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Department of Food, Agricultural and Biological Engineering


OARDC Honors FABE Faculty and Staff

Nov. 30, 2017
Food, Agricultural and Biological Engineering Building in Wooster

CFAES’s research arm, OARDC, honored the service of nearly 100 faculty and staff members at its annual Employee Appreciation Night on Oct. 5 in Wooster. The honorees included 8 FABE faculty and staff. Leading the honorees was Harold Keener, professor and associate chair, Department of Food, Agricultural and Biological Engineering (FABE), who this year celebrated a half century of service to the center.

50 years of service

Keener, a leading expert on the engineering of composting systems, began his OARDC career in 1968 as an instructor in the Department of Agricultural Engineering, became assistant professor and eventually professor, was appointed associate chair of FABE in 2006, retired in 2009, and continues to serve as associate chair.

“Harold has contributed 50 years to OARDC, FABE, and the College of Food, Agricultural, and Environmental Sciences,” Wooster Campus Director Dave Benfield said. “He’s a world-renowned scholar and educator in his field and has contributed to the mentorship of numerous faculty and students. His contributions to science and OARDC will leave a lasting legacy.”


OARDC Outstanding Staff Award winners

Mary Wicks, FABE, Wooster, was honored as a winner of the OARDC Outstanding Staff Awards. The award, which honors excellent service to customers and colleagues, are given each year to two nonfaculty OARDC employees.

Wicks, program coordinator for the Ohio Composting and Manure Management program and the Program for Bioproducts and the Environment, “will take on any assignment with leadership and completes it with dedication and efficiency,” a nominator wrote. “She is a team player with a positive mental attitude that is contagious. Her spirit keeps people engaged.”


Service awards also went to the following FABE faculty and staff:

30 years of service

Sudhir Sastry, FABE, Columbus.

25 years of service

Shelly Dee Jepsen, FABE, Columbus.

20 years of service

Alfred Soboyejo, FABE, Columbus.

15 years of service

V.M. Balasubramaniam, Food Science and Technology, Columbus.

10 years of service

Qian Chen, FABE, Columbus.

2017 retirees

Beverly Barrick, FABE, Columbus.


Benfield, CFAES Dean Cathann A. Kress and Wooster Campus Assistant Director Rhonda Billman spoke and led the program, which drew a full house for dinner in the main conference hall of the campus’s Shisler Conference Center.

OARDC-funded faculty and staff work in Wooster, at the OSU South Centers in Piketon, on Ohio State’s Columbus campus and at eight outlying agricultural research stations around Ohio.

To read the full, original article about all of this year's honorees, click here