Annual Research Awards

Research Awards

Each year, the College presents several awards to acknowledge notable research and collaborations, including categories for junior and senior faculty, new innovators, team research, and one award for the best published peer-reviewed article by a current or recently graduated Ph. D. student.

Below you will find the 2021 award recipients and short accompanying bios, and historical award winners from past competitions. You can find the 2021 ceremony video, here. You can also view 2021 Poster Competition winners, here.

Siddhartha BoraWilliam E. Krauss Director’s Award for Excellence in Graduate Research 
Dr. William E. Krauss was a faculty member and became the first Associate Director of the Ohio Agricultural Experiment Station, serving from 1948 to 1969. This award was established by the Krauss family to recognize excellence in research performed by a doctoral student. The award is given to a current or recently graduated Ph.D. student that has produced a peer reviewed publication of the highest quality in the past year.

The 2021 award was given to Siddhartha Bora, a Ph. D. student in the Department of Agricultural, Environmental, and Development Economics (AEDE), advised by Dr. Ani Katchova.

Siddhartha Bora, a Ph.D. student in the Department of Agricultural, Environmental, and Development Economics (AEDE), has been awarded the 2021 William E. Krauss Director’s Award for Excellence in Graduate Research for his lead-authored paper entitled "The Rationality of USDA Forecasts under Multivariate Asymmetric Loss".  Siddhartha’s paper is published in the American Journal of Agricultural Economics (AJAE), the flagship journal in the field of agricultural economics with an impact factor of 3.028. This paper is a part of his dissertation work supervised by Dr. Ani Katchova and supported by the Farm Income Enhancement Program.

.Congratulations on your success!

Dr. Ajay Shah

CFAES Distinguished Junior Faculty Research Award
This award is for one faculty member at the rank of Instructor, Assistant, or Associate Professor who has made large contributions to their discipline. Impact is measured by the number of publications, students advised, research funding, presentations, patents, and other awards.

The 2021 award goes to Dr. Ajay Shah, an Associate Professor within the Department of Food, Agricultural and Biological Engineering. Dr. Shah makes sense out of puzzles. Using a variety of systems analysis approaches, he identifies all the pieces, determines how they fit together, and evaluates the effects of their interactions. Dr. Shah’s research focuses on using integrated analysis of existing and emerging agricultural and biobased systems to identify ways to improve productivity, minimize wastes, reduce costs, abate environmental impacts and encourage social acceptability. He also pursues new approaches to agricultural systems, such as development of a whole-plant feedstock supply system to improve the productivity and economics of biobased industries, which has resulted in significant interest and collaborations from academia, industry and relevant stakeholders.

Dr. Shah’s work emphasizes five areas: (1) sustainability of crop/feedstock production technologies; (2) improvement of harvest and post-harvest logistics of crops and feedstocks; (3) exploration of technologies for sustainable biomass conversion to animal feed, natural fiber and bioproducts; (4) upcycling of organic wastes; and (5) evaluation of techno-economics and life cycle environmental impacts of agricultural and biobased systems to assess their scale-up potential and identify hotspots for process improvement. It contributes toward meeting increasing global demands for food, energy, and products.  

Congratulations Ajay on all of your accomplishments to date!

Dr. Katrina CornishThe CFAES Distinguished Senior Faculty Research Award goes to one faculty member at the rank of professor. The criteria for this award are like the Junior Faculty Research Award, with nominees being ranked by the quality and quantity of contributions to their field.

