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Kansas State University

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Housing and dining services was recently recognized with an honorable mention award of $2,600 from Computrition Inc., a leading developer of hospitality, food management and patient care automation.

The national award comes as part of housing and dining services' usage of Computrition Inc. software solutions. According to Michelle Netson, food management systems administrator for housing and dining services, K-State uses the software extensively -- including for menu management selection, inventory control, ordering features to outside vendors, internal satelliting operations, cost accounting and nutritional analysis for every recipe.

"I'm very excited about the award," Netson said. "It was a competition for Computrition users, so it let us know how robustly we use their system compared to others and how to be even more effective and efficient in the way we use it."

Netson will use the award to purchase nutrition labeling software, which will allow for ingredients to be listed by weight in descending order, as mandated by the Food and Drug Administration's 2009 food code. While the software will mainly be used in the Jardine bakery and CornerStone Coffee and Tea venue, which opens in August, it also will be used in the C-stores, which sell sandwiches and cookies made and packaged by the housing and dining services.


Gary PierzynskiGary Pierzynski, interim dean of the College of Agriculture and professor of agronomy, has been chosen as president-elect of the Soil Science Society of America.

Pierzynski's term as president-elect begins Jan. 1, 2011; he assumes the role of president Jan. 1, 2012. He will be the third K-State agronomy faculty member to serve as president of the Soil Science Society of America, succeeding another K-State agronomy faculty member.

"My term will immediately follow that of K-State's Chuck Rice, who serves as president of SSSA in 2011," Pierzynski said. "It is a tremendous honor for our department and K-State to have two consecutive presidents of the national professional society. It is a testament to the outstanding quality of the program at our university.

"During my term, I'm looking forward to raising awareness of our profession at all levels," he said.

Pierzynski was named a Fellow of the Soil Science Society of America in 2002.

The Soil Science Society of America is an international scientific society with more than 6,000 members. It is dedicated to advancing the field of soil science. The society provides information about soils in relation to crop production, environmental quality, ecosystem sustainability, bioremediation, waste management, recycling and wise land use.


Jeff GwirtzJeff Gwirtz, associate professor of milling science and management, has been honored with the 2010 Thaddeus Bownik Award from the International Association of Operative Millers.

The award is presented annually by the association in recognition of a member's many years of support and contributions to the flour milling and grain processing industry, and for special contributions to the association as a member of the board of directors and standing or special committees.

Founded in 1896, the association is an international organization of grain millers and allied trades representatives devoted to the advancement of education and training opportunities in the grain milling industries.

Gwirtz, who has been a member of the International Association of Operative Millers since 1983, has served on several different association committees and has had various roles within the organization.

He traces his interest in milling science back to his first job out of high school at an Ohio farmer's cooperative. While working there, a feed salesman told Gwirtz about the grain science department at K-State.

"After a year of full-time post-high school work, my first week of vacation was spent traveling to Manhattan, Kan., meeting Dr. Eustace and touring the pilot flour mill," Gwirtz said. "The process intrigued me and I enrolled in milling science and management. The milling process still intrigues and challenges me to this day."

One of Gwirtz's goals is to share the professional experience of being involved in the International Association of Operative Millers with his students, providing them with opportunities to attend district and international meetings where they can connect to a network of professionals and help them extract more value out of their education at K-State.


Stephen DyerStephen Dyer, professor of electrical and computer engineering, has received the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers Instrumentation and Measurement Society Career Excellence Award.

The award is given to recognize a lifetime career of meritorious achievement and outstanding technical contribution by an individual in the field of instrumentation and measurement. The honor is the highest of four awards given annually by the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers, or IEEE, Instrumentation and Measurement Society. It includes a $5,000 stipend and a $1,000 travel grant to cover expenses incurred in traveling to the awards ceremony.

"I certainly feel very honored," Dyer said. "There have been some prior awardees I have looked up to, so it's certainly an honor to now be amongst them."

Dyer was recognized for a career dedicated to education in science and engineering; for research contributions in instrumentation and Hadamard-transform spectrometry; and for outstanding contributions to the Instrumentation and Measurement Society, including service as editor-in-chief of the society's research journal Transactions, as founding editor-in-chief of the IEEE Instrumentation and Measurement Magazine and as a three-time president of the society.

This year's award was given at the 2010 awards luncheon May 5, which was in conjunction with the 2010 IEEE International Instrumentation and Measurement Technology Conference in Austin, Texas.

The IEEE Instrumentation and Measurement Society is an international organization dedicated to the development and use of electrical and electronic instruments and equipment to measure, monitor and/or record physical phenomena.


Michael Babcock, professor of economics, recently received the 2010 Edgar S. Bagley Research Award from the department of economics.Jeff Gwirtz

The $2,500 award is given annually to a faculty member in the department of economics who has had an outstanding academic year of research.

In October 2009, Babcock published Impact of Kansas Ethanol Production on Kansas Transportation, the final report of a research project funded by the Kansas Department of Transportation and K-State’s University Transportation Center. In March he co-authored Developing a Statewide Truck Trip Management System, which is also the final report of a research project funded by the Department of Transportation and the Transportation Center.

In addition, he received $245,680 in research funds to conduct two transportation research studies in 2009-2010.

Babcock also presented two papers at professional meetings and co-authored a refereed journal article in the Journal of the Transportation Research Forum.


The following individuals received awards at the K-State Division of Continuing Education Honors and Awards Reception, May 5.

Sue Williams, associate professor of sociology, received the Excellence in Teaching Award.

Lynnette Brummett, program coordinator of agricultural economics, received the Outstanding Advising Award.

Jana Fallin, professor of music education, received the Service Excellence Award for a Noncredit Program.

Deb Canter, department head of hospitality management and dietetics; Karla Girard, distance program coordinator for hospitality management and dietetics; and Betsy Barrett, associate profess or hospitality management and dietetics, accepted the Outstanding Credit Program Award for the dietetics bachelor’s and master’s programs.

Tom Roberts, assistant dean of College of Engineering; Ron Wilson, director of the Huck Boyd Institute; Al Cochran, assistant provost and professor; Jill Shields, assistant director of student services; Mary Molt, assistant professor of hospitality management and dietetics; and Susan Jagerson, project and new business coordinator for the Educational Communications Center, accepted the Outstanding Noncredit Program Award for the K-State Leadership Seminar.