Student Awards and Recognition

Posted: June 1, 2011

On April 26, 2011, students, faculty, staff, and supporters of the Agricultural and Extension Education Department gathered at the Mount Nittany Middle School for the annual Agricultural and Extension Education Department banquet.

Many outstanding individuals were recognized for their achievements in Agricultural Education and various leadership roles over the past year. The program included recognition on behalf of the department, the AEE Graduate Student Association, Collegiate FFA, Collegiate 4-H, and Alpha Tau Alpha.

In addition to recognizing these commendable individuals, we were given a very exciting and informative presentation about the history of the AEE department , by Dr. Blannie Bowen , Vice Provost for Academic Affairs and former AEE Department Head.

Collegiate FFA Awards

Each year, Penn State Collegiate FFA recognizes some outstanding students for their dedication and enthusiasm for the student-run club. In addition to selecting an outstanding member from each of the four undergraduate classes, the Work Horse award is given to a particularly hard-working club member. Members are nominated by their peers and then submit an application to be considered for these awards. Collegiate FFA would not be nearly as successful without the hard work of these members.

  • Work Horse - Douglas Masser
  • Outstanding Freshman - Caleb Wright
  • Outstanding Sophomore - P. J. Adam
  • Outstanding Junior -  Jennifer Boop
  • Outstanding Senior -  Jessica Shilladay

Collegiate FFA was pleased to hear that the Pennsylvania FFA Association was recognized by the Penn State Ag Council in 2010 for the Leadership in Action Award. The National FFA Organization plays a vital role in the development of students’ premier leadership, personal growth, and career success through agricultural education as it serves over 524,000 agricultural education students across the country. The Pennsylvania FFA serves about 7,800 students in 148 chapters across the state.

National FFA Convention Recognition

On October 12, 2010, fourteen Collegiate FFA members traveled to the 83rd National FFA Convention in Indianapolis, Indiana . With over 55,000 FFA members from across the country, the National FFA Convention is the largest gathering held to-date in Indianapolis. The attending CFFA members assisted at the convention by acting as Judges and Coordinating Assistants for two of the 24 Career Development Events (CDEs) offered at the convention. In addition to helping with CDEs and coordinating State and CDE photos, these members were all active at Penn State’s College of Ag Sciences recruitment booth at the National FFA Career Fair. Acting as the outstanding faces of Penn State, they shared information about the University and collected information forms from hundreds of FFA members interested in both agricultural and non-agricultural degrees.

American FFA Degree Recipients

The following Penn State students were recognized at the 83rd National Convention as receiving the American FFA Degree, the highest degree given in the National FFA Organization. The American Degree is awarded annually to less than one percent of the National Membership, as it requires a minimum of $7,500 earned and invested in students’ Supervised Agricultural Experience (SAE) while taking at least three years of agricultural education classes.

  • Shawn Beam
  • Jennifer Boop*
  • Matthew Brightbill
  • Brian Gray*   
  • Caleb Grove*
  • Brett Hendershot*
  • Deidre Hepler*
  • Alicia Morgan   
  • Ashley Morgan*
  • Caitlin Morgan*
  • Jessica Shilladay*
  • Missy Weidensaul*
  • Brittney Wilmer*
  • Caleb Wright*   
  • Cortney Wright*

*Collegiate FFA Member

Collegiate 4-H Awards

Collegiate 4-H, as one of our department’s clubs, plays a large role in agricultural leadership development through community service and agricultural awareness events. Each year, the club recognizes two of its members at our AEE Departmental Banquet for their hard work. The two award recipients submitted applications and were selected for their hard work and dedication to the club.

  • Outstanding New Member - Jeanette Blank
  • Outstanding Member - Emily Harrison

ATA Fall Initiates

Alpha Tau Alpha (ATA) is a National Professional Honorary Organization for Agricultural Education. Students with a 3.0 GPA or higher and hold a sophomore status or higher are admitted annually into the organization. ATA and the AEE Department were very proud to have 12 new members inducted this year.

2011 Graduates

  • Morgan Bacher
  • Laura Polatnick
  • Amanda Remick
  • George David Ruvarac

2012 Graduates  

  • Robyn Bechtel
  • Jessica Dimarzio
  • Katelynn Harshman
  • Douglas Masser
  • Danielle Peters
  • Cameron Schirmer
  • Danielle Smith
  • Chelsea Walker