Delbert O’Meara inducted to Virginia Tech College of Agriculture and Life Sciences Hall of Fame

Delbert O’Meara, of Walters, Virginia, a 1962 graduate of animal science and a 1967 graduate of agricultural education, was inducted to the Virginia Tech College of Agriculture and Life Sciences Hall of Fame on April 20, 2018, at the annual college alumni awards ceremony.

Delbert O'Meara

O’Meara was born a year before the beginning of World War II and was raised on a farm in Loudoun County. As a youngster, he was an active 4-H Club member. Throughout his formative years, he enjoyed working with livestock. This led him to become the Sears and Roebuck Pig Chair and a State 4-H poultry winner. O’Meara also helped to establish the Prince William County Fair, the Fredericksburg County Fair, and the State Fair of Virginia. It was through these accomplishments that his early leadership skills were recognized, and he earned a trip to attend the National 4-H Congress in Chicago.

The young man’s 4-H experiences helped him develop numerous programs that are vital aspects of youth-development today. These include the State 4-H Fair, the creation of 4-H Centers across the commonwealth, and the State 4-H Horse Project. In addition, he was instrumental in establishing partnerships with the Virginia land-use taxation program and agricultural commodity groups who serve as the backbone of Virginia’s agriculture. Succeeding his youthful passion for 4-H livestock judging teams, O’Meara has served as a member of the National 4-H Livestock Contest for more than fifty years, and continues to attend the event to this day.

This alumnus has not only shown himself to be dedicated to the youth of the state and to 4-H, but also to his fellow and future Extension agents. He began his career in Extension in 1962 with the Nansemond County Office, and went on to work in the Southeast District Office in a variety of positions until his early retirement in 1991. Throughout his career in Extension, O’Meara has been a mentor, working with both the Virginia and National County Agents Association on many programs for staff development. In conjunction with his work as a mentor in Virginia, he worked to provide professional development for staff and new agents, starting the Agricultural and Extension Agent Leadership Fund. Delbert also brought Virginia Cooperative Extension to the national stage when he helped to plan and host the National Extension Meeting in Virginia in 1976.

In addition to his contributions of time and effort, this generous alumnus has made a number of philanthropic gifts Virginia Tech and is a Distinguished Benefactor in Virginia Tech’s Ut Prosim Society.  

Jennifer Schafer Zabinsky named Outstanding Recent Undergraduate Alumna of Virginia Tech’s College of Agriculture and Life Sciences 

Jennifer Schafer Zabinsky of Blacksburg, Virginia, a 2009 graduate of human nutrition, foods, and exercise, was named the Outstanding Recent Undergraduate Alumna of Virginia Tech’s College of Agriculture and Life Sciences on April 20, 2018, at the annual college alumni awards ceremony.

Jennifer Zabinsky

Zabinsky is the associate athletics director of sports nutrition at Virginia Tech. Her work on behalf of all student athletes has far-reaching implications — from helping current students balance academics and athletics to assisting alumni as they transition from rigorous athletics and must learn how to navigate food choices without the intense activity level.

Her Student Sports Nutrition initiative provides paid and volunteer work experiences for undergraduate and graduate students in the Department of Human Nutrition, Foods, and Exercise. As a result, hundreds of HNFE students have used these experiences to help them secure jobs, internships, and graduate school acceptances.

As the associate athletics director of sports nutrition, Zabinsky knows it is challenging for new professionals to enter the field of sports dietetics. She has developed a creative staffing model that allows a broad number of professionals to gain experience and mentoring through graduate assistantships and a partnership with Gatorade.

Zabinsky has held multiple roles within the HNFE department, including guest lecturing, serving on graduate student and search committees, and helping develop curriculum.

Olivera Jankovska named Outstanding Recent Graduate Alumna of Virginia Tech’s College of Agriculture and Life Sciences  

Olivera Jankovska, of Houston, Texas, a 2011 graduate of agricultural and applied economics was named the Outstanding Recent Graduate Alumna of Virginia Tech’s College of Agriculture and Life Sciences on April 20, 2018, at the annual college alumni awards ceremony

Olivera Jankovska

Jankovska is a UNICEF Global Citizenship Fellow, a highly coveted position that uses community engagement to create transformational change in the lives of children around the world. In this role, she works with faith-based organizations, academic communities, independent volunteers, political appointees, and other advocates, providing education and resources on topics including public health, immunizations, and child-equality.

The alumna holds two professional positions in addition to her role with UNICEF. She is a nonresident scholar at Rice University, where she contributes analysis on electricity and gas markets. She is also a manager at Essentia Advisory Partners, where she conducts research and serves as a consultant on questions regarding energy policy, environmental regulations, and international trade and development.

