2022 ABE Outstanding Students

Outstanding Seniors

The students indicated (*) will advance to compete at the College level for Outstanding Student in the College of Agriculture.

Clare McNicholas - ABE Outstanding Senior - Agricultural & Biological Engineering

Clare grew up in Chesterton, Indiana, and is in Machine Systems with a minor in Communications. She has worked as an undergraduate research assistant in Dr. Evans’s lab for a year and a half doing exploratory work in robotics and sensors. Clare has been involved in and is currently head of the Purdue Utilities Project (PUP), designing and building basic utility vehicles for developing nations in Africa. Clare, along with the rest of her senior design team, designed, developed, and tested a hydraulically driven PUP vehicle over the past year. Clare is also actively involved in St. Thomas Aquinas Catholic Church and over her 4 years has led various ministries, including Boiler Catholic Women, Ignite Bible Studies, and has helped to plan and lead Boiler Awakening. Clare is also the Vice President of ABE Ambassadors. She enjoys presenting to FYE students about the opportunities available to students in ABE. Upon her graduation, Clare will begin employment with Caterpillar in their Engineering Rotational Development Program.

Justin Johnson* - ABE Outstanding Senior - Agricultural Systems Management

Justin is a senior double majoring in Ag Systems Management and Farm Management with a minor in crop science. He grew up on his family's grain and hog farm in Columbia City, IN.  When going back to the farm was no longer an option, he decided to pursue his passion for agriculture and technology in Ag Systems Management.  During his four years in the ABE department, he has served on executive committees for Collegiate Farm Bureau, Ag Systems Management Club, Alpha Mu, and Circle K.  He has also served as a College of Ag Ambassador since his sophomore year.  Through Farm Bureau and Young Farmers and Ag Professionals, he has represented Indiana nationally in the discussion meet competition at both the collegiate level and Young Farmers and Ranchers competition.  His internships include Ag Plus Inc. handling crop nutrients, Advanced Agrylitics as a crop specialist, and with the ABE department and the Wabash Heartland Innovation Network with sensors and connectivity. He will be starting full-time after graduation with TTG Equipment and their Integrated Solutions team focus on precision ag technology.  

Emma Keesling - ABE Outstanding Senior - Biological Engineering


Emma is pursuing a degree in Food and Biological Process Engineering with a minor in Foods and Nutrition. She grew up on a 3rd generation corn and soybean farm in Modoc, Indiana, and was involved in helping the community, youth group, FFA, FCA, cross country, and track in high school. She still enjoys running and is on Purdue's Cross Country and Track and Field collegiate team. Emma is also actively involved in Stewart Cooperative and Purdue Christian Campus House. Upon finishing her bachelor's degree, Emma hopes to work with humanitarian organizations like World Vision or AgriStewards, coming alongside people in developing countries and collaborating on ways to improve the sustainability and efficiency of farming nutrient-rich foods. Emma would like to thank all the staff and professors she has met thus far, as well as her peers and family members, for making her senior year a great one! 

Outstanding Juniors

Nikira Lane - ABE Outstanding Junior - Agricultural Engineering

Nikira is a junior pursuing a degree in Agricultural Engineering (Machine Systems Discipline) with minors in Soil Science, Crop Science, and an Ethnobotany Occupational Endorsement from the University of Alaska Fairbanks. As a born and raised Alaskan, Nikira definitely misses home while here in Indiana but is enjoying the variety of new experiences that Purdue has to offer. From joining the AgGrowBOTS team, to becoming the Agricultural Engineering chair for ABE Ambassador this year, and participating on the soil judging team, she feels like the ABE department is a perfect fit for her interests. Outside of the engineering world, she is very active with Grace Campus Fellowship and a bit of hunting and fishing during her free time never hurts. Her love of the outdoors, engineering, and sharing her faith influences her plans of joining a missions’ group that teaches healthy agricultural practices. After that, she hopes to return to Alaska to promote sustainability in cold climates and continue her work with the Space Farming Institute. Nikira would like to thank all of those within the ABE department who know her name and all her family members who have invested their time into her future.

Heidi Phelps* - ABE Outstanding Junior - Agricultural Systems Management

Heidi is pursuing degrees in both Agricultural Systems Management and Agribusiness Management. She grew up on her family’s farm in Groveland, NY, where she developed her passion for agriculture and technology. At Purdue, Heidi is involved in several clubs and organizations. She currently serves as the Public Relations Representative for the Purdue Western Equestrian Team, has served as the ASM Chair for the ABE Ambassadors, and is in the Dean’s Scholars Program. In the summer of 2020, Heidi had the opportunity to intern with Pence Group in Indiana as a crop scout. Last summer Heidi worked at Cargill as a Grain Operations Management Intern where she learned the process of grain storing and handling. Heidi is currently expanding her intercultural understanding as she is spending the semester studying abroad in Ireland. Heidi would like to thank all of the wonderful professors and staff that she has encountered at Purdue and her friends and family for supporting all of her endeavors whether it be in another state or another country!

Alexa Stern - ABE Outstanding Junior - Biological Engineering

Alexa is a junior from Saline, Michigan, studying Cellular and Biomolecular Engineering with a minor in Biotechnology. She serves as the president of Purdue Engineering Student Council, where she works closely with the College of Engineering to provide for students within the college. Alexa is also involved in ABE Ambassadors, the Purdue Run Club, and the Alpha Epsilon ABE Honors Society. With her degree, Alexa hopes to work in the pharmaceutical industry to increase access to medications in developing nations. This summer she will be working as a manufacturing intern with Eli Lilly. Alexa is very grateful for the support that she has received from the faculty and staff within the ABE department, her friends, and her family. 

Outstanding Sophomores

Kayla Osen - ABE Outstanding Sophomore - Agricultural Engineering

Kayla is a sophomore pursing a degree in Environmental and Natural Resources Engineering with a minor in Environmental Policy. She grew up in Livonia, MI, a suburb outside of Detroit, enjoying her summers and winters on the all the wonderful lakes that Michigan has to offer. At Purdue, Kayla is the Outreach Committee Lead for the Purdue Student Sustainability Council, an ABE ambassador, and is competing in the Student Soybean Innovation Competition. She has been on the Dean’s list and received semester honors for each of her semesters at Purdue. In her free time, Kayla enjoys playing intramural sports, do-it-yourself projects, and spending time with nature. Her passion for the environment and love for data analysis, math, and science makes this degree a perfect fit. In the future she hopes to work on soil or water remediation projects and overall, make a positive impact on the environment. She would like to thank all the staff and professors she has met thus far for all the support and for challenging her to be better every day. Kayla would also like to thank her family and friends for believing in her and investing in her future.

Noah Berning* - ABE Outstanding Sophomore - Agricultural Systems Management

Noah is majoring in both Agricultural Systems Management and Agricultural Economics with minors in Food and Agribusiness Management, Farm Management, and Organizational Leadership.  Noah is from the small town of Monroeville, Indiana where he graduated from Heritage Jr. Sr. High School in 2019.  Currently, Noah is the President of FarmHouse Fraternity and is also serving as the Recruitment Coordinator for the ABE Ambassadors r and the Director of Facilities for the Purdue Grand Prix Foundation.  Noah also is a member of the College of Agriculture Ambassadors, Agriculture Futures of America, Collegiate Farm Bureau, ASM Club, Alpha Mu Honor Society, and is an active member at St. Thomas Aquinas.  This summer Noah will be interning with John Deere in Des Moines, Iowa, in customer product support.

