seal  Purdue News

May 27, 2003

Top agriculture students and faculty honored

WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. – Purdue University students, faculty and staff in the School of Agriculture were honored during a year-end awards ceremony.

Sarah Pence, an animal sciences major from Hope, Ind., was named the outstanding senior in the School of Agriculture for 2003. She received the senior medal, a plaque sponsored by the Ag Alumni Association and her name will be engraved on a plaque in the Agricultural Administration Building.

"We have excellent students by evidence of their citizenship and leadership, their presence in the fabric of the Purdue campus and their reputation on campus," said Dale Whittaker, assistant director of academic programs for the School of Agriculture.

Amir Faghih, an agriculture education student from Huntertown, Ind., was named outstanding freshman. Kathleen Barzan, a biochemistry student from Crown Point, Ind., was named outstanding sophomore. Elizabeth Burns, a landscape horticulture and design student from Springfield, Ill., was named outstanding junior. Each was chosen based on nominations from each department and their academic achievement and leadership.

Karl Brandt, professor of biochemistry, was named the outstanding teacher, and Walter L. Mills Jr., professor of forestry and natural resources, was named the outstanding counselor. Both also went on to win awards at the university level.

Two new awards also were given to faculty and staff at Purdue this year.

Sherry Fulk-Bringman, laboratory and outreach coordinator in agronomy, received the Outstanding Service to Students Award. The award recipient is given to someone who dedicates their career to providing service to students, Whittaker said.

"We have an infrastructure in the School of Agriculture that helps students become successful, and it isn't only faculty contributing," he said. "This award was developed to recognize those contributions."

The outstanding graduate educator was Suzanne Nielsen, professor of food science.

"Nielsen is an excellent example of a person who mentors students and contributes to their learning, both formally and informally," Whittaker said.

Writer: Michelle Betz, (765) 494-8402,

Source: Dale Whittaker, (765) 494-8472,

Ag Communications: (765) 494-2722; Beth Forbes,;

* To the Purdue News and Photos Page