The college honored some of its most accomplished students, prominent alumni, respected faculty, and cherished friends at this year’s Annual Awards Recognition Celebration. View the complete list of 2012-13 awards and recipients at Among the many honors presented are those highlighted here.

Alumni Award of Achievement

Randy Bush and John Carroll
Randy Bush (left) and John Carroll

Two noteworthy supporters of the college, Randy Bush (’73 B.S. in forestry) and John Carroll (’77 B.S. in forestry) were each presented with an Alumni Award of Achievement. “Over the years the college has benefitted greatly from the assistance that Randy and John have provided from their respective posts,” said Dean Paul Winistorfer, “so it was important for the college to honor these two exceptional professionals with the Alumni Award of Achievement.”

Bush recently retired as the president and chief staff executive of the Virginia Forest Products Association, a nonprofit organization that represents companies involved in the forest products industry. Bush had served in this position since 1976 after working as the organization’s field director for two years. In addition, he has served on both the advisory board for the college and the advisory committee for what is now the Department of Sustainable Biomaterials.

Carroll recently retired from the Virginia Department of Forestry after serving the agency for 35 years. He started his career as a field forester but soon transitioned to a management role with the agency, rising to deputy state forester in 2002. Carroll served on the advisory board for the college’s Department of Forest Resources and Environmental Conservation from 2002 to 2010. He is the owner of Carroll Resource Management LLC, an organization that actively assists forest landowners.

Outstanding Graduates

Dan Goff

Graduating Senior: Daniel Goff

Hometown: Christiansburg, Va.
Majors: Geography and Meteorology
Main accomplishment: “I am honored at being selected as the only undergraduate to present at the inaugural TEDxVirginiaTech event last year. My talk was about how people interact with meteorologists and how social media has changed those interactions. It’s a topic I am very passionate about and I loved having the opportunity to present in a different and creative format."

Shannon White

Master’s Student: Shannon White

Hometown: Ashland, Va.
Major: Fisheries Science
Research focus: “Few people get the opportunity to study a creature that is completely new to science, that only a handful of biologists have ever touched. I was fortunate to have such an experience as I studied Clinch dace, a newly discovered, very rare species of minnow that is located in less than 10 streams in Southwest Virginia. My work focused on determining why Clinch dace are so rare and whether they should be federally protected. The results of my project will be used to start new conservation initiatives in an attempt to prevent Clinch dace from going extinct and to increase population sizes.”

Claudia and Bruiser

Doctoral Student: Claudia Wultsch
Hometown: Klagenfurt, Austria
Major: Wildlife Science
Research focus: “My study combined innovative noninvasive research techniques such as scat detector dogs and molecular scatology to conduct the first genetic study on wild populations of jaguars, pumas, and ocelots coexisting across fragmented forest habitats in Belize. I assessed the genetic conservation status of all three target species across the country by examining levels of genetic diversity within five different sites, defining potential genetic clusters/populations, and estimating levels of gene flow and population structure on a countrywide scale.”

Outstanding Recent Alumna
Amanda Rosenberger

Amanda Rosenberger (’03 Ph.D. in fisheries science) received this year’s Outstanding Recent Alumna Award – Graduate Degree in recognition of her early career accomplishments.

Since finishing her doctorate under the supervision of Professor Paul Angermeier, Rosenberger conducted post-doctoral work on the effects of wildfire on fish populations for the U.S. Forest Service’s Rocky Mountain Research Station. She went on to a faculty position at the University of Alaska–Fairbanks and then became an assistant leader with the Missouri Cooperative Fish and Wildlife Research Unit at the University of Missouri in June 2012.

Rosenberger’s research interests are in the ecology and conservation of freshwater species with an emphasis on the role of ecological processes in shaping aquatic species’ distributions, population characteristics, and community structure. She is particularly interested in the mechanistic relationships between aquatic organisms and their environment, and how human intervention, nonnative species, and climate change can alter those relationships.

Rosenberger has traveled the globe to study community structures in a variety of environments ranging from Virginia’s rivers, desert systems in Australia, tropical wetlands in East Africa, the headwater streams of the Boise National Forest, and Alaska’s complex freshwater systems.

“I am extremely honored and grateful to be chosen for this award,” she said. “The beautiful photograph of the alumni hall hangs in my office in a place of honor next to my diploma from Virginia Tech and is a daily reminder of my time in Blacksburg.”