Madelyn Whitaker - ABE Outstanding Sophomore - Biological Engineering

Madelyn is a sophomore from Crown Point, Indiana, who majors in cellular and biomolecular engineering with minors in biotechnology and biological sciences. Madelyn is in the Purdue Honors College, is on the Dean's List and has received Semester Honors. She is also a Goss Scholar, and was a recipient of the Board of Trustee's scholarship. Within the department, Madelyn conducts research with Dr. Porterfield, in which she investigates technological applications to better understand biological activity in microgravity environments. Under his advice, she and the Purdue Interplanetary and Space Agriculture Team are currently competing in the NASA Plant the Moon/Mars challenge to better understand how to optimize agricultural practices by growing soybeans in modified lunar and Martian soil simulants for further genomic analysis. Madelyn is the President and co-Founder of Engineering Research for Bioregenerative Sustainability in Space, a research group that looks to conduct research within the space biology and -omics areas, via technologies that are provisionally patented, and in future research competitions. She is on the executive board of Purdue iGEM- International Genetically Engineered Machine, in which she pitched and is developing a probiotic to proactively treat Celiac Disease. Outside of the department, Madelyn is a member of the NASA GeneLab Multi-Omics and Plant Analysis Working Groups. She is a mentor within the Purdue Honors College Mentorship Program and is a tutor for the Women in Engineering Program Tutoring Program, where she also serves on the leadership team. Madelyn is a member of the Purdue Engineering President's Council and served on the Honors College Outreach Committee. This summer, Madelyn will be an Engineering/Manufacturing Intern for Anheuser-Busch in Windsor, CO. In the future, she hopes to pursue a thesis Master's and Ph. D. in biological engineering or a space, computational biology-related field. She would like to either become a professor or work in a research and development setting in the future to work within areas of interplanetary life support, sustainable agriculture, or environmental policy and remediation.

Outstanding Freshmen

Jacob Grow - ABE Outstanding Freshman - Agricultural Systems Management

Jacob is majoring in Agricultural Systems Management: Agrosecurity, with minors in Military Science and Leadership, Food and Agribusiness Management, and Organizational Leadership. Jacob is from the small town of Rensselaer, Indiana, where he graduated from Rensselaer Central High School in 2020. Jacob was heavily involved with First Christian Church in Rensselaer. He was also involved in the history club and economics club at Rensselaer. Jacob played football, earning All-State awards, and also ran track at Rensselaer. Currently at Purdue, Jacob is contracted in ROTC after already being enlisted in the Indiana Army National Guard for three years. Jacob holds a leadership position in the Purdue Battalion as a team leader in charge of three cadets. He also participates in frisbee and tactics club. He additionally has made the dean’s list for ROTC and ABE. This summer Jacob will be going back to the farm and getting his sprayer license to learn how to deal with chemicals and all the applications required to spray fields.  

Joshua Mariani* - ABE Outstanding Freshman- Pre-ABE

Outstanding Graduate Students

ABE Outstanding PhD student - Abigail Ekeigwe

 Abigail Ekeigwe is a Ph.D. candidate in the Biotechnology Innovation and Regulatory Sciences program, Agricultural and Biological Engineering, and a Rotary Global Grant Scholar. As a pharmacist, she worked with the National Agency for Food and Drugs Administration and Control (NAFDAC) for over 20 years in various capacities, including laboratory analyst, head of the laboratory's Central Registry, head of the Counterfeit Medicines laboratory, expert witness in the prosecution of counterfeiters, and Chair, Quality Management Systems Steering committee before starting her Ph.D. studies at Purdue in 2018 under the supervision of Dr. Kari Clase.

She also served the Nigerian National Accreditation Services (NiNAS) as an ISO 17025:2017 laboratory lead assessor. She is a fellow and an adjunct faculty of the West African Post-Graduate College of Pharmacists and was a member of the examination scheme development committee, Society of Testing Laboratory Analysts of Nigeria (SoTLAN).

She is an American Society of Quality Certified Quality Improvement Associate, PECB Certified ISO 9001:2015 Lead Auditor, and ISO/IEC:17025 Lead Assessor.

For her Ph.D. dissertation, she developed a competency-based regulatory sciences education model for expanding the workforce of regulatory scientists in low- and medium-income countries. She has published several papers on medical product regulation in sub-Saharan Africa and collaborated on several research projects involving the quality of medicines. This research contributes to access to safe, quality, and effective medical products and United Nations SDG No. 3's achievement, which is concerned with health and nutrition for all.

Her recent outstanding services include ABE Graduate Student Ambassador, College of Engineering GradTrack Mentor, leadership roles in the ABE Graduate Student Association, Graduate Teaching Assistant for several ABE graduate and undergraduate courses, involvement in informal mentoring of undergraduates and graduates, and as a member of the College of Engineering Grades Appeal committee.

She has received several awards and recognition for academic excellence, leadership, and mentorship initiatives. Recent awards include the prestigious Purdue Graduate School's Boiler Changemaker award, the Mentoring Network for African Women in Academia Outstanding Graduate student award, College of Engineering GradTrack mentor, Purdue Graduate School and Center for Instructional Excellence Teaching Excellence, and a commendation letter from Purdue's President, Mitch Daniels, for her work in Dr. Kari Clase's Phage Discovery Lab at Purdue.

Her passion is for access to safe, quality, and effective medicines.

ABE Outstanding MS student -  Lauren Novak

 Lauren is a 2nd year Master's student in Biological Engineering. She grew up in Kokomo, Indiana, and developed a passion for science, particularly in biology and biotechnology, in high school. In undergrad, she attended Purdue and majored in Biological Engineering with a certificate in Cooperative Education (Co-Op). During her graduate studies, Lauren has been a part of Dr. Kari Clase's research group which has contributed to phage knowledge by studying how proteomic and lipidomic phage profiles change over time. When not doing research, she helps teach the undergraduate biotechnology courses ABE 226 & 227 and led  a large group of undergraduate peer leaders for the courses. Outside of school, she enjoys attending football and basketball games with her friends and going to the CoRec. After graduating in May, Lauren will be starting full-time with Eli Lilly as a scientist in the Leadership Development Program. Lauren would like to thank ABE's staff for providing her with incredible opportunities during her academic career and her friends and family for their enduring love and support.


2021 ABE Outstanding Students

Outstanding Seniors

The students indicated (*) will advance to compete at the College level for Outstanding Student in the College of Agriculture.

Megan Casey - ABE Outstanding Senior - Agricultural Engineering

Megan grew up in Mason, Ohio, and is Environmental and Natural Resources Engineering with minors in Plant Biology and Creative Writing. She has worked as an undergraduate research assistant in Dr. McMillan’s lab for three years, and is currently working on an independent study. She is creating resources for farmers in Peru to improve their farm management practices and crop yields, as well as helping those outside of the scientific community to understand the meaning and importance of research in soil and water quality. Megan is also the Recruitment Coordinator for ABE Ambassadors, for which she coordinates the application and interview processes for new Ambassadors. She enjoys presenting to FYE students about the opportunities available to students in ABE. Outside of ABE, Megan is a member of the Purdue Cross Country and Track teams.

Chaela Minor* - ABE Outstanding Senior - Agricultural Systems Management

Chaela is graduating this spring with degrees in both Agricultural Systems Management and Agribusiness Management, with a minor in Organizational Leadership and Supervision.  Growing up on a grain farm in Reelsville, Indiana fostered Chaela's love for agricultural technology. Throughout her four years at Purdue, Chaela has been very involved in many different clubs and organizations.  She has served on the executive teams for Sigma Alpha, Ag Week Task Force, and Mortar Board. She also represented the university on Agriculture Future of America's Student Advisory Team as well as National Mortar Board’s National Council. Chaela has interned with Monsanto Company and John Deere in her summers.  Upon graduation, Chaela will be working with John Deere as a Customer and Product Support Representative in Des Moines, Iowa.  Chaela acknowledges she would not be where she is today without the support of our great faculty and staff, peers, family, and friends, and extends her deepest gratitude to each of them! Chaela was also honored as the College of Agriculture Outstanding Senior.

