2015 Texas A&M AgriLife Vice Chancellor’s Awards in Excellence

Established in 1980, this awards program recognizes the commitment and outstanding contributions of faculty and staff across Texas A&M AgriLife.

Three Nutrition and Food Science professionals were recognized on January 14, 2016 with a 2015 Vice Chancellor’s Award in Excellence and AgriLife Faculty Fellow.



Graduate Student Teaching-Ms. Rachel M. Botchlett


Since Ms. Botchlett began her Ph.D. in Nutrition in Fall 2011, she has contributed significantly to the excellence in teaching in her department. Her first teaching experience at Texas A&M was in Nutrition 202, which has been known to overload teaching assistants. Her excellence in teaching and time management earned her the opportunity to lecture in front of large groups. And when the department critically needed instructors for undergraduate courses in Spring 2015, Ms. Botchlett was the only graduate student to serve as an instructor. Students’ evaluations reflect that Ms. Botchlett did an excellent job in helping them critically evaluate scientific papers and effectively present nutrition knowledge.


Research-Dr. Robert S. Chapkin


Dr. Chapkin is a leader in chronic disease prevention and cancer research and is among the few scientists whose discoveries are related to diet as a treatment or prevention for cancer. His research has been funded by the National Institutes of Health for the past 27 years. His work has been cited over 10,000 times, with more than 4,400 since 2010, resulting in a Google Scholar H-index of 56.


Texas A&M AgriLife Research 2015 Faculty Fellow- Dr. Chaodong Wu


Dr. Wu’s research on obesity-associated metabolic diseases and the connection between inflammation and metabolism in obesity has elevated Texas A&M University’s reputation in nutrition and obesity research. His groundbreaking  finding on “healthy obesity” showed the importance of targeting inflammation, not fat deposition, for preventing diseases. In the past five years, he has received funding of over 3.6 million, including two highly competitive National Institutes of Health grants, and authored over 20 refereed articles.


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