Posts Tagged: Sree Mada
McPherson joins ANR as Bay Area UCCE regional director
Frank McPherson joined UC ANR on Feb. 3, 2020, as a regional director for UC Cooperative Extension serving Alameda, Contra Costa, San Francisco and San Mateo counties, and Elkus Ranch Environmental Education Center. He is highly experienced in providing service to external and internal customers.
Prior to joining ANR, McPherson was director of Customer Service at San Jose-based BD Biosciences, where he led the Customer Service division of 75 employees and provided direction to clinical and research applications support, education services, technical support, contract administration and other teams.
From 2000 to 2013, McPherson served as a senior manager at Applied Materials where he led a team of highly skilled account service representatives; directed and managed Contact Center start-ups across the globe, negotiated contracts; and interfaced with planning, purchasing, order fulfillment and logistics to meet customer requirements.
From 1998 to 2000, as a manager at Air France, he was in charge of customer support for clients in Canada, the United States and Mexico. As a director of operations at Global Discount Travel from 1995 to 1998, McPherson managed 200 staff members with 2,000 accounts nationwide. From 1985 to 1995, as a superintendent in the US Air Force, he was in charge of command posts and operation centers.
McPherson holds a bachelor's degree in business management from University of Maryland and a master's degree in business management from Troy State University in Alabama. He is fluent in German.
He is based at the UCCE office in Concord and can be reached at (925) 608-6674 and firstname.lastname@example.org.
Mada appointed ANR chief information officer
After a long open search, Sree Mada has been named chief information officer, effective March 1, 2020.
Mada has 22 years of technical, functional and business experience in the field of Information Technology. During his career, he has demonstrated strong expertise in enterprise technical solutions in various complex business transformative implementations.
Mada joined UC in 2012, and in 2014 he joined ANR as program manager for UCPath.
“UCPath successfully went live last October thanks in no small part to Sree's skills and commitment to UC ANR's mission, and to his colleagues and the team he led,” said Tu M. Tran, associate vice president for Business Operations.
In his new role as chief information officer, reporting to Tran, Mada will be responsible for moving ANR to new technology platforms and readying our systems for an improved cybersecurity environment. He will also be responsible for implementing modern solutions for programmatic, business and administrative computing, in addition to building an organization that delivers efficient and effective technical solutions to advance the education, research and service mission of UC ANR.
Mada holds certifications from the Project Management Institute and the Information Technology Infrastructure Library, in addition to earning a bachelor's degree in statistics and political science and a master's degree in computer science and applications from Osmania University, India.
Mada will be located in office 173 in the ANR building at 2801 Second Street in Davis and can be reached at (908) 346-0196 and email@example.com.
Brown named director of Staff Human Resources
Bethanie Brown has assumed the role of director of Staff Human Resources effective Feb. 1, 2020.
Brown, who was associate director of Human Resources, now is responsible for staff recruitment and compensation, organizational development/workforce planning, UCPath Human Resources operations and employee/labor relations. Brown continues to report to John Fox in his role as executive director for Human Resources. Brown's expanded role over Staff Human Resources will allow Fox to focus on initiatives related to diversity, equity and inclusion, employee engagement and career development. Fox also continues to serve as ANR's Title IX and non-discrimination officer.
Tina Jordan, Academic Human Resources manager; Jodi Azulai, ANR Learning & Development coordinator; and David White, principal Affirmative Action analyst and Title IX investigator continue to report to Fox.
Master Gardeners welcome three new program coordinators
Growing up in Denver, Danica Taber explored plant cultivation as a student at University of Colorado Boulder by volunteering at the university greenhouses to help care for the phenomenal teaching collection.
In 2012, she moved to Santa Barbara, where she gained growing experience. “I was fortunate enough to serve as the manager for UCSB's research greenhouses and teaching collections. I got a crash course in IPM, and I also began to appreciate how valuable invested volunteers are,” says Taber.
