Posts Tagged: Glenda Humiston
Violini joins Government and Community Relations
Violini has 28 years of leadership experience in the California State Legislature. During her tenure, she served as the deputy secretary of operations for the Senate Rules Committee. She founded the Senate Training office, which is responsible for mandatory training, as well as courses to help legislative staff develop soft skills.
Early in her career, Violini served as chief of staff for Orange County legislator Dick Ackerman. This role taught her how to forge relationships on both sides of the aisle and in both houses. She brings extensive knowledge of how Capitol and district offices operate as well as the legislative and budget process.
Violini earned an M.A. in cultural resources management from California State University, Sacramento and a B.A. in history from UC Davis. She is an International Coach Federation Professional Certified Coach, certified by Thrive Global and B.J. Fogg's Tiny Habits programs. She looks forward to using her motivational interviewing and appreciate inquiry skills to empower UC ANR staff as they connect with their local government officials and the public.
“I am so pleased to have Sheron join our team,” said Anne Megaro, government and community relations director. “Not only does she have fantastic expertise and knowledge in government relations, she is passionate about professional training and will be a great resource for UC ANR employees to build effective communication skills.”
Violini is a fourth-generation Californian, raised in Monterey County on a working cattle ranch. She was a member of the Buena Vista 4-H club where she completed both livestock and home economics projects. Violini is excited to give back to UC ANR and the programs that helped launch her career.
Violini is based at the UC ANR building in Davis in cubicle 160 and can be reached at (530) 341-4661 and firstname.lastname@example.org.
Quinn-Davidson to lead UC ANR Fire Network
Lenya Quinn-Davidson has been named director of the University of California Agriculture and Natural Resources' Fire Network, effective April 1. UC ANR's statewide Fire Network will build connections and capacity among UC ANR scientists, practitioners, land management and regulatory agencies, policymakers and communities to work toward fire resilience in California.
To meet the challenge of wildfire, UC ANR has hired several new UC Cooperative Extension fire advisors and staff to study issues related to wildfire and to assist Californians with their preparations. Quinn-Davidson and the Fire Network will provide critical coordination and connection across geographies and disciplines ranging from forestry to food safety to livestock to water.
Quinn-Davidson has served as a UC Cooperative Extension fire advisor for the North Coast since 2016. During her three-year term as the Fire Network director, she will continue her research program and continue to build capacity among landowners, tribes and other communities to use prescribed fire throughout the state. Quinn-Davidson also leads the international WTREX program, focused on empowering women and other underrepresented people who work in fire.
“I'm honored to take on this new role, and I can't wait to further grow, connect and support our fire efforts within UC ANR,” Quinn-Davidson said.
She is based in Eureka at the UCCE Humboldt County office and can be reached at (707) 445-7351 and email@example.com.
Read the full announcement at https://bit.ly/3KFTtXK.
Singh named UCCE tech and innovations advisor for small farms
Manpreet Singh began working on Feb. 15 as a UC Cooperative Extension technology and innovation advisor for small farms and serves Fresno, Kings, Tulare, Madera and Merced counties.
Singh is responsible for testing and evaluating new technologies that can resolve challenges that small farms experience. With a variety of technological advancements becoming available, Singh will help small farms determine the feasibility and economic impact of their options. His role will not only prioritize crop production efficiency, but postharvest and marketing of crops as well.
A few areas of concern that are top of mind for Singh are weed control and water efficiency. “Weed control is a major part of agricultural operations and a logistical nightmare,” he said. “Since I did a lot of research in irrigation, I also want to help small farms adapt to smart irrigation controllers.”
Singh earned a master's in horticulture, specializing in vegetable science, and a bachelor's in agriculture from Punjab Agricultural University in India. During his master's program, Singh focused his research on hybrid breeding of melons.
After completing his master's, he moved to the United States to join the Ph.D. program at Texas Tech University where he worked as a teaching assistant for Principles of Horticulture labs. His Ph.D. research focused on limited irrigation strategies for vegetable production in West Texas.