This year’s award goes to Dr. Katrina Cornish, a Professor in the Department of Horticulture and Crop Science. Dr. Cornish serves as Endowed Chair and Ohio Research Scholar, Bioemergent Materials, and as Director, Program of Excellence in Natural Rubber Alternatives, at The Ohio State University. Cornish is an internationally recognized expert and innovator in alternative natural rubber/latex crops, their latex, solid rubber, and coproduct processing and formulation technologies, biodegradable and recyclable rubbers and bioplastics, valorization of wastes, and product and device innovation and development. Her outstanding science and innovation accomplishments in her federal, industrial and academic appointments are documented by her election as Fellow of the National Academy of Inventors, the American Institute of Medical and Biological Engineering, and the American Association for the Advancement of Sciences, ~25 issued or pending patents, many with student and staff coinventors, 288 published papers, numerous worldwide lectures and her history of considerable public and private funding. In 2019, she won a hat-trick of innovator awards: The Ohio State University’s 2018 Innovator of the Year, and 2019 Innovator of the Year for her College and for OSU’s Institute of Materials Research. Among numerous other awards she won the Ohio Faculty Council’s Commercialization Award, and Lifetime Achievement Awards from the Bioenvironmental Polymer Society and the Association for the Advancement of Industrial Crops. Dr. Cornish holds a BSc (1st class honours) in Biological Sciences, and a Ph.D. in Plant Biology, both from the University of Birmingham, Edgbaston, England.

Congratulations Katrina, your accomplishments are truly impressive.

Dr. Renukaradhya GourapuraCFAES Innovator of the Year
This award is given to an individual or team that has created innovations that have had or will have a major impact on agricultural production, business, rural communities, technology, and the health and well-being of animals or human beings. This year’s winner focuses on mucosal immunology and vaccinology research in food animals to mitigate infectious and zoonotic diseases.

Please join me in congratulating Dr. Renukaradhya Gourapura, the CFAES Innovator of the Year.

Dr. Aradhya Gourapura joined The Ohio State University in 2008 as a faculty member in the Food Animal Health Research Program (now it is Center for Food Animal Health). Dr. Gourapura was hired with 100% research appointment. Primary focus of his research has been in mucosal immunology area, with a goal to develop innovative solutions to mitigate infectious and zoonotic diseases and their transmission in food animals to improve animal production and human health. To achieve his goals, Dr. Gourapura introduced innovative nanotechnology-based vaccine design strategies to improve immunogenicity of inactivated and subunit antigens of pathogens when delivered directly by intranasal and oral routes. Induction of mucosal immunity at the site of infection such as respiratory and intestinal tracts where the pathogens colonize replicate and causes disease is highly beneficial. Potent mucosal delivered vaccines have shown success in eliciting increased breadth of cross-protective immunity against constantly evolving pathogens. Dr. Gourapura’s laboratory has pursued vaccine design and evaluation on influenza, porcine reproductive and respiratory syndrome (PRRS) viruses, SARS-CoV2 and Salmonella species.

The uniqueness of the innovation of Aradhya’s team research has led to development of nanotechnology-based safe and potent intranasal vaccine delivery platform to mitigate both PRRS and influenza in pigs. Both technologies are US patented and licensed; the PRRS vaccine is now commercialized under the name “Barricade PRRS” (  PRRS is an immune suppressive respiratory disease in grow-finisher pigs and causes abortion in pregnant animals. PRRS infections are responsible for up to $1 billion losses to the US economy every year. The “Barricade PRRS” after using in close to 1 million animals was shown to rescue about 40% body weight loss compared unvaccinated animals. Influenza causes devastating acute respiratory disease in pigs of all ages and responsible for economic losses ($300 million to $1 billion annually in the US). Dr. Gourapura’s research outcomes in improving the mucosal immunity against influenza in a pig model have high translational potential to develop a potent intranasal mist vaccine to use in children and immune compromised adults to combat flu epidemic and pandemic. In addition, Dr. Gourapura’ s research has led to development of an oral deliverable Salmonella species vaccine candidate which was experimentally shown to reduce the colonization of salmonella in both layer and broiler birds. In the USA, each year Salmonella infection is responsible for around 40,000 cases of hospitalization and 400 deaths (CDC report). As per WHO, annually about 1.3 billion cases of acute gastroenteritis and diarrhea with 3 million deaths are due to salmonellosis.