Marina Mehling - ABE Outstanding Senior - Biological Engineering

Marina Mehling is a cellular and biomolecular engineering student in biological engineering with a minor in biotechnology. She is from Phoenix, Arizona. She serves as the Vice President of ABE Ambassadors and as the Awards Chair for the Barbara Cook Chapter of Mortar Board, helped delegate over $43,000 in awards to the Purdue community and initialized the new Awards Match Program. Marina is a Resident Assistant in Duhme Hall, a peer mentor for the Goss Scholars Honors Engineering Program, an athlete in Purdue Club Badminton, and a member of Alpha Epsilon ABE Honors Society. Marina is a two-time recipient of the Homecoming Pillars of Excellency Research and Innovation Award and the received first place at the 2020 and 2021 Office of Undergraduate Research 3-Minute Thesis Pitch Competition. Since 2016, Marina has worked as a lab technician for the U.S. Department of Agriculture and has published research addressing the oil content and viability of biofuel plants. She was also a 2020 Medicines Innovation Hub Intern at Eli Lilly and Company. At Purdue, she performs undergraduate research in the Laboratory of Renewable Resources Engineering under Dr. Ladisch but has also published work related to catalyzing photosynthesis through the Cramer Lab of Structural Biology. After completing the Amgen Scholars program at the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory and UC Berkeley in the summer of 2021, Marina will begin a Ph.D. program in Chemical and Biological Engineering at the University of British Columbia in Vancouver, Canada to continue research related to biodiesel development and implementation at the BioProducts Institute. 


Outstanding Juniors

Nathan Sprague - ABE Outstanding Junior - Agricultural Engineering

Nathan grew up the Seattle area, nowhere near a farm. With a desire to improve efficiency in agricultural equipment, he chose in Agricultural Engineering, with a minor in ASM. He has been working with Dr. John Evans since last Fall and will continue through the summer's SURF program on various research projects such as beehive data section sensors and robots. Nathan is involved in several clubs on campus, such as the Student Farm Club, Purdue Quarter Scale, and Salt and Light Christian Fellowship. He is also currently taking flight lessons at Purdue Aviation. Nathan would like to thank the Purdue College of Agriculture for the amazing breadth of opportunities for an agricultural career, and especially Dr. Evans, who is an incredible mentor. He looks forward to finishing the last two years at Purdue strong!

Chase Trainor - ABE Outstanding Junior - Agricultural Systems Management

Chase is a Junior majoring in Agricultural Systems Management with a minor in Food and Agribusiness Management. He grew up on a 4th generation row-crop and livestock operation in Central Illinois. Chase transferred from Lake Land College in Mattoon, Illinois where he was an Ag Transfer Major, served as a Student Ambassador and was involved in many clubs and organizations. At Purdue he is involved with different organizations such as FarmHouse Fraternity serving as the Director of Administration, ABE Ambassadors, ASABE Club and Dean’s Scholars. When he is not at Purdue, he enjoys going home to farm, working with livestock, and finding new projects to work on.

 

Emma Keesling* - ABE Outstanding Junior - Biological Engineering

Emma is pursuing a degree in Food and Biological Process Engineering with a minor in Foods and Nutrition. She grew up on a corn and soybean farm in Modoc, Indiana, and was involved in helping the community, youth group, 4-H, FFA, FCA, cross country, and track in high school. She still enjoys running and is on Purdue's Cross Country and Track and Field collegiate team. Emma is also actively involved in Stewart Cooperative and Purdue Christian Campus House. Upon finishing her bachelor's degree, Emma hopes to work with a Christian organization like World Vision, teaching people in developing countries how to grow nutrient-rich food more sustainably. Emma would like to thank all the staff and professors she has met thus far, as well as her peers and family members, for making her junior year a great one! Emma was also nominated for the College of Agriculture Outstanding Junior.

Outstanding Sophomores

Nikira Lane - ABE Outstanding Sophomore - Agricultural Engineering

Nikira is a sophomore pursuing a degree in Machine Systems Engineering with minors in Soil Science and Crop Science. As a born and raised Alaskan, Nikira definitely misses home while here in Indiana but is enjoying the variety of new experiences that Purdue has to offer for her. From joining the AgGrowBOTS team, to becoming an ABE Ambassador this year, and participating on the soil judging team, she feels like the ABE department is a perfect fit for her interests. Outside of the engineering world, she is very active with Grace Campus Fellowship and a bit of hunting and fishing during her free time never hurts. Her love of the outdoors, engineering, and sharing her faith influences her plans of joining a missions’ group that teaches healthy agricultural practices. After that, she hopes to return to Alaska to promote sustainability in cold climates. Nikira would like to thank all of those within the ABE department who know her name and all her family members who have invested their time into her future. 

Heidi Phelps - ABE Outstanding Sophomore - Agricultural Systems Management

Heidi is pursuing degrees in both Agricultural Systems Management and Agribusiness Management. She grew up on her family’s farm in Groveland, NY, where she developed her passion for agriculture and technology. At Purdue, Heidi is involved in several clubs and organizations. She currently serves as the Public Relations Representative for the Purdue Western Equestrian Team, the Risk Management Officer for Sigma Alpha Sorority, an ABE Ambassador, and she is in the Dean’s Scholars Program. Heidi had the wonderful opportunity to intern with Pence Group in the summer after Freshman year, in which she gained experience as a crop scout. Lastly, Heidi would like to thank the professors and staff of the Purdue ABE program for giving her a fantastic experience thus far. She would also like to thank her friends and family for all of their love and support!

Ella Ditslear* - ABE Outstanding Sophomore - Biological Engineering

Ella is a student from Noblesville, Indiana pursuing a major in Cellular and Molecular Engineering with minors in Biotechnology and Computer Science. She is on the Dean’s List and Semester Honors for each of her semesters at Purdue and is a recipient of the Presidential, Rex Hall, and ABE Alumni and Friends Scholarships. Along with her academic schedule, Ella is involved with research at Dr. Pedro Irazoqui’s Biomedical Engineering lab: Center for Implantable Devices. There, Ella operates on rodents and implants electrical devices that collect data to further study Epilepsy, Cardiology, Glaucoma, and Neural Interfaces. Ella is also actively involved with her sorority, Alpha Chi Omega, where she is the External Philanthropy Chair and the Sophomore representative for Chapter Relations. Outside of Purdue, Ella attends City of God Church in Lafayette, volunteers at the YWCA Women’s Shelter, and enjoys playing tennis with her friends. Ella is extremely passionate about the medical field and about serving and seeks to practice both of these in her career. Upon graduation, Ella dreams of working for a biotechnology and pharmaceutical company where she can combine her biological engineering, biotechnology, and computational studies. Eventually, Ella would like to attend medical school to study to be a pediatric surgeon. She would like to thank her family, friends, and professors for supporting and challenging her throughout her studies and making Purdue feel like home. Ella was also nominated for the College of Agriculture Outstanding Sophomore.

