The Distinguished Service Award is presented to those, selected by the SIVB President, who have demonstrated and given extra effort in support of the SIVB programs and endeavors. These are the people who make SIVB what it is – they are the ones who give countless hours of their time and extreme efforts to make things happen without people like them our society would not exist. At the 2006 meetings, President David Altman presented David Songstad, Nancy Reichert, and Delia Bethell with the Distinguished Service Award at the Keynote Session of the 2006 In Vitro Biology Meeting in Minneapolis, Minnesota.
Delia R. Bethell
Dr. Delia R. Bethell has fifteen years of scientific/management experience in immunodiagnostic and medical device research and development as well as experience in the preparation of protocols, INDs, NDAs and 510(k)s for biological diagnostics, ophthalmic pharmaceuticals and in vitro diagnostics. Delia is currently Vice President, Clinical Development at VENTRIA BIOSCIENCE, Sacramento, CA. Her service to the SIVB is equally as incredible as the other awardees: Society for In Vitro Biology (formerly Tissue Culture Association) Past President 2000-2002, President 1998-2000, President Elect 1996-1998, Treasurer 1992-1996, Executive Board 1990-2000, National Council 1987-1992, Program Committee, World Congress 1991 and 1992, Tissue Culture Association, Midwestern Branch President 1987-1989, Secretary 1985-1987. To paraphrase Mary Ann Lila, Delia Bethell is the “first, transformed, genetically-engineered SIVB member – she started her career as an animal SIVB member and then morphed into a plant member………She is very proud of being a hybrid plant-animal member as she gets to attend the socials of both animal and plant sections.” Dr. Lila credits her as an officer who broke down walls and fostered a fully integrated Society where plant and animal members interfaced beautifully.
Nancy A. Reichert
Dr. Nancy A. Reichert has been a plant biotechnologist for over 20 years and her outstanding research and teaching accomplishments are described in her Fellow Award article. Her outreach efforts have been astonishing since she “tries to convey her love and fascination with this area of plant science to her students to help develop future leaders in this Society. She also spends a great deal of time speaking to lay audiences about plant biotechnology trying to overcome the stigma attached to it and to better educate the citizens of Mississippi.” Nancy has been active in almost every aspect of SIVB and it is through her efforts that our membership has grown, that interaction between members has increased and that we have excellent musical talent at our socials. Nancy is also responsible for demystifying the governance process of the SIVB and allowing the membership to stay informed. Nancy critically analyzed the membership data to determine possible causes for reduced membership renewals and meeting attendance in some Sections. Nancy is currently Assistant Vice President for Academic Affairs, and Professor, Departments of Plant and Soil Sciences, and Biochemistry and Molecular Biology (joint appointment) at the Mississippi State University. Nancy was appointed to the SIVB Development Committee (2004-2006), Executive Committee (since 2005), Membership Committee Chair (2004-2008), Nominating Committee (2002-2006), Program Planning Committee (since 2004), and was elected Chair, Plant Biotechnology Section (formerly Plant Section) (2002-2004, 2004-2006) and Secretary (2004-2006, 2006-2008). Nancy took the initiative to have the last two years of SIVB ballots collated and counted by the officers of the MSU Robert Holland Faculty Senate, which saved the Society thousands of dollars.
David D. Songstad
Dr. David D. Songstad has been a leader in plant tissue culture and genetic engineering for over 25 years and has worked with Vipont Research Laboratories, Plant Biotech Institute/N.R.C (Canada), Pioneer Hi-Bred International and currently Monsanto, where, after 8 years in corn transformation research, he switched to the Animal Ag Division and is now working on advanced gender selection. He is an active member on the Council for Agricultural Science and Technology (CAST) and, of course, the Society for In Vitro Biology. David has done much to serve our industry in addition to his research and his countless publications. He is an associate editor for In Vitro Plant and for Plant Cell Tissue and Organ Culture. He has done his share of “outreach” by being a guest columnist for “Tri-State Neighbor” where he wrote a Biotechnology Column in an Agricultural newspaper with a circulation to 80,000 farmers as well as being interviewed by syndicated columnist Dave Barry. These kinds of activities educate the public about what we do and help to build a more informed society. Dave has been Co-Chair for the Plant Sessions of the SIVB in San Diego, 2001 Chair for the Plant Program of the SIVB in St. Louis (where he arranged for Senator Kit Bond to share the stage with Dr. Roger Beachy as a Plenary speaker), Vice President of the Society for In Vitro Biology and member of the Board of Directors as well as a recipient of the SIVB Distinguished Service Award and SIVB Fellow Award. Dave’s fundraising activities have been astounding and his efforts as an SIVB leader and promoter are greatly appreciated by all.