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CASNR names outstanding senior, outstanding freshman and seniors of distinction

Duncan, Oklahoma, natives, Jessica Neal and Allison Christian, have been named Oklahoma State University’s College of Agricultural Sciences and Natural Resources Outstanding Senior and Outstanding Freshman for 2015.

STILLWATER, Okla. – Duncan, Oklahoma, natives, Jessica Neal and Allison Christian, have been named Oklahoma State University’s College of Agricultural Sciences and Natural Resources Outstanding Senior and Outstanding Freshman for 2015.

Neal was named the Louis and Betty Gardner Outstanding Senior for CASNR. An animal science major with a minor in biochemistry and in microbiology, she is a 2011 graduate of Duncan High School and the daughter of Greg and Shelly Neal.

Brett and Kent Gardner were named CASNR Outstanding Seniors during their time at OSU. They created an endowment to support the recognition of the outstanding senior in honor of their parents, Louis and Betty.

Neal’s collegiate activities include participating in undergraduate research all four years of her collegiate career, being named a 2013-2014 Niblack Research Scholar and presenting her research at several scientific meetings. She also served as a CASNR career liaison, Freshmen in Transition student academic mentor, AG1011 student academic mentor and a teaching assistant.

“It was such a surprise and honor to be recognized as the outstanding senior,” Neal said. “This award showed me that all I have done in my college career was not only important to me but also has made an impact on the college. This is by far the ultimate honor a CASNR student can earn, and it is all thanks to the faculty and staff I have had the outstanding opportunity to interact with while at OSU.”

Neal was named a 2014-2015 OSU Senior of Significance and received an award of merit from the department of animal science. She is a past recipient of the Charles and Magda Browning Outstanding Freshman award.

“Both the CASNR Outstanding Senior and Outstanding Freshman awards are meant to recognize a student’s commitment to academic excellence, service to others and leadership in the college,” said Cynda Clary, CASNR associate dean of academic programs. “Jessica and Allison have put in the time and effort to distinguish themselves among their peers and uphold CASNR’s high standards of service leadership. We could not be more proud to have America’s brightest students walking among us each day.”

Christian was named the Charles and Magda Browning Outstanding Freshman Award winner for CASNR. An animal science major, she is a 2013 graduate of Duncan High School and the daughter of Jon Christian and Tina Huffman.

The Brownings established the Outstanding Freshman award to recognize both the academic excellence and outstanding leadership activity during a student’s freshman year at OSU. It is awarded at the end of a student’s sophomore year for their efforts as a freshman.

Christian’s collegiate activities include being a member of the Collegiate Farm Bureau, being involved in Greek and campus life, and participating in numerous community service projects through Chi Omega women’s fraternity.

“I never anticipated being the CASNR Outstanding Freshman when I first came to college,” Christian said. “I simply took part in the things I enjoyed. This award inspires me to continue serving those around me in all I do throughout the rest of my collegiate career.”

She also received her State FFA Degree and is a member of the OSU Honors College.

In addition to these awards, CASNR recognized fifteen seniors of distinction.

Their names, hometown and major include:

Marli Claytor, Cushing, Oklahoma, natural resource ecology and management
Joshua Conway, Ringwood, Oklahoma, agribusiness
Melissa Rae Golden, Terlton, Oklahoma, plant and soil sciences and agribusiness
Elizabeth Hickman, Bettendorf, Iowa, biosystems engineering
Brian Highfill, Mooreland, Oklahoma, agricultural economics
Samantha Ruth Kaiser, Elkins, Arkansas, entomology
Kyree Larrabee, Meade, Kansas, animal science
Jessica Neal, Duncan, Oklahoma, animal science
Hannah Nemecek, Owasso, Oklahoma, agricultural communications
Jonathan Overton, Yukon, Oklahoma, biosystems engineering
Cassandra Rodenbaugh, Tulsa, Oklahoma, natural resource ecology and management
Sarah Schobert, Sasix, Virginia, animal science
Chacey Schoeppel, Fairview, Oklahoma, agribusiness
Alexis Sirois, Argyle, Texas, animal science
Kelly Rose Vierck, Juneau, Wisconsin, food science

The Oklahoma State University College of Agricultural Sciences and Natural Resources believes in the value of hands-on education and the importance of having a well-rounded student experience. Our award-winning faculty members are dedicated to developing students and are passionate about adding value to the total educational experience. With 16 majors and 62 study options, plus more than 60 student organizations, the college is committed to expanding minds and inspiring purpose. Learn more at casnr.okstate.edu.

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REPORTER: Lindsay V. King

MEDIA CONTACT:
Melissa Mourer
Communications Coordinator
Agricultural Communications Services
144 Agriculture North
Oklahoma State University
Stillwater, OK 74078
Phone: 405-744-3737
Fax: 405-744-5739
Email: melissa.mourer@okstate.edu

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