Meet the HQ Team

Jerry Baron : Executive Director

Jerry Baron

Executive Director

Jerry J. Baron is the Executive Director of the IR-4 Project, a cooperative program in the United States of the state agricultural experimental stations, US Department and is responsible for the day-to-day operations of the IR-4 Project with an operation budget of approximately $18 million US dollars and 120 full time scientists.

In 1998, Jerry co-authored the second edition of Food and Feed Crops of the United States along with G.M. Markle and B.A. Schneider.  This book is the framework of the crop grouping in North America.  He  has authored nearly one hundred peer reviewed journal articles and several book chapters.

Jerry received his Ph.D. in Horticulture with emphasis on weed management from North Carolina State University and earned his M.S. and B.S. degrees from The Ohio State University with focus on Horticulture and Pest Management.

He is married and father of three young adults.  He is also a competitive runner and certified running coach who has completed 45 full marathons.  Other hobbies include soccer referee and gardening.

 

jbaron@njaes.rutgers.edu 732.932.9575 x4605
Dan Kunkel : Senior Associate Director

Dan Kunkel

Senior Associate Director

He has been with IR-4 since 1991 and manages the Product Development, International and Regulatory Support Team, provides backup to Executive Director and provides regulatory stewardship with EPA and the chemical companies.  He is the IR-4 lead for U.S. international meetings/organizations regarding cooperation on pesticide policy and standard setting.  Daniel earned a Ph.D. from the fruit and vegetable department at Cornell University in 1992.

 

daniel.kunkel@rutgers.edu 732.932.9575 x 4616
Deborah Carpenter : Residue Studies Manager

Deborah Carpenter

Residue Studies Manager

Dr. Deborah Carpenter is the Residue Studies Manager at IR-4.  In this position, Debbie oversees the day to day operations of the Registration Team including preparation of protocols, review of research data and preparation of final reports.  She also coordinates submissions to regulatory  agencies including EPA and PMRA.  Debbie has been with IR-4 for more than 10 years.  Her educational background is in chemistry, and prior to working at IR-4, she worked in a contract analytical lab doing residue analysis.  She also worked as a study director doing product chemistry and residue/metabolism/environmental fate research for an Ag Chemical Company.

 

dcarpent@njaes.rutgers.edu 732.932.9575 x 4637 cell:732.735.5768
Van Starner : Research Planning Manager

Van Starner

Research Planning Manager

Dr. Van R. Starner is the Research Planning Manager, at IR-4 Headquarters (HQ). Van joined IR-4 HQ as an Associate Coordinator/Study Director in entomology/plant pathology in 1999, after serving in various research, product development and regulatory affairs positions in the AgChem industry for 18 years.

He has served in his current position since 2006, with responsibilities in the Food Use Program that include coordinating annual project/product review meetings with IR-4’s numerous registrant partners; maintaining accurate/up-to-date project database information for all specialty crop stakeholder requests; overseeing preparation for and conduct of annual Food Use project prioritization processes and stakeholder workshops, and internal finalization of the annual Food Use research plan; helping monitor EPA-required Good Laboratory Practice (GLP) aspects of IR-4’s Food Use research as part of the HQ Testing Facility Management team; serving as an outreach liaison between HQ and IR-4 Regional personnel, and as chair of the national IR-4 Education and Training Committee; and organizing annual mid-Atlantic agricultural, educational bus tours for colleagues in the Office of Pesticide Programs at the EPA.

Van  received BS and MS degrees in Entomology from the Pennsylvania State University, and his Ph.D. in Entomology and Economic Zoology from Rutgers University.

Van is an ardent BIG10 fan, especially all things Penn State, and particularly sports teams like women’s volleyball, football and wrestling.

 

vanstar@njaes.rutgers.edu 732.932.9575 x 4621
Tammy White Barkalow : Quality Assurance Program Manager

Tammy White Barkalow

Quality Assurance Program Manager

Tammy is the Quality AssuranceProgram Manager at IR-4 Headquarters.  She has 29 years of experience in the QA/GLP arena.  She spent 4 of those 29 years as a Study Director conducting terrestrial non-target plant studies, magnitude of residue studies and terrestrial dissipation studies at a private contract research organization.  The remaining portion of her career has been in the field of EPA GLP regulatory Quality Assurance.  She is the 2018 President of the Society of Quality Assurance (SQA), a member of the SQA GLP Specialty Section, the SQA University Specialty Section and has held many other elected positions within the SQA.   She holds a B.S. in Agricultural Plant Science (Pest Management) from Fresno State University, a M.S. in Plant Pathology from Texas A&M University and is a Registered Quality Assurance Professional (RQAP) in GLP.

When not working she enjoys traveling, cooking and baking and has a passion for the sweet things in life, like candy making.

 

tlwhite@njaes.rutgers.edu 732.932.9575 x 4607
Michael Braverman : Biopesticide and Organic Support Program Manager & International Capacity Building

Michael Braverman

Biopesticide and Organic Support Program Manager & International Capacity Building

Michael Braverman earned his Ph.D. in Horticulture at the University of Florida and is a former Fulbright Scholar to Thailand. He joined IR-4 in 1999 directing field and laboratory residue studies and subsequently managed efficacy and regulatory affairs with biopesticides.  He currently manages international capacity building  programs, facilitates harmonization of regulations, and integration of biopesticides for conventional and organic systems. Through the Biopesticide Program, EPA registrations have been achieved involving microorganisms, natural products, pheromones and biotechnology products. Successful international programs have resulted in establishment of new global trade standards.

He has held positions as an Extension Vegetable Specialist with Texas A&M and as a Rice Weed Scientist at Louisiana State University and has taught classes in Vegetable Production, Introduction to Horticulture and Herbicide Physiology. He has also held numerous field trainings on sprayer calibration and Good Laboratory Practices.  Michael enjoys fishing and raising unusual tropical vegetables. He speaks Thai and likes eating spicy food.

 

mbrave@njaes.rutgers.edu 732.932.9575 x 4610
Cristi Palmer : Environmental Horticulture Program Manager

Cristi Palmer

Environmental Horticulture Program Manager

Cristi Palmer 

Environmental Horticulture Program Manager

Cristi Palmer joined IR-4 in 2004 and manages the Environmental Horticulture Program which has three areas: registration support research, invasive species, and pollinator protections.

She earned her Ph.D. in Floriculture and Ornamental Horticulture focusing on plant pathology at Cornell University in 1996, her Masters in Plant Pathology from the University of Florida in 1992, and her Bachelors in Floriculture and Ornamental Horticulture at Cornell University in 1990.

Prior to joining IR-4, Cristi worked at Cleary Chemical (product development, state registrations) and at FMC (technical service, marketing, product development). Cristi has also been active within the American Phytopathological Society serving as member and chair of several committees and as Editor-in-Chief for the Plant Management Network.

In her spare time, Cristi is kept busy with three kids, martial arts, and a garden with weeds running amok.

 

 

clpalmer@njaes.rutgers.edu 732.932.9575 x 4629
Bill Barney : Regulatory Support/Crop Groups

Bill Barney

Regulatory Support/Crop Groups

Bill Barney has been at IR-4 since 2003. He is the Regulatory Support/Crop Groups  working with Conventional pesticide studies and registrations, Biopesticide registrations and Crop Grouping (US and Codex). Bill earned a BS in Entomology from Colorado State University, 1972, an MS Entomology from North Carolina State University, 1974 and a MLIS (Masters of Library and Information Science), from Rutgers University in 2014.

 

 

barney@njaes.rutgers.edu 732.9329575 x 4603
Kathryn Homa : Biologist-Plant Pathology & Regulatory Submissions

Kathryn Homa

Biologist-Plant Pathology & Regulatory Submissions

Kathryn Homa is serving as the Biologist-Plant Pathology & Regulatory Submissions at IR-4 Headquarters. She has a Bachelor’s degree in Ornamental Horticulture (Delaware Valley College, Class of 2007), a Master’s degree in Plant Pathology (Rutgers University School of Environmental and Biological Sciences, Class of 2013) and is currently pursuing a Ph.D. in Plant Pathology (Rutgers University School of Environmental and Biological Sciences).

Currently, when she is not working at IR-4, she is at Rutgers, working on her basil research.

homa@njaes.rutgers.edu 732.932.9575 x 4604
Carolyn Jolly : Research Coordinator & Study Director

Carolyn Jolly

Research Coordinator & Study Director

Carolyn Jolly first joined the IR-4 Project as a Laboratory Assistant at the Western Region Laboratory at the University of California, Davis in 2007. After moving to New Jersey, Carolyn started at IR-4 HQ in 2011. She took on her role as full-time Study Director in 2013. In this role, Carolyn coordinates magnitude of residue studies to gain regulatory approval for crop management tools on specialty crops. Carolyn received a BS in Molecular Biology from Auburn University and a MA in Secondary Education. In her spare time, Carolyn enjoys running, cooking, and bussing her kids to their activities.

 

 

cj213@njaes.rutgers.edu 732.932.9575 x4612
Grace Lennon : Research Coordinator & Study Director

Grace Lennon

Research Coordinator & Study Director

Grace Lennon has been  the Research Coordinator & Study Director for entomology/plant pathology/weed science studies since 2009 (part time) and 2011 (full time).  This job entails coordinating magnitude of residue studies from protocol inception, field and lab monitoring, final report writing to making regulatory submissions to the EPA.

Grace was a Study Director for American Cyanamid/BASF from 1991 to 2000 and a Quality Control Field Data Book reviewer for IR-4 Western Region from 2001 to 2011.  She received a BS degree in Biology from Ursinus College, Collegeville, PA and a MS degree in Food Science from Drexel University, Phila., PA.

galennon@njaes.rutgers.edu 732.932.9575 x 4627
Chelsea Bonetti : Research Coordinator and Study Director

Chelsea Bonetti

Research Coordinator and Study Director

Chelsea Bonetti has joined IR-4 as an Research Coordinator and Study Director. Her strong analytical chemistry background and robust knowledge of Good Laboratory Practices brings much needed support for the Food Use Program. Chelsea has seven years of experience in the agroscience industry, which includes working as an Assistant Laboratory Director, Research Scientist and Analytical Chemist for Eurofins Agroscience Services. She also worked as a Research Intern at the Princeton Institute for the Science and Technology of Materials (PRISM) and the Princeton Center for Complex Materials (PCCM). Chelsea has a Masters of Chemistry in Analytical Chemistry from Illinois Institute of Technology and a Bachelor of Science, from the College of Saint Elizabeth.

clb313@njaes.rutgers.edu 732.932.9575 x 4620
Ken Samoil : Research Coordinator & Study Director

Ken Samoil

Research Coordinator & Study Director

Ken Samoil is a Research Coordinator & Study Director in the Registrations Team at IR-4 Headquarters. He directs pesticide residue studies in food commodities and writes tolerance petitions for submission to EPA.  Ken is also the editor of the IR-4 Field Data Book, and has served on the IR-4 Education & Training Committee since its founding.  He joined IR-4 in October, 1993, after five years as a program associate with Rutgers Cooperative Extension at the Blueberry & Cranberry Research Center in Chatsworth, New Jersey. Ken has a Bachelor of Science degree in biology from Cook College, Rutgers University, and a Master of Science degree in entomology from North Carolina State University.  He enjoys hiking in the Alps when he is on vacation.

 

samoil@njaes.rutgers.edu 732.932.9575 x 4614
Thomas Pike : Research Coordinator & Study Director

Thomas Pike

Research Coordinator & Study Director

Thomas Pike joined IR-4 as a Research Coordinator & Study Directorin entomology in early 2018. In this position, Tom oversees certain national activities for the IR-4 Project to gain regulatory approval of crop protection technology on fruits, vegetables, nuts, herbs and other specialty food crops. Tom joined IR-4 with 10 years of research experience including conducting laboratory and field research at Rutgers University, on the biology and management of brown marmorated stink bug. At the University of Maryland, he continued his work with the brown marmorated stink bug, looking at the use of fungi as a form of biological control.

Tom received an MS in Entomology from the University of Maryland and a BS in Marine Science (Marine Biology) with a minor in Entomology from Rutgers University.  Tom is a skilled cook and an avid board game enthusiast.

 

tpike@njaes.rutgers.edu. 732.932.9575  x 4628
Shiayi Huang : Database and Aplication Developer

Shiayi Huang

Database and Aplication Developer

Shiayi Huang is the Database and application Developer for IR-4.  She designs databases and develops systems for the needs of IR-4.  She provides the day to day technical supports to the IR-4 databases and web systems.

 

shiayi@njaes.rutgers.edu 732.932.9575 x 4630
Jane Forder : Quality Assurance Specialist

Jane Forder

Quality Assurance Specialist

Jane joined IR-4 in 2003 as a QA Specialist and took on the role of NE Regional QA Coordinator in 2015. Prior to joining IR-4 she worked as QA Auditor in toxicology for Exxon Corporation. Jane received a BA from Rutgers University in Biology/Economics. In her spare time, she enjoys happy hours with friends, traveling, gardening, bike riding and going to estate sales.

 

 

forder@njaes.rutgers.edu 732.932.9575 x4608
Cheryl Ferrazoli : Program Support - Travel & Meetings

Cheryl Ferrazoli

Program Support - Travel & Meetings

Cheryl Ferrazoli is currently the most veteran associate as she has been with IR-4 since 1985. Her responsibilities have evolved through the years as the Program Support - Travel & Meetings she is resonsible for  planning the workshop logistics, processing travel arrangements, and managing the budgets associated with both areas.

She enjoys cooking, loves dogs/puppies and is a huge NY Yankees fan.

 

cheryl.ferrazoli@rutgers.edu 7329329575 x 4601
Karen Sims : Program Support - Regulatory Studies

Karen Sims

Program Support - Regulatory Studies

Karen Sims has been with the IR-4 HQ Team since 2001.  Her duties include but are not limited to processing and the distribution of specialized and technical GLP reports. She provides Program Support for Regulatory Studies to study director(s) working off site and maintains the electronic submission and shared EPA submissions folder. Karen also provides technical support including managing in-house ChemSAC minutes and Chemical Reviews. She is the lead archivist where her activities have recently included the organization and management of the preparation & removal of supporting submission data for offsite storage.

Last but not least she is the IR-4 HQ lottery organizer. If there is a big drawing she gets the group together to buy tickets in hopes of early retirement. As you can see we haven’t won yet but we are still trying.

ksims@njaes.rutgers.edu 732.932.9575 x4626
Uta Burke : Program Support - Business

Uta Burke

Program Support - Business

Uta Burke has worked for IR-4 as Program Support - Business, since 2005. She assists the Senior Department Administrator in many areas of business and financial matters at IR-4. She is also the office receptionist. Uta is fluent in German, which has been a real asset to IR-4 in helping with international business. She is currently studying Liberal Arts at a local college and enjoys reading, writing, and is an avid fan of the Walking Dead and Supernatural (TV series) for which she writes fan fiction and attends conventions whenever she can.

 

uburke@njaes.rutgers.edu 732.932.9575 x4646