After completing master's degrees in public affairs and environmental science at Indiana University-Bloomington, Taber moved back to the area to live with her husband.
Taber is based in Santa Barbara and can be reached at (805) 893-2125 and firstname.lastname@example.org.
Originally from Iowa, Uhde earned her B.S. in kinesiology, public health option from Iowa State University, where she studied human nutrition, exercise science and public health. After graduating, she moved to Kansas where she coordinated regional food access programs and led statewide farmers market, food policy, and school health initiatives, including the Senior Farmers' Market Nutrition Program, which served over 5,000 eligible older adults through 19 local agencies and 450 certified farmers. Uhde also managed a weekly farmers' market on the capitol grounds in Topeka. She holds a Master Gardener Home Horticulture Certificate from Oregon State University Extension.
“Katherine is passionate about community policy, systems and environmental changes that are sustainable, protect the environment and promote healthy lifestyles. We are delighted to have her as part of the UC Master Gardener Program,” said Lucy Diekmann, UCCE urban agriculture and food systems advisor.
Uhde is based in San Jose and can be reached at (408) 282-3138 and email@example.com.
Burke earned a bachelor's degree in sociology at UC Santa Cruz. After graduating, she pursued her interests in food, agriculture and education. Working with the local farm and garden community for close to 10 years now, she has experience in both the programs and operations sides of small nonprofits.
Burke is based in Half Moon Bay and can be reached at (650) 276-7425 and firstname.lastname@example.org.
Read more about the new UC Master Gardener program coordinators at https://ucanr.edu/blogs/blogcore/postdetail.cfm?postnum=39206.
Almond Pest Management Alliance Team wins IPM award
The UC IPM Almond Pest Management Alliance Team received an award from the California Department of Pesticide Regulation and California Environmental Protection Agency for their vigorous promotion of IPM and acting as a hub for growers, pest control advisers, researchers and others to organize their collective efforts and rapidly respond to arising pest issues.
The Almond Pest Management Alliance Team serves as a role model for the implementation of integrated pest management practices in California. The team consists of UC IPM advisors David Haviland, Jhalendra Rijal and Emily Symmes, industry researcher Bradly Higbee of Trécé, USDA scientist Charles Burkes and Bob Curtis of the Almond Board of California.
The team encouraged the adoption of mating disruption for managing navel orangeworm, a major pest in almond orchards, especially in the San Joaquin Valley. After they began demonstrating that mating disruption proved to be an economical pest control method in orchards, they saw a rapid rise in growers adopting the technology. Kern County showed a 26% countywide increase in the adoption of mating disruption from 2017-2018.
For more than a decade, the team conducted research on navel orangeworm, spider mites, leaffooted bug and ants that laid the groundwork for IPM adoption. For the past three years, the team put these IPM practices on display using eight demonstration orchards across the San Joaquin Valley as part of a CDPR Pest Management Alliance Grant.
PCAs and growers who participated in UC Almond Pest Management Alliance activities were surveyed – an average of 93.8% of participants stated that information that they received was considered when making pest management decisions.
The Almond Pest Management Alliance Team also received a California State Assembly Certificate of Recognition sponsored by Assemblyman Rudy Salas.
A three-minute video about the Almond Pest Management Alliance Team can be downloaded at https://ucdavis.box.com/s/7bo2ckkxi7kfvqevc346js6m6g3gvtg5.
Quinn-Davidson and Stackhouse win CSAC Challenge Award
The California State Association of Counties honored UCCE Humboldt County advisors Lenya Quinn-Davidson and Jeffery Stackhouse and the Humboldt County Prescribed Burn Association with one of its 18 Challenge Awards to recognize county innovation and best practices. As part of the award, CSAC wrote a story at https://www.counties.org/county-voice/first-west-humboldt-countys-prescribed-burn-association-teaches-value-fire and produced a video about their efforts. The video is posted at https://youtu.be/EhkCFRVZ2NE.
