sealPurdue News

April 12, 2002

Outstanding students recognized during Honors Convocation

WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. – Purdue University students were recognized for their academic achievements today (Friday, 4/12) during the annual University Honors Convocation.

Erin Danielle Taylor, of West Lafayette, Ind., received the Flora Roberts Award for the outstanding graduating woman. Taylor, a senior in the School of Consumer and Family Sciences, founded two organizations on campus that provide services to people in need. College Mentors for Kids! enables Purdue students to serve as role models for "at risk" elementary school children in Greater Lafayette. Students Assisting Volunteer Efforts (SAVE) helps students find service learning opportunities in the community. Taylor also served as the first student chairperson for the Purdue University United Way Campaign. She also co-chaired the Purdue relief effort response to the Sept. 11 terrorist attack with a campaign entitled "Reflect, Respect, Restore." The Flora Roberts Award was established by the will of Flora Roberts, a member of the Purdue Class of 1887.

Eric Jason Steiner, of Berne, Ind., received the G.A. Ross Award for the outstanding graduating man. Steiner, a senior in the School of Agriculture, has served as a role model for embracing a diverse education. He has studied in Poland, Honduras and South Africa. He also spent a summer in Washington, D.C., with the American Farm Bureau Federation. When on campus, Steiner worked with at least 12 different organizations. He served as chapter president and a national delegate of the Mortar Board Class of 2001, attended the President's Round Table, and served as an Agricultural Ambassador, among other activities. Volunteer experience in the Grater Lafayette community includes work for the Lafayette Adult Reading Academy, the Lafayette Urban Ministries and the Salvation Army community center.

Both Taylor and Steiner will receive a medal, a $500 award and have their names inscribed on an award marker located on the Purdue Mall. Their awards are based on academic achievement, leadership, character and overall contribution to the university.

Kiley Reed, a senior from Indianapolis, received the Louis Sudler Prize for excellence in the arts. Reed was selected based on her academic record and talent in photography and graphic design. Reed earned a 4.0 grade point average and is a member of several honors societies. She also held the offices of president and treasurer of the Purdue Photography Club. Her work was selected for the 2001 Midwest Student Exhibition and the Purdue University Undergraduate Exhibition. She also served an internship position with Stahl Design in Indianapolis. The Louis Sudler Prize is named for a Chicago businessman who created an endowment.

Lindsay Elliott earned the Bruce Helfert Memorial Award for the outstanding junior majoring in science or engineering. Elliott, from West Lafayette, Ind., is pursuing a degree in chemistry with a minor in physics. Accomplished in research, she has presented her work to the Butler University Undergraduate Research Conference and the Purdue School of Science Undergraduate Research Day. She also has been chosen as Purdue's representative for the Barry Goldwater Scholarship. Elliott's volunteer experience includes teaching chemistry at a Greater Lafayette middle school and coaching soccer.

The Bruce Helfert Memorial Award is made possible through a gift from Sylvia Helfert in memory of her son, Bruce Helfert, a 1964 Purdue graduate. He was a surgeon at March Air Force Base in California, where he died from injuries sustained in an automobile accident. Both Elliott and Reed received $1,000 awards.

Also recognized for their achievements were five current and two former undergraduate students who received National Science Foundation Graduate Fellowships, which provide tuition for three years of graduate study, a $21,500 annual stipend and a $10,500 cost of education allowance. In addition, 54 students who maintained a straight A average during their college careers were honored.

Writer: Marydell Forbes, (765) 496-7704,

Source: Jim Vruggink, special projects director, (765) 494-2086,

Purdue News Service: (765) 494-2096;

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