George Washington Carver Distinguished Service Award

This citation honors distinguished College of Agriculture and Life Sciences alumni who have demonstrated outstanding achievement or leadership in making significant, influential, or innovative contributions to society. Selection is made by the Dean of the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences.

This award was established in 2005 and is presented annually during Iowa State University’s Homecoming Weekend. Click here for the nomination form. Nominations are due the third Tuesday in November.

2019 George Washington Carver Distinguished Service Awardee

Diane Feickert Birt
Ames, Iowa

Photo of Diane Birt

Diane F. Birt, Distinguished Professor in Food Science and Human Nutrition at Iowa State University, is a nationally recognized scientist whose work expanded the understanding of links between diet and cancer prevention. She also has been influential in laying a scientific foundation on health benefits and adverse effects of plant-based dietary supplements.

Birt is an elected member of the National Academy of Medicine, one of the nation’s highest professional honors for outstanding achievement and service in health and medicine. She also is a Fellow of the American Society of Nutrition and recipient of the society’s Mary Swartz Rose Senior Investigator Award for outstanding research on the safety and efficacy of bioactive compounds for human health.

She joined Iowa State in 1997 as chair of the Department of Food Science and Human Nutrition, and served until 2004. She served from 2002 to 2011 as director of the federally funded Iowa Center for Research on Dietary Botanical Supplements, a joint research effort between Iowa State and University of Iowa.

Birt has authored or co-authored more than 130 peer-reviewed research publications. She has been a regular scientific adviser to the U.S. Department of Agriculture, the National Institutes of Health and Institute of Medicine’s Food and Nutrition Board.

In 2005, she was honored with the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences’ Faculty Award for Diversity Enhancement. Birt’s service to her community includes chairperson for the Outdoor Alliance of Story County and Ames Interfaith Refugee Alliance.

Past Recipients