Alumni | College of Agriculture and Natural Resources

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CANR 2023 Convocation Graduates

Blue Hens Forever

The College of Agriculture and Natural Resources is proud of its more than 10,000 alumni—past and present—who leveraged their UD education to impact the world.

Our alumni are family—forever part of the fiber of the college—committed to carrying out our mission to feed the world and protect the planet. 

We want to hear your stories—your successes and lessons learned. Please keep in touch by sending updates to

We hope to see you on campus or in your area soon!


Alumni Engagement Opportunities

Ag Day 2023 FMC Exhibit

We welcome our alumni to “come home to CANR” at any time. Below are just a few of the ways you can stay connected to your alma mater.  

  • Bring your family to Ag Day

  • Represent your company at CANR Career Day

  • Share your career path with a class

  • Hire a student intern

  • Visit the UDairy Creamery Cafe on Main Street

  • Plant sale
  • Speak at a club meeting

  • Make nominations for CANR Alumni Awards

  • Attend the CANR Research Symposium

  • Take a tour of today’s CANR

  • Bring a prospective student to visit

  • Join the Friends of the UDBG

  • Order UDairy Ice Cream and Cheese online

For more information on these or other options, please write to


We are proud to recognize and honor our alumni with two annual awards.  Formal nominations are accepted each January, with selections made during the spring. Winners are announced at Celebrating Excellence each May.

To suggest an alumni for either award, please submit this short form if you are external to UD.  If you are a UD employee, please use this form.

Distinguished Alumni Award

This award recognizes alumni from each department who demonstrate outstanding achievement, service and leadership in their professions.

Distinguished Alumni Award Winners


George M. Worrilow Award

Named for a former dean and UD leader who had steadfast respect for the Delaware farmer and a commitment to the future of agriculture. A committee of former Worrilow Award recipients selects each year’s awardee, a graduate of the college who has exhibited outstanding service to agriculture and natural resources. 

Worrilow Award Winners


Alumni Stories
  • Alena Brown cares for a dog in a veterinary clinic.

    UD’s non-thesis master’s in Animal Science prepares Alena Brown for a career in animal care

    July 10, 2024 | Written by Molly Schafer
    University of Delaware alumna Alena Brown is determined to become a veterinarian. Brown decided UD’s non-thesis master’s of science in Animal Science program was the best choice to accomplish her goal. Designed for college graduates or working professionals, students can enroll full- or part-time and complete the degree in one to two years. Brown earned her degree while working full-time at Lantana Veterinary Center in Hockessin, Delaware.
  • Scientific mentorship

    June 14, 2024 | Written by Katie Peikes | Photos by Evan Krape and Kathy F. Atkinson and courtesy of University Archives
    UD plant and soil sciences alumni say mentorship was a hallmark of Don Sparks’ illustrious UD career.
  • Leveraging landscape architecture for conservation

    May 30, 2024 | Written by Molly Schafer
    University of Delaware alumna Juliahna Mistretta is leveraging her landscape architecture degree for conservation. This summer, Mistretta will complete a master’s degree in global biodiversity conservation at the University of Sussex in Brighton, United Kingdom. As part of an effort to record the park's biodiversity, Mistretta collected and identified bats and beetles in Africa’s Kasanka National Park. Mistretta will combine her master's degree with her BLA from UD to create sustainable spaces that foster biodiversity and give back to the community.
Profile photo of Gordon Johnson

Worrilow Award Recipient

UD Degree: Ph.D. in Plant and Soil Science

Dr. Gordon Johnson began his career with UD Cooperative Extension in 1994 as a Horticulture and Specialty Crop Agent in Kent County, adding the role of Agronomic Crop Agent in Kent County in 1997, and becoming the statewide Dairy Agent in 1999. In these roles, he taught ornamentals short courses, initiated the Kent County master’s series for field crops, conducted workshops on fruit and vegetable production, and developed programs in organic farming, dairy records, agritourism, entrepreneurship and business management. Gordon facilitated the development of Delaware’s Nutrient Management Program and initiated statewide produce food safety education. He also was one of the first agents to integrate electronic outreach into his work and he maintained a commercial agriculture and commercial horticulture blog.

In 2010, Gordon became the Extension Fruit and Vegetable Specialist and a faculty member in our Department of Plant and Soil Sciences. He serves as a liaison and advisor to the vegetable and fruit industry in Delaware and provides targeted training and updates with an emphasis on produce food safety. He also conducts applied research on vegetable, fruit, and specialty horticulture crops.

