MSUToday
Published: Jan. 24, 2016

2016 Distinguished Academic Staff Awards

Phillip Durst
MSU Agriculture and Agribusiness Institute, MSU Extension and College of Agriculture and Natural Resources

Phillip Durst, a senior MSU Extension educator, is nationally and internationally recognized for his work in dairy and beef cattle health. Because he was not born and raised on a dairy farm, Durst refers to the dairy industry as his adopted passion. He has been heard to say, “The Michigan dairy industry is too small not to know everyone in it,” and that sentiment has been a driving force in his career. He seeks to know all Michigan’s dairy and beef producers on a personal level for the opportunity to fully understand their needs and bring MSU Extension resources to them.

Durst has developed two young dairy producer groups that meet regularly to develop their dairy business and management skills and knowledge. He encourages them to seek mutual success as they help one another become better managers. He has also worked with farm owners and managers to help them develop their employee management skills. He has shared principles of farm employee management through articles, a regular column in DairyBusiness East, three national and international webinars, podcasts, and follow-up emails with conference participants.

Working closely with the faculty of the College of Veterinary Medicine, Durst has taken
a leadership role in helping beef and dairy producers apply disease prevention practices on their farms and has played a key role in Michigan’s Bovine Tuberculosis Program, working to return Michigan to TB-free status. Principal investigators in the College of Veterinary Medicine have recruited Durst to be an integral member of multiple grant projects, including An Integrated Milk Quality Extension and Education Program to Reduce Mastitis and Integrated Cost-effective Control of Bovine Leukemia Virus in Dairy Cattle. James Averill, a state veterinarian, said, “Phillip Durst is a walking example of academic and government partnerships for the benefit of industry.”

Durst’s practical knowledge and presentation skills have brought him opportunities to speak at dairy conferences in Ukraine and China, and his articles have appeared in every major dairy publication in the United States and in many other international journals.

Terry Gibb
MSUE Greening Michigan Institute, MSU Extension and College of Agriculture and Natural Resources

Throughout her career as an MSU Extension educator, Terry Gibb has excelled in creating partnerships and developing innovative program- ming that not only meet the needs of constituents but routinely looks ahead to address upcoming issues. On multiple occasions, she has success- fully taken on work in areas in which she had no previous experience. This can-do attitude has led to her working in a wide variety of programming on behalf of MSUE to meet the critical needs of Michigan’s residents. A Macomb County senior planner said, “I have had the opportunity to work with Terry over the last 10 to 12 years [and she] has been instrumental in bringing educational programs to our county.”

Gibb has developed numerous natural resources, and government and public policy edu- cation programs that have been replicated around the state. Within three months of identifying the need for a foreclosure education and counseling program, Gibb had a successful program running. She continued to adapt the program as the crisis deepened and the situation changed, initiating partnerships with local communities, regional and state agencies, and state and federal legislators to leverage resources and promote education. This program was replicated in several other counties, and she was one of only four agency representatives selected by the Michigan State Housing Development Authority to provide statewide training on best management practices for foreclosure education and counseling.

Another one of her programs involved a law enacted in 2010 that restricted the use of phosphorus-containing lawn fertilizers and incorporated best management practices to protect water quality. Because these changes would affect homeowners, government, and commercial landscapers, Gibb combined
her natural resources work with public policy
to partner with the Michigan Department of Agriculture and Rural Development 
to develop an educational program on this legislation that was presented as a live statewide webinar; more than 100 sites in 35 counties signed in to participate. A follow-up survey in August 2012 revealed that 50 percent of participants changed one or more practices as a result of the webinar.

Gibb has authored successful grants in natural resources, and government and public policy and has received more than $500,000 from state and national foundations, agencies, and local communities to create curriculum and develop, deliver, and expand educational materials on water quality, foreclosure, groundwater, housing and volunteer recruitment and training.

Marolee Neuberger
College of Human Medicine

Marolee Neuberger has served the College of Human Medicine and MSU with integrity and excellence as an Academic Specialist. She has made substantial contributions in the areas of advising; program, faculty, and curriculum development; administration of a critical, nationally recognized residency network; teaching; and research. Her work has been published and is recognized by peer institutions and professional organizations.

Neuberger has demonstrated continuous outstanding performance in advancing net- working related to family medicine residency education across the state of Michigan. The College of Human Medicine’s Department of Family Medicine includes more than 100 faculty and 200 residents.

As director of the residency network, she
has provided leadership and coordination by continually arranging outstanding educational programs, meetings, and academic projects. She has helped develop several curricula
that have now become foundational, such as Teaching Introductory Medical Error to Medical Students and Coordinating the Foundation of
a Consolidated Geriatric Residency Fellowship. She also implemented the Five Module 24 Hours of Instruction Development Course on Interdisciplinary Geriatric Health Literacy. Several of her projects have resulted in publications, one in Perspectives in Health Information Management in 2014 in which she was first author.

Neuberger is not only an excellent collaborator on projects, but she facilitates and encourages the participation of others. For the project Measuring Primary Care Attributes of the Michigan State University Family Medicine Residency Network,” all nine residency programs had to complete the physician and staff surveys to assess the extent of delivery of care as related to the core attributes of primary care: access, continuity, comprehensiveness, and community engagement. Ms. Neuberger’s steady encouragement resulted in an outstand- ing response rate and engagement across the state affiliate programs—an excellent example of realizing the MSU land-grant commitment to engaging community partners.

A faculty colleague shares, “Marolee Neuberger’s ability to help keep everyone
on task, while always maintaining a friendly demeanor is a skill to truly admire. She is an incredibly hard working and knowledgeable individual making sure that everything she does is done with a superior level of excellence.”

Kurt Schindler
MSUE Greening Michigan Institute, MSU Extension and College of Agriculture and Natural Resources

Kurt Schindler, senior MSU Extension educator, is recognized as an expert on local land use planning and zoning across MSU
and throughout Michigan. With his thorough understanding of related law, competence in local government administration, and ability to translate complex topics and processes
into understandable curricular components, Mr. Schindler is a highly sought-after speaker, educator and mentor.

Since joining MSU Extension in 1999, Schindler has developed educational materials and programs on land use and public policy topics
for appointed and elected officials in Michigan. He has developed more than 50 Extension programs and authored more than 80 Extension bulletins and technical briefs on planning, zoning, and community economic development. He has also authored more than 15 peer-reviewed book chapters and articles and maintains a newsletter, Schindler’s Listserv, on planning and zoning court cases, legislation, research and training.

Through his work with the MSU Land Policy Institute, Schindler helped develop
and launch LPI’s New Economy and Strategic Placemaking initiatives that led to the Michigan Prosperity Initiative in 2009 and the MI place Partnership Initiative in 2012. As part of the MPI, the goal of which was to make Michigan more globally competitive in the 21st century, MSU and state agency leaders were called to support and promote the statewide educational initiative. Schindler was a contributing author of the Michigan Prosperity Initiative curriculum and helped train thousands of Michigan local officials and residents in the three levels of the training—for community members, for local officials, and for land use and economic development practitioners. Transformational education and changes in local government decision making and practices resulted.

One of Schindler’s most effective educational programs was Citizen Planner—and it remains MSU Extension’s flagship land use education program after more than 13 years. Partner organizations and local government liability insurance providers recognize it as essential training for land use decision makers. Such programs have advanced the working knowledge of countless local elected and appointed officials, resulting in numerous local government regulatory and policy amendments and improving the quality of life and economic prosperity in Michigan.