Outstanding alumni and friends recognized by the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences
The College of Agriculture and Life Sciences Alumni Organization at Virginia Tech held its annual Celebration of Ut Prosim (That I May Serve) on March 18.
The College of Agriculture and Life Sciences Alumni Organization at Virginia Tech held its annual Celebration of Ut Proism (That I May Serve) on March 18, honoring outstanding alumni and friends of the college.
Outstanding alumni and supporters of the college were recognized for their contributions to the fields of academia, government, or industry through community outreach, development and empowerment, entrepreneurship, leadership, and scholarship and their leadership, service, and philanthropy to Virginia Tech, the college, a department or school, the CALS Alumni Organization, or one’s community that illustrates the university’s commitment to Ut Prosim.
- Carl Griffey, College of Agriculture and Life Sciences Hall of Fame.
- Jeb Dunkelberger ‘12, Human Nutrition, Foods & Exercise, Outstanding Recent Undergraduate Alumni.
- Brianna Valliere M.S. ‘16, Food Science and Technology, Outstanding Recent Graduate Alumni.
- Tim Clark ’95, ’96, Animal Science, Food Science and Technology, Alumni Career Achievement.
- Elsa Murano M.S. ‘87, Ph.D. ’90, Food Science and Technology, Outstanding Alumni in the Global Community.
- Stephen Franzyshen, Honorary Alumni Award.
Carl Griffey, College of Agriculture and Life Sciences Hall of Fame
Griffey retired in January 2021 as the W.G. Wysor Professor of Agriculture in the School of Plant and Environmental Sciences. A member of the university faculty since 1989, he was considered the expert small grains breeder in the eastern United States and was a director of one of the few highly regarded breeding programs in the nation.
Over his 31-year career, Griffey developed and released nearly 100 barley and wheat varieties, which are grown in several states. Royalties collected from seed sales of his releases total more than $12 million.
Griffey’s work has been recognized by the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Agricultural Research Service, the governor of Virginia, the Virginia Agribusiness Council, and the Virginia Small Grains Association. In 2012, he was named a fellow of the Crop Science Society of America, the highest award given by the organization.
He served as a major professor for 24 graduate students, including 14 Ph.D. students, and served on numerous other student committees.
Jeb Dunkelberger, Outstanding Recent Undergraduate Alumni
Columbia, South Carolina
Dunkelberger is the chief executive officer of Sutter Health, Aetna, a payer-provider-retail pharmacy organization delivering health care services to 16 counties in northern California managing care across 12,100 providers and operating as an independent insurance company. He is also the author of, “Rich & Dying - An Insider Calls ******** on America’s Healthcare Economy,” an Amazon best seller in three categories.
Brianna Valliere, Outstanding Recent Graduate Alumni
Valliere is a consultant with Mintel, the world’s leading market intelligence agency, where she researches and presents brand and market strategies to food and consumer products industry clients. She is the co-author of the award-winning book and essential resource in cider production and cider quality assessment, “The Professional Handbook of Cider Tasting.”
Tim Clark, Alumni Career Achievement
Clark is the president of Blair Construction Inc., where he manages regional commercial and industrial general contractor projects of $50 million to $60 million per year. One key project included the Virginia Tech Alphin-Stuart Livestock Teaching Arena.
He is also president of Blair Metal Buildings, providing Nucor pre-engineered solutions for the design and build of many types of buildings. As a member of Reynolds-Clark Holdings, Clark oversees property acquisitions, maintenance, and development for Reynolds Clark Engineering.
As corporate secretary of ADD Equipment, Clark assists in the long-range planning of a $3 million per year heavy lifting and steel erection company. As a member of FBGT LLC, he oversees property acquisition, sales, and maintenance of local real estate development. As manager of Clark Boys at Elba West, he manages 100 registered recipient Angus cows and operates a feed dealership for Umbarger, Biozyme, and Rowe.
Elsa Murano Outstanding Alumni in the Global Community
College Station, Texas
Murano is the associate vice chancellor for strategic academic initiatives for Texas A&M University's College of Agriculture and Life Sciences, where she oversees the implementation of strategic initiatives to include food safety, federal and state relations, and research institutes, including the Norman E. Borlaug Institute for International Agriculture, the Institute for Infectious Animal Diseases, the Texas Water Resources Institute, and the Natural Resources Institute.
She is a professor in the Department of Food Science and Technology, former vice chancellor and dean of agriculture, and president emerita of Texas A&M. In 2001-04, Murano was appointed by former President George W. Bush to serve as the undersecretary of food safety in the U.S. Department of Agriculture.
Stephen Franzyshen, Honorary Alumni
Franzyshen is the research and development and marketing manager for Dupont Teijin Films. Over much of his career, Franzyshen has developed unique polymers and films to be used in food packaging with a focus on improving food safety and shelf-life extension, acquiring more than 50 patents along the way.
He has been a partner of Virginia Tech’s Department of Food Science and Technology for more than 20 years, leading to the formation of the Food Packing Collaboratory and the expansion of the Analytical Services Laboratory, which established a funding infrastructure in food science and technology that promises to continue for decades to come.