College of Agriculture & Natural Resources

Congratulations 2016 AGNR Alumni Award Winners!

The twelve award winners are shown along with the Dean and the president of MAEF
The 2016 College of AGNR Alumni Award winners
Image Credit: 
Edwin Remsberg

Congratulations to the recipients of the 2016 College of Agriculture and Natural Resources Alumni Awards! The honorees were celebrated at an awards banquet held at the University of Maryland's Riggs Alumni Center on April 14.

The College of AGNR Alumni Chapter selected the award winners from nominations submitted by faculty, staff and fellow-alumni.

The 2016 honorees are:

A man leaning against a tree

Robert A. Borkowski: Outstanding Student, 2 year program

Sustainable Agriculture


His son’s 4-H beekeeping project has led Robert A. “Bob” Borkowski to his third degree and second career in Sustainable Agriculture.  After 29-years in the military and law enforcement, Bob started at the IAA in 2014 and will graduate in May 2016 with a 3.186 GPA.  He earned his Associates in Science in Business Administration from California Coats University in 2014 and has been concurrently working on his BS in Management from California Coast University while an IAA student.  He earned his certificate as a Journeyman Beekeeper from the University of Montana in 2014.  Bob is very involved in the Pollina Terps Club and has presented an “Introduction to Beekeeping” at the UMD Arboretum in October 2015.  Bob plans to incorporate his passion for farmers markets with his small family honey business following graduation.   


A woman leaning on a fence postSofia D’Ambrosio: Outstanding Student Award, 4-year program


Environmental Science and Technology


Sofia D’Ambrosio will graduate in May 2016 with a B.S. in Environmental Science and Technology 

with a concentration in Ecological Technology and Design and minor in Geographic Information Sciences. She had led and revived the RESTORE student club, bringing in record membership through numerous activities and attention to detail. D’Ambrosio has also served in Dr. Stephanie Lansing’s Water Quality Lab for the last 1.5 years, is the first ENST student to serve as an officer on the AGNR Student Council, interned with the Montgomery County Department of Environmental Protection, and completed an REU on stream restoration in Oregon’s HJ Andrews Experimental Forest which she will be presenting the results of at the American Ecological Engineering Society’s Annual Meeting in June. She will be attending graduate school at Washington State University in the fall with an NSF Graduate Research Fellowship to research greenhouse gas emissions from reservoirs.


A man smilingN. Salvatore Millington: Outstanding Student Award, 4-year program


Animal Science


Salvatore Millington, a senior animal science major, has been an exceedingly active and passionate part of AGNR for the past four years. Sal has served as an AGNR Student Ambassador, president of the AGNR Student Council and also president of Alpha Gamma Rho. Sal also spent his time supporting his peers in Guided Study Sessions and through his work as a Teaching Assistant. Despite juggling numerous on campus engagements, Sal found time to engage in the agricultural community as well by working with the beef cattle herd at the Wye Research and Education Center, the USDA RSS Dairy Unit, the FDA Center for Veterinary Medicine, and the UMD Animal Research Facility. Sal was also active in the State Fair Birthing Center Team last summer and the State Fair Dairy Team in 2014. Sal will be leaving UMD to attend the Virginia-Maryland Regional College of Veterinary Medicine next fall.

A woman at her deskDr. Miao Guo: Outstanding Graduate Student Award


Food Science


Dr. Miao Guo, began her Ph.D. program in fall 2012 and graduated in fall 2015, going on to work as a Food Safety Manager for PepsiCo, overseeing the China and Asia Pacific Region. During her time with AGNR, she secured multiple fellowships and produced numerous publications resulting from her work with Toxoplasma gondii, a leading foodborne pathogen found in meat. Specifically, Guo has published four peer-reviewed manuscripts in top-tier journals within the food safety industry and is awaiting review of two additional works.  Guo was also awarded the first Ann G Wylie Dissertation Fellowship, and then went on to be the only individual on campus to receive the 2015-2016 Lee Thornton Dissertation Fellowship from the UMD Graduate School. In December 2015, Guo was selected as the first place student merit award winner for the Dose-Response Specialty Group of the Society for Risk Analysis (SRA).


A woman with a lambDr. Angela Black: Excellence in Instruction Award


Avian and Animal Sciences


Dr. Angela Black, is a professor in the Department of Avian and Animal Sciences where she teaches both Comparative Anatomy, Lab Animal Management, as well as serving as the Animal Research Facility’s veterinarian, taking many student interns under her guidance. Dr. Black has received both her DVM and PhD and has contributed to over 12 publications, participated in 4 papers/symposia, and received two Student Technology Grants for a 3-D computer model and an ultrasound machine. In 2013, Black also participated in a pilot study in which she replicated animal muscles using clay, converted ANSC211 into a “Flipped” class, created and mentored eight students through a Laboratory Animal Management internship and acts as an advisor to students interested in attending veterinary school.


A man in a libraryPaul Goeringer: Excellence in Extension Award


University of Maryland Extension, Extension Legal Specialist


Paul Goeringer has worked to develop an innovative program in legal outreach namely through his work with the Agriculture Law Education Initiative (ALEI), a partnership between AGNR, UMES and the Carey School of Law. Since 2013, Georinger has been the public face of ALEI, attended multiple meetings, presented on legal issues, offered counsel to those seeking legal assistance and authored over 1,000 educational articles concerning legal issues popular in the Maryland community. While pursuing these extracurricular endeavors, Goeringer has also adapted the risk management education outreach program and traveled the state of Maryland to increase the awareness of producers about new issues raised in the 2014 Farm Bill  He worked with representatives from the Farm Service Agency and the Department of Agriculture in teaching these sessions. He has also obtained two grants and continues to serve as a legal specialist in agricultural law, crop insurance education and beginning farmer activities.

