Joanne Whalen (holding plaque), the 2011 Worrilow Award recipient, with Jan Seitz, director of Cooperative Extension, and past Worrilow Award winners.

Ag alumni honored

CANR recognizes four with Distinguished Alumni Award

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8:36 a.m., Nov. 18, 2011--Four graduates of the University of Delaware College of Agriculture and Natural Resources (CANR) were presented the college’s Distinguished Alumni Award at a ceremony held on Friday, Nov. 11, as part of Homecoming festivities.

The awards are given based on a clear record of outstanding career accomplishments, service and leadership to the profession, and community service, including service to UD.

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The 2011 CANR Distinguished Alumni are: 

Steve Castorani, a 1977 graduate with a bachelor’s degree in plant science, who is the owner and operator of Gateway Garden Center in Hockessin, Del., and North Creek Nurseries in Landenberg and Oxford, Pa. 

Goodwin Cobb, IV, who graduated with a bachelor’s degree in food and agribusiness management in 1999 and who was the marketing manager for Christiana Care Health System in occupational health and wellness services at the time of his nomination.  He is now the business development director for Dynamic Physical Therapy’s Work Safe Program.  Dynamic Physical Therapy and Aquatic Rehabilitation is a leader in comprehensive, professional outpatient rehabilitation, with 34 locations throughout Delaware and Pennsylvania.

Rick Darke received his bachelor’s degree in plant science in 1977.  He began his professional career at Longwood Gardens and is now the president of Rick Darke, LLC, where he serves as a horticultural consultant to public and private landscapes.  He lectures regionally, nationally and internationally on sustainable landscape design, planning, conservation, and the ethical underpinnings of these topics, and is an esteemed horticultural photographer and author.

Joshua McGrath, who earned a doctoral degree in 2004 in plant and soil sciences, is an assistant professor of soil fertility and nutrient management at the University of Maryland with a primary responsibility in extension and a secondary responsibility in research. He is recognized as a leader in nutrient management as it relates to the Chesapeake Bay. 

The George M. Worrilow Award was presented to Joanne Whalen, who received a master's degree in 1983. The award, named for dean of the college from 1954-1965, is presented by the UD Ag Alumni Association each year to a graduate of the college who has exhibited outstanding service to agriculture.  Whalen has worked for UD Cooperative Extension since 1983 in the area of integrated pest management. In 2010, she was named the ag program leader.  She is the first woman to receive this honor. 

Also recognized was Andrew Schwartz, a 1993 graduate, who was awarded a Presidential Citation for Outstanding Achievement, honoring UD graduates of the last 20 years who exhibit great promise in their professional career and/or public service activities. He was formally recognized at a ceremony later that evening, along with seven other UD alumni.

Photos of the event can be viewed on the CANR Flickr site.

Article by Katy O’Connell

Photos by Danielle Quigley

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