Jankovska received the 2017 President’s Volunteer Service Award, a national award that recognized outstanding volunteer service, for her volunteer contributions that exceed contractual commitments and expectations.

She is active in the Houston Chapter of the Virginia Tech Alumni Association.

Hobart Bauhan recognized with the Honorary Alumni Award of Virginia Tech’s College of Agriculture and Life Sciences

Hobart Bauhan, of Harrisonburg, Virginia, was recognized with the Honorary Alumni Award of Virginia Tech’s College of Agriculture and Life Sciences on April 20, 2018, at the annual college alumni awards ceremony.

Hobart Bauhan

Hobey is currently the president of the Virginia Poultry Federation Inc. in Harrisonburg, where he represents poultry and egg farmers, poultry- processing companies, and businesses that provide goods and services to the $6.9 billion industry that ranks first in gross farm receipts and employs more than 15,000 people in Virginia.

Since his appointment to this post nearly 20 years ago, he has introduced animal and poultry sciences faculty to the poultry industry and helped them facilitate activities that not only help increase the viability of the poultry industry, but also help our faculty mature into some of the finest poultry teaching, research, and Extension faculty in the country.

Hobey has played an integral role on selection committees as an outside stakeholder during the national searches for two of our animal and poultry sciences department heads and two deans. He also serves on both the department and college advisory councils.

During the recent campaign for new livestock facilities, he worked relentlessly to mobilize support within the poultry industry and other agricultural commodity organizations to get our state appropriation request in Richmond.

The poultry industry in Virginia would not be in the position it is today were it not for Hobey’s efforts while serving as president of the Virginia Poultry Federation.

Hobey is a graduate of Washington and Lee University and the Political Leaders Program in the Sorensen Institute for Political Leadership at the University of Virginia.

Guy Gaston Hareau named Outstanding Alumnus in International Programs of Virginia Tech’s College of Agriculture and Life Sciences

Guy Gaston Hareau, of Lima, Peru, a 2002 and 2006 graduate of agricultural and applied economics, was named the Outstanding Alumnus in International Programs of Virginia Tech’s College of Agriculture and Life Sciences on April 20, 2018, at the annual college alumni awards ceremony.

Guy Hareau

Guy has become a leading international and development economist, serving multiple countries in Latin America, increasing global knowledge of poverty reduction, and all the while maintaining active ties to the agricultural and applied economics department.

As the Global Leader of the Social Science Program at the International Potato Center in Lima, Peru, Guy leads CIP socio-economic research activities worldwide. He is committed to improving agricultural processes and production in rural areas across the globe. Guy has served as a principal investigator on a number of projects examining the adoption and diffusion of potato and sweet potato varieties.

Guy’s collaborations with Virginia Tech have significantly strengthened the presence of the department within the Consultative Group of International Agricultural Research Centers.

Jason Carter recognized with the Outstanding Alumni Leadership Award of Virginia Tech’s College of Agriculture and Life Sciences  

Jason Carter, of Stuarts Draft, Virginia, a 1995 graduate of animal and poultry sciences and a 2012 graduate of agricultural and life sciences was recognized with the Outstanding Alumni Leadership Award of Virginia Tech’s College of Agriculture and Life Sciences on April 20, 2018, at the annual college alumni awards ceremony.

Jason Carter

Jason began his career as an animal science agent for Virginia Cooperative Extension in the epicenter of the state’s livestock industry: the Shenandoah Valley.

In 2012, he assumed the role of executive director of the Virginia Cattlemen’s Association, managing the day-to-day affairs and overseeing all aspects of the overall business of the 6000-plus-member association, as well as the Beef Checkoff Program and beef promotional-related activities of the Virginia Beef Industry Council.  Jason spends a fair amount of time in Richmond and Washington as Virginia’s beef cattle industry voice.

Jason serves on the animal and poultry sciences advisory council. His open-minded and progressive approach has served the department well. In an effort to bolster the presence of beef programming in the college, he orchestrated a mutually beneficial partnership between the animal and poultry sciences department and the cattlemen’s association.

He has actively supported the development of on-campus and Extension-related programs involving beef cattle, meat science, and 4-H youth through Virginia Tech, including in-kind time, monetary grants to programs from both VCA and Beef Council, and advisement for the student-led Beef Leadership Council at Virginia Tech, which has 33 members.

Analit Chambi-Rojas recognized with the Outstanding Ambassador Award of Virginia Tech’s College of Agriculture and Life Sciences

Analit Chambi-Rojas, of Annandale, Virginia, majoring in environmental science, was recognized with the Outstanding Ambassador Award of Virginia Tech’s College of Agriculture and Life Sciences on April 20, 2018, at the annual college alumni awards ceremony.

