Award Winners Make Our Program Proud

Elizabeth AbrahamElizabeth Abraham (pictured on the left), a Ph.D. student in Agricultural Education, attended the Academy of Human Resource Development (AHRD) International Research Conference in the Americas in San Antonio, Texas  on March 2-4, 2017. She won a Cutting Edge Award for her paper Assessing Student Retention Using Appreciative Inquiry-A Mixed Method Case Study. The Human Resource Development Cutting Edge Awards are given to the author(s)  outstanding scholarly papers from those published in the annual Conference Proceedings of the Academy of Human Resource Development for the same year. Elizabeth was also the recipient of the Burkhardt Endowed Fellowship. This fellowship is for Organizational Leadership Policy and Development (OLPD) graduate students for Fall 2017. She said, “Being awarded by OLPD convinces me that my research interests are being recognized by the department and hence motivates me to work harder.”

Swenson and JensenDr. Rebecca Swenson (pictured on the right), Assistant Professor of Agricultural, Food & Natural Resource Communication, and Sara Jensen (pictured on the left), Agricultural Education Executive Office & Administrative Specialist, were each awarded a Honorary Minnesota FFA Degree at the 2017 Minnesota State FFA Convention. Dr. Swenson and Sara’s leadership involvement in agriculture education and FFA has been valuable to the success of many individuals and programs. Their dedicated service to advancing the opportunities in the agriculture industry for young people is tremendously appreciated.   Numerous alumni and current students were also presented with awards during Convention. Check out our program’s Facebook page for a photo album and list of awards!

Rachel KircherRachel Kircher, a senior studying Agricultural Communication & Marketing and Animal Science, received the 2017 Undergraduate Student Leadership Award from the University of Minnesota’s College of Food, Agricultural, and Natural Resource Sciences. This award recognizes a CFANS student who has completed at least one full year of studies, volunteers his or her services to assist on campus and with fellow students, and has demonstrated leadership through campus activities outside the classroom. Rachel was also the recipient of a Student Board Award titled, the “Little Red Oil Can Award.” Recipients of this award demonstrate a special concern for others and show interest in the general welfare of the campus community. These awards were presented to Rachel at the CFANS Borealis Night of Excellence on April 19, 2017.

Lee ThompsonLee Thompson (‘79), instructor of Agricultural Education, was awarded the Alumni Advocate Award during the CFANS Borealis Night of Excellence. He is pictured here with Val Aarsvold (‘94). This award is presented to an individual who shares the value of CFANS and/ or the Alumni Society and helps to promote those values within his or her community and beyond. Examples of advocacy may include, but are not limited to: student recruitment, financial contribution, and legislative outreach.

Sarah EllertsonSarah Ellertson, AECM’s recruiting and academic advising counselor, was awarded the Outstanding Club Advisor Award for volunteering her time and energy to further enrich undergraduate students’ college experiences by acting as the Agricultural Education Club Advisor here on campus.

Also recognized at the Borealis Night of Excellence were Norm Sieling ('79), who was awarded the Alumni Service Award, and Michael Boland ('90), who was presented with the Distinguished Faculty Award. Additionally, other AECM alumni were inducted into the Borealis Circle at the event, and some of our current students were awarded Alumni Society Scholarships. To read more about these awards, please follow this link.

Congratulations to our students, faculty members, and alumni on these well-deserved honors!