Promotion and Tenure 2017




Twelve AgResearch, CASNR, and Extension faculty were recognized at this year’s UTIA Awards and Promotion Luncheon held in Knoxville on July 28. Of the twelve who were promoted, eight also received tenure. We would like to send our congratulations to all faculty who were recognized at the banquet.


Promotion to Assistant Professor with Tenure

Christopher Boyer, Department of Agricultural and Resource Economics, 80% research/20% teaching

Dr. Chris Boyer began working in the Department of Agricultural and Resource Economics in January of 2012 after completing his PhD in agricultural economics at Oklahoma State University in 2011. His areas of research and teaching include farm management, production economics, and natural resource economics. Dr. Boyer’s teaching load includes undergraduate courses in farm business management and econometric methods in agricultural economics. Dr. Boyer received the Emerging Scholars Award by the Southern Agricultural Economics Association (SAEA) in 2017. The award is presented to high-performing, early career professionals with demonstrated research and resulting publication activity.


Bradford Collett, Department of Plant Sciences, 100% teaching

Brad Collett is an assistant professor in the Department of Plant Sciences with a faculty appointment in the School of Landscape Architecture. Collett received his Master of Landscape Architecture degree from The Ohio State University in 2004 and began working for the Institute in 2011 as an assistant professor. His courses include advanced design studio and professional practices. He is also co-instructor for Plant Sciences’ International Landscapes Program that tours landscapes abroad each spring. Dr. Brad was named a Fulbright Scholar to Slovenia in 2016, where he taught contemporary landscape planning and design practices. He currently serves as director of the Tennessee River Project, a multiyear teaching, research, and outreach initiative in partnership with the UT ORNL Governor’s Chair for Energy and Urbanism.


Faith Critzer, Department of Food Science, 70% research/30% extension

Before joining the faculty ranks at UTIA, Dr. Faith Critzer worked as a food scientist for Bush Brothers & Co. In 2011, Dr. Critzer joined the Department of Food Science as an assistant professor. She has received four degrees from UT including a BS in animal science and a BS, MS, and PhD in food science. Dr. Critzer’s research interests include microbiological food safety of fresh produce and food antimicrobials. Her extension responsibilities include planning, implementing, and evaluating statewide educational programs in food safety. Most recently, Dr. Critzer was recognized for her work with the T.J. Whatley Distinguished Young Scientist Award in 2017.


Tarek Hewezi, Department of Plant Sciences, 100% research

Dr. Tarek Hewezi joined the Department of Plant Sciences in 2013 after receiving his PhD in plant biosciences from the Institut National Polytechnique de Toulouse in France. Following his work in Toulouse, Dr. Hewezi completed a postdoc at Génoplante-INP-ENSAT in France. Currently, he works as an assistant professor of plant molecular biology where he and his group are interested in determining cellular components of plant growth and defense signaling that directly or indirectly interact with each other. He has two patented ideas, both related to cyst nematodes, and he is the associate editor for Horticulture Research.


Heather Kelly, Department of Entomology and Plant Pathology, 70% extension/30% research

Dr. Kelly specializes in disease management of field crops including soybean, corn, cotton, and wheat. Her extension duties include providing disease management information to agents, state and federal agencies, and the scientific community. Dr. Kelly’s research responsibilities include developing economically and environmentally sustainable disease management systems for major agronomic crops of Tennessee. She joined the Department of Entomology and Plant Pathology in 2012 as an associate professor and is the recipient of the Southern Region IPM Center Friends of IPM—Future Leader Award.


Peter Krawczel, Department of Animal Science, 70% research/30% extension

Dr. Peter Krawczel joined the Department of Animal Science in 2011 after completing his degree in nutrition and food sciences from The University of Vermont/Miner Institute. His area of interest is applied ethology, the study of the behavior of animals that are under the management of people. His research focus is on dairy management practices including dairy cow welfare and increasing the long-term sustainability of farms. On the extension side, Dr. Krawczel focuses on maintaining the sustainability of the dairy industry in Tennessee. He received the Gamma Sigma Delta Research Award and the Buford E. Ellington Distinguished Faculty Award in 2015.


