2003 Hill Award Recipients Announced by UGA Public Service and Outreach Office

ATHENS, Ga. – The University of Georgia Office of the Vice President for Public Service and Outreach has announced the recipients of the 2003 Walter Barnard Hill Awards and the Walter Barnard Hill Distinguished Public Service and Outreach Fellow. The winners were recognized at a luncheon banquet during the annual Public Service and Outreach Conference earlier today. This year’s recipients include Hill Fellow Donald W. Bower and Hill Award winners Scott Brown, John Glisson, William Merka, Richard Milford and Jeffrey Sanford.

The Hill Awards, named for former UGA Chancellor Walter Barnard Hill, recognize distinguished achievement in public service and outreach by faculty members and service professionals. Each recipient is judged to have made contributions to the improvement of the quality of life in Georgia that exceed the normal accomplishments of a faculty member. These improvements can be in program development and management, extension and public service instruction, technical assistance, applied research or development of instructional materials. The award recipients receive a permanent salary increase and become eligible for appointment as a Walter Barnard Hill Distinguished Public Service and Outreach Fellow. The fellowship, equivalent to a distinguished professorship, is the highest award offered in Public Service and Outreach.

Donald W. Bower, associate professor and human development specialist with the College of Family and Consumer Sciences Cooperative Extension Service (CES), received the 2003 Hill Distinguished Public Service and Outreach Fellow award. Bower has been instrumental in helping CES become the primary provider of parenting education in Georgia and has overseen the creation of a national model for assessing and credentialing parent educators within the CES system. His leadership in the Extension Occupant Safety Education Program has helped it become the primary source in Georgia for information and training in the use of child safety seats and other passenger safety equipment and behavior. In addition, Bower has taken the lead in planning the Georgia Family Policy Initiative, which will examine pending policy decisions from a family impact perspective and provide practical recommendations from the research.

Scott Brown has distinguished himself as a frontrunner in cutting-edge on-farm programming during his public service career at UGA. He was the first county extension agent in Georgia and one of the first in the nation to test transgenic Bt cotton on the farm. His studies have led to significant improvements in production and economic efficiency of crop diversity and insecticide use. Brown’s technical expertise and program input have earned him the D.W. Brooks Award for Excellence in Extension Programming, the Georgia King Cotton Award and the National Association of County Agricultural Agents Award.

John Glisson is recognized nationally and internationally for his significant improvements in the quality of services provided in poultry medicine. His fowl cholera vaccine is the most widely used product for chickens in the nation and his VGGA vaccine for Newcastle disease is used in broiler production throughout the world. As clinical services chief in the College of Veterinary Medicine, Glisson brought the college an increased number of submissions and clinical income; in recognition of his service and outreach achievements, he was named recently the college’s director of public service and outreach. Glisson has also gained acclaim for his teaching and research activities, as well as his involvement in national, state and local organizations.

William Merka has earned a national and international reputation as one of the most innovative extension poultry scientists in the field for his work in poultry waste management and minimization. Merka’s programs save the poultry industry more than $80 million annually and have improved significantly environmental protection measures. In addition, Merka and colleagues formed the National Poultry Waste Management Symposium, which has established and maintained a national dialogue among regulatory agencies, the poultry industry and the academic community to address present and future environmental problems.

Richard Milford has established an impressive record of public service activities since he joined UGA’s Carl Vinson Institute of Government in 1987. As the program director over state government program evaluation initiatives with the institute’s Governmental Services Division, Milford has provided technical assistance to the Department of Human Resources, the Department of Labor, the Supreme Court of Georgia and other state and local agencies. He has also developed a ten-year partnership between the institute and the Georgia Department of Technical and Adult Education to provide a comprehensive and continuous program of evaluation and performance measurement regarding technical college/institute programs in the area of workforce training and development. One of Milford’s most innovative programs is the Local Government Mystery Shopper Program, the first of its kind in local government customer service performance measurement. Milford has since directed and implemented a national program paralleling the local mystery shopper program.

Jeffrey Sanford has received state and national acclaim for assisting businesses, teaching business education programs, facilitating economic projects and developing innovative consulting tools with the BOS/SBDC. As a rural economic development consultant in the SBDC’s Statesboro office, Sanford developed the nationally recognized Mystery Shopping Program in response to rural businesses’ need to improve their facilities and customer service approaches. Sanford’s programming successes led to his promotion to the Augusta SBDC office as a lead consultant and area director, and eventually to his appointment as the director of program development and quality assurance for the statewide SBDC program. Since 1999 Sanford has received two grants from the Small Business Administration (SBA) to start the Federal and State Technology Partnership (FAST) initiative, which provides a variety of services to help businesses successfully introduce their technologies into the marketplace.