Gordon received his Ph.D. in plant science from UD. Following a long and rewarding career, he is retiring in June 2023 but will continue to teach and work on selected research and outreach projects.

2023 Gordon Johnson '11PhD
2022 William "Jay" Meany '81
2021 Susan Schumacher Barton '81 ‘05PhD  
2020 Lee W. Richardson '91
2019  Steven Leath '81M
2018  James L. Glancey '85
2017  Wayne L. Currey '65 '67M
2016  Charles C. Allen III '71
2015  Erica Spackman '97M '01PhD
2014  Robin L. Talley '84 '96M
2013  Ronald L. Ritter '75
2012  Jack Gelb Jr. '74 '76M
2011  Joanne Whitehead Whalen '83M
2010  Robert L. Baker '71
2009  Willis L. Kirk '67
2008  Robert P. Mulrooney '73 '74M
2007  H. Wallace Cook Jr. '56
2006   J. Rennie Stavely '61 


2005  Fred W. Melchior Jr. '64 '66M
2004  S. Derby Walker Jr. '68 '70M
2003  John L. Morris '58M
2002  Carlton C. Fifer '62
2001  Theodore A. Haas '71
2000  Spangler Klopp '66 '68M
1999  Thomas A. Fretz '66M '70PhD
1998  Keith H. Carlisle '64
1997  Walter C. Hopkins '70
1996  George F. Haenlein '60M
1995  W. Edwin Kee Jr. '73 '75M '96M
1994  Chester T. Dickerson, Jr. '62 '64M
1993  Samuel J. Talucci '51
1992  Henry P. Wilson '63 '65M
1991  J. Edward Legates '43
1990  H. Wesley Towers Jr. '64
1989  Donald F. Crossan '50
1988  Horace E. Short Sr. '42 '52M
1987  John K. Rosenberger '64 '66M

1986  Ralph P. Barwick '50 '56M
1985  William J. Benton '59M '66PhD
1984  William N. Hopkins '42
1983  John M. Curtis Sr. '41
1982  David H. Woodward '55
1981  F. Grove Miller '51
1980  Thurman G. Adams Jr. '50
1979  William R. Ratledge '38
1978  J. Allen Frear Jr. '24 '92H
1977  Ralph J. O'Day '40 '59M
1976  Claude E. Phillips '21 '23M
1975  Preston C. Townsend Sr. '32
1974  Edward H. Ralph '55 '57M
1973  Warren C. Newton '16 '55H
1972  B. Vance Carmean Jr. '62
1971  J. Frank Gordy '28
1970  Edward H. Schabinger '39

2023 Distinguished Alumni Recipients

Mary Stromberger

Distinguished Alumni
Award Recipient

UD Degree: M.S. Soil Sciences

Dr. Mary Stromberger is the Vice Provost and Dean for Graduate Education at The Ohio State University, supporting more than 11,000 students enrolled in master’s and doctoral programs. She holds a student-centric vision for graduate education and believes that a thriving graduate school is one that mentors students, advances belonging, strengthens relationships, and bolsters collaboration across the university. Mary also holds the ENGIE-Axium Endowed Chair.

Prior to her arrival at OSU, Stromberger was the Vice Provost of Graduate Affairs and Dean of the Graduate School at Colorado State University, Fort Collins, CO, where she supported over 6,000 graduate students in all aspects of graduate education, research, teaching, and well-being. At CSU, she championed graduate student support and inclusion, and established the CSU’s Graduate Center for Inclusive Mentoring which provides mentor training to faculty and students, hosts social activities, and supports recruitment and retention of students from underserved populations. Stromberger has grown professional doctorate and PhD programs, increased support of graduate interdisciplinary programs, and updated policies and procedures that have improved student experience and staff culture.

Stromberger joined CSU in 2001 and was a tenured faculty member in the university’s Department of Soil and Crop Sciences. Mary is nationally and internationally recognized for her research on plant-root microbiomes, soil ecosystems and soil health. She earned a bachelor’s degree in biology and microbiology at West Chester University, master’s degree in soil science at the University of Delaware, and Ph.D. in soil science at Oregon State University.