“In the past, I did some extension work, but I never had a chance to work directly with the farmers. I'm ready to do some applied research that involves the farmers. So, this job provides me a great opportunity to do those things,” said Singh.
Singh is based out of the Kearney Agricultural Research and Extension Center and can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Ott to advise growers in Tehama, Butte, Shasta and Glenn counties
Since the beginning of this year, Jaime Ott has been settling in at UC ANR as the new UC Cooperative Extension orchard systems advisor for Tehama, Butte, Shasta and Glenn counties.
“Officially I am covering walnut, prune, almond and olive in these counties,” Ott said. “But since there is only one other advisor in my office, Josh Davy, the joke is that he covers anything with feathers, fins and fur – and I cover anything with chlorophyll.”
Ott said she hopes to help California agriculture become more robust, profitable and sustainable – economically, socially and environmentally – far into the future.
“I want to help serve as a bridge, communicating the needs of the growers in my area to the researchers on UC campuses to make sure that we are doing the right research, research that will help to move our production systems forward,” she explained.
After growing up in El Dorado County, Ott earned her undergraduate degree in biological sciences from UC Davis. She received her M.S in marine science from the College of William & Mary, and then joined the Peace Corps, through which she worked with farmers in Zambia to raise tilapia.
Since returning from Africa in 2014, Ott has been working in the lab of Greg Browne at UC Davis and pursuing her Ph.D. in the Department of Plant Pathology. Her research has focused on which Phytophthora species are affecting almonds and walnuts in California and the ways the pathogen is introduced into orchards.
“My experience in Zambia really highlighted how powerful information can be, and I want to make sure that California growers have access to all of the practical information that UC and UC Cooperative Extension scientists are generating,” she said.
Ott, based at the UCCE office in Red Bluff, can be reached at email@example.com and (530) 527-3101.
Justin Tanner joins UCCE as grape advisor
Justin Tanner joined UC ANR on Jan. 3 as a UC Cooperative Extension viticulture advisor for San Joaquin, Stanislaus and southern Sacramento counties.
Tanner is responsible for implementing an innovative extension education and applied research program to address high-priority production issues in wine and table grapes including pest, disease, and water management.
Specifically, he supports entry-level growers who are seeking basic viticulture and pest management practices, while providing experienced growers information on new technologies to remain competitive. All producers face mounting pressures from increased regulatory and environmental compliance requirements as well as cost-competitiveness in an increasingly global marketplace.
Tanner attended Colorado State University and earned a Ph.D. in horticulture, focusing on germplasm conservation of temperate fruit trees. He also attended Texas A&M University, where he earned a master's degree in horticulture for citrus virology, as well as a bachelor's degree in agriculture for environmental soil science.
As a postdoctoral scholar in the Department of Viticulture and Enology at UC Davis, Tanner designed and implemented research projects at Oakville Station in Napa County. During his time there, he investigated various factors that affect wine grape production such as examining the effects of cluster thinning and irrigation practices on grapevine red blotch virus-positive vines to evaluate the efficacy of cultural management practices on mitigating virus impact on grape quality and yield. He also conducted trials to identify rootstock and scion combinations as well as trellis systems to optimize production under warming climate conditions.
To understand the needs and challenges of the growers he supports, Tanner is working closely with growers, industry leaders, the Lodi Winegrape Commission and pest control advisers in the region.
“I see the spread of grapevine leafroll-associated virus by the vine mealybug as a huge challenge for grape growers within San Joaquin and Stanislaus counties,” said Tanner. “As vine mealybug reproduces prolifically and spreads easily, controlling this invasive pest will require an integrated pest management approach with a concerted and sustained effort at the community level.”
Tanner is excited to contribute to the success of grape growers and the wine industry using a science-based approach. “The growers and pest control advisers I have already had the opportunity to meet with have been kind, intelligent and hardworking people who I enjoy working with,” he said.