The innovative vaccine research journey of Dr. Gourapura over the last decade has now begin to yield success with national and international recognitions and awards. Dr. Aradhya’s success is the result of teamwork, efforts of many talented hard-working students and trainees, as well as active collaborations with investigators from 6 universities and 6 industry partners. 

Congratulations Aradhya, we are happy that you are a part of our community!

Past Award Winners


Innovator of the Year - Luis Rodrigues-Saona
Junior Researcher of the Year - S. Mažeika Patricio Sullivan
Senior Researcher of the Year - Monica Giusti
William E. Krauss Director's Award for Excellence in Graduate Research - Joonbum Lee


Multidisciplinary Team Award - Robyn Wilson
Multidisciplinary Team Award - Jay Martin
Multidisciplinary Team Award - Elena Irwin
Junior Researcher of the Year - Mary Gardiner
Innovator of the Year - Katrina Cornish 
Senior Researcher of the Year - Chang-Won "Charles" Lee
William E. Krauss Director's Award for Excellence in Graduate Research - Emile Gluck Thaler


Multidisciplinary Team Award - Erdal Ozkan (team) 
Multidisciplinary Team Award - Luis Canas
Multidisciplinary Team Award - Michael Reding
Multidisciplinary Team Award - Christopher Ranger
Multidisciplinary Team Award - Heping Zhu
Innovator of the Year - V.M. Balasubramaniam (Bala)
Junior Researcher of the Year - Leah McHale
Senior Researcher of the Year - David Mackey
William E. Krauss Director's Award for Excellence in Graduate Research - Tansol Park


Innovator of the Year - Melvin Pascall
Junior Researcher of the Year - Jiyoung Lee 
Senior Researcher of the Year - Ahmed Yousef
William E. Krauss Director's Award for Excellence in Graduate Research - Lin Jin


Innovator of the Year - Daral Jackwood 
Innovator of the Year - Linda Michel
Junior Researcher of the Year - Pierce Paul
Senior Researcher of the Year - Dan Herms
William E. Krauss Director's Award for Excellence in Graduate Research - Travis Calkins
Multidisciplinary Team Award - Anne Dorrance
Multidisciplinary Team Award - Andy Michel
Multidisciplinary Team Award - Leah McHale
Multidisciplinary Team Award - Rouf Mian
Multidisciplinary Team Award - Feng Qu
Multidisciplinary Team Award - Laura Lindsey
Multidisciplinary Team Award - Terry Niblack
Multidisciplinary Team Award - John Finer
Multidisciplinary Team Award - Christopher Taylor


Innovator of the Year - Hua Wang
Junior Researcher of the Year - Andy Michel
Senior Researcher of the Year - Steve Schwartz
William E. Krauss Director's Award for Excellence in Graduate Research - Megan Meuti


Innovator of the Year - Ahmed Yousef
Junior Researcher of the Year - Luis Rodriguez-Saona
Senior Researcher of the Year - Sandy Velleman 
William E. Krauss Director's Award for Excellence in Graduate Research - Timothy Hackman


Innovator of the Year - Andy Ward 
Junior Researcher of the Year - Guo-Lian Wang
Senior Researcher of the Year - Yebo Li
William E. Krauss Director's Award for Excellence in Graduate Research - Nicholos Teets
Multidisciplinary Team Award - Jeff LeJeune
Multidisciplinary Team Award - Gireesh Rajashakara
Multidisciplinary Team Award - Linda Saif
Multidisciplinary Team Award - Lydio Mederiros
Multidisciplinary Team Award - Rob Scharff
Multidisciplinary Team Award - Sally Miller 
Multidisciplinary Team Award - Brian McSpadden Gardner
Multidisciplinary Team Award - Feng Qu 
Multidisciplinary Team Award - Doug Doohan 
Multidisciplinary Team Award - Richard Morre
Multidisciplinary Team Award - Robyn Wilson

Download Past Award Winners