Ellen Lake

Distinguished Alumni
Award Recipient

UD Degrees: M.S. Entomology, Ph.D. Entomology and Wildlife Ecology

Dr. Ellen Lake is the director of conservation and research at Mt. Cuba Center in Hockessin, Delaware. She leads a team that documents the ecological benefits and horticultural performance of native plants, studies the impact of adaptive management and restoration strategies, inventories and monitors flora and fauna, develops propagation and production protocols for native plant species and further develops Mt. Cuba’s living collections.

Lake developed her love of the outdoors through an environmental education summer camp run by the Brandywine and Red Clay Valley Associations, now the Brandywine Red Clay Alliance. She worked for those organizations in a variety of roles between 1990 and 2004, ultimately serving as their education director. She earned a bachelor’s degree from Bryn Mawr College with a double major in biology and anthropology, a master’s degree in entomology and a Ph.D. in entomology and wildlife ecology from the University of Delaware, where she researched biological control of mile-a-minute weed and how to integrate weed management techniques to restore invaded sites.

After graduate school, Lake was a visiting assistant professor at The College of New Jersey. She then joined the USDA Agricultural Research Service Invasive Plant Research Laboratory in Fort Lauderdale, Florida, where she was a research entomologist. Her research focused on biological control of invasive weeds in the Greater Everglades ecosystem.

Lake has authored 49 refereed publications and contributed to the acquisition of more than $4.6 million in research funding. She served on the boards of the North American Invasive Species Management Association, Florida Invasive Species Council and Brandywine Valley Association. Her research interests include restoration ecology, integrated weed management, biological control and plant-insect interactions.

Headshot for Milos Markis

Distinguished Alumni
Award Recipient

UD Degrees: B.A. Biological Science, M.S. Animal Science, Ph.D. Animal Science

Dr. Milos Markis is the owner and president of AviServe LLC, an independent avian diagnostic and research laboratory in Newark, Delaware. Markis was born in Croatia and immigrated to Newark, Delaware, with his mother and brother at the age of 12. Markis received a bachelor’s degree in biological sciences with a minor in chemistry, master’s degree in animal science and Ph.D. in animal science, all from the University of Delaware. During his undergraduate studies, he worked as a laboratory assistant in Dr. Robin Morgan’s research laboratory and fell in love with poultry research. His graduate research focused on the detection of the vaccine and wild-type Marek’s disease viruses and host and viral microRNAs in the feather tips. He later conducted research with Drs. Jack and Sandy Rosenberger at AviServe LLC, where he investigated the roles of reovirus, astrovirus and adenovirus in viral enteritis/enteropathy in chickens. The opportunity to be mentored by Dr. Morgan and Drs. Rosenberger allowed Markis to learn both classic and molecular virology, which proved invaluable for his future career. Following graduation, Markis continued to conduct research at AviServe LLC on emerging and evolving poultry pathogens of economic significance to the poultry industry. Markis is a member of the Delmarva Chicken Association, World Veterinary Poultry Association and American Association of Avian Pathologists, serving in different capacities on the History, Awards, Enteric Disease and TIME committees.

Headshot for Yanyan LI

Distinguished Alumni
Award Recipient

UD Degrees: M.S. Applied Mathematics and M.S. Statistics

Dr. Yanyan Li is the global therapeutical area lead statistician at CSL Behring. She leads statistical teams responsible for more than 25 projects for 12 compounds in all phases of clinical development. She leads multiple successful regulatory interactions across U.S., EMA, Japan, Canada, Australia, China and other regions. The most recent product HEMGENIX® - a potentially life-changing therapy – soon reaches the next milestone in its journey to be the first FDA and EMA-approved gene therapy available to the Hemophilia B community. She extends the influence of statistics across multi-function teams, developed departmental and inter-departmental processes and guidelines, and manages the departmental intern program. Prior to joining CSL, Yanyan worked as a lead statistician at Teva Pharmaceutical for respiratory and CNS/pain areas, and as a research biostatistician at Thomas Jefferson University Cancer Center.

Yanyan received a master’s degree in applied mathematics and a master’s degree in statistics from the University of Delaware, and a Ph.D. in statistics from Temple University.

Yanyan spends her spare time on community service. She served as MATHCOUNTS coach at Holicong Middle School, which is recognized as a National Gold Math Club. She led the junior tennis coaches to create a tennis club and teach community kids for free, benefiting more than 150 kids in nearby communities last year. She is also a board member of the Central Bucks Chinese American Association (CBCAA), whose mission is to promote educational excellence for students in the Central Bucks community and support Central Bucks Chinese Americans.

