Jane Decker-Allan Ichida Award for Outstanding Academic Achievement in Botany and Microbiology

The Decker-Ichida Award recognizes the academic excellence of a junior and a senior major declared in the Botany/Microbiology Department. The student will receive a certificate, a monetary gift, and have their name engraved permanently on a plaque displayed in the Botany/Microbiology Awards case.

Past Recipients

2018 Margaret Michicich & Evelynn Wyatt
2017 Sarah Bergman & Margaret Michicich
2016 Nathan Madonich & Rowan Hannan
2015 Karli Sturgill and Nathan Madonich
2014 Jenna E. Reeger and Marissa A. Witkovsky
2013 Allison R. Kolbe, Paige R. Ruppel, Kristie D. Goughenour
2012 Bhavna B. Murali and Iftekhar A. Showpnil
2011 Hanwen Bai and Michelle J. Lee
2010 Elizabeth B. Mayers and Joanne M. Neugebauer
2009 Alexander M. Paya and Rebecca J. Sisson
2008 Jenna E. Sroka, Max R. Schroeder, and Michael J. Bolt
2007 Lindsey A. Saum and Cassandra I. Henry
2006 Reeti R. Khare

Jane Decker

Dr. Jane Decker earned an A.B. from Mount Holyoke College, and an M.S. and Ph.D. from Yale University, where she studied plant anatomy and systematics. Her association with Ohio Wesleyan University began as a Visiting Assistant Professor, 1965-1966, a Visiting Associate Professor, 1968-1973, followed by a regularly appointed full-time Assistant Professor in 1973, filling the position left vacant by her husband, Dr. Hemy Decker, who had held the position since coming to Delaware, Ohio, in 1962. Dr. Decker was a distinguished scholar, superb educator, and powerful role model. Her outstanding career was varied with research and publications on the internal structure of tropical plants, teaching of general and advanced botany courses, and active membership in many professional scientific societies. Jane Decker was the recipient of Ohio Wesleyan University’s highest award for outstanding teaching, the Bishop Herbert Welch Meritorious Teaching Award, presented to her during the Spring 1988 Commencement Program. She was highly respected and admired by the students whose lives she touched. She steadfastly supported the study of botany and presented her students an education of the highest scientific integrity and scholarship. She served as a positive role model and source of constant encouragement and inspiration for young women entering professional careers in science. Many students have expressed their hope to be able to live up to the high standards Jane set for herself and for them. Professor Decker died of cancer in November, 1988. As a memorial to her life, which was very much involved with plants, Ohio Wesleyan University established the Jane M. Decker Arboretum on the campus.

Allan Ichida

Dr. Allan Ichida was born in Seattle, Washington. He spent much of his childhood in San Francisco, California where his parents ran a Salvation Army orphanage, before being relocated in 1942 to Manzanar Japanese internment camp during World War II. He majored in botany at Ohio Wesleyan University, receiving a B.A. in 1953. At the University of Tennessee he studied botany and mycology and was awarded his Master’s degree in 1955. His studies then took him to the University of Wisconsin-Madison, where he received his Ph.D. in mycology. He also worked at the Madison Forest Products Labs on Dutch Elm Disease. Dr. Ichida returned to OWU in 1961 as a faculty member in the Department of Botany and Bacteriology until he retired in 1995. Dr. Ichida helped to build OWU’s botany and microbiology programs and for many years was the force that linked the two disciplines. In 1966 he received a fellowship from the National Science Foundation to study cell ultrastructure utilizing electron microscopy at the University of California, Berkeley. He was instrumental in facilitating the joint acquisition of transmission and scanning electron microscopes by OWU and the U. S. Department of Agriculture Labs and in the acquisition by Ohio Wesleyan University of our own scanning electron microscope in 1998. During his tenure at Ohio Wesleyan, Dr. Ichida served as president and advisor of the Ohio Branch of ASM, which provides a student award in his name at their annual meetings. He also served on the Olentangy Scenic River Commission, and his microbiology water quality research helped to secure the river’s “Scenic River” status. During his last 20 years of teaching, Dr. Ichida made the microbiology laboratories available for environmental health studies, allowing students to gain experience in surface water analyses of the Olentangy River, pool and well-water testing, and identification of infectious agents. He was a much-admired professor of plant biology, microbiology, and mycology. He was an enthusiastic canoeist, kayaker, cyclist, skier, and world traveler and spent much of his life studying, preserving and enjoying the natural world. Allan Ichida died at home of a heart attack in September 2005. In honor of Jane Decker and Allan Ichida, the Botany and Microbiology Department have established the Jane Decker/Allan Ichida Award for outstanding academic achievement in Botany and Microbiology.