Mark Isaacs receives John Warren Award

July 23, 2013 under CANR News, Cooperative Extension

Award-Mark Isaacs_John_Warren_AwardA 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.

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Georgetown research farm named for late Senator Thurman Adams

May 18, 2012 under CANR News, Cooperative Extension

The late State Sen. Thurman Adams, Jr., of Bridgeville has often been called a champion of Delaware agriculture, both personally and professionally, for his advocacy during his 37 years in the State Senate. In honor of Sen. Adams and his legacy, the University of Delaware has named its research and education farm in Georgetown, Del., the Thurman G. Adams Agricultural Research Farm.

“Thurman Adams was simultaneously committed to preserving Delaware’s farm heritage and to ensuring that Delaware farmers were leaders in adopting new technologies,” said Robin Morgan, dean of the College of Agriculture and Natural Resources. “He cherished his friends and colleagues and was quick to credit them and recall their successes. Surely a giant in Delaware agriculture, he touched so many people across generations.”

Lynn Adams Kokjohn, Polly Adams Mervine and other family and friends of Sen. Adams joined UD officials and state legislators on Tuesday, May 15, for the naming announcement at the Elbert N. and Ann V. Carvel Research and Education Center, which Sen. Adams affectionately referred to as the “Substation.”

“This place [the Substation] had a special place in Thurman’s heart,” said Mark Isaacs, director of the Carvel Research and Education Center, as he recalled the tireless efforts of Adams advocating for agriculture as well as the associated educational research component. “Sen. Adams was committed to making sure that the Substation had all the resources it needed to address the agricultural needs of Delaware. He stated time and time again, that his goal was for the substation to be the showcase for the east for research and Extension programs meeting the challenges for agriculture for years to come.”

Adams was also a steadfast supporter of other programs, including the Cooperative Extension and Delaware 4-H.

“Agriculture was number one to him,” said Mervine, one of Sen. Adams’ daughters. “He absolutely would be thrilled about this but more thrilled to see how the agriculture community has moved forward with all the advances they are making.”

A resolution on the naming passed by the University’s Board of Trustees at its recent spring meeting credits Sen. Adams for sponsoring “critical legislation to preserve Delaware’s farm heritage and strengthen the state’s agricultural economy.”

Isaacs said that Sen. Adams’ contributions in the Senate and Delaware accounts for millions of dollars of funding for the poultry industry, cooperative extension as well agricultural research and education at UD as well as other organizations. “Sen. Adams’ support was critical in providing the facility and equipment needs of the Substation, as well as the staffing to make sure research and extension programs were cutting edge,” Isaacs said.

Sen. Adams earned his bachelor of science degree in agricultural education from UD in 1950, and joined his father in family farming and their grain brokerage business, T.G. Adams and Sons, Inc., of which he later served as longtime president.

Article by Meredith Chapman

Video by Katy O’Connell and Bob DiIorio

Photos by Danielle Quigley

To view a video that accompanies this story, visit the CANR Youtube page

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