Tanner is based at the UCCE San Joaquin County office in Stockton and can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Lazicki brings vegetable expertise to Yolo, Solano and Sacramento counties
Patricia Lazicki started on Feb. 1 as the vegetable crops advisor for University of California Cooperative Extension in the Capitol Corridor, comprising Yolo, Solano and Sacramento counties. She aims to develop an extension and applied research program that supports growers through industry, regulatory, and environmental changes, while increasing the profitability and resilience of the vegetable industry.
“I'm excited for the chance that this position gives to do holistic, applied, scientifically rigorous research that encompasses crop health, pest management, soil health, water dynamics and economic sustainability,” Lazicki said. “In particular, this region has long been a hub of California's processing tomato production and I'm excited for the opportunity to learn from and support local growers, pest control advisers and allied industry within this important crop.”
Lazicki said she's also looking forward to working with UCCE's team of vegetable crop advisors across California to develop integrated pest management approaches for emerging pests and pathogens.
After growing up in southern Chad and northern Cameroon, Lazicki has spent much of her adult life doing research in annual cropping systems in West and Central Africa and across the U.S.
She earned her bachelor's degree in international agricultural development with a minor in soil science from UC Davis, her master's in soil science from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, and Ph.D. in soils and biogeochemistry from UC Davis.
“I know I'm biased, but I believe that in the long-term healthy soils underlie healthy crops, environments and communities,” Lazicki said. “I hope to work with growers in my counties to figure out ways to adapt soil health-promoting practices to local needs without sacrificing short-term economic sustainability.”
Based at Woodland, Lazicki can be reached at email@example.com and (530) 219-5198.
Martinez Resendiz joins NPI as project policy analyst
Erica Martinez Resendiz joined the Nutrition Policy Institute on April 3 as a project policy analyst.
Martinez Resendiz, who began her work at NPI as a graduate student, received her master's and bachelor's degrees in public health with a concentration in public health nutrition from the UC Berkeley School of Public Health. She is passionate about working alongside individuals and communities, food security, health education and early childhood nutrition.
Her previous work experience includes helping individuals navigate basic needs community resources, breastfeeding promotion, and nutrition education for participants of the Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants and Children (WIC) Farmers Market Nutrition Program.
As a graduate student at NPI, she gained experience conducting telephone and in-person surveys, developing interviews and surveys, collecting plate waste data, administering 24-hour dietary recalls for children, and creating nutrition workshop materials. Martinez Resendiz brings these skills to continue collaborating on NPI projects evaluating the transition to freshly prepared school meals, school meals for all and farm to corrections programs.
Martinez Resendiz is based at UC Office of the President in Oakland and can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Orta-Aleman joins NPI as project scientist
Dania Orta-Aleman joined the Nutrition Policy Institute on March 1 as a project scientist. She will be supporting NPI's collaborative School Meals for All evaluation project.
Orta-Aleman is a nutrition epidemiologist with a doctorate in human nutrition from the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health and a master of public health degree in epidemiology and biostatistics from UC Berkeley.
Orta-Aleman has over 10 years of experience working on public health nutrition and food insecurity research projects, domestically and internationally. Her past research focused on enhancing services for participants in the federal Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants and Children (WIC), the affordability of high-protein foods, and the effect of federal food programs on meat and other high-protein foods purchasing.
Orta-Aleman is based at UC Office of the President in Oakland and can be reached at email@example.com.
Noble joins Contracts & Grants
Emilee Noble has joined Contracts & Grants as a research administrator 3. She will be assisting principal investigators and UCCE advisors with grant proposal preparation. She will provide resources and expertise to better understand contract and grant administration and successfully administer sponsored awards.
Prior to joining UC ANR, Noble worked at UC Davis in the Sponsored Programs Office.
The Woodland native enjoys drawing, reading, taking up the art of bonsai and physical activities from working out to riding dirt bikes.
