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FNR Recognizes 2023 Department Service Award Honorees

The Purdue Department of Forestry and Natural Resources announced its 2023 service award winners at its New Year’s Party on Jan. 4 and more broadly at its Jan. 12 department meeting.

Dr. Barny Dunning, professor of wildlife ecology, was honored with the William L. Hoover ExemplaryDr. Barny Dunning (right) accepts his Exemplary Faculty Service Award from Dr. Reuben Goforth Faculty Service Award. Dunning was recognized for his work on the curriculum committee, his service and leadership to students as an academic advisor, mentor and co-advisor of the FNR Student Council, and for the time he spends with students in the field bird banding.

Dunning came to Purdue in 1994 as an assistant professor of wildlife ecology. He was promoted to associate professor in 1999 and to professor in 2010. He also served as the associate department head for academic programs from 2015 to 2023. Dunning was previously honored at Purdue with the Richard L. Kohls Outstanding Undergraduate Teacher Award in 2010 as well as the Charles Murphy Outstanding Undergraduate Teaching Award and the NACTA Teaching Award of Merit in 2011. He was inducted into the Purdue Great Book of Teachers in 2013.

In his time at Purdue, Dunning has taught 14 different courses, including Environmental Science & Conservation,  Systematics & Ecology of Birds, Reptiles and Amphibians, Advanced Ornithology and Conservation Biology. He has also led study abroad courses to 13 countries. Meanwhile, he has served on the FNR Curriculum Committee since 2000, through which he has been instrumental in revisions of the undergraduate curriculum for all three majors (forestry, aquatic sciences and wildlife). He also served on the College of Agriculture’s Curriculum and Student Relations Committee for three years, including one as its chair.

Dr. Dunning is recognized internationally as an avian ecologist, working in the fields of landscape ecology and conservation biology. His research centers on the response of wildlife to changes in the habitats they occupy, especially those changes that occur over large spatial scales. He has published 116 papers and book chapters, 10 monographs, and four books as products of his research efforts.

Carolyn Foley, a research associate for Illinois-Indiana Sea Grant (IISG), received the OutstandingCarolyn Foley headshot Administrative/ Professional Staff Member Award. Foley was recognized for her leadership, resourcefulness and her selfless contributions to FNR and IISG, as well as for her diversity, equity, inclusion and belonging efforts for both organizations.

Foley has served the Illinois-Indiana Sea Grant research program since 2010. She is the primary contact for questions related to requests for proposals and funded research projects at all stages of completion. She also helps plan and execute research and outreach activities on campus and with several collaborative partners across the Great Lakes region. Carolyn started the IISG Graduate Scholars Program in 2021, a program which provides funding and professional development for students at Purdue and beyond. In the past year, she managed a complex research program of her own studying aquatic invertebrates and small-bodies fishes, and supported Cooperative Science and Monitoring Initiative efforts on Lake Michigan, while also serving as research coordinator for IISG as a whole. Professionally, Foley served as the Past-Chair of the National Sea Grant Research Coordinators Network and chair of the Great Lakes Research Coordinators Network in 2023. In the summer of 2023, Foley began serving as the co-chair of the FNR Diversity, Equity, Inclusion, Justice and Belonging (DEIJB) committee.

Her nominators shared that “Carolyn’s dedication to the research and educational mission of Purdue and FNR is top tier,” and that she “is valued for her leadership within the broader Sea Grant network and beyond.” One colleague summed it up like this: “Carolyn embodies the concept that if you care more about it than anyone else you own it. Every day she shows up and finds creative ways to keep the trains running and helps find solutions to thorny issues to make us, and everyone around her, better at doing what they do.”

Foley was previously honored at Purdue with the College of Agriculture’s Unsung Diversity Hero Award in 2021.

Jue Mo, a PhD student under Dr. Eva Haviarova in the Purdue FNR Wood Research Lab, was honored withPhD student Jue Mo (right) receives her Exemplary Graduate Student Award certificate from Dr. Reuben Goforth. the Exemplary Graduate Student Service Award. Mo’s research focuses on adding value to lower-grade hardwoods and developing innovative products that would contribute to sustainable utilization of local resources. Specifically, she is researching thermal modification and utilization of hardwood for cross-laminated timber.

In her time at Purdue, Mo has served as an assigned teaching assistant or volunteer TA for FNR 23000 (The World’s Forests and Society), FNR 12500 (Environmental Science and Conservation) and FNR 31110 (Identification and Basic Properties of Wood). She has set up intensive writing labs with fellow students and also mentored incoming graduate students through the application process as well as by sharing valuable research and teaching experiences.

Mo has gained recognition from The Graduate Industrial Research Symposium (second place and People’s Choice Award), the International Industrial Design Competition in China (winning the Material Innovation Award) and the FNR Poster Symposium (honorable mention in the graduate research category) for her research and design work.

Mo’s nominators highlighted her collegial nature, service to others, helpfulness, positive attitude as well as her participation in multi-department research collaborations, including her work with Electrical and Computer Engineering (ECE), Environmental and Ecological Engineering (EEE) and Purdue Polytechnic.

Telaina Minnicus, lead administrative assistant to the department head, received theTelaina Minnicus (right) receives her Outstanding Clerical/Service Staff Member Award certificate from Dr. Reuben Goforth Outstanding Clerical/Service Staff Member Award. She was honored for her critical role in keeping the department running smoothly through patience and hard work during the transition between department heads in spring 2023. She was recognized for her knowledge of the Purdue system, her efforts with onboarding and her value to the department.

Minnicus began working in FNR in July 2018, following a three-year stint in the Department of Food Science. She stepped into the lead administrative assistant role following the passing of Marlene Mann in the summer of 2021. Telaina was also honored with the Outstanding Clerical/Service Staff Member Award in 2021.

William L. Hoover Exemplary Faculty Service Award
2023 – Barny Dunning
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
2023 – Jue Mo
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
2023 – Telaina Minnicus
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
2023 – Carolyn Foley
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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