A staff picnic at the University of Delaware Carvel Research and Education Center in Georgetown on July 16 included a surprise announcement for the center’s director, Mark Isaacs. Tom LaPenta, interim associate vice president for human resources at UD, recognized Isaacs with the John Warren Excellence in Leadership and Service Award.
The award recognizes significant accomplishments and notable contributions in leadership by University supervisory staff. The award includes a $1,000 gift.
“I am very proud to name Dr. Mark Isaacs for this award,” LaPenta said. “In my decades here, I have seen how Mark leads with respect and dignity. I can say that there are very few natural leaders, and Mark deserves special distinction. His passion for the mission of the University has motivated the highly skilled staff of the Carvel Center.”
LaPenta quoted from the three nominations letters submitted as a requirement for the award. These letters acknowledged Isaacs’ passion for agriculture and his extraordinary and visionary leadership.
One of the nomination letters read, in part, “He is a remarkable relationship builder and an astute financial manager during very challenging times. Mark leads with a clear sense of direction and purpose.”
The award was a surprise for Isaacs who was at the Carvel staff picnic with approximately 70 full- and part-time staff present. Isaacs received a standing ovation from his colleagues and staff.
“I am honored to accept this,” Isaacs said. “It is a very big surprise. I could not lead without a great group of people to work with.”
Isaacs has been director for the Carvel Research and Education Center since 1992. The Carvel Center serves as the southern campus for the College of Agriculture and Natural Resources, where Isaacs is also an assistant professor in the Department of Plant and Soil Sciences. Its 344-acre campus is an agricultural experiment station and home for Sussex County Cooperative Extension and the Lasher Laboratory, a poultry diagnostic center. In 2012, the farm was renamed the Thurman Adams Jr. Agricultural Research Farm in honor of the late Delaware state senator. Isaacs close relationship with Adams helped to foster key support in state funding for the facility’s growth and success in the community.
The Warren Award was established by the University in 2011 to recognized significant accomplishments by supervisory staff in the areas of leadership and service.
A second Warren Award for 2013 will be announced in September.
Article by Michele Walfred
Photos by Evan Krape
This article can also be viewed on UDaily.