Noble is located in cubical 234A in the ANR building in Davis and can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org and (530) 236-7364.
Humiston wins WAAESD leadership award
Vice President Glenda Humiston will be honored with the 2023 Experiment Station Section Excellence in Leadership Award for the Western Region. The award is presented to leaders who personify the highest level of excellence by enhancing the cause and performance of the regional associations and ESS in achieving their missions and the Land-Grant ideal.
“Glenda served as WAAESD chair during a time when the regional office was experiencing some internal issues. Glenda's leadership was essential to managing through those tough times,” said Bret Hess, executive director of the Western Association of Agricultural Experiment Station Directors.
“On the national level, Glenda served as the Chair of the Experiment Station Committee on Organization and Policy's (ESCOP) Budget and Legislative Committee (BLC),” he said.
As chair of this committee, Humiston served as the ESCOP representative to the Association of Public and Land Grant Universities Board on Agriculture Assembly's Budget and Advocacy Committee and Committee on Legislation and Policy.
“She also served on an ad hoc infrastructure committee that was formed by the APLU BAA to address the rapidly declining facilities operated by colleges of agriculture,” Hess said. “Glenda's leadership was instrumental in all of these committees. She is well-known for her no-nonsense approach, coupled with her vast experience in the political arena, she helped move the needle.
“For example, she helped the system develop a longer-term strategy for justifying annual federal appropriations requests in support of capacity research funds that are allocated to State Agricultural Experiment Stations. She also played a pivotal role in creating awareness among congressional leaders that the nation must address the infrastructure challenges colleges of agriculture are facing.”
Humiston will be presented the award at the Fall ESS Conference in Grand Rapids, Michigan, on Sept. 24-27.
Becker named Society of Nematologists Fellow
J. Ole Becker, UC Riverside professor of Cooperative Extension and Agricultural Experiment Station, has been named a Society of Nematologists Fellow.
Nematodes are tiny, thread-like roundworms that feed on fungi, bacteria, other nematodes, and plants. While feeding, nematodes can induce plant deformation, which interfere with water and nutrient uptake, severely impacting plants' ability to grow. They also create wounds that can leave roots vulnerable to infection by other disease-causing organisms in the soil.
Most vegetable crops, as well as trees and vines, are susceptible to nematode infection. Becker, a 30-year member of UC Riverside's Department of Nematology, works on ways to stop the worms while having minimal impact on the surrounding environment.
“He has truly been at the forefront of developing innovative, integrated methods for treating these pests,” said Andreas Westphal, UCR professor of Cooperative Extension in nematology based at Kearney Agricultural Research and Extension Center, who works with Becker. “Some techniques he pioneered have changed entire industries.”
For example, Becker developed seed coatings that protect against nematodes, since plants are most susceptible to them right when they germinate. Seed treatments dramatically reduce the amount of chemicals required for crop protection and are safer for the individuals applying the chemicals.
Becker is also internationally recognized for developing innovative biological methods of nematode treatment, which involve the addition of organic materials to the soil that stimulate the worms' natural enemies, or changing the soil in other ways that suppress worm populations. Methods like these not only help control plant-parasitic nematodes, but also hugely reduce the environmental footprint of agriculture.
“He truly has set an example working with both chemical and biological means, which are equally important,” Westphal said. “Many scientists really focus, and only go one route. Becker exemplifies how to cover both to achieve maximum effectiveness.”
See full story by Jules Bernstein at https://insideucr.ucr.edu/awards/2023/04/14/ucr-professor-becomes-society-nematologists-fellow.
To underscore the importance of Japan to California agriculture, a group of agricultural leaders joined Karen Ross, California Department of Food and Agriculture secretary, on a trade mission in March. Vice President Glenda Humiston participated in a series of meetings and events in Japan, which is our state's fourth-largest agricultural export market, valued at over $1.6 billion.
