The Texas A&M University College of Agriculture and Life Sciences presented awards recognizing student and faculty excellence April 9. The College’s 66th annual Convocation was held at the Thomas G. Hildebrand, D.V.M. ’56 Equine Complex.
The College presented Senior Merit Awards, the highest award it gives to students. Student nominees for three university-level awards — the Brown Foundation-Earl Rudder Memorial Outstanding Student Award, The Robert Gates-Muller Family Outstanding Student Award, and the class of ’80 E. King Gill Selfless Service Award — also were acknowledged.
Additionally, an outstanding Freshman, Sophomore and Junior received an Alpha Zeta Award, and two faculty members garnered teaching awards. Finally, officers of the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences Student Council and the College’s Student Ambassadors were recognized.
2022 Senior Merit Awards
The Senior Merit Award is the highest award given to undergraduates by the College. Nominations are received from each major, and final selections are made by the college scholarship committee. Selection criteria include scholarship, community involvement, professional and civic activities, internships and employment, awards, honors and accomplishments in undergraduate research. The following students, representing 15 departments, are the 2022 Senior Merit honorees:
- Cullen Eppright
- Aly Ghormley
- Megan Campagna
- Hannah Neighbors
- Erin Steglich
- Chris Thompson
- Nicholas ‘Max’ Valadez
- Brooke Vyvlecka
- Suzanna Borchgardt
- Ashley Fuqua
- Alyson Fontenot
- Madilyn Grams
- Shane Flanagan
- Samuel Hurbrough
- John Cate
- Charlie Slaughter
- Alyssa Low
- Kaylyn Dinh
- Austin Daigle
- Mallory Moorefield
- Steven Graham
- Paloma Hernandez
- Allie Becker
- Luke Whiteley
- Anuhya Kotta
- Brittany Lively
- Abby McKaskle
- Luke Schwartz
- Alexandra Crowder
- Shruti Machiraju
- Katie Toomey
- Caitlin McKneely
- Grace Garcia
- Lacey Garrett
- Abby LeBlanc
- Michael Eric Shields
- Haley Ellis
- Rachel Patterson
- Jesse Hester
- Shelby Muehlstein
Nominations for university-level awards
Among the most prestigious undergraduate awards at Texas A&M are the Brown-Rudder, Gates-Muller and the E. King Gill Selfless Service awards. The College of Agriculture and Life Sciences nominates two students for Brown-Rudder, one student for Gates-Muller and one student for the E. King Gill awards.
Brown Foundation-Earl Rudder Memorial Outstanding Student Award nominees: Alyssa Low, Department of Biochemistry and Biophysics; Erin Steglich, Department of Agricultural Leadership, Education and Communications.
E. King Gill ’80 Selfless Service Award nominee: Chris Thompson, Department of Agricultural Leadership, Education and Communications.
Robert Gates-Muller Family Outstanding Student Award nominee: Cullen Eppright, Department of Agricultural Economics.
Alpha Zeta Awards
The College also celebrated the Alpha Zeta winners. Alpha Zeta is an honorary professional society for students and industry professionals in agricultural and natural resources fields.
- Outstanding Freshman: Alexis Thye, Department of Plant Pathology and Microbiology.
- Outstanding Sophomore: Leily Khaleghi, Department of Biological and Agricultural Engineering.
- Outstanding Junior: Allison Brenner, Department of Food Science and Technology.
Since the 1950’s, the College has celebrated the accomplishments and excellence of faculty with the Honor Professor Award and the Gail W. and David P. Marion ’65 Teaching Award.
- Honor Professor Award: Sushil Paudyal, Ph.D., instructional assistant professor, Department of Animal Science.
- Gail W. and David P. Marion ’65 Teaching Award: Oral Capps, Ph.D., Regents Professor and executive professor, Southwest Dairy Marketing Endowed Chair and co-director of the Agribusiness, Food and Consumer Economics Research Center, Department of Agricultural Economics.
Retiring Student Council officers
The convocation was led by the past year’s officers of the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences Student Council:
- Cullen Eppright ’22, president.
- John Carter Teague ’22, vice president of finance.
- Ray Edwards ’23, vice president of leadership.
- Madelyn Newland ’22, vice president of service.
- Wyatt Harlan ’22, vice president of programs.
- Jessica Spenrath ’22, vice president of public relations.