Natasha Saunders, faculty advisor to the CALS Ambassadors, had this to say:

"Analit Chambi is an excellent person and a future leader who has the ability to motivate those around her. She has been involved in several organizations that promote cultural awareness, inclusion, and scholarship. Ms. Chambi is self-motivated and has the ability to achieve through any adversity that may present itself, which I believe is imperative for success at the collegiate level and beyond. She has maintained an outstanding reputation with her peers and has always been praised for her outstanding character.

"It is one thing to have potential; it is another to actually achieve that potential. Analit has the capabilities to achieve greatness, especially in the context of leadership. Her energy illuminates the room. It has been my pleasure to work alongside side of her as her advisor."

Zeke Barlow recognized with the Outstanding Faculty Service Award of Virginia Tech’s College of Agriculture and Life Sciences

Zeke Barlow, of Blacksburg, Virginia, director of CALS Communications and Marketing, was recognized with the Outstanding Faculty Service Award of Virginia Tech’s College of Agriculture and Life Sciences on April 20, 2018, at the annual college alumni awards ceremony.

Zeke Barlow

Over the past five years, Zeke has served the college by promoting and advancing stories that align with college and university strategic goals, helping CALS reach new heights.

Zeke has helped both internal and external audiences learn how all units in the college make exceptional contributions to the land-grant mission. To do this, he constantly pushes the boundaries of communications and explores new and innovative ways to tell CALS’s stories.

He has helped raise the college's profile within the university, having written the most-viewed news release in the university's history and orchestrated a video that's among the most-viewed at the university.

Not only do these  communications efforts paint a positive picture of the college, greatly enhancing its reach and impact, they also make our students and alumni proud, our faculty and staff more satisfied with their jobs, and our stakeholders more engaged so that each groups partners in CALS's many successes and bright future. They convey value, which facilitates student recruitment and fundraising, and they show the world that the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences is making very real differences in people’s lives.

Patricia Williams recognized with the Outstanding Staff Service Award of Virginia Tech’s College of Agriculture and Life Sciences

Patricia Williams, of Blacksburg, Virginia, a 1991 biochemistry graduate, was recognized with the Outstanding Staff Service Award of Virginia Tech’s College of Agriculture and Life Sciences on April 20, 2018, at the annual college alumni awards ceremony.

After spending several years in industry as a biochemist, Pat joined Virginia Tech as the laboratory specialist and facility manager assisting the Department of Animal and Poultry Sciences’ 28 faculty members and their associated graduate students.

She oversees the ABSL1/ABSL2 farm animal facility; serves as a safety and compliance officer, the building emergency coordinator, and the continuity of operations coordinator; handles general operation, maintenance, and procurement of equipment; and acts as the liaison to renovations and facilities.

From being the “go-to person” for all major lab equipment maintenance and purchases, to overseeing multiple heavily utilized facilities and to minimizing the adverse impact of renovations on faculty and graduate student productivity, Pat is one of the department’s most valuable assets.