In 2017, Quinn-Davidson and Stackhouse developed the Prescribed Burn Association, which has steadily grown. The association is composed of landowners, nonprofits, volunteer firefighters and other community members who work together to carry out prescribed burns on private land. Until the association was created, most landowners and community members lacked access to prescribed burn information and training.
In 2017, Quinn-Davidson and Stackhouse developed the Prescribed Burn Association, which has steadily grown. The association is composed of landowners, nonprofits, volunteer firefighters and other community members who work together to carry out prescribed burns on private land. Until the association was created, most landowners and community members had lacked access to prescribed burn information and training.
The concept of a prescribed burn association is catching on. Quinn-Davidson and Stackhouse have presented the Humboldt County model to numerous counties around the state.
Beyond the benefit of prescribed burns for land management, Quinn-Davidson and Stackhouse say the association brings together groups that have traditionally been at odds – ranchers, people who work in timber, environmentalists and cannabis growers.
“Instead of being on opposite sides of an issue, people are gaining understanding for the other side,” Stackhouse told CSAC. “It has opened the door for real, honest communication between different groups that otherwise would not be happening. Having people work together who have been on different sides of the community really is amazing.”
Meyer receives Water Quality Stewardship Award
The North Coast Regional Water Quality Control Board presented its Water Quality Stewardship Award to Deanne Meyer, a UCCE specialist in the Department of Animal Science at UC Davis, on Feb. 6.
Meyer studies livestock waste management, lectures in the Department of Animal Science and advises agricultural and environmental majors. She is also the environmental stewardship module coordinator for the California Dairy Quality Assurance Program (CDQAP), part of the California Dairy Research Foundation.
Meyer has provided technical advice and comments in developing the North Coast Regional Water Board's dairy program. She provides technical expertise at CDQAP workshops to help dairy operators comply with the requirements of the Regional Water Board's dairy permit. Meyer also served on the Technical Advisory Committee for the California Department of Food and Agriculture's Alternative Manure Management Program. Meyer is currently working with Regional Water Board staff on a contract to test manure and soil on 30 North Coast pasture-based dairies to assist dairy operators in developing a nutrient budget for Nutrient Management Plans.
The Executive Officer's Water Quality Stewardship Award is an annual award given to an individual or group whose exceptional work contributes to the preservation and enhancement of surface water and groundwater quality in the North Coast Region.
4-H Camping Advisory Committee receives national research award
The American Camp Association recognized the California 4-H Camping Advisory Committee with its 2020 Eleanor P. Eells Excellence in Research in Practice Award. Marianne Bird, 4-H youth development advisor in Sacramento County and chair of the 4-H Camping Advisory Committee, accepted the award on behalf of the team on Feb. 12 At its national conference in San Diego.
The Eells Award recognizes programs that apply innovative, quality research or evaluation findings to improve program practice, and share their findings with others.
Since its inception in 2004, program evaluation and improvement has been a focus of the California 4-H Camping Advisory Committee. However, engaging the 25 or more local, volunteer-run camps in program assessment proved challenging.
To engage camps in data and the program improvement process, the committee embraced the use of “data parties” to share results and encourage dialogue with the camps participating in the current study. A data party gathers stakeholders to analyze or interpret collected data. The committee invited camps to bring a team of three to six people (4-H teen leaders, adult volunteers and professional staff) to explore statewide findings, as well as data from their own camp. Teams then created an action plan for improving their programs.
The event encouraged buy-in and a sense of ownership to the data. Participants reported new insights and greater understanding of the data, and cited changes they had made to their programs as a result. Since initiating the data party format four years ago, participation in the statewide evaluation has grown from nine to 22 camps.
“When those engaged in programming understand and embrace data, then is an evaluation truly useful,” said Bird. “These are the people who can make change happen. For California 4-H, the camp data party has been the key to opening dialogue and improving our programs."
