1991 Award of Distinction Recipients
Abdalla Ahmed Abdalla
Abdalla Ahmed Abdalla received a M.S. in Vegetable Crops and Ph.D. in Plant Physiology from UC Davis. He returned to his homeland and the University of Khartoum as a lecturer and later was named president. In 1977, he was appointed minister of agriculture, food and natural resources for the Sudan and later served as governor, Northern Region. Abdalla was appointed ambassador to the United States in 1990, the first UC Davis graduate to attain ambassadorial status.
Eugene Boone (deceased) graduated from UC Davis in 1921 and later served as business manager at California Polytechnic State University, San Luis Obispo. An educator, farmer, dairyman, and inventor, Boone and three partners became pioneers in the frozen food industry by founding John Inglis Frozen Foods, the largest company of its kind in the U.S. at the time. Today he operates two dairies and farms nearly 2,000 acres.
A cattleman, orchardist and researcher, Bert Crane oversees a commercial cattle operation and purebred Red Angus herd. He majored in agricultural economics at UC Davis and today participates in various research projects involving his cattle and walnuts by working closely with UC Davis agricultural researchers and with the Merced County Cooperative Extension Service.
Professor emeritus Richard Harris was a member of the environmental horticulture faculty from 1950-1986, serving as chair from 1958-65 and 1978-83. He was director of the Parks and Recreation Administrators Institute from 1960-84. He served as president of the International Society of Arboriculture, positioning the organization as a worldwide vehicle for enhancing the knowledge and practice of tree care.
Pat Jordan received a B.S. in Avian Sciences and Ph.D. in Comparative Biochemistry at UC Davis. He served as associate dean of the College of Natural Sciences, Colorado State University, as well as director of Colorado State University Experiment Station, the Institute of Agriculture and the Colorado State University Cooperative Extension Service. He also served as USDA Cooperative State Research Service administrator.
June McCaskill (deceased 2001) was the first staff member to receive a CA&ES Award of Distinction. Considered one of California's foremost experts on weeds and poisonous plants, she was curator of the John Tucker Herbarium on the UC Davis campus. McCaskill co-founded Friends of the Davis Arboretum, a volunteer group dedicated to the continued improvement of the UC Davis Arboretum.
Mitsuo Nitta (deceased) graduated from UC Davis with a B.S. in plant science. He was involved with California's strawberry industry, serving on the California Strawberry Advisory Board for 20 years and as chair for two years. He was director and chair of the Orange Production Credit Association and in 1989 received the Japan Agricultural Society's Achievement Award recognizing contributions as a Japanese-American farmer.
Charley Ricke (deceased) came to the UC Davis Department of Vegetable Crops in 1940 as an instructor and junior geneticist. He is recognized as one of the premier plant geneticists in the world and as the world's leading authority on tomato genetics. The Charles M. Rick Tomato Genetics Resource Center on the Davis campus, a resource for researchers and breeders worldwide, is recognized as the premier tomato germplasm and stock collection.
Richard Sciaroni graduated from UC Davis in 1947. He served as county director and farm advisor for San Mateo/San Francisco Counties Cooperative Extension and as chair of the San Mateo County Juvenile Justice Commission. Since 1986, Sciaroni has been a private consultant in areas of pest control, land use, water conservation and development.
Orville Thompson, UC Davis alumnus and faculty member, was the first researcher in the U.S. to study off-farm agricultural careers, developing a manpower study that led to the revision of the secondary agricultural educational curriculum for California and other states. He initiated the college's peer advising system and was founding chair of the Department of Applied Behavioral Sciences. Thompson served as Internship and Career Center director for nine years.