While speaking on a panel during the California-Japan Climate Summit, Humiston highlighted UC ANR's pioneering work in extending science-based solutions to help growers and ranchers thrive and adapt to climate change.
At the California Pavilion of the World Smart Energy Week show in Tokyo, the group saw some of the agricultural technology innovations on display – technologies that will be vital in addressing the climate crisis and other challenges.
The group met with Japan's Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries. At the meeting, Ross recognized Japan's strong trade partnership and collaboration on market access for agricultural products, as well as organic certification. They also discussed California's Sustainable Pest Management Roadmap.
The California-Japan Climate Summit highlighted climate opportunities related to renewable energy, hydrogen, port infrastructure and agriculture. The delegation visited AgVenture Lab and Tongali, two accelerator programs developing proof of concepts for agricultural startups.
“When we got to the AgVenture Lab in Tokyo as part of our California Grown Trade Mission, I was surprised to see our logo on the PowerPoint our host used,” Humiston said. “He went on to say several times how important their partnership with UC ANR was. It definitely made my day!”
Vice President Glenda Humiston visited San Diego County on Aug. 3. The day started with UC Cooperative Extension San Diego advisors and staff introducing themselves and County Director Oli Bachie briefing Humiston on San Diego County agriculture, current programs and new UCCE positions to be filled soon. Bachie also highlighted some of the constraints UCCE San Diego faces implementing research and extension programs, and voiced the need for expanded facilities.
Following Bachie's briefing, Humiston interacted with the advisors and staff. She spoke about current funding opportunities for UC ANR, employee salary equities, and the need to communicate with local elected officials and stakeholders about the role of UCCE and the value it provides to the community. Over a light lunch, Humiston entertained questions from advisors and staff – ranging from her vision for the future of UC ANR to the path she took to become VP. At the conclusion of lunch, Bachie and other UCCE advisors and staff led Humiston on a field tour so she could meet UCCE collaborators and see firsthand some of the agricultural production in San Diego County.
The tour started with a visit to an avocado grove in Escondido where Ali Montazar, a cross-county UCCE advisor for irrigation and water management, has an active research project. Montazar's project addresses water use and efficiency in avocado, one of the primary crops grown in San Diego County and much of Southern California. Although the steep and hilly terrain made accessing the site difficult, this stop provided an excellent opportunity to showcase the research and extension activities of the county and cross-county advisors.
At the next stop, Humiston had the chance to visit Ken Altman, the largest horticultural producer in the country, at the Center for Applied Horticultural Research in Vista. During the visit, Altman briefed Humiston about his nursery and the extent of his business. Altman grows a large variety of nursery crops for indoor and landscape purposes, and employs over 6,000 people all over the country. Altman also spoke about the facilities at CfAHR and his willingness to offer research and laboratory space for use by UCCE San Diego. A long-time collaborator with UCCE, Altman expressed his commitment to support UC ANR's research needs and described the benefits he sees from UCCE partnering with local producers. While the laboratory at CfAHR is currently unused, Altman reiterated his desire to share the space with any interested UCCE San Diego advisors. Humiston and Bachie thanked Altman for his generous offer of support and facilities.
At the San Diego County Farm Bureau headquarters in Escondido, Humiston met with its president, Mary Matava, and discussed the importance of Farm Bureau as both collaborator and clientele, and the importance of keeping good relationships with the local UCCE office. Both reiterated the mutual benefits that come from a strong working relationship between UCCE and Farm Bureau. They also discussed UCCE San Diego's office lease, and the need for facilities that satisfy the requirements of the UCCE office, such as storage, laboratory, greenhouse and commercial standard kitchen space.
“Regardless of whether UCCE San Diego continues to lease the Farm Bureau offices, UCCE San Diego will show its presence and visibility at the Farm Bureau building at least on a rotational basis and will continue to collaborate with the important partner that is Farm Bureau,” Bachie said.
