Science in Service

Five CAES faculty and staff recognized for service to Georgia


Five University of Georgia College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences faculty and staff received 2019 Public Service and Outreach awards based on their exemplary service to the state.

The Walter Barnard Hill Fellow Award for Distinguished Achievement in Public Service and Outreach, UGA’s highest award in Public Service and Outreach, went to CAES Professor and UGA Cooperative Extension Agronomist Stanley Culpepper. The Hill Fellow Award is comparable to a distinguished professorship.

As a weed scientist, Culpepper has been instrumental in finding ways to combat glyphosate-resistant Palmer amaranth, a weed that seriously threatens Georgia’s cotton production, and identifying alternatives to the pesticide methyl bromide for Georgia’s vegetable industry. Culpepper has been on the front lines, providing educational information to growers on the importance of targeted pesticide applications.

He was chosen as one of 19 scientists who serve on the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Science Advisory Board’s Agriculture Science Committee. The committee advises the board on matters that have significant impacts on farming and agriculture-related industries.

Mandy Marable and Bill Tyson (BSA – Agronomy, ’92) received Walter Barnard Hill Awards for Distinguished Achievement in Public Service and Outreach. 

Marable, a 1996 master’s degree graduate of the UGA College of Education, joined UGA Extension in 2002 as a 4-H specialist after teaching special education for five years. 

Tasked with developing curriculum and programs, she most recently developed a partnership with the College of Veterinary Medicine and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention that led to a 4-H Friends magazine focused on preventing zoonotic diseases. Friends is the primary curriculum resource 4-H agents use to deliver in-school programs. The publication has grown to a 10-topic series and a middle school publication, Journeys, has been introduced. 

Tyson began his career with UGA Extension in 1994 in Bulloch County as an “agent-in-training.” He served as the Agriculture and Natural Resources agent and county Extension coordinator in Effingham County for 15 years before being recruited to coordinate the Bulloch County office in 2014. He earned his master’s degree from the UGA College of Education in 2008. 

Tyson stays on top of the latest agriculture technology and treatments through his on-farm research trials. In peanuts, his extensive research into cylindrocladium black rot (CBR) and white mold led to him being viewed as an expert in southeast Georgia on CBR control in peanuts. He has evaluated more than 35 fungicides in more than 60 combinations and systems for the control of white mold. 

The Hill Award and Hill Fellow Award are named for Chancellor Walter Barnard Hill, who led UGA from 1899 to 1905 and pioneered the university’s modern public service and outreach mission.

The Entrepreneur of the Year Award went to CAES alum Will Harris (BSA — Animal Science, ’76), a fourth-generation cattleman and owner of White Oak Pastures in Bluffton, Georgia. Sponsored by Cadence Bank, the award recognizes a company that has exhibited significant growth, benefited from opportunities through the UGA Small Business Development Center, and served as an advocate of business ownership.

Harris was named the Georgia state winner of the 2013 Swisher Sweets/Sunbelt Expo Southeastern Farmer of the Year. The organic farmer manages the largest USDA Certified Organic farm in Georgia where more than 40 varieties of heritage vegetables, fruits and nuts are grown. Harris also raises free-range, organic livestock on his 32,000-acre farm. 

Bodie Pennisi, a CAES horticulture professor and UGA Extension Specialist based on the UGA Griffin campus, was named a Public Service and Outreach Faculty Fellow for 2019-2020. 

She will work with the Small Business Development Center to implement an online business training module designed to help entrepreneurs and managers run a successful landscape management business. In the future, the module will be used across UGA Extension and adopted into a new online class for undergraduate students. • Sharon Dowdy Cruse


Stanley Culpepper is the 2019 Walter Barnard Hill Fellow, UGA’s highest award in Public Service and Outreach.