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Oklahoma State University agriculture students to be awarded nearly $1 million in scholarships


The continuing education of Oklahoma State University agriculture and natural resource students was made a little easier on April 3, when $449,750 in scholarships and awards were presented by the College of Agricultural Sciences and Natural Resources.

Banquet ceremonies honored many of the college's best and brightest, part of $974,250 in scholarships and awards that will be presented to OSU students this spring by CASNR and its academic departments for the 2009-2010 school year. The total exceeds last year's record sum of $967,075.

"I congratulate our many scholars and commend our scholarship donors for providing a significant, positive and lasting benefit in the lives of our students," said Robert E. Whitson, vice president, dean and director of the OSU Division of Agricultural Sciences and Natural Resources, of which the college is a part.

Agricultural economics major Jered Davidson of Ft. Cobb garnered the evening's highest honor: the 2009 Paul and Mary Hummer Outstanding Senior in CASNR Award.

"OSU has inspired me to advocate for rural society, stand up for what I believe and represent the community and myself in a way that encourages and inspires others to further their own contributions to the world in which they live," he said.

Davidson received a plaque and a Remington bronze statue that is presented annually to CASNR's outstanding senior.

Recipients of the 2009 Dean Fred LeCrone Awards were: Davidson; Cassie Bacon of Prairie Grove, Ark., an animal science and agricultural communications dual major; Austin Horn of Yukon, an agricultural economics major; Emily Kilian of Medford, an agricultural communications major; and Cortney Timmons of Ada, a biosystems and agricultural engineering major. The award recognizes the top five seniors in CASNR.

"My experience at OSU has been the single-most important investment in directing the path of my future by providing me with an outstanding education, the fundamental tools to succeed, lifelong mentors and friends, lessons to use in the real world and an ever greater appreciation of the world of agriculture," Bacon said.

Recognized as 2009 CASNR Outstanding Seniors were: Bacon; Davidson; Horn; Kilian; Timmons; Myriah Johnson of Perry, an agricultural economics major; Jonathan Kelly of Altus, a natural resource ecology and management major; Aimee Lee of Pryor, a food science major; Tiffani Pruitt of Tuttle, an animal science major; Savannah Smith of Talihina, a environmental science major; Nathan Thompson of Chandler, an agricultural economics senior; and Travis Wolff of Yale, a biochemistry and molecular biology major.

"I look back on my experiences, activities and opportunities with a fond sense of accomplishment, but the real achievements are the friends and memories I've created along the way," Kilian said. "I will forever remain loyal and true to the campus that gently pushed me to grow and taught me how to succeed."

Sarah Fry of Omega, a biochemistry and molecular biology major, was the 2009 recipient of the Charles and Magda Browning Outstanding Freshman Award. The award honors an OSU agriculture student who demonstrated outstanding academic and leadership activity during his or her first year at the university.

"An excellent student who is active in numerous university organizations, Sarah is also an accomplished barrel racer, volunteered at the OU Medical Center Children's Hospital and assists with the Therapeutic Riding program for special needs children at Turning Point ranch," said Cheryl DeVuyst, CASNR assistant dean.

The OSU chapter of Agricultural Communicators of Tomorrow was named 2009 Outstanding Club in CASNR. The plaque was accepted by Kilian, who serves as national first vice president of the organization, and club adviser Shelly Sitton of the department of agricultural education, communications and leadership.

Jon Ramsey, agricultural education teaching associate and coordinator of field placement, received the OSU Ag Ambassadors Outstanding Advisor Award for 2009. OSU Ag Ambassadors also honored Mary Ellen Beyl of the CASNR Office of Academic Programs with its 2009 Outstanding Professional Staff Award.

Agricultural economics assistant professor Shannon Ferrell was honored as the 2009 Alpha Zeta Outstanding Teacher in CASNR during the banquet ceremonies.

In all, more than 300 students were honored during the college's scholarship and awards banquet, with many more to be recognized at individual academic department banquets throughout the spring.

The college places a great emphasis on celebrating the accomplishments of students, said Ed Miller, CASNR associate dean.

"Awards for leadership and academic performance and the presentation of scholarships build pride in our students and their families, the faculty, donors and other supporters of the college and the division as a whole," he said.

The division is comprised of the college and two statewide agencies: the Oklahoma Agricultural Experiment Station system and the Oklahoma Cooperative Extension Service.

"The exceptional amount of scholarship support we are able to award students to further their education would not be possible without the generosity of our many donors, who recognize the inherent value and connectivity of the division's teaching, research and Cooperative Extension programs," Miller said.

The college provides 16 majors and more than 70 study options to students interested in pursuing a career in science, business, education, engineering, technology development, natural resources or communications. Prospective students can uncover and explore opportunities through CASNR at http://www.casnr.com on the Internet.

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