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Extension presents Award of Excellence to faculty, staff

Posted 2/11/2010

Dr. Mae Gustin receiving her award from Dean Karen Hinton

Dr. Mae Gustin receiving her award from
Dean Karen Hinton

Three University of Nevada Cooperative Extension faculty and staff members, and a collaborating researcher from another college, have each received Extension’s Award of Excellence.

The Extension award winners included Mary Wilson, a nutrition specialist in UNCE’s Southern Area office in Las Vegas; Leo Audet, a budget analyst in the Statewide Administrative Office; and Deb Cobb, the 4-H Program Coordinator in Northern Nye and Esmeralda counties.

Dr. Mae Gustin, a mercury chemist with the University of Nevada College of Agriculture, Biotechnology and Natural Resources, received the Award of Excellence for her work with two UNCE faculty members on a project to educate the public on mercury in Nevada fish and reservoirs.

“We have great faculty and great staff,” said Cooperative Extension Dean and Director Karen Hinton, “Everyone works hard. But these individuals really stand out for their efforts in the past year.”

Wilson was recognized for her work as a grant liaison for the USDA Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program Education (SNAP-ED). In addition to submitting her own grant, Wilson helped other faculty and staff submit 11 SNAP-awarded grants, allowing UNCE to expand and continue 12 programs that help recipients of SNAP funding make better food selection choices.

Cobb, meanwhile, was recognized for her high ethical standards and for being an excellent role model for 4-H youth. "At local, state and national 4-H competitions this year, youth Deb works with have demonstrated that they value the same high ethical standards they see in her," Hinton said.

Audet was nominated for his work with Cooperative Extension over 15 years. Audet prepares and monitors budgets, provides fiscal guidance to UNCE administration and oversees the effort reporting on grant accounts. “Leo is immediately responsive to requests for information or help," said one co-worker. "He never loses his cool, always staying calm under pressure with a sense of humor.”

Gustin worked for two years on the mercury project with Cooperative Extension nutrition specialist Kerry Seymour and water quality specialist Susan Donaldson.

The project to investigate mercury in Nevada reservoirs and its impact on Nevada anglers led to the publication last year of two fact sheets aimed at health professionals and pregnant women at greatest risk from mercury. The team also presented a workshop in June 2009 to provide water managers and nutrition professionals with the information they need to help consumers make good decisions about eating fish.

"She remained fully invested in the Cooperative Extension component of our project," Donaldson said. "While she is extremely busy, there was never a question that the community education elements of the project were as important as the research elements."

"Mae Gustin is someone who gets things done, lives up to her commitments, does high-quality, cutting-edge work, supports her colleagues, cares about her work and commits to excellence," said Cooperative Extension Dean and Director Karen Hinton in presenting the award. "I can think of no one more deserving of this award."

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