Neelam Poudyal, Department of Forestry, Wildlife and Fisheries, 50% research/50% teaching

Dr. Neelam Poudyal is an associate professor of natural resource policy and human dimensions in the Department of Forestry, Wildlife and Fisheries. He worked as a community forestry officer before completing his PhD in natural resources from the University of Tennessee in 2008. He joined UTIA’s faculty in 2013 as an assistant professor where he spends half of his time in research and half teaching. His research areas include natural resource policy, human dimensions of wildlife management, and landowner decision making. Dr. Poudyal’s courseload includes undergraduate and graduate courses focusing on the human and economic dimensions of natural resources. He was awarded a Creative Teaching Fellowship from the UT Teaching and Learning Center in 2014.


Christopher Stripling, Department of Agricultural Leadership, Education and Communications, 100% teaching

Dr. Christopher Stripling joined the Department of Agricultural Leadership, Education and Communications in 2012 with 100 percent teaching responsibility. Dr. Stripling completed his PhD at the University of Florida in agricultural education with an emphasis in teaching and learning. In addition to teaching undergraduate and graduate-level courses in agriculture education and leadership, Dr. Stripling serves as the department’s undergraduate coordinator and as an advisor to Collegiate FFA. Dr. Stripling conducts research in the areas of teaching and learning in postsecondary and secondary settings and has published more than thirty peer-reviewed journal articles. In 2014, he received the Article of the Year Award from Journal of Agricultural Education.

Promotion to Professor

Jennifer Franklin, Department of Forestry, Wildlife and Fisheries, 60% teaching/40% research

Dr. Jennifer Franklin’s areas of expertise include tree physiology, forest restoration, and mine reclamation. She received her PhD from the University of Alberta in forest biology. Dr. Franklin joined the Institute as an assistant professor in 2003 and was promoted to associate professor in 2009. She teaches both graduate and undergraduate courses, provides curriculum development and review, and advises undergraduate students for the restoration and conservation science concentration. Her research focus is on forest restoration and her program addresses challenges to Tennessee forests for which she received the 2017 Researcher of the Year award from the American Society of Mining and Reclamation.


Juan Luis Jurat-Fuentes, Department of Entomology and Plant Pathology, 90% research/ 10% teaching

Dr. Juan Luis Jurat-Fuentes joined UTIA in 2006 as an assistant professor and was promoted to associate professor in 2011. Dr. Jurat-Fuentes earned his PhD in entomology from the University of Georgia where he also completed his postdoc. His primary research focus is on insect resistance to transgenic crops and the development of novel biotechnology for insect control, and the identification of insect enzymes for biofuel production. He has authored more than fifty articles in refereed publications and eight book chapters. He holds two patents, six invention disclosures, and has served as PI on grants totaling over $2.6 million. Dr. Jurat-Fuentes holds an adjunct Assistant Professor position in the Department of Biofuels Institute at Jiangsu University in China and was honored with the Young Professors Award from Dupont/Pioneer and the J. E. Moss research achievement award from UTIA.


Angela McClure, Department of Plant Sciences, 100% extension

Dr. Angela McClure joined the Department of Plant Sciences as a research specialist in 2000 then was promoted to assistant professor in 2002 and associate professor in 2007. Her extension work is in the area of weed management, crop production systems, fertility, and integrated pest management (IPS). She is a corn and soybean specialist. In 2016, Dr. McClure received the Dutch and Marilee Cavender Outstanding Award for Best Publication that recognizes excellence in the development of published material by UTIA professionals. Dr. McClure received her PhD in plant and soil science from the University of Tennessee and served on UT’s Faculty Senate from 2013 to 2015.

Lisa Muller, Department of Forestry, Wildlife and Fisheries, 50% research/50% teaching

Dr. Lisa Muller’s research program addresses the need to improve wildlife management, wildlife health, and conservation of mammals. Her teaching responsibilities include undergraduate and advanced undergraduate courses in mammal-related topics. She is the advisor to students majoring in wildlife science in the concentrations of wildlife management and wildlife health. Dr. Muller received her PhD from the University of Georgia in forest resources, wildlife ecology and management. She is a certified wildlife biologist from the Wildlife Society and has been honored with the E. R. “Prof.” Lidvall Outstanding Teaching Award from UTIA.