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CASNR celebrates new professorships; Dabbert, McKenney honored at Arena

CASNR celebrates new professorships; Dabbert, McKenney honored at Arena

Officials with the Texas Tech’s College of Agricultural Sciences and Natural Resources announced today (Apr. 16) the creation and appointment of two top-level professorships. They are the Burnett Foundation Professorship in Quail Ecology, which goes to Brad Dabbert with Tech’s Department of Natural Resources Management, while the Rockwell Professorship in Horticulture will go to Cynthia McKenney with Tech’s Department of Plant and Soil Science. The honors were made during a special ceremony in the City Bank Room at the university’s United Spirit Arena.

“Both Dr. Dabbert and Dr. McKenney have an enthusiasm that inspires students and colleagues, and a capacity to help everyone around them,” said Michael Galyean, dean of Tech’s College of Agricultural Sciences and Natural Resources. “Moreover, I couldn’t be more delighted with the support of both the Burnett Foundation and the Rockwell Fund.”

Dabbert, a professor in Tech’s Department of Natural Resources Management, is expected to focus on the Northern Bobwhite and Scaled Quail and their habitat relationships with a goal of expanding the range of sustainable populations. Currently, Dabbert also serves as the research project director of the Quail-Tech Alliance, a partnership between Tech’s natural resources management department and Dallas-based Quail First.

The research focuses on investigating the potential benefits or detriments of supplemental feeding; understanding the factors that influence over-winter survival of adults and summer-to-fall survival of the brood; and refining the ways prescribed burning, brush modification and livestock grazing are used as tools of habitat management.

Dabbert joined the Tech faculty in 1996. A native of Ardmore, Okla., Dabbert earned a bachelor’s degree in wildlife ecology management from Oklahoma State University-Stillwater, and a master’s degree from University of Arkansas-Fayetteville. He received his doctorate in from Oklahoma State University-Stillwater. He’s a member of the Texas Parks and Wildlife Upland Game Bird Advisory Committee.

Separately, McKenney is a nationally recognized professor of ornamental horticulture with Tech’s Department of Plant and Soil Science. Over the years her research efforts have focused on development and release of native plant varieties included in the Raider Wildflower Collection and olive production research. Her research also includes working with native plants, focusing on wildflower enhancement to increase drought tolerance, plant architecture, and length and intensity of floral display.

In the past, McKenney has held a number of academic leadership positions, including serving as an undergraduate program coordinator, and greenhouse administrator at Tech. At Texas A&M she worked as an assistant and associate professor of urban horticulture and extension specialist, as well as an assistant and associate professor of horticulture and regional distance education coordinator at Tech. In 2010, she was named a professor of horticulture and distance education leader at Tech.

McKenney received her bachelor’s degree in ornamental horticulture and her Texas provisional secondary teaching certificate in broad field science from Tech. Her master’s degree in horticulture and doctorate in higher education administration are from Tech. Recent honors for McKenney include the Lifetime Member Award from the Texas Nursery Landscape Association (2013); and the J.C. Miller Distinguished Educator Award, Southern Region-American Society for Horticulture Science (2010).

Written by Norman Martin

CONTACT: Michael Galyean, Dean, College of Agricultural Sciences and Natural Resources, Texas Tech University at (806) 742-2808 or michael.galyean@ttu.edu

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