“If UC ANR isn't an incubator, I don't know what is. Furthermore, I would argue that the partnership of our land-grant university system with Cooperative Extension is the original and most productive incubator that the world has ever seen,” VP Glenda Humiston wrote in the October-December 2015 issue of California Agriculture.
Since joining ANR, Humiston has been working to expand UC ANR's incubation activities by joining with diverse partners to develop a much broader innovation infrastructure specifically designed to support intellectual property, innovation, entrepreneurship, tech transfer, startups and commercialization aimed at agriculture, natural resources and rural communities.
“A lot of people have ideas, but they don't know how to be business leaders. An incubator connects them with the things they need to be successful as new entrepreneurs,” said Gabe Youtsey, chief information officer.
To kick off development of such a system, Humiston brought together 40 people on Aug. 30 with a wide range of expertise and representing a variety of sectors: agriculture, banking, business, government, technology and higher education – including leaders of several successful incubators. The purpose of the meeting, held at the ANR building in Davis, was to engage the group in developing a comprehensive strategy to nurture new technologies and innovative businesses for agriculture and natural resources.
“We're not looking to reinvent the wheel or duplicate existing efforts,” Humiston said, explaining that she hopes to support and leverage the strengths and efforts of partners.
Christine Gulbranson, UC senior vice president of research innovation and entrepreneurship, and Reg Kelly of UC San Francisco, who created QB3, – one of UC's best performing incubators – participated in the session. The quantitative biologists at UC Berkeley, UC San Francisco and UC Santa Cruz who comprise QB3 take on challenges in biology using physics, chemistry, and computer science. QB3's Startup in a Box provides legal and grant-writing help for biotech startups.
“We want to take the QB3 model and modify it for ANR,” Humiston said. “But we don't have the resources to build a statewide system by ourselves so we're catalyzing like-minded partners to jointly develop the needed statewide innovation infrastructure.”
Such an innovation system could benefit a wide array of entrepreneurs in rural areas and help to commercialize ideas generated by UC Cooperative Extension specialists and advisors.
“Over the past eight years, ANR researchers have filed 148 patents,” Humiston said. “However, it is unclear if many of those had the support they needed to go the next step.”
At the meeting, the group divided into five tables of eight people. Each table had representatives of UC ANR, various UC campuses, state and federal government, funding institutions, incubators, and different industries. They discussed issues around innovation, place, talent, stewardship and engagement, answering the following questions:
- What exists now?
- Where are the gaps that need to be filled?
- Which of these gaps could UC ANR help catalyze and fill, either with partners or on its own?
- How could this work to fill the gaps be funded?
- How do we measure success?
Conversations were lively and many ideas were brought forth for specific projects and other implementation. “It's really exciting,” said Humiston. “People were jazzed. Virtually all of the participants said they want to work with us on next steps.”
In addition to Humiston and Youtsey, AVP Wendy Powers and UCCE advisors David Doll and Andre Biscaro participated for ANR. Consultant Meg Arnold is writing up a report, which is expected to be released in early October.
Konrad Mathesius (pronounced “Muh-tay-zee-us”) is the new UCCE agronomy advisor for Yolo, Sacramento and Solano counties.
Mathesius, who joined ANR on June 27, will be working with growers and pest control advisers in the Capitol Corridor area to address issues related to soils, pests, diseases and production efficiency. In addition to collaborating on a few projects with UCCE advisor Rachael Long in alfalfa, dry beans and sunflowers, he will work on a wide range of agronomic crops including corn, wheat, barley and safflower.
Mathesius will work with growers and PCAs to mitigate crop losses by addressing pest and disease pressures and to help them comply with nitrogen, pesticide and water regulations. He also plans to develop crop guidelines based on difficulties associated with specific soils in the Capitol Corridor.
The native of Logan, Utah, earned his undergraduate degree at Utah State and his master's degrees in soil science and international agricultural development at UC Davis.