Outstanding Freshmen

Noah Berning* - ABE Outstanding Freshman - Agricultural Systems Management

Noah is majoring in both Agricultural Systems Management and Agricultural Economics with minors in Food and Agribusiness Management, Farm Management, and Organizational Leadership.  Noah is from the small town of Monroeville, Indiana where he graduated from Heritage Jr. Sr. High School in 2019.  Noah was very involved in both FFA and 4-H throughout his pre-collegiate career, serving as an Indiana FFA State Officer last year, and the Indiana FFA National Officer Candidate this past fall.  Currently on campus Noah is the Director of Recruitment for FarmHouse Fraternity and is a member of the Purdue Collegiate Farm Bureau, St. Thomas Aquinas, and the Purdue Agronomy Club.  Noah was also recently elected to serve as the Director of Facilities for the Purdue Grand Prix Foundation for Race 65 and will begin serving as the Recruitment Coordinator for the Agricultural and Biological Engineering Ambassadors this fall.  This summer Noah will be interning with Co-Alliance Cooperative as a Field Scout Coordinator. Noah was also nominated for the College of Agriculture Outstanding Freshman.

Katie Reichard - ABE Outstanding Freshman - Pre-Agricultural Engineering

Katie is a Freshman in Pre-ABE. She grew up in a small town called Union City, Indiana, and was actively involved in her school and community. She took part in 4-H, FFA, Student Council, National Honor Society, Archery Club, Varsity Softball Team, and lots of community service. At Purdue, she is involved in the Purdue Poultry club, a member of the American Society of Agricultural and Biological Engineering, and is on the Dean’s List. She would like to thank her professors and advisors for helping her get through her freshman year.  

 

Outstanding Graduate Students

ABE Outstanding PhD student - Camila Garcia Jange

Camila is a graduate research assistant working in the Agricultural Particulates Research Group under Associate Professor Kingsly Ambrose. She is originally from São Paulo, Brazil, and earned her bachelor's degree in Food Engineering at the University of São Paulo (USP), the best university in Latin America at the time of her admission. Coming from a low-income family, succeeding in the college entrance exam at USP was a difficult task. Her mom could not afford private high school expenses; this could have facilitated her college admission . But her mom managed to pay for a private English school so that Camila could at least learn a second language. After completing high school, a great-aunt sponsored Camila's studies in a school that specialized in the college entrance exam for the most recognized Brazilian universities. After two years of hard work and perseverance, Camila did not disappoint her great-aunt and finally was admitted to two tuition-free public universities: Federal University of São Paulo (UNIFESP) for Chemical Engineering and the University of São Paulo for Food Engineering. She chose USP as this is the dream university for all the engineering fields in Brazil.

Camila has been involved in research since her sophomore year of undergraduate and was determined to pursue a career as a research scientist in engineering. Camila’s undergraduate advisor from USP, Professor Samantha Pinho, recommended she apply for graduate school in the Agricultural and Biological Engineering Department at Purdue University, the number one department in the United States. She was admitted to ABE with a graduate research assistantship.

As a graduate student in ABE, Camila has embraced every opportunity since her admission. She served as the professional development co-chair of the ABE GSA, mentored five undergraduate students, and taught guest lectures in the Characterization of Particles, Powders, and Compacts class (ME 531/ABE 591). Eager to learn more about processing and manufacturing, she joined AbbVie Inc. and AFB International for industrial internships. In her doctoral project, she developed a method to control nutrient release from urea fertilizer. This method intends to follow crop nutrient intake and mitigate soil and water stream contamination due to fertilizer leaching. She has seven peer-reviewed publications, four of which are from ABE in highly recognized journals in her field. She also has two publications from her latest project planned for peer-review submission.

Camila would like to thank everyone who supports her throughout her journey and the ABE faculty and staff for all the encouragement and advice. She also dedicates this award to her family, especially her mom.

ABE Outstanding MS student - Mark Gee

Mark is from Johnston, Iowa, and earned three undergraduate degrees: Biological Engineering, Biochemistry, and Agronomy. In Biological Engineering, his focus was biomolecular and cellular engineering. His goal is to become an expert in engineering biological systems to improve water quality. Mark has hands-on growing experience in Iowa and interned at international ag research stations in Mexico and India for a total of seven months before starting college. At Purdue, he has been involved with research projects studying plant epigenetics and advanced phenotyping. Mark served as the Greenhab officer for the Purdue crew to the Mars Desert Research Station where he managed the greenhouse and studied microgreens as a way to improve astronaut nutrition. Mark interned for DuPont Pioneer four summers. He started as a maize pollinator in the field, then interned in entomology, worked in DuPont Pioneers’ Government Affairs office in Washington DC, and then in the engineering group for automated phenotyping. He enjoys spending time with his family, playing soccer, practicing guitar, hiking in nature, and bow-hunting.

 


2020 ABE Outstanding Students

Outstanding Seniors

The students indicated (*) will advance to compete at the College level for Outstanding Student in the College of Agriculture.

Adam Hemmelgarn* - ABE Outstanding Senior - Agricultural Engineering

Adam is a senior pursuing a degree in Agricultural Engineering with a concentration in Machine Systems Engineering. He is also currently working toward earning a Certificate of Entrepreneurship and Innovation through the Krannert Business School. Adam is from Noblesville, Indiana. He was an active member in his local Boy Scout Troop, earning the Rank of Eagle Scout in 2013. At Purdue, he is involved with the Wesley Foundation, where he served as the Service Chair and as a Vice President on the student leadership board. He also has leadership positions in the department, as the Vice President of Agricultural Engineering of the ABE Ambassadors club as well as the Secretary for Alpha Epsilon. He is involved in the Purdue Utility Project, and traveled with the team to Kenya in 2018. His senior design project was developing an affordable thresher to be used by small holder farmers in developing nations in conjunction with the PUP platform. He has performed research with Dr. Kingsly Ambrose learning how to use and apply discrete element analysis to grain flows. He is a member of the American Society of Agricultural and Biological Engineers. After he graduates, he is pursuing a masters degree in Biosystems Engineering at the University of Wisconsin Madison. This summer, he will complete an internship with CNH Industrial on their Innovations team in New Holland, Pennsylvania. Adam will also be nomi

Jonathan Neff - ABE Outstanding Senior - Agricultural Systems Management

Jon Neff is a senior who will graduate in May with a degree in Agricultural Systems Management and a minor in Crop Science. Jon grew up on a small farm near Macy, Indiana, where they grew sweet corn, soybeans, and raised livestock (mainly chickens and ducks) along with about 30 barn cats. He was also involved in 4-H, FFA, and various local historical societies whose members shared his addiction to old farm machinery. In addition, he also ran his own small-engine repair business during high school. While at Purdue, Jon participated in two internships with equipment dealerships and, after graduation, will start full-time as a service technician with a Case-IH dealership in Northern Indiana. Jon would like to thank the scholarship donors who made it possible for him to attend Purdue, and his professors and advisors for helping to make his college experience beneficial and rewarding.

Reed Trende - ABE Outstanding Senior - Biological Engineering

Reed is a Senior finishing up a dual degree in Biological Engineering and Biochemistry. He has participated in a wide variety of academic and extracurricular activities on campus, including bioinformatics work with several labs, wet-lab research studying DNA methyltransferases in Dr. Gowher's lab, and TAing for two undergraduate ABE courses. He has spent his summers working for a small medical device company and for a University of Minnesota research lab exploring immunological approaches to prevent transplant rejection. In his spare time, Reed enjoys going for runs and reading about philosophy, particularly normative ethics. Starting in the fall he will be attending Washington University in St. Louis, where he hopes to study how pathogens interact with the immune system while pursuing a Ph. D. in immunology.

