Connecticut Sea Grant Aquaculture Extension Specialist Tessa Getchis will receive a Service Excellence Award in the University of Connecticut chapter of the American Association of University Professors’ 2021 UConn-AAUP Excellence Awards.
The awards have been given annually since 1997 in six categories, and this year focused specifically on responses to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Getchis, who also holds the title of senior cooperative extension educator, is being recognized for her role in the various responses to the impact of pandemic shutdown on the state’s commercial shellfishing industry. This included a quick-turnaround survey done early in the shutdown to assess the economic fallout on shellfish farmers. That was followed by assistance programs that included: hiring commercial shellfish workers to rehabilitate the state’s natural shellfish beds; development of a website to share information about direct-to-consumer seafood markets; buybacks of oversized oysters; and assistance with applications for various government financial aid programs.
“We were able to provide some early relief to shellfishermen, and we’re really motivated to keep going, because this wasn’t a one-time impact,” Getchis said.
She stressed that the entire response would not have been possible without the contributions of colleagues at CT Sea Grant and the state Department of Agriculture Bureau of Aquaculture.
“It was and is a team effort,” she said.
CT Sea Grant Director Sylvain De Guise said the award is well deserved.
“It reflects on the recognition of her passion, teamwork, continued leadership and energy,” he said.
Her award will be given in a virtual ceremony on April 28. Also receiving a Service Excellence Award will be three assistant professors, Milagros Castillo-Montoya, Sharde Davis and David Embrick. Ten others will receive awards in teaching excellence, teaching innovation, research and creativity.
To read more about the pandemic response efforts, visit: