Skip to main content

Faculty Awards

Dr. Jim Simon – 2023 Distinguished Service to New Jersey Agriculture Award

“Jim Simon, Distinguished Professor in the Department of Plant Biology, was presented with the Distinguished Service to New Jersey Agriculture Award for 2023 for outstanding research contributions to New Jersey’s farming industry by the New Jersey Farm Bureau (NJFB) at its 105th Annual Meeting held November 13-14.

This prestigious award is presented each year by NJFB, the state’s largest membership organization representing farmers and the wider agricultural community.” – Rutgers Office of Public Outreach and Communication

Read more about Dr. Simon’s award here.

Dr. Jim Simon and Dr. Andy Wyenandt – 2023 Edison Patent Award Recipients in Agriculture, Forensic Science Categories

“Basil varieties that are resistant to the deadly downy mildew disease. A computational tool that calculates the probability of the number of contributors in a DNA profile. These two innovations share two things in common: both were developed at Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey, and both received Edison Patent Awards at the Research & Development Council of New Jersey (RDNJ) annual banquet on November 15, 2023.

Distinguished Professor and RCEI Affiliate Jim Simon as well as Extension Specialist Andy Wyenandt used innovative and traditional plant breeding technologies to identify particular genes in basil that they later used to breed disease- and climate-resistant varieties. Certain varieties, including Rutgers Devotion DMR (downy mildew resistant), Rutgers Obsession DMR, and Rutgers Passion DMR, were each bred to withstand the deadly pathogen BDM (basil downy mildew).” – Rutgers New Brunswick Climate and Energy Institute

Read more about Dr. Simon and Dr. Wyenandt’s award here.

“Fields of Devotion” Wins Best Short Documentary at Garden State Film Festival

“On March 26, Fields of Devotion was shown to a packed house and won the Best Short Documentary Award at the 2023 Garden State Film Festival. This is the second award for the film, which was awarded Best Climate Film by the New York Science and Nature Feedback Film and Screenplay Festival in late 2022.

In attendance at the Garden State Film Festival’s Awards Ceremony were the film’s associate producer Xenia Morin, SEBS associate teaching professor; co-director and cinematographer Micah Seidel; and featured scientists James Simon, SEBS Distinguished Professor and plant breeder, and Lara Brindisi, doctoral student in the plant biology graduate program.” – SEBS/NJAES Newsroom

Read more about “Fields of Devotion” here.

Read more about the “Best Short Documentary” Award here.

Dr. Jim Simon – New Brunswick Chancellor’s “2017 International Impact Award”

“James “Jim” Simon, distinguished professor in the Department of Plant Biology, was awarded “The 2017 Chancellor’s Award for International Impact” at the Chancellor’s Celebration of Faculty Excellence on October 17. Chancellor of Rutgers–New Brunswick, Debasish “Deba” Dutta, presented Simon with a plaque “in recognition of his more than twenty-five years of collaborative research in sub-Saharan Africa and his unrivaled contributions to international agriculture and rural development, which uses innovative and transformative approaches to provide individuals and communities with the tools to achieve economic independence.”” – Rutgers Office of Public Outreach and Communication

Read more about Dr. Simon’s award here.

Graduate Student Awards

Kirsten Allen – 2024 Chancellor’s Leadership Award

On Wednesday, May 1st, at the Chancellor’s Student Leadership Galla, Dr. Kirsten Allen was awarded the 2024 Chancellor’s Leadership Award. As stated by Rutgers University, “The annual Chancellor’s Student Leadership Awards recognizes and rewards students for their remarkable contributions to the University and community. These students consistently demonstrate collaboration, leadership and resourcefulness, have a tremendous passion for Rutgers, and go outside of their normal responsibilities to achieve goals.” This is a very prestigious honor, and we are so happy to be able to congratulate Dr. Allen on all of her successes during her time here at Rutgers!

Dr. Allen was accompanied by Or Doni, an undergraduate student from our lab who also won a Chancellor’s Award!

Kirsten Allen – 2023 Quad Fellowship Program

“Kirsten Allen, doctoral candidate in Rutgers School of Graduate Studies, was named to the inaugural cohort in the Quad Fellowship program supporting international students in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM).

An initiative of the four governments of Australia, India, Japan and the United States that was announced at a summit of the quad countries in September 2021, it is the first multinational scholarship and educational fellowship program specifically supporting STEM students. Only 25 students from each country were selected to receive the $50,000 scholarship.

Allen, who is in her final year in the plant biology graduate program, was selected from a pool of more than 3,200 applicants competing for sponsorship as one of 100 master’s and doctoral students in the four quad countries who are pursuing science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) studies in the United States.” – Rutgers Office of Public Outreach and Communication

Read more about Kirsten’s award here.

Tori Rosen – 2022 Northeast Sustainable Agriculture Research and Education (SARE) Graduate Student Research Grantee

Tori was awarded $14,685.00 by the Northeast Sustainable Agriculture Research and Education (SARE) to fund her project titled, “Standardizing Farming Practices of Leafy Green Amaranth in the Northeast to Ensure Cultural Availability and Nutrient Density.”

Read more about Tori’s project and award here.

Undergraduate Student Awards

Erin Quinn and William Kohut – 2024 Matthew Leydt Society Inductees

On Friday, May 10th, at the Presidential Commencement Ceremony, Erin Quinn and William Kohut, 2024 Rutgers Graduates, were inducted into the Matthew Leydt Society. Named for the first and only 1774 graduate of Queen’s College, New Brunswick, the Matthew Leydt Society is a prestigious group which inducts only the top 2 percent of Rutgers University-New Brunswick graduates. This year, 224 students were inducted out of the 11,084 graduates.

Read more about the Matthew Leydt Society and the induction ceremony here.

Or Doni – 2024 Chancellor’s Leadership Award

On Wednesday, May 1st, at the Chancellor’s Student Leadership Galla, Or Doni was awarded the 2024 Chancellor’s Student Leadership Revolutionary Award. As stated by Rutgers University, the Revolutionary Award “recognizes a student leader or organization that demonstrates creativity, originality, ingenuity, and/or resourcefulness in addressing local and global issues. The nominee will have served in multiple campus leadership positions while demonstrating a long-term impact on their organizations (e.g. multiple positions in one organization and demonstrative growth, or has held multiple positions in a variety of organizations). They will have shown commitment to a campaign, initiative, or program that clearly addresses a campus, local or global issue and provides high level of peer mentoring or leadership to fostering learning opportunities.” This is a very prestigious honor, and we are so happy to be able to congratulate Or on all of his successes during his time here at Rutgers!

Or was accompanied by Dr. Allen, a graduate student from our lab who also won a Chancellor’s Award!

Micah Seidel – Planet Forward 2024 Storyfest Finalist – Best Video by a Non-Media Student

Micah Seidel’s “Growing Gigas: Farming giant clams in Kosrae, Micronesia,” was named a Storyfest Finalist for Best Video by a Non-Media Student at Planet Forward 2024. In his video, Micah follows a family growing endangered species of clams on the island of Kosrae.

See Micah’s video here.