Outstanding Juniors

Brittany Kent - ABE Outstanding Junior - Agricultural Engineering

Brittany is pursuing a degree in Environmental and Natural Resources Engineering with a minor in Environmental and Ecological Engineering. Hailing from the small town of Wheatfield, Indiana, she has an agricultural background with a passion for improving the sustainability of cropping systems. Since coming to Purdue, she has been active in several organizations, including Purdue's ASABE Chapter, where she serves as the treasurer and Ag Council Representative. She is also a member of Purdue's Women in Engineering Program, helping to recruit and empower the next generation of women engineering students. For the past two years, she has been a lab assistant at the USDA's National Soil Erosion Research Lab, where she has studied flow patterns in soil and phosphorus isotope extraction. After finishing her undergraduate degree, Brittany plans to work for the USDA's Natural Resources Conservation Service, which is where she spent last summer and will return to this summer. She enjoys the impact and mission of the agency, as they serve to help farmers and landowners manage their land and resources in more sustainable ways. Lastly, Brittany would like to extend her sincere gratitude to all of the professors and staff who work tirelessly to make Purdue's ABE program so impactful and to her friends and family for all of their support and love throughout her time here!

Chaela Minor* - ABE Outstanding Junior - Agricultural Systems Management

Chaela is pursuing degrees in both Agricultural Systems Management and Agribusiness Management, with a minor in Organizational Leadership and Supervision.  Growing up on a grain farm in Reelsville, Indiana, fostered Chaela's love for agricultural technology. Throughout her three years at Purdue, Chaela has been very involved in many different clubs and organizations.  She currently serves as the Vice President of Recruitment for Sigma Alpha, Director of Recruitment for Ag Week Task Force, is an ABE Ambassador, and represented the university on Agriculture Future of America's Student Advisory Team. Just this semester, Chaela was "tapped" into the Barbara Cook Mortar Board Class of 2021!  Chaela has interned with Monsanto Company and John Deere in her summers.  Upon graduation, Chaela hopes to work for an agricultural equipment company where she can assist farmers and producers in optimizing their operations through the use of precision technology.  Chaela acknowledges she would not be where she is today without the support of our great faculty and staff, peers, family, and friends, and extends her deepest gratitude to each of them! 

Marina Mehling - ABE Outstanding Junior - Biological Engineering

Marina Mehling is a Cellular and Biomolecular Engineering student from Phoenix, Arizona, pursuing minors in Biochemistry and Biotechnology. As an ABE Ambassador, Marina organizes industry tours for students.On campus, she is a Resident Assistant in Duhme Hall, a peer mentor for the Honors Engineering Program, a Honors Engineering Ambassador, an athlete in Purdue Club Badminton, and an incoming member of Purdue Mortar Board. She was the 2019 Homecoming Pillars of Excellence Research and Innovation recipient. Since 2016, Marina has worked as a lab technician for the U.S. Department of Agriculture and has published research addressing the oil content and viability of biofuel plants. At Purdue, she studies the affects of altered oil content in cyanobacteria for the Cramer Lab. Marina intends to earn a PhD in bioengineering to continue biodiesel development and implementation as a university professor.

Outstanding Sophomores

Nathan Sprague - ABE Outstanding Sophomore - Agricultural Engineering

Nathan grew up the Seattle area, nowhere near a farm. With a desire to improve efficiency in agricultural equipment, he chose in Agricultural Engineering, with a minor in ASM. He has been working with Dr. John Evans since last Fall and will continue through the summer's SURF program on various research projects such as beehive data section sensors and robots. Nathan is involved in several clubs on campus, such as the Student Farm Club, Purdue Quarter Scale, and Salt and Light Christian Fellowship. He is also currently taking flight lessons at Purdue Aviation. Nathan would like to thank the Purdue College of Agriculture for the amazing breadth of opportunities for an agricultural career, and especially Dr. Evans, who is an incredible mentor. He looks forward to finishing the last two years at Purdue strong!

Justin Lammers - ABE Outstanding Sophomore - Agricultural Systems Management

Justin is pursuing a degree in Agricultural Systems Management with minors in Crop Science and Farm Management. Justin is an active member of the ASM Club, the Purdue Wesley Foundation, and Purdue’s Collegiate 4-H Club where he serves as the Ag Council Representative.  He enjoys playing disc golf and intramural sports. Justin grew up on a cattle and crop production family farm in Huntingburg, Indiana. Upon graduation, he is looking to make a difference in the production agriculture community either through taking over the family farm or working for another agricultural company.

Emma Keesling* - ABE Outstanding Sophomore - Biological Engineering

Emma is pursing a degree in Food and Biological Process Engineering with a minor in Foods and Nutrition. She grew up on a corn and soybean farm in Modoc, Indiana, and was involved in helping the community, youth group, 4-H, FFA, FCA, cross country, and track in high school. She still enjoys running and is in Purdue's Run Club.  Emma is also actively involved in Stewart Cooperative and Purdue Christian Campus House, and she is in the Dean's Scholars Program.  Upon finishing her bachelor's degree, Emma hopes to work with a Christian organization like World Vision or Compassion International, teaching people in developing countries how to grow nutrient-rich food more sustainably.  Emma would like to thank all the staff and professors she has met thus far, as well as her peers and family members, for making her sophomore year a great one!

Outstanding Freshmen

Bryce Oliver* - ABE Outstanding Freshman - Agricultural Systems Management

Bryce is a Freshman pursuing a degree in Agriculture Systems Management. He grew up on a corn and soybean farm in Rossville, Indiana, and was involved in community service, youth group, FFA, FCA, basketball, golf, and tennis in high school. Bryce still enjoys playing basketball at the Co-Rec and is part of an intramural basketball team. He is also actively involved in Alpha Gamma Rho Fraternity, Purdue Christian Student Center, and is on the Dean's List. Bryce participates as part of Purdue’s AgBot team and the ABE Ambassadors. He would like to thank his professors, organization leaders, and fellow classmates for the success and fun he's experienced throughout his freshman year.

Lucas Johnson - ABE Outstanding Freshman - Pre-ABE

Luke is pursuing a degree in biological engineering with a concentration in cellular and biomolecular engineering with a minor in management. He grew up in West Lafayette, Indiana, where he attended William Henry Harrison High school. He was a captain of the swim team, an National Honor Society Officer, and a captain of the Unified Track Team. At Purdue, Luke is an Economic Scholar, is actively involved in Agriculture and Biological Engineering Ambassadors, and is an associate member of Pi Kappa Phi Fraternity. After completing his undergraduate degree, Luke aspires to attend medical school to study to be a cardiovascular surgeon. Luke would like to thank all the professors and staff who have helped guide him through freshman year. Special thanks to Laurie Snyder, Dan Taylor, and Dr. Kenji Matsuki.


2019 ABE Outstanding Students

Outstanding Seniors

The students indicated (*) will advance to compete at the College level for Outstanding Student in the College of Agriculture.

Zane Gottschalk - ABE Outstanding Senior - Agricultural Engineering

Zane is a senior and is finishing up his degree in Agricultural Engineering with a concentration in Machine Systems. He is from Rossville, Indiana, where he was an active member in the local FFA chapter and enjoyed participating in speech contests, as well as dairy and forestry judging contests. At Purdue, Zane has been involved with the Alpha Zeta Honor Society, the American Society of Agricultural and Biological Engineers, the Purdue Society of Professional Engineers, and is also a member of the Alpha Gamma Rho Fraternity. Upon graduation he will be working for the mining division of Caterpillar in Decatur, Illinois and will be participating in Caterpillar’s Engineering Rotational Development program. Zane would like to recognize and thank the Agricultural Engineering faculty and staff, the many scholarship sponsors, and his family for the support and encouragement he has received over his past four years.

Grant Knobloch - ABE Outstanding Senior - Agricultural Systems Management

Grant Knobloch majored in Agricultural Systems Management with a Minor in Food & Agribusiness Management. Knobloch hails from Wolcott, IN, where he grew up on a small hobby farm raising purebred hogs and gaining entrepreneurial experience. During his time at Purdue University, Knobloch served as an Agriculture Ambassador engaging with prospective students and their families. Purdue Student Government provided Knobloch with the opportunity to serve as a Senator for the College of Agriculture and represent student constituents. Studying abroad in Haiti was one of Knobloch’s most treasured experiences during his collegiate career engaging with other students and collaborating on global food security. Outside of Purdue activities, Knobloch was involved with Agriculture Future of America attending multiple leaders’ conferences and institutes. Investing in the future of agriculture and rural America while empowering others is critical for Knobloch as he serves on the American Berkshire Foundation Board of Directors as a Student Advisor providing scholarships for youth. Knobloch was fortunate to have two summer internships with John Deere & Company serving as a marketing intern working with dealerships and in future product development. Following these experiences, Knobloch is planning to  join Deere & Company following graduation as a Customer and Product Support Representative. Knobloch is grateful for each experience and individual he had the opportunity to meet, engage, and collaborate with during his time at Purdue University and is thankful to be a Boilermaker.

Mark Gee* - ABE Outstanding Senior - Biological Engineering

Mark is a senior from Johnston, Iowa, and a triple major in Biological Engineering, Biochemistry, and Agronomy. In Biological Engineering, his focus is biomolecular and cellular engineering. His goal is to become an expert in engineering biological systems to improve water quality. Mark has hands-on growing experience in Iowa and interned at international ag research stations in Mexico and India for a total of seven months before starting college. At Purdue, he has been involved with research projects studying plant epigenetics and advanced phenotyping. Most recently, Mark served as the Greenhab officer for the Purdue crew to the Mars Desert Research Station where he managed the greenhouse and studied microgreens as a way to improve astronaut nutrition. Mark interned for DuPont Pioneer four summers. He started as a maize pollinator in the field, then interned in entomology, worked in DuPont Pioneers’ Government Affairs office in Washington DC, and then in the engineering group for automated phenotyping. He enjoys spending time with his family, playing soccer, practicing guitar, and hiking in nature. Mark would like to thank his family, professors and advisors in the ABE Department, Biochemistry, Agronomy, the College of Agriculture and Dr. Akridge, Dr. Tuinstra, Dr. Ejeta, Sherry Pogranichniy, and Dr. and Mrs. Beering for making it possible for him to study for a triple major at Purdue.

 

Outstanding Juniors

Adam Hemmelgarn - ABE Outstanding Junior - Agricultural Engineering

Adam is a junior pursuing a degree in Agricultural Engineering with a concentration in Machine Systems Engineering. He is also currently working toward earning a Certificate of Entrepreneurship and Innovation through the Krannert Business School. Adam is from Noblesville, Indiana. He was an active member in his local Boy Scout Troop, earning the Rank of Eagle Scout in 2013. At Purdue, he is involved with the Wesley Foundation, where he served as the Service Chair and currently serves as a Vice President on the student leadership board. He is involved in the Purdue Utility Project, and traveled with the team to Kenya last spring. He is currently performing research with Dr. Ambrose learning how to use and apply discrete element analysis to grain flows. He is a member of the American Society of Agricultural and Biological Engineers. After he graduates, he plans to get a job with an equipment manufacturer in product evaluation in testing, and work with new machines before they are released to customers.

Jerod Putt - ABE Outstanding Junior - Agricultural Systems Management

Jerod was born and raised in the small town of Francesville, just north of the Purdue Campus.  He worked on the family farm, a hog and grain operation, from his childhood all the way through high school.  He was student body president as well as Valedictorian at West Central High School and has served as the president of the Purdue Young Group, a Christian organization on campus.  Jerod enjoys playing basketball as well as most sports and most of all enjoys spending time with his family and friends.

Reed Trende* - ABE Outstanding Junior - Biological Engineering

Reed is a Junior pursuing a dual degree in Biological Engineering and Biochemistry. He participates in a wide variety of extracurricular activities on campus, ranging from bioinformatics research in Purdue's Y-Lab to designing and manufacturing tools for IEEE ROV, and underwater robotics club, to acting as Vice President and Treasurer of Swipe Out Starvation, an organization which enables students to donate extra meal swipes to raise funds for food charities. He has spent his summers working for a small medical device company and for a University of Minnesota research lab exploring immunological therapies to aid in organ allotransplantation. A committed, effective altruist, Reed hopes to go on to graduate school to learn more about how engineering and biochemistry can be used to combat and eliminate the most widespread diseases in the world today, such as malaria and tuberculosis.

Outstanding Sophomores

Megan Casey - ABE Outstanding Sophomore - Agricultural Engineering

Megan grew up in Mason, Ohio, and is studying Agricultural Engineering with a concentration in Environmental and Natural Resources Engineering. She has worked as an undergraduate research assistant in Dr. McMillan’s lab for the past year, and this semester she started an independent research project and presented her work at the ABE-GSA Poster Symposium. The goal of the project is to determine if there is a correlation between access to urban green space and socioeconomic factors, and to use these correlations to propose new locations for green space in Indianapolis. Megan is also a part of ABE Ambassadors, where she enjoys presenting to FYE students about the opportunities available to students in ABE. Outside of ABE, Megan is the Community Service & PR Officer for the Purdue Running Club. Her job is to plan volunteering events and increase club membership by maintaining a welcoming environment for runners of all levels. Recently, she organized a service event which resulted in the creation of 260 craft packages to send to cancer patients at St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital.

Chase Gripp* - ABE Outstanding Sophomore - Agricultural Systems Management

Chase came to Purdue from a 6th generation family farm in rural western Illinois. Agriculture has been a part of him since the day he was born. During his time here at Purdue, he has been heavily involved. He serves as the Director of Risk Management and is a new member mentor for FarmHouse Fraternity. On top of this, he is a part of the National Agri-Marketing Association, Issues-360, Ag Council, and Dean’s Scholars. When not being active here at Purdue, he enjoys going home to farm or being outdoors hunting and fishing whenever possible.

Marina Mehling - ABE Outstanding Sophomore - Biological Engineering

Marina Mehling is a Cellular and Biomolecular Engineering student within Biological Engineering and is pursuing minors in Biochemistry and Biotechnology. On campus, she is an Ambassador for both the Honors Engineering program and ABE. She is also a peer mentor for Honors Engineering, a member of the General Honors Leadership Council, an athlete in Purdue Club Badminton, and a Resident Assistant in Duhme Hall. Since 2016, Marina has worked as a lab technician at a United States Department of Agriculture facility outside her hometown of Phoenix, Arizona. She is a published scientific author in research addressing the analysis and feasibility of biofuel accumulation in plant leaves. At Purdue, she performs research for the Cramer Lab and characterizes oil accumulation in cyanobacteria. Marina intends to earn a PhD and fulfill her passion for research by becoming a university professor.