Outstanding Recent Undergraduates 2018
Department Name
Agricultural and Applied Economics Carrie Chenery (Hileman)
Agricultural, Leadership, and Community Education Rebekah Slabach
Agricultural Technology Courtney Umbarger
Animal and Poultry Sciences Caitlin Cossaboom
Biochemistry Christina Tise (Perry)
Biological Systems Engineering Molly Deger (Julian)
Crop and Soil Environmental Sciences Dalton Bennett
Dairy Science Natalie Sneller
Food Science and Technology Mary Blodgett
Horticulture Jacob Shreckhise
Human Nutrition, Foods and Exercise Jennifer Zabinsky (Schafer)
Outstanding Recent Graduates 2018
Department Name
Agricultural and Applied Economics Olivera Jankovska
Agricultural, Leadership, and Community Education Kerry Priest
Animal and Poultry Sciences Brian Whitaker
Biochemistry Samuel Chocklett
Biological Systems Engineering Bethany Bezak
Crop and Soil Environmental Sciences Kiran Pavuluri
Dairy Science Joseph McFadden
Entomology Mausel David
Food Science and Technology Bryan Aviles
Horticulture Bin Xu
Human Nutrition, Foods and Exercise Elizabeth Parker
Plant Pathology, Physiology, and Weed Science Matthew Goddard
Distinguished Departmental Alumni 2018
Department Name
Agricultural and Applied Economics William Park
Agricultural, Leadership, and Community Education Barbara Kirby (Malpiedi)
Agricultural Technology Ben Woods
Animal and Poultry Sciences Andrea Cupp
Biochemistry William Clemons
Biological Systems Engineering Paul D. Ayers
Crop and Soil Environmental Sciences Pengyin Chen
Dairy Science James Spain
Entomology Charles Covell
Food Science and Technology Martin Bucknavage
Horticulture Alexander Johnson
Human Nutrition, Food and Exercise David Brown
Plant Pathology, Physiology and Weed Science Rakesh Chandran
  • 2016-17 - Julie McIntire Divis, Food Science and Technology '13
  • 2015-16 - Anh Tran, Biochemistry, B.S. '06
  • 2014-15 - Lt. Katrina Butner Piercy, Ph.D. Human Nutrtion, Foods, and Exercise '12
  • 2013-14 - Kimberly Lane Tabor, Entomology, Ph.D. '04
  • 2012-13 - John L. Koontz, Food Science and Technology, B.S. '00, M.S. '03, Ph.D. '08
  • 2011-12 - Mark Cline, Animal and Poultry Sciences, B.S. '99, M.S. '02, Ph.D. '05
  • 2010-11 - Lire Ersado, Agricultural and Applied Economics, M.S. '96, '97, '98, Ph.D. '01
  • 2009-10 - Thomas Chittenden, Human Nutrition, Foods and Exercise Ph.D. '02
  • 2008-09 - Scott Radcliffe, Animal and Poultry Sciences '95, M.S. '97, and Ph.D. '00
  • 2007-08 - Lara Pappas, Animal and Poultry Sciences '02
  • 2006-07 - Shane Horsley, Animal and Poultry Sciences '99 and M.S. '01
  • 2005-06 - Amy Kathleen Kyger - Agricultural and Applied Economics '04
  • 2004-05 - Thomas W. Broyles - Animal Science '94
  • 2003-04 - Jamie Whitacre - Agricultural and Applied Economics '94
  • 2002-03 - Bradley Bryant - Agricultural and Extension Education Ph.D. '01
  • 2001-02 - Phillip M . Fravel - Agricultural and Extension Education - '81
  • 2000-01 - Thomas R. Dobbins - Agricultural and Extension Education Ph.D. '99
  • 1999-00 - David Winston - Dairy Science '87
  • 1998-99 - Keith W. Sheets - Agricultural and Applied Economics '85
  • 1997-98 - Lucinda F. Vosler - Agricultural and Extension Education '93
  • 1996-97 - Janey Campbell - Food Science and Technology '87
  • 1994-95 - Edward T. Scott - Animal Science '87
  • 1993-94 - Andrew McLean - Agricultural and Applied Economics '86
  • 1989-90 - Michael H. McDowell - Animal Science '78
  • 2016-17 - George Norton
  • 2015-16 - David Winston
  • 2014-15 - Dan Eversole
  • 2013-14 - Vernon Meacham
  • 2012-13 - Kurt Stephenson
  • 2011-12 - Alex White
  • 2010-11 - Carol Papillon
  • 2009-10 - Michael Ellerbrock
  • 2008-09 - Dixie Dalton
  • 2007-08 - Leon Geyer
  • 2006-07 - John Hess
  • 2005-06 - John Crunkilton
  • 2004-05 - John Hillison
  • 2016-17 - Dave Leonard
  • 2015-16 - Scott Stevens
  • 2014-15 - James Saunders
  • 2013-14 - James Pearson
  • 2012-13 - Ronnie Gill
  • 2011-12 - Heather Cox
  • 2010-11 - Gene Copenhaver
  • 2008-09 - James McKenna
  • 2007-08 - Marilyn Jarvis
  • 2006-07 - Robert Pitman
  • 2005-06 - Michael J. Parrish
  • 2016-17 - Jessee Austin
  • 2015-16 - Ozzie Abaye
  • 2014-15 - Cary Gordon “CG” Thornhill
  • 2013-14 - Jackline Bonabana-Wabbi
  • 2012-13 - Lire Ersado
  • 2011-12 - Joachim Schleich
  • 2010-11 - Keith Long
  • 2009-10 - Luke Colavito
  • 2008-09 - Pedro Pablo Pena
  • 2007-08 - Jiyun Jin
  • 2016-17 - Elizabeth Galbreath
  • 2015-16 - Amanda Marx
  • 2014-15 - James Rockwell
  • 2013-14 - Olivia Ellis
  • 2012-13 - Kiley Petencin
  • 2011-12 - Jason Levy
  • 2010-11 - Mollie Blythe
  • 2009-10 - Christin Sell
  • 2008-09 - Molly Stedfast
  • 2007-08 - Cynthia Green
  • 2006-07 - Ashleigh Waddle
  • 2005-06 - Laura E. Grove