A woman in a labcoatShirley Micallef: Excellence in Research Award


Plant Science and Landscape Architecture


Shirley Micallef is an Associate Professor teaching classes concerning food safety and microbiology while also conducting research related to foodborne illnesses and their link to fresh fruits and vegetables; focusing on the tomato.  She spent time as an agricultural officer in Europe, earning her doctorate in Plant Biology at the University of Massachusetts and completed a two year postdoctoral appointment in the School of Public Health before joining AGNR.  Her research involves conducting environmental sampling and testing for Salmonella the Eastern Shore’s vegetable farms, fields and packing areas. For the past five years, Micallef has continued to balance field and laboratory work, and alongside doctoral candidate Sanghyun Han was able to characterize the plant pathogen interaction in tomatoes. Micallef also led the local FDA program to measure and validate consensus metrics on water, manure, transfer and environmental conditions. Micallef continues to guide two doctoral candidates and inspire industry leaders with her work.


Three women at graduationCarole Dingess: Honorary Member    


Institute of Applied Agriculture


“I’ll be there and how can I help?” are frequently the first words of every message from Carole Dingess about any AGNR alumni event or in fact, anything related to AGNR.  The first to arrive at any alumni event and do everything from greeting early guests, to slinging grub, Carole and AGNR alumni events are synonymous with fun and collaboration! Carole Dingess joined the staff of the then Poultry Science Department in 1986, survived the merger of the department into the Department of Animal and Avian Sciences working for three different acting chairs throughout that transition. She worked directly with ANSC students in the undergraduate office before becoming the Business Services Specialist of the IAA. Carole has been an integral part of the Maryland Egg Council and represents the Council and the University at outreach events such as MDA Open Houses, Ag Day, and Maryland State Fair. 


A man standing outsideB. Eric Almquist ’96: Outstanding Alumnus, Early Career


General Agricultural Sciences & Government and Politics

RK&K since 2007


Eric Almquist is currently employed at Rummel, Klepper, and Khal (RK&K). There he blends his natural resources and political science backgrounds on what are three of the region’s largest environmental and transportation studies in the Mid-Atlantic Region:  Amtrak B&P Tunnel in Baltimore, CSX Long Bridge over the Potomac River in Washington DC, and the Hampton Roads Study in Norfolk/Hampton, VA.  His calm, scientifically based background, makes him a natural for public forums where the impacts of such projects bring high emotion and historic considerations to the table.  During his relatively brief time at RK&K he has earned professional credentials from the American Institute of Certified Planners #20353 (AICP) and Professional Wetland Scientist (PWS) #1553 to add to his certification as a Certified Ecologist (CE).


A brother and sister on their farmGuy Moore ’80 & Lynn Moore ’77: Outstanding Alumnus


Larriland Farm, Woodbine, MD


For over 30 years, Guy and Lynn Moore have been committed AGNR alumni while operating Larriland Farm, a direct-market-pick-your-own farm in Woodbine, Howard County, Maryland.


Guy has served as president of the MD Vegetable Growers Association for over 20 years and Lynn’s involvement in the MD Horticultural Society rounded out the focus of fruit products at Larriland and she has earned a spot on the executive committee and serves as the secretary for the Society.


Together they have hosted countless Extension programs from food safety to designing petting farms.


Lynn has been a supporter of regional Extension educational programs serving long-standing advisory committees to funnel grower needs to USDA researchers at Beltsville Agricultural Research Center (BARC) and Kearneysville WV.  These have resulted in collaborative efforts between UMD/AGNR and Penn State. 


Guy, has served as AGNR’s citizen representative on the Council for Agriculture Research Extension and Teaching (CARET).   He is a frequent visitor to Capitol Hill and comfortable interacting with University officials at every level. 

A three person bands performsMaryland Agricultural Education Foundation, Inc: Circle of Friends   


The College of Agriculture and Natural Resources recognizes the Maryland Agricultural Education Foundation (MAEF) for their collaborations with AGNR faculty, staff and administrations in the  development of agricultural education programs at the K-12 and post-secondary levels. MAEF and AGNR have worked together on content for teacher-training workshops and collaborated with UMD officials to develop a path for students interested in teaching agricultural sciences at the Middle School and High School levels or as Extension Educators.  MAEF has incorporated High School FFA activities on campus introducing students to AGNR and IAA.  MAEF is also an active partner with AGNR at the Maryland State Fair’s educational programs such as U-Learn Farm. 


Honorary Alumni: Carole Dingess


Honorable Mention Undergraduate and Graduate Students:

Andy Bauer                      Agricultural Business Management

Pradnya Bhandari             Animal and Avian Sciences

Ariel Bourne                    Nutrition and Food Science

Julia Geshcke                  Environmental Science and Policy

Abby Goron                    Animal and Avian Sciences

Scott Hebert                   Golf Course Management

Greg Matthews                Environmental Science and Policy

Marcus Maxwel                Landscape Management

Jillian Mergruen               Nutrition and Food Science

Patrice Nielson                 Ph.D. Candidate  Environ. Science & Technology

Karishma Patel                Nutrition and Food Science

Marissa Sherman             Agricultural & Resource Economics

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