Anna Armstrong

Distinguished Alumni
Award Recipient

UD Degree: B.S. Agriculture

Anna Armstrong is a regulatory consultant who has worked in production agricultural and agricultural sciences for nearly 30 years. She obtains and manages agriculture product registrations to provide growers with tools that maximize productivity, efficiency and safety in their operations. Armstrong earned a bachelor’s degree in agriculture from the University of Delaware and began her career at DuPont Crop Protection. At DuPont, she conducted laboratory and field research for the Insecticide Discovery Team, managed regulatory aspects for U.S. Crop Protection product portfolios, managed state registrations for U.S. Crop Protection business, and led the Product Stewardship function for DuPont’s Insect Control products globally. As the Insect Control Product Stewardship team lead, Armstrong interacted with colleagues from more than 70 countries. She thoroughly enjoyed promoting the safe use of insect control products in countries that employ diverse agronomics and discovering common approaches to food production challenges across the globe. Armstrong also served as a University of Delaware Agricultural Extension Agent working with growers, agri-businesses, and agricultural enthusiasts to provide education and outreach programs across the region.

Armstrong has submitted, obtained, or managed regulatory aspects of hundreds of technical grade active ingredient or end-use federal product registrations, including proprietary/novel active ingredient registrations. She has substantial experience in U.S. EPA FIFRA regulations, including regulatory strategy development and issues management; managing, coordinating and monitoring regulatory studies to support FIFRA data requirements; conducting data compensation assessments; developing labels; writing technical reports to support regulatory requirements; compiling and submitting regulatory dossiers; and managing Registration Reviews. She also mentors youth as a local 4-H leader.


Anna Armstrong '96 

2023 Ellen Lake '11PhD
2023 YanYan Li '14PhD
2023 Milos Markis '08 '10M '14PhD
2023 Mary Stromberger '00 PhD
2021 Sam Lemheney '91
2021 Rodolfo Nayga Jr. '88M
2021 George Uetz '70M
2020 Patrick Carroll '88
2020 Stephen Cook '96
2020 Rodney Robinson '74
2019 Mark Collins '80
2019 Michael Graham '90M
2019 Wayne Lord '78M
2019 Robert Thompson '81
2017 Robert Cohen '72
2017 Ronald Ferriss '75
2017 David  Morris '80
2016 Gary Curl '74 '76M
2016 W. Gary Smith '78
2016 Cynthia  Stewart '90
2015 Mary Denigan-Macauley '88
2015 Devan  Mehrotra '91PhD
2015 Kenneth Raffa '76M
2015 H. Don Tilmon '67M
2014 Craig Clifford '93M
2014 Tom Fretz '66M '70PhD
2014 Mary Ellen Setting '75
2013 John Cantello '87 '90M '96PhD
2013 Bernard Murphy '75
2012 Bruce Cobb '84
2012 Daral Jackwood '78
2012 Mark Jackwood '78 '82M
2012 Carol Long '90
2011 Steve Castorani '77
2011 Rick Darke '77
2010 Dennis Byrne '78
2010 Steven Leath '81M
2010 Stewart Ramsey '85 '88M
2009 Roger Glendenning '87
2009 Andrew Paterson '82
2009 Linda  Stallings '96
2008 William Culp '89 '91M
2021 David McNear Jr. '06PhD
2021 Kishana Taylor '11
2021 Yihuan Xu '04M
2020 Catherine Connelly '05
2020 Kate Zook '10
2019 Grace Chapman Elton '08M
2019 Shawn Dash '02
2019 Michele Maughan '03 '07M '12PhD
2017 Sara-Beth Bittinger '02M
2017 Phung Luu '97
2017 Joseph Rogerson '05
2016 Andrew Short '02
2015 Jared  Ali '08M
2014 James Baxter, IV '02
2013 Zaiqi Pan '07M
2012 Jennifer McEntire '99
2012 Jennifer Walls '01
2011 Goodwin Cobb '99
2011 Joshua McGrath '04 PhD
2009 Daniel Camenga '01 '03M
2008 Erica  Spackman '97M '01PhD

Stay in Touch

Share your updates and ideas, plan a visit, or just stay connected! 

Please contact: 
Dan Rogalski, Sr. Director
Development and Alumni Relations
302-831-6211 or