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FNR Names 2022 Department Service Award Honorees

The Purdue Department of Forestry and Natural Resources announced its 2022 service award winners at its Jan. 20 department meeting.

Doug Jacobs headshotDr. Doug Jacobs, the Fred M. van Eck Professor of Forest Biology and Associate Head of FNR, received the William L. Hoover Faculty Service Award. Jacobs volunteered to lead the development of the 2021-2026 FNR Strategic Plan and associated metrics, work for which was mostly completed in 2022.

Jacobs has been a part of the FNR faculty since 2001, first as an assistant professor (2001-06), then as associate professor (2006-11) before being promoted to full professor in 2011. He was tabbed as the Fred M. van Eck Endowed Chair of Forest Biology in 2012 and has acted as one of three associate heads for the department since 2014. Jacobs also has served as director of the Tropical Hardwood Tree Improvement and Regeneration Center (TropHTIRC) since 2017.

Jacobs was previously awarded the Corrine Alexander Spirit of the Land-Grant Mission Award from Purdue in 2018, named an academic leadership fellow of the Big Ten Academic Alliance in 2014 and acted as a Purdue Faculty Scholar from 2011-16.

Les Warren headshotPh.D. student Les Warren received the Exemplary Graduate Student Service Award. Warren, who is studying fisheries and aquatic sciences under Dr. Tomas Höök. He participated in the Research Mentorship Development Program through the Honors College and has mentored eight undergraduate students. Warren has acted as a teaching assistant for FNR 210 (Natural Resource Information Management) and FNR 456 (Fish and Marine Population Dynamics) and stepped in during the fall of 2022 to fill when a faculty instructor for Aquatic Sampling Techniques had to take leave.

Warren serves as the graduate student representative for the Purdue student chapter of the American Fisheries Society. He also is the vice president of the Purdue FNR Graduate Student Council.

Theresa Baker, business assistant-lead, received the Outstanding Clerical/Service Staff Member Award. In her nomination, Baker was described as “the heart and soul of FNR” and a key “go-to person” in Theresa Baker headshotthe department. She is invaluable to the FNR faculty and staff in helping to prepare budgets, allocate stipends and manage research awards. Her job knowledge and history are both major assets to the department.

Baker was previously honored as an Outstanding Administration/Professional Staff member in 2001.

Charlotte Owings, forest project coordinator for the Hardwood Ecosystem Experiment, received the Outstanding Administrative/Professional Staff Award. She is referred to as the “heart and soul of the HEE” by the many faculty, staff and partners who work with her. In 2022, Owings, who has no extension appointment, greatly increased the visibility of the HEE on both the FNR social media network and that of the HEE itself ( She also worked with the Indiana Division of Forestry to help host the Natural Resources Teachers Institute for K-12 schoolteachers.

Charlotte Owings headshotOwings, who received her master’s degree from FNR in 2015, has served as project coordinator for the HEE since 2016, facilitating complex collaborations among researchers from Purdue, the Indiana Department of Natural Resources managers and biologists and faculty at several other universities. In addition to the myriad of duties she serves in on the HEE, Owings advocates for forest management and FNR by serving as a liaison to Let the Sun Shine In – Indiana, a nationally-funded collaboration on forest management among the U.S. Forest Service, the Natural Resources Conservation Service, the Indiana DNR, Indiana Forest and Woodland Owners Association, The Nature Conservancy and the National Wild Turkey Federation.

A look at past FNR faculty, staff, graduate and undergraduate award winners is here: FNR Awards.

William L. Hoover Exemplary Faculty Service Award
2022 – Douglass Jacobs
2021 – Reuben Goforth
2020 – Mike Jenkins
2019 – Eva Haviarova
2018 – Zhao Ma
2017 – Elizabeth Flaherty
2016 – Rob Swihart
2015 – Pat Zollner
2014 – Linda Prokopy
2013 – Rod Williams
2012 – Bill Hoover

Exemplary Graduate Student Service Award
2022 – Les Warren
2021 – Bee Redfield
2020 – Lizz Allmon
2019 – Brandon Quinby
2018 – Mysha Clarke
2017 – Laura D'Acunto
2016 – Randy Creaser
2015 – Casey Day
2014 – n/a
2013 – Joshua Shields
2012 – n/a
2011 – n/a
2010 – n/a
2009 – Katie Crosley
2008 – n/a
2007 – Guha Dharmarajan
2006 – Joseph Duchamp
2005 – Jeff Moore

Outstanding Clerical Staff Member
2022 – Theresa Baker
2021 – Telaina Minnicus
2020 – Jennifer Spitznagle
2019 – Andy Coursey
2018 – Jewel Yeager
2017 – Dawn Oliver
2016 – Tami Conn
2015 – Michael Loesch-Fries
2014 – Janie Gosewehr
2013 – Tracy Simmerman
2012 – Betty Barlow
2011 – Jennifer Spitznagle
2010 – n/a
2009 – Tracie Zimmerman
2008 – n/a
2007 – Kelly Garrett
2006 – Karen Schneider
2005 – Karen Schneider
2004 – Karen Schneider & Sandy Harvey
2003 – Ruby Pearson
2002 – Karen Schneider
2001 – Brian Beheler and Sandy Sorenson

Outstanding AP Staff Member
2022 – Charlotte Owings
2021 – Jackie Getson
2020 – Matt Hamilton
2019 – Cortney Mycroft
2018 – Julie Pluimer
2017 – Brian Beheler
2016 – Don Carlson
2015 – Melissa Widhalm
2014 – Shelly Opperman
2013 – Diana Evans
2012 – Lenny Farlee
2011 – Brian MacGowan
2010 – Jennifer Meyer
2009 – Karen Schneider
2008 – n/a
2007 – Marcia Kremer
2006 – Rita McKenzie
2005 – Brian MacGowan
2004 – Rod Williams
2003 – Jane Alexander
2002 – Brian Beheler
2001 – Theresa Baker
2000 – John Seifert

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