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Dr. Linda Hanley-Bowdoin Honored with 2021 Jackson Rigney International Service Award

The Jackson Rigney International Service Award recognizes the distinguished contributions of a faculty or staff member for the promotion of international understanding and service to the university and/or to the international community over the course of their career. The award honors the late Dr. Rigney, an agronomist who served NC State for 40 years bringing a global perspective to his life and work which serves as a model for those who seek to promote international education. In 2020, Dr. Heidi Hobbs was selected by the Committee on International Programs (CIP) to receive the prestigious award. This year, Dr. Linda Hanley-Bowdoin was selected out of a total of four applications.

Award Recipient

Dr. Linda Hanley-Bowdoin

  • William Neal Reynolds Distinguished Professor, Plant & Microbial Biology
  • College of Agriculture and Life Sciences

Dr. Hanley-Bowdoin is a world expert on geminiviruses, DNA viruses that cause disease in plants. Not only is she internationally recognized for her ground-breaking discoveries about an important group of plant viruses, but her work is also having a significant impact on combating world food insecurity and its effects on the welfare of the human race. Her focus on a specific class of geminiviruses has led to her international effort to combat food insecurity in Africa. Dr. Hanley-Bowdoin has established collaborations in Tanzania and Kenya and is training scientists there to build expertise and lead critical research efforts in their countries. She has taught a diversity of courses and has been very active as an academic and research mentor at NC State. Her commitment to international programs and agricultural development also led her to co-develop a proposal for the NC State Chancellor’s Faculty Excellence Program focused on Global Food Security. This program is bringing four top scientists to NC State to build a research and education cluster focused on crop sustainability through research and education on emerging disease and insect pests that threaten the security of our food supply.

Award Finalists

Dr. Gary Blank

  • Associate and Alumni Distinguished Undergraduate Professor, Forestry and Environmental Resources
  • College of Natural Resources

Dr. Blank. He has cultivated a long-standing relationship with the Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences as well as Purdue University. .For the past 19 years, he has planned and led an annual study abroad course, hosted scholars and students from numerous foreign countries, mentored NC State students, and featured countless materials by his international colleagues in his courses at the College of Natural Resources. His Sustainable Use of Natural Resources (NR 350) course engages over 350 students from the U.S and Sweden and other parts of Europe in exploring the cross-cultural understanding of how people manage natural resources. He has also published multiple articles with an international focus and has presented his work at several conferences in Europe. He frequently meets with delegations from other foreign institutions visiting NC State, particularly when they have forestry and natural resource programs.

Dr. Kostadin Ivanov

  • Professor and Head, Department of Nuclear Engineering
  • College of Engineering

Dr. Ivanov has contributed throughout his career to multiple international initiatives in the field of nuclear engineering. The impact of his work is manifested in the broad participation by scientists and engineers globally in the benchmark activities he leads and adoption of his intellectual products. He has participated in several Research Programs sponsored by the European Commission, where his activities were co-sponsored by US DOE. Additionally,  Dr. Ivanov has taught graduate courses around the world and at NC State and is currently developing a study abroad program for NCSU’s undergraduate nuclear engineering students with Sharjah University, United Arab Emirates. He is also developing three educational programs within the Centre for Nuclear Safety and Security (CNSS) at the National Nuclear Regulator (NNR), South Africa. He is a member of thirteen international advisory and scientific boards, expert groups, and serves as an evaluator of faculty positions in many overseas institutions.

Dr. Sid Thakur

  • Professor, Population Health and Pathobiology
  • College of Veterinary Medicine

Dr. Thakur has been a leader in interdisciplinary global health collaborations across NC State. His research focuses on the molecular epidemiology of antimicrobial resistance (AMR). In 2018, he helped to develop, and was appointed director of, the College of Veterinary Medicine Global Health Program at NC State where he provides leadership at the College level in all areas related to global health. In this role, he has created strategic partnerships with countries on 5 continents.  Dr. Thakur helped establish the undergraduate minor in Global Health at NC State, teaches a variety of courses in the CVM, and has advised many international doctorate students. In addition, Dr. Thakur has been central to creating and leading various research projects related to AMR in India, China and Senegal. He established a collaboration between the WHO-AGISAR and the FDA GenomeTrakr programs to generate whole genome sequencing (WGS) profiles of 15,000 bacterial foodborne pathogens from 26 countries around the world.

You can watch a recording of the event on our YouTube channel.