The Board of Regents established this award in 1998 to recognize outstanding professionals in the Texas A&M System agencies. Nominees must be full-time, senior level research or service-delivery professionals, with at least five years of service, who have demonstrated exceptional leadership in programs or projects with significant statewide impact.
Dr. R. James Ansley
Professor and Rangeland Ecologist
Texas A&M AgriLife Research
Dr. Ansley earned his bachelor’s degree at Hastings College, his master’s at Utah State, and his Ph.D. at the University of Wyoming. He is respected worldwide as a rangeland ecologist based on his experience in semiarid mesquite and juniper woodlands. He is an expert in plant ecophysiology and the way managing natural resources affects plant communities. He conducts research on gas exchange, woody plant water use, wildlife predation of mesquite seeds, herbicide control, and fire ecology in rangelands. For more than 20 years he has conducted a respected research program that addresses problems related to agricultural production and ecological sustainability. He directs numerous graduate students at Texas A&M and teaches biology at Vernon College. He has won six awards for technical articles or posters and is associate editor of Rangeland Ecology and Management Journal.
Ms. Carrie T. Brazeal
County Extension Agent–Family and Consumer Sciences, Collin County
Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service
Ms. Brazeal received both her bachelor’s and master’s degrees at Texas A&M University-Commerce. For 34 years with Extension (32 in Collin County), she has excelled in improving lives, especially for children. She delivers about 15 classes per month with average attendance of 27 each, produces 4 newsletters, and writes a weekly column for print and online media with a circulation of 25,000. She has helped create such programming as Mini-Pride, a class for family members who parent children of relatives; weekly parenting classes for inmate groups since 1997; and childcare provider training, begun in 1994 and growing in attendance to 699 in 2013. She also excels in delivering Extension programs in diabetes education, disease prevention, and wellness. The National Extension Association of Family and Consumer Sciences named her regional Educator of the Year in 2012.
Dr. Saqib Mukhtar
Extension Agricultural Engineer and Professor
Extension Program Leader and Associate Department Head, Department of Biological and Agricultural Engineering
Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service
Dr. Mukhtar earned his bachelor’s degree in Agricultural Engineering at the University of Agriculture in Faisalabad, Pakistan, and his master’s and Ph.D. at Iowa State University. As Extension Agricultural Engineer for nearly 16 years, he is best known for his contributions in Extension education, technology transfer, and research to reduce the air and water quality impacts of manure and wastewater from animal feeding operations. He has authored or co-authored more than 170 publications and created a nationally recognized website on animal manure management (tammi.tamu.edu). His guides about reducing nuisance odors and dust, proper lagoon closure, and managing animal mortality are provided by state agencies to help poultry and livestock operations meet regulatory requirements. His publication on climate change won an ASABE Blue Ribbon Award in 2013.
Dr. Amy Swinford, DVM
Section Head, Diagnostic Bacteriology/Mycology Laboratory
Texas A&M Veterinary Medical Diagnostic Laboratory
In her nine years with TVMDL, Dr. Swinford’s contributions have expanded far beyond her original position as Diagnostic Bacteriologist. Proving to be a talented and versatile microbiologist, she has gained the respect of her colleagues, clients, and peers, both in Texas and nationwide. She has made lasting contributions to animal disease research as well as to the education and training of veterinarians and veterinary scientists. She has been an exceptional ambassador for TVMDL and has provided dedicated and distinguished representation of the agency at the state, national, and international levels. Dr. Swinford earned her master’s degree in Veterinary Pathobiology and her Doctorate of Veterinary Medicine at the University of Illinois College of Veterinary Medicine.
Please click the year below to view the gallery and read about each of the award recipients.