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Sansone Receives Extension Award, Board of Regents Grant Professors Harris, Summers Emeritus Title

COLLEGE STATION —The Department of Entomology and the Texas AgriLife Extension Service recognized Dr. Chris Sansone with the Superior Service Award in the Specialist category for his outstanding work and leadership activities with Extension and the Department.

Sansone was recognized during a special reception held Monday, April 17th in the Heep Center atrium.

Sansone is currently the Associate Department Head for Extension Programs in Entomology and has been working with the Extension for 31 years.  He served as an AgriLife Extension entomologist in Williamson County before transferring to San Angelo as the West Central District’s entomology specialist. He has been in his current role as the entomology Associate Department Head since 2003.

Sansone divides his time between supervising 30 AgriLife Extension entomologists located across the state and conducting applied research to answer clientele questions.

“Chris performs a tremendous service for Texas and the Department of Entomology by directing, guiding and training AgriLife Extension employees with diverse interests and obligations,” said Dr. M.O. “Mo” Way, Professor of Entomology at the Texas A&M AgriLife Research Center at Beaumont, who submitted Sansone’s successful nomination.

“Chris works very closely with our department headquartered on the Texas A&M campus at College Station, while still maintaining an active, productive Extension program at San Angelo.”

The Superior Service Award is the highest recognition that is extended to AgriLife Extension personnel.

During the meeting, Department Head Dr. David Ragsdale also recognized Dr. Marvin Harris as Emeritus Professor and Allen Dean for 36 years of service with the Department.

Harris has been with the Department for more than 30 years, and has trained over 50 students to the MS and PhD on a variety of insect problems from fire ants to pecans.

His pecan research projects showed that the pecan nut casebearer (PNC) was particularly destructive. Harris (with current Louisiana State University extension entomologist Dennis Ring and others) developed an action threshold for treatment of the pecan nut casebearer moth.

Harris followed up, with the help of Dr. John Jackman and Bill Ree, with the development of an online prediction model to help growers improve the timing of treatment based on pheromone trap captures of the PNC adults. This model is now the focus of an internet application that is used by pecan stakeholders across the country.

Harris’ work with these pecan IPM efforts along with his students and colleagues have positioned TAMU as a key leader in providing timely information to pecan producers throughout the US.

The Department also recognized Dr. Max D. Summers as an Emeritus Professor. Summers recently retired in August 2011 after working for 34 years. Summers was an assistant and an associate professor of botany for 9 years at the University of Texas before moving to Texas A&M as a professor of entomology in 1977 where he advanced to the rank of distinguished professor in 1983. While he was at A&M, he held two positions within the university, including is a Distinguished Professor and Holder of the Endowed Chair in Agricultural Biotechnology at Texas A&M University. He received an A.B. degree in biology in 1962 from Wilmington College and a PhD in entomology from Purdue University in 1968.

Summers has been a member of several organizations, including the National Academy of Sciences, National Academy of Sciences Council of the Government-University-Industry Research Roundtable and has served as president of the American Society for Virology, editor of Virology for twenty years, and executive editor of Protein Purification and Expression, chair of Class VI of the National Academy of Sciences and is a fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science.

He has also received several honors during his career, including the “Outstanding Inventor of the Year” by the Houston Intellectual Property Law Association and the “Father of Baculovirus Expression Technology” by the WilBio Foundation. He has authored or co-authored more than 170 publications in refereed, high impact journals and is listed in the top 250 (in the world) Most Highly Cited Authors in Microbiology by the Institute for Scientific Information.

A total of 53 students earned advanced degrees as participants of Dr. Summer’s graduate education program. Dr. Summers will retire on August 31, 2011.

Allen Dean has worked for 36 years with the Department under both Dr. Marvin Harris and Dr. Winfield Sterling.  He has been instrumental in keeping the Department’s history alive including working on a publication for the centennial and keeping a history of students and faculty on the web, including obituaries of those who passed away.

Dean also has worked with Dr. John Oswald since 2006 on georeferencing localities on insects that have come into the TAMU Insect Collection.  This database is currently linked to a server in Denmark so researchers can browse our collection. He plans to continue to work part time for the collection.

Dean will retire from the Department in May of 2012.