Alumni, industry leaders to be honored during ANR Week

The College of Agriculture and Natural Resources will honor 12 leaders in agriculture and natural resources for leadership at the community, state and/or national levels.

The College of Agriculture and Natural Resources (CANR) at Michigan State University (MSU) will honor 12 leaders in agriculture and natural resources for leadership at the community, state and/or national levels during the annual Agriculture and Natural Resources (ANR) Week luncheon at the Kellogg Hotel and Conference Center March 7.


The CANR Alumni Association will bestow nine awards during the luncheon, the CANR dean gives three Distinguished Service Awards, and the outstanding agriculture educator of the year is recognized.


Outstanding Agriculture Educator of the Year

The Agriscience Teacher of the Year Award will be presented to David K. Mellor. The award recognizes a Michigan agriculture, food and natural resources teacher who has been active in his or her community, region and state in promoting the National FFA Organization’s vision.


Mellor is an agriscience teacher and FFA advisor at Saline High School, where he’s been since 1999. A Rhode Island native, he graduated with a degree in applied sciences from MSU in 1975.


CANR Alumni Association Awards


Distinguished Faculty Awards

Rique Campa III and Tim Mrozowski will receive Distinguished Faculty Awards, which recognizes faculty members who have brought distinction to the CANR through teaching, research and/or outreach and provided leadership that has helped students, faculty members and/or citizens reach their potential for excellence.


Campa earned his bachelor’s degree bachelor’s degree in wildlife management in 1978 from the University of Missouri, and his master’s degree in 1982 and doctorate in 1989 from MSU. He is a professor in the Department of Fisheries and Wildlife and associate dean of the Graduate School.


Professor Mrozowski has served for over 35 years at MSU as a professor and recently as Program Leader of the Construction Management Program, in the School of Planning, Design and Construction. His devotion to education and the continued success of his students is reflected in their favorable comments and top ratings.


Outstanding Alumni Awards

Rohini Mulchandani and Chip Foster will receive Outstanding Alumni Awards.


Mulchandani received her bachelor’s degree in chemistry with a minor in physics from the University of Mumbai, India. In 1964, she went on to obtain her master’s degree in food science and technology from MSU in 1966, and in 1969, her doctorate in dairy technology from the Ohio State University.


Upon retiring from Ross Laboratories, Mulchandani combined her two strengths -- food science and ingenuity – to create Arjay Gourmet Foods LTD in March 1998.  She went from food science expert to “chutney lady,” creating 13 versions award-winning chutneys and seasonings.


Chip Foster earned his bachelor’s degree in packaging engineering in 1982 from MSU.  

Foster is the director of Global Quality Innovation at PepsiCo, a unit he developed, where he is responsible for food service equipment and vendors. He has also assumed Innovation Quality responsibility for PepsiCo Americas Beverages, including products, processes and packaging.


A member of the MSU School of Packaging Alumni Board for many years, Foster has served as the president of the Alumni Board in 1988. Foster and his wife established the Chip and Marcia Foster Endowment in honor of Dr. Bruce Harte. This endowment provides support to the students working in the newly developed Food Process Innovation Center. This year, he was named to the 2016 MSU Packaging Alumni Association Hall of Fame.


Outstanding Young Alumni Awards

Brett Kopf and Jiri Hulcr will receive Outstanding Young Alumni Awards earned a bachelor’s degree in food industry management at MSU. During his time at MSU, Brett was a member of the Liberty Hyde Bailey Scholars program.


During his time at Michigan State, Kopf struggled with an attention deficit disorder and dyslexia.  After graduating, Kopf and his brother, David, set out to create a smartphone app that would help students and teachers by allowing private messaging between K-12 teachers, college instructors and students. On this app, Remind101, teachers can message students and their parents about upcoming assignments, quizzes and other classroom matters. Since the creation of the application in 2011, they have 20 million active teachers, students and parents who have sent more than five billion messages a year.


Jiri Hulcr earned his bachelor’s degree in entomology in 2001 and his first Ph.D. in entomology in 2008 (focusing on beetle biodiversity) from the University of South Bohemia, Czech Republic. He joined the Michigan State family in 2009 and completed a Ph.D. in entomology.


In his five years at the University of Florida, Hulcr established national and international research and extension programs and written 38 publications (64 career total), garnered over $2 million in federal funds including two NSF grants, presented his research findings throughout the world, and mentored 26 graduate students, four postdoctorates and seven undergraduates.


Honorary Alumnus Award

Ken Nobis has shown outstanding dedication and commitment to Michigan State University over the years, serving on MSU Extension, Department of Animal Science and AgBioResearch committees. Nobis is the president of the Michigan Milk Producers Association as well as co-partner at Nobis Farms. His influence has helped make Michigan one of the most progressive dairy states in the country.  Michigan currently ranks second in milk production per cow in the United States.


For over 40 years, Nobis has personally worked with MSU researchers on his farm. His trust in research allowed the development of the reproductive management system G6G to take place on his farm.  This system enhances fertility and herd milk production by improving efficiencies in calving intervals. 


Alumni Service Award

Susan Rand obtained her bachelor’s degree in packaging from the School of Packaging at Michigan State University in 1995. Currently, Rand is a senior manager for contract manufacturing at Kellogg’s. As a packaging professional, Rand also worked for Kellogg’s as contract manufacturing manager and marketing engineer. During her time at Kellogg’s Susan has been able to implement LEAN principles that reduce waste, improve cost structure and increase OEE.
Distinguished Service Awards


Three honorees will receive College of Agriculture and Natural Resources Distinguished Service Awards during the ANR Week Luncheon. Distinguished Service Awards are given to individuals or partners who have made outstanding contributions to Michigan’s agriculture and natural resources industries, and who possess high standards of integrity and character and positively reflect and enhance the prestige of the CANR. They demonstrate a commitment to MSU and the CANR by continuing outstanding levels of leadership and volunteerism at the state, national and/or international level.


This year’s Distinguished Service Award recipients are:

·       William Demmer, CEO, of Demmer Corporation.

·       Ray VanDriessche, director of community and government relations at the Michigan Sugar Co.

·       Michigan State Senator Darwin Booher.


Tickets for the luncheon are on sale for $30 and are available at


The luncheon is hosted by the CANR, MSU AgBioResearch, MSU Extension and the CANR Alumni Association.

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