Dean recognized with unprecedented award
Government and agricultural organizations honor Thawley for his leadership and vision
Don Henderson, director of the Nevada Department of Agriculture, CABNR Dean David Thawley and Benny Romero, chair of the Nevada Board of Agriculture. Photo by Theresa Danna-Douglas.
Photo by Theresa Danna-Douglas
Wednesday, April 27, 2005
By Jason Ching
A tumultuous year is no reason to question good leadership, and in fact, it actually affirms it.
Dr. David Thawley, dean of the College of Agriculture, Biotechnology and Natural Resources (CABNR), was awarded with a plaque commemorating his “outstanding efforts” in rebuilding the college and his “statewide leadership.”
Thawley was thanked last night by eleven government agencies and agricultural and natural resource organizations in a surprise presentation at the CABNR awards dinner.
One of Thawley’s greatest accomplishments has been the way in which he coordinates communication between federal and state agencies, said Nick Pearson former state conservationist of USDA’s Natural Resources Conservation Service.
“David really brought something new and refreshing to the university,” Pearson said. “His ability to communicate with us and the agriculture industry has really set him apart.”
With the help of his faculty, Thawley modernized the college’s curriculum and developed new degree programs, two widely significant moves for Nevada’s agricultural industry, Pearson said. “Three or four years ago, we could not hire within the state because students did not meet the standards for curriculum and background. Now, for the first time in years, we’ve been able to hire some outstanding in-state students.”
Pearson also credits Thawley with bringing world class faculty to the University, a benefit for all involved.
Thawley was surprised by the award but emphasized the recognition really belongs to the college’s faculty, staff and students.
“It is those you hire and what they bring to the institution that we should all be proud of,” he said.
The presenters of the award agreed, but credited Thawley for his vision.
Robert Hadfield, the former executive director of the Nevada Association of Counties, said that Thawley’s efforts at CABNR have transformed the public perception of agriculture.
“He has made sure that agriculture isn’t just … old-time agriculture,” Hadfield said. “It’s cutting edge. His presence, his support and his advocacy for quality education for the students … have literally put a new face on the program.”
Hadfield said that he wanted the award to signify what Thawley means to the eleven agencies that gave it, the University and the educational system in Nevada.
Executive Vice President of the Nevada Farm Bureau Federation Doug Busselman also had a fitting way to describe the significance of the award:
“We wanted it to show that we’re looking forward to having the opportunity to work more with David in the future,” Busselman said. “And this isn’t like it’s the end of the road, it’s only the beginning.”
Thawley’s award was presented by leaders from the Bureau of Land Management, U.S. Forest Service, Nevada Department of Agriculture, Nevada Association of Counties, Nevada Farm Bureau, Nevada Cattlemen’s Association, USDA’s Natural Resources Conservation Service, Nevada Association of Conservation Districts, Nevada Agricultural Foundation, Nevada Board of Agriculture and the Nevada Department of Wildlife.