, Ph.D. Plant Breeding) 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. 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.

Donald Siniff ('67) honored with the 2015 Fisheries, Wildlife and Conservation Biology Distinguished Alumni Award

Siniff SeaDonald Siniff ('67, Ph.D. Wildlife Biology) is a wildlife ecologist whose pioneering research on wildlife movement greatly advanced the knowledge of both the ecology and conservation of a wide range of animals. Much of his research focused on Antarctic marine mammals -- Weddell, leopard, and crab-eating seals. The Weddell Seal project, initiated in 1968, continues to yield important insights into the population dynamics of these long-lived marine mammals.

(Don Siniff, (top, left) with fellow researchers on an Antarctic sea ice hut - 1973.)

Dr. Siniff's scientific advances have been central to marine mammal conservation as evidenced by the long list of technical panels and committees on which Don has served including Commissioner, Marine Mammal Commission; National Research Council Committee to review the Bering Sea Ecosystem; Consultant for the State of Alaska and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service regarding the Exxon Valdez Oil Spill Damage; Member, National Research Council, Committee on Polar Research; Member, California Sea Otter Recovery Team; and Convenor, the Scientific Committee of Antarctic Research Group on seals.

The award was present to Dr. Siniff as part of the annual FWCB Kolshorn Lecture, in honor of Otto W. Kolshorn, a teacher, farmer, and legislator from Goodhue County, Minnesota. This year's lecture, "Tracking wildlife, advancing conservation: pioneering studies of Antarctic seals, sea otters, and wild horses," was presented by Dr. Siniff.

Michael Martin ('78) receives U of M's Outstanding Achievement Award

Mike MartinA staunch advocate for and leader of land-grant universities will be honored Sept. 25 with a presentation of the University of Minnesota’s Outstanding Achievement Award. Michael Martin ('78, Ph.D. Agricultural Economics), former vice president for agricultural policy and dean of one of CFANS' predecessor colleges, is currently chancellor emeritus of the Colorado State University System and chancellor emeritus and senior fellow of CSU’s Colorado Futures Center.

The Outstanding Achievement Award is conferred on graduates or former students who have attained unusual distinction in their profession or in public service and who have demonstrated outstanding achievement and leadership. More information

Kathryn Turner ('12, '15) receives 2015 Jeanie Borlaug Laube Women in Triticum Early Career award

Kathryn Turner

Four young women wheat scientists received the 2015 Jeanie Borlaug Laube Women in Triticum Early Career awards — Philomin Juliana, Shideh Mojerlou, Kerri Neugebauer, and Kathryn Turner ('12, M.S. & '15, Ph.D. Applied Plant Sciences). They joined the 25 other young women in wheat who have received the award since 2010. 

“I know you are all passionate about your work with wheat. I encourage you to stick with being a scientist and pursue your dreams no matter what the challenges,” said Lesley Boyd, head of National Institute of Agricultural Botany International and a 2011 WIT Mentor awardee herself, who made the awards with Jeanie Borlaug Laube. More information.

Catherine Macpherson ('97) has joined the advisory board of Retrofit

Retrofit, a leading provider of corporate weight management programs, today announced that Catherine Macpherson ('97, M.S. Nutrition), vice president of enterprise adherence at Walgreens, has joined the Retrofit Advisory Board. Retrofit’s board is composed of a multidisciplinary team of prominent weight-loss experts who provide scientific oversight for the organization. 

“Catherine brings valuable health-care product strategy and management expertise to Retrofit,” said Mary Pigatti, Retrofit CEO. “Her passion for health and her background in innovative weight management programs perfectly aligns with our philosophy. Catherine will be a tremendous asset to our organization, as Retrofit continues a bold expansion into corporate weight loss.” More information

Devin Peterson ('97, 01) receives 2015 FEMA Excellence in Flavor Science Award

Devin Peterson ('97, M.S. & '01, Ph.D. Food Science) has been selected by the Flavor and Extract Manufacturers Association (FEMA) to receive the 2015 FEMA Excellence in Flavor Science Award. 

The award is bestowed upon deserving individuals whom have demonstrated outstanding dedication to the advancement of flavor science through original research and publication in peer-reviewed journals, while also being a globally recognized researcher and a highly-acclaimed leader in the field. 

Peterson earned a doctoral degree in flavor chemistry from the University of Minnesota in 2001. He then joined the faculty in the Department of Food Science at Penn State for eight years before returning to Minnesota in 2009 as an Associate Professor, and was promoted to Professor in 2014. In 2011, he initiated the Flavor Research and Education Center, an open innovation industry-academic consortium. Part of the mission of the center is to support the food industry to develop healthier food choices with higher product acceptability. More information