Outstanding Freshmen

Jamie Wu - ABE Outstanding Freshman - Agricultural Systems Management

Jamie was born and raised in Taiwan, a country in East Asia.   Although he grew up in an urban city, Jamie developed a love for nature and agriculture after volunteering at a sustainable farming camp in the countryside.  He also interned at an organic tangerine farm and learned about small farm management and various organic farming techniques in his country. During high school, Jamie was the student leader for the Aquaponics Club and often gave tours and talks to visitors on how Aquaponics works.  As an Agricultural Systems Management student, Jamie continues to work on what he loves; he is currently a member of the Purdue Student Farm Organization, working in the Purdue Horticulture Greenhouse, and he is also the historian for the Purdue Taiwanese Student Association. At Purdue, Jamie hopes to learn how to analyze data and utilize modern digital devices to improve crop production.  Lastly, Jamie would like to thank all the faculty and staff in the ABE department for all the support he has received.

Emma Keesling* - ABE Outstanding Freshman - Pre-ABE

Emma is pursuing a degree in Food and Biological Process Engineering with a minor in Foods and Nutrition. Shew grew up on a corn and soybean farm in Modoc, Indiana, and was involved in helping the community, youth group, 4H, FFA, FCA, cross country, and track in high school. She still enjoys running and is in Purdue's Run Club. Emma is also actively involved in Stewart Cooperative and Purdue Christian Campus House, and she is in the Dean's Scholars Program. Upon finishing her bachelor's degree, Emma hopes to work with a Christian organization like World Vision or Compassion International, teaching people in developing countries how to grow nutrient-rich food more sustainably. Emma would like to thank all of the staff and professors she has met thus far, as well as her peers and family members, for making her freshman year a great one!

 

Outstanding Graduate Students

ABE Outstanding PhD student - Gabriella Mendes Candido de Oliveira

Gabriella Mendes Candido de Oliveira is a Ph.D. candidate in the Department of Agricultural and Biological Engineering at Purdue University. She was born in Minas Gerais (Brazil), to parents whose farm roots reflect her passion for food and agriculture. She is quick to share that her parents did not have the opportunity to attend college but, to the contrary, the values of hard work, perseverance, and faith they instilled in her contributed immensely to her pursuit of knowledge and education. To provide her with the background necessary to apply for a competitive undergraduate degree in the future, her parents took on extra work to support her studies in private middle and high schools. The outcome was as expected; she was accepted to prestigious Brazilian Universities: University of São Paulo (USP), São Paulo State University (UNESP), and the Federal University of Visçosa (UFV), colleges that offer tuition-free education to admitted students and are actually more prestigious than the private institutions that charge tuition. She chose the University of São Paulo, the leading institution in Brazil for research and teaching, to obtain her bachelor’s degree in Food Engineering.

At USP, she cherished all the opportunities she had to learn more, working her way through college with scholarship awards to conduct research. Passionate about research, Gabriella decided to go for graduate school. Her dream: Purdue University, the number #1 in Agricultural and Biological Engineering in the United States. After a pre-selection process by a nonprofit organization affiliated to Harvard University, Gabriella wrote and submitted a research proposal to CAPES Foundation and received a grant of more than $200.000 to conduct her Ph.D. studies.

At Purdue, Gabriella has built an outstanding proficiency with a collection of high marks due to her commitment to her academic performance. She has published two papers and has two other manuscripts in progress. Her Ph.D. research provides tools to relate the survival of microorganisms of importance to public health with processing conditions used in traditional and innovative food processing technologies.

In the ABE Department, Gabriella was a graduate teaching assistant for the classes ABE 308 – Heat and Mass transfer – and ABE 303 –Application of Physical Chemistry to Biological Processes –where her teaching skills during tutorial sessions were highly acknowledged by the students. Gabriella also contributed to the Department as the organizational support for the ABE Industrial Graduate Symposium in February 2017, the 2017 Recruitment Weekend, the Graduate Panel 2016 and the Spring Festivals 2016 and 2017.

Whenever she returns to her home country, Gabriella enjoys spending time with her family, her dogs, going to the family’s farm, and watching the cow named after her nickname: “Bibi”. She loves to eat, in a single bite, her favorite dessert: guava paste with fresh white Minas cheese, universally referred to in Brazil as “Romeo and Juliet”.

ABE Outstanding MS student - Aaron Etienne

Aaron Etienne is a second year master’s student, studying under Dr. Dharmendra Saraswat in the Digital Agriculture Discovery group. Aaron earned his bachelor’s degree from Southern Illinois University Carbondale, in Agricultural Systems and Education. After finishing his master’s this summer, he will begin a doctorate degree under Dr. Lumkes in ABE. For his master’s research, Aaron is developing an object detection system capable of spotting specific weed species in row crop fields, at various stages of the growing season. To achieve this, an unmanned aerial vehicle with attached thermal, multispectral, and color cameras was used to fly corn and soybean plots at low altitude, from pre planting to post harvest 2018, as well as early season 2019. Images were used to train a software capable of detecting weeds in real-time video.

 


2018 ABE Outstanding Students

Outstanding Seniors

The students indicated (*) will advance to compete at the College level for Outstanding Student in the College of Agriculture.

Caitlin Nelligan - ABE Outstanding Senior - Agricultural Engineering

Caitlin is a senior in Agricultural Engineering focusing on Environmental and Natural Resource Engineering. Caitlin is the treasurer of the Agricultural and Biological Engineering Ambassadors in which she is able to share her passion for agriculture and its advancement through the involvement of engineers. She has been involved in research with Dr. Sara McMillan and her lab group for three years and in 2016 was selected to complete an independent research project and leadership seminar series sponsored by PotashCorp. During her 2017 internship with Red Gold, Inc., Caitlin was able to discover her enthusiasm for lean manufacturing and efficiency in industry.  After graduation, Caitlin will be working for Armstrong Flooring in their two year rotational Engineering Leadership Development Program.

Katie Carnahan* - ABE Outstanding Senior - Agricultural Systems Management

Growing up in a rural community in Ohio, Katie quickly learned her passion agriculture. Choosing Purdue’s Agricultural and Biological Engineering Department has led her to many great opportunities and accomplishments, to prepare her for a successful career in the industry. As a returning intern of the year to Helena Chemical Company, she is looking forward to a career filled with challenges and growth opportunities. She is currently a senior majoring in Agricultural Systems Management and plans to work in precision agriculture sales support after receiving her undergraduate degree. Katie is a member of the ABE Ambassadors, Alpha Mu Honor Society, and President of the Agricultural Systems Management Club. During her time at Purdue she maintained a busy schedule in order to accomplish her goal of graduating in three years. Though her schedule was incredibly demanding she upheld Dean’s List recognition every semester, as well as making time to serve on student outreach panels, attending department building planning meetings, and serving the community. Her favorite opportunities during her college career include studying abroad in Costa Rica to examine sustainability in agriculture, as well as attending leadership conferences focused on the technological future of agriculture. The career skills Katie was able to gain from the hands-on curriculum at Purdue are something she is unbelievably grateful for.

Alexa Petrucciani - ABE Outstanding Senior - Biological Engineering

Lexi is a senior in Biological Engineering on the Cellular and Biomolecular track. She will also be graduating with a degree in Mathematics and a minor in Dance. On campus, she has been actively involved with Purdue Contemporary Dance Company, Dance 2xs, and iGEM. She has conducted synthetic biology with the iGEM team and computational biology research in the lab of Dr. Umulis. Lexi looks forward to joining the Medical Scientist Training Program at Indiana University School of Medicine in the fall.

Outstanding Juniors

Zane Gottschalk* - ABE Outstanding Junior - Agricultural Engineering

Zane is a junior pursuing a degree in Agricultural Engineering with a concentration in Machine Systems. He is from Rossville, Indiana.  Zane is involved in the Alpha Gamma Rho Fraternity in which he is President, the Alpha Zeta Honor Society - Treasurer, the American Society of Agricultural and Biological Engineers, and is a member of the Purdue Society of Professional Engineers. He is currently working for Caterpillar in their Lafayette Engineering Division through a parallel co-op program. After graduation, he plans to work in the agricultural industry, designing and manufacturing more advanced equipment to help the agriculturalists that are producing the goods the world needs.

