Atwood, Miller, and Marlow Receive Awards Through MSU College of Ag

by Andy Schwab

Montana State University (MSU) has announced the award recipients for individuals associated with MSU ahead of this week’s homecoming celebrations. For the MSU College of Agriculture, three distinct members will be recognized, as the awards honor individuals for achievements in professional success, volunteerism and/or performance of outstanding service to the university or community.

Distinguished Staff Award

Joe Atwood has received the Distinguished Staff Award for the College of Agriculture’s homecoming awards. This award recognizes a faculty member for having distinguished themself by meritorious service to their college in areas of teaching, research, leadership, achievement, mentoring and outreach.

Dr. Atwood is a professor in the Department of Agricultural Economics and Economics. His research interests include production theory, finance and financial engineering, and risk and risk control. His teaching focuses cover agricultural farm and ranch management, financial engineering, and agriculture finance.

“Dr. Joe Atwood is a true friend to students. He is a passionate, phenomenal educator and mentor to all of his students throughout their entire college career. Students are truly prepared for their career and everyday life because of the tools and lessons Joe has provided dedicatedly across his entire career,” said Greg Gilpin, head of the Department of Agriculture Economics and Economics.

Honorary Alumni Award

Clayton Marlow has received the Honorary Alumni Award for the College of Agriculture’s homecoming awards. This award recognizes a non-alumnus whose extraordinary service has advanced the university and made significant and lasting contributions to the campus and experiment station. The honoree’s professional, personal, civic and philanthropic pursuits must reflect the high standards and values associated with Montana State University and higher education.

Dr. Marlow is a professor in the Department of Animal and Range Sciences. His research interests include enumeration and description of the cumulative effect of grazing, wildfire suppression and habitat preservation on the physical and biological processes that create and sustain lotic riparian ecosystems. He has been a part of the College of Agriculture since 1980 and for more than four decades Dr. Marlow has made many significant and lasting contributions to MSU, its students and faculty, as well as to the state of Montana, its people and agricultural rangelands.

He served as the assistant dean of the College of Agriculture in the mid-90’s and is currently the regional director of the Western Sustainable Agriculture, Research and Education program. Despite a heavy administrative commitment, he continues to teach graduate courses in riparian process and function and field research techniques.


“As leader of WSARE, he has demonstrated his mastery of the lessons learned. He is creative in facing problems, passionate about project execution and providing opportunities for young scientists and growers, and graceful in the face of adversity,” said Mary Burrows, professor in the Department of Plant Sciences and Plant Pathology.

Alumni Achievement Award

Rik Miller has received the Alumni Achievement Award for the College of Agriculture’s homecoming awards. This award is given to a graduate with significant achievements in a specific field or endeavor since graduation.

Mr. Miller is the retired president of DuPont Crop Protection, a leading global agricultural chemicals business. From 1984 through 2015, he held numerous successive senior leadership and executive management roles in DuPont. Mr. Miller currently serves as senior advisor with Altamont Capital Partners in Palo Alto, California, where he focuses on investments in the chemicals sector and serves on the board of directors of Douglas Products specialty chemicals. Mr. Miller also serves as senior advisor with Zero Gravity Solutions Inc.; was immediate past chairman of Cool Planet Inc.; and a board member of the Montana FFA Foundation.

Mr. Miller grew up in Bozeman working in agriculture. He served in the U.S. Navy from 1975 to 1979, and then received his bachelor’s from MSU in 1983 with an emphasis in plant and soil science and plant biochemistry. He credits his industry success to the many strong mentors that he had in the College of Agriculture.

“Rik’s professional accomplishments are numerous and include many years of leadership with DuPont. He is passionate about innovation and the commercialization of innovative ideas, as evidenced from his contributions to his alma mater and involvement with startup businesses,” said Sreekala Bajwa, MSU’s Vice President of Agriculture and Dean of the College of Agriculture.

Tickets are required for the ceremony, which is hosted by the president’s office and participating units. Family and friends may request to purchase tickets by emailing rsvp@msuaf.org.

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MSU College of Agriculture – 2022

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