“After graduation, I spent a few years working in the private sector, where I gained a sense of respect for bottom lines and the hustle to make ends meet,” Mathesius said. “I intend to bring the question of cost and efficiency into most, if not all of my work.”
Based in Woodland, Mathesius can be reached at email@example.com and (530) 666-8704.
Kathryn Stein has joined ANR as executive assistant to Wendy Powers, Associate Vice President
Prior to joining ANR, Stein worked in the College of Engineering Dean's office at UC Berkeley for three and a half years. She earned a B.S. in environmental horticulture and urban forestry from the College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences at UC Davis. While in Davis, she worked for the Whole Earth Festival, an annual sustainability festival on the UC Davis campus.
Stein is based on the 10th floor of UCOP and can be reached at Kathryn.Stein@ucop.edu and (510) 587-6240.
Martinez and Au receive NIH Career Development Awards
Two researchers at the Nutrition Policy Institute have been awarded K01 Career Development Awards by the National Institutes of Health (NIH) National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute. Lauren Au will research disparities in the relationship between the school nutrition environment and childhood obesity and Suzanna Martinez will study sleep duration and risk for obesity in Mexican-American children.
Martinez will receive $895,620 and Au will receive $840,871. Martinez has also been accepted into the K Scholars Program at UC San Francisco, which will provide her with peer support and mentorship to conduct the study.
Barbara Allen-Diaz, who retired as ANR vice president in 2015, is among five Land Grant university leaders recognized for Excellence in National Leadership by the Experiment Station Section of the Association of Public and Land-grant Universities (APLU).
The other individuals honored with Allen-Diaz were:
- Walter A. Hill, Dean, College of Agriculture, Environment and Nutrition Sciences, Tuskegee University
- Steve Slack, formerly associate vice president for agricultural administration and director of OARDC, The Ohio State University (recently retired)
- Daniel Rossi, formerly executive director, Northeastern Regional Association of State Agricultural Experiment Station Directors (recently retired)
- William (Bill) Brown, dean of research and director of the Tennessee Agricultural Experiment Station, University of Tennessee
The resolution reads in part: “These leaders have personified the highest level of excellence by enhancing the cause and performance of the Regional Associations and Experiment Station Section in achieving their mission and the Land-grant ideal.”
The awards were announced at the annual Experiment Station Section meeting on Sept. 21 in Jackson Hole, Wyo.
“Zoom is the easiest to use high-quality video, phone and web conferencing service on the market,” said Youtsey. “After an extensive analysis, the UC has established a systemwide Zoom contract for a very low cost, which UC ANR IT is covering. Our goal is for Zoom to become the common tool for communication within the division, and for collaboration with campus and external teams worldwide.”
Zoom can replace Skype, Adobe Connect, GoToMeeting and ReadyTalk. Some of Zoom's features include:
- Super easy video conferencing on your computer, mobile device, or room system for up to 50 connections
- Unlimited phone conferencing for up to 50
- Ability to support large meetings with up to 100 and webinars up to 500 participants (see instructions below)
- Enabled for PC, Mac, Android and iOS devices
- Compatible with any existing teleconference phones from Polycom, Tandberg, LifeSize etc.
Additional Zoom features are available to ANR employees:
- ANR has a license for a 100-participant meeting (two-way communication), which can be reserved for occasional use at no cost.
- ANR has a license for 500-participant webinars (one-way communication, which can be reserved for occasional use at no cost.
- There are a range of large meeting and webinar licenses you can purchase as “add-ons” for your exclusive use if needed. Contact the IT Service Desk for more information.
- Zoom Rooms is a great way to connect conference rooms to the Zoom service for high-quality video, phone and web conferencing. Contact the IT Service Desk for more information for equipment and pricing information.
For help to get Zoom up and running, contact the ANR IT Service Desk at firstname.lastname@example.org or call (530) 750-1212.
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