The final stop was at Escondido City Hall for a brief tour guided by Jennifer Schoeneck, deputy director of economic development for the City of Escondido. Also in attendance were leaders from nearby community colleges. Schoeneck provided detailed information on a currently unused warehouse facility that the city intends to remodel and retrofit so it can be used as an agricultural hub. Various agricultural technology companies, universities and colleges would use the space together to conduct research, teach and support agriculture within San Diego County. Humiston expressed her appreciation for the potential of the center and said that UC ANR will look at opportunities to collaborate with the city to develop the facility into a broad-spectrum agricultural hub.
Throughout the field tour Humiston was accompanied by Eric Middleton, UCCE integrated pest management advisor; Chandra Richards, agricultural land acquisitions academic coordinator; Robert Padilla, digital media specialist; Jan Gonzales, project coordinator and community education supervisor; Shirley Salado, EFNEP community education supervisor; Lea Corkidi, staff research associate; and Sue Lake, administrative officer.
By the end of the visit, Humiston and the group had gained a deeper understanding of UCCE San Diego programs, projects, challenges and opportunities.
Many of your UC Agriculture and Natural Resources colleagues have already had the opportunity to chat – in an informal, online setting – with UC ANR leadership about a wide range of topics.
Friday, Sept. 9 (1 to 2 p.m.) is your next chance to take part in the series, “Open Conversations with UC ANR Senior Leadership” (submit interest form to participate).
Within this small group format, you can voice your questions, comments, suggestions – or whatever is on your mind – with Vice President Glenda Humiston, Associate Vice President-Business Operations Tu Tran and interim Associate Vice President-Programs Deanne Meyer.
Past participants, such as Ricardo Vela, manager of News & Information Outreach in Spanish, recommend these sessions as a forum for candid, meaningful engagement with leadership.
“I encourage every UC ANR staff member to participate,” Vela said. “Open Conversations with UC ANR Leadership were precisely that – a very casual, open conversation about topics I was interested in. The meeting was not one-sided, and senior leadership showed genuine interest in what I had to say; in the end, participating made me feel that I mattered at UC ANR.”
Organizers seek to limit enrollment to 20 participants to allow for more in-depth dialogue, so submit your interest form early. Attendees are expected to have microphone and camera on for the duration of the online session.
Contact the Program Support Unit at email@example.com with any questions.
A delegation of 12 UC ANR staff, academics, volunteers and stakeholders visited state legislators in Sacramento on April 19 for UC ANR Advocacy Day to share how UC ANR's work delivers local, place-based education, outreach and programming to serve communities throughout the state.
Anne Megaro, government and community relations director, and Christina Harrington, student assistant, UC Master Gardener and graduate of the UC California Naturalist Program, organized meetings with Assembly Member Rebecca Bauer-Kahan, Senator John Laird, Assembly Member Devon Mathis, and staff members in many legislative offices.
The delegation thanked them for investing in ongoing funding in last year's state budget and shared their stories of serving community members, farmers, ranchers, youth and natural resource managers in their regions.
Vice President Glenda Humiston and Mark Bell, Vice Provost of Strategic Initiatives and Statewide Programs, led two teams, which included Sarah-Mae Nelson, UC Climate Stewards initiative academic coordinator; Kamal Khaira, director of CalFresh Healthy Living, UC; UCCE advisors Igor Lacan, Mae Culumber and Dorina Espinoza; 4-H Youth State Ambassadors Megna Nayar and Sara Tibbets; and Clio Tarazi, UC Master Gardener volunteer.
The teams urged legislators to support several key budget requests as part of Governor Newsom's proposed FY 2022-23 state budget. These budget commitments would support UC's much-needed capital projects at Research and Extension Centers and Elkus Ranch to expand capacity for research and programming, as well as investments for UC climate action and resiliency projects that will advance climate research and workforce development programs for students and community members.
The UC ANR representatives invited the legislators to visit for tours and events to see UC ANR at work in their districts firsthand.