Derek Neuhoff - ABE Outstanding Junior - Agricultural Systems Management

Derek is entering his senior year at Purdue University pursuing a degree in Agricultural Systems Management with a minor in Food and Agribusiness Management. Derek grew up on a small grain and livestock farm in Southern Indiana. After graduation, Derek plans to obtain a career in the agricultural industry while growing and sustaining the family farm.  Derek is a member of the Alpha Mu Honor Society and currently serves as the Vice President of the ASM Club. Derek participates in summer missions with his local parish and enjoys spending time with his family and friends playing cards, hunting and fishing.

Margaret Hegwood - ABE Outstanding Junior - Biological Engineering

Margaret is currently in her third year of studies in ABE’s 5-year B.S./M.S. degree program for Biological Engineering. Her love for engineering, international development, and travel is fostered by her work with Purdue’s Global Engineering Programs and Partnerships. In her role as Graduate Assistant, Margaret serves as the Global Engineering Learning Community instructor, aids in the development of First-Year Engineering global competency course development, and provides program support for the Innovation for International Development (I2D) Lab. Margaret’s personal research interests lie at the intersection of food security, nutrition, and improved food technology. During her time at Purdue, Margaret has worked to develop her expertise in the area of food security and global development through a variety of opportunities. In the Fall of 2016, she was selected as one of eleven Emerging Leader Interns to work for the Land O’Lakes, Inc. Global Food Challenge Program. Additionally, she has been recognized for her work by the United States Global Leadership Coalition and Indiana State Senator Todd Young; as a Next Generation Delegate for the Chicago Council’s Annual Global Food Security Symposium; a panelist for the Global Youth Institute of the World Food Prize; and a delegate for the Agriculture Future of America Food Institute. On campus, Margaret enjoys mentoring her freshman engineering students and is a member of the American Society of Agricultural and Biological Engineers, the Society of Women Engineers, and the National Society of Collegiate Scholars.

Outstanding Sophomores

Ilyas Yilgor - ABE Outstanding Sophomore - Agricultural Engineering

Ilyas is a sophomore studying Agricultural Engineering Machine Systems and minoring in Physics and Mathematics. He is from the Mediterranean coast of Turkey where he was introduced to agriculture through his family’s olive and lemon orchards. He recently joined Professor Dabiri’s research team working on heat transfer in bubbly flow. He plans to pursue a doctoral degree in the future and join academia. He desires to teach and find an educational institution targeted towards exceptional students. Operating his own vineyard one day is his dream.

Jerod Putt - ABE Outstanding Sophomore - Agricultural Systems Management

Jerod was born and raised in the small town of Francesville, just North of Purdue.  He worked on a hog and grain farm from his young childhood all the way through high school.  He was Student Body President as well as Valedictorian at West Central High School and is now the President of the Purdue Young Group, a Christian organization on campus.  Jerod enjoys playing basketball as well as most sports.

Lauren Novak* - ABE Outstanding Sophomore - Biological Engineering

Lauren is majoring in Biological Engineering with a concentration in Cellular and Biomolecular Engineering. Currently, she is a Process Validation co-op for Catalent Biologics in Bloomington, IN. At Purdue, Lauren is a small group leader for Purdue’s Women in Engineering Program, member of the Society of Women Engineers, member of the American Society of Agricultural and Biological Engineers, and a teaching assistant to a first year engineering course. In the summer of 2017, Lauren studied abroad in England and Ireland and is going to study abroad again in the summer of 2018 in Germany. After graduation, she plans on pursuing a career in the pharmaceutical or biotechnology industry. Lauren would like to thank the ABE faculty and staff, the scholarship sponsors, and her family for the continuous encouragement and support she has received.

Outstanding Freshmen

Chase Gripp* - ABE Outstanding Freshman - Agricultural Systems Management

Chase came to Purdue from a 6th generation family farm and custom application business in rural Western Illinois. Agricultural has been a part of him since the day he was born. Before Purdue, he was heavily involved in FFA serving as chapter president, on the state team as Section 3 President, and having won state public speaking. At Purdue, he is a member of FarmHouse Fraternity, Ag Council, Collegiate Farm Bureau, Diesel Club, and Dean’s Scholars. Outside of this involvement he rents his own farmland which he has been doing since the 6th grade.He came to Purdue from a 6th generation family farm and custom application business in rural Western Illinois. Agricultural has been a part of him since the day he was born. Before Purdue, he was heavily involved in FFA serving as chapter president, on the state team as Section 3 President, and winning state public speaking. At Purdue, he is a member of FarmHouse Fraternity, Ag Council, Collegiate Farm Bureau, Diesel Club, and Dean’s Scholars. Outside of this involvement he rents his own farmland which he has been doing since the 6th grade.

Kevin Massa - ABE Outstanding Freshman - Pre-ABE

Kevin is a freshman pursuing a degree in biological engineering with a concentration in Food and Biological Process Engineering. He is also working on two minors, in food science and economics, during his time at Purdue. Kevin went to Hinsdale South High School in Darien, Illinois. In high school, he was a two-sport athlete. He was the captain of the bowling team and a middle infielder for his baseball team.  Kevin was also active in the community. Kevin volunteered at the local sports youth club, where he taught children the fundamentals of baseball, as well as helping with evaluations for the part-time travel team sponsored by the youth club. Currently, Kevin is a member of the American Society of Agricultural and Biological Engineers and a member of the National Society of Leadership and Scholars at Purdue University and plans to be an active member of both organizations while he is at Purdue. After graduation, Kevin plans on getting a job in the food processing industry although he is unsure about the specific type of food processing at the moment.

 

 


2017 ABE Outstanding Students

Anderson Smith - ABE Outstanding Senior - Agricultural Engineering

Anderson is a senior studying Agricultural Engineering, with a focus in Environmental and Natural Resource Engineering. He will also obtain a minor in Global Engineering and a certificate in Entrepreneurship and Innovation. Within the ABE department, Anderson has served as the president of the ABE Ambassadors for the past two years and is an active member of the ASABE chapter and Alpha Epsilon. During his time here at Purdue, Anderson has been involved with Fairway Cooperative, a Christian cooperative house on campus. He is also a part of the 2017 GEARE (global engineering alliance for research and education) Cohort, for which he spent 7 months in Colombia during the spring and summer of 2016 piloting a new study abroad program at Universidad del Norte and working as an industrial engineering intern at Ensacar, S.A.. Most recently, Anderson and his senior design team won first place in the Soybean Product Innovation Competition put on by Indiana Soybean Alliance and received a provisional patent for the soy-based air filter that they developed. Upon graduation this spring, Anderson will be partaking in the Orr Fellowship, a 2-year developmental program which strives to cultivate the next generation of business leaders and entrepreneurs. His host company, where Anderson will serve as a full-time employee, is KSM Consulting, a strategic business consulting firm located in Indianapolis. In the future, Anderson plans to further enable himself to fulfill his lifelong goal of making a positive impact in the community, both globally and locally, by returning to school to receive a master’s degree in engineering and an MBA.

Austin Bitting - ABE Outstanding Senior - Agricultural Systems Management

Austin is a senior in ASM with minors in Farm Management and Crop Science. He chose the ASM program because of his interest in agriculture machinery and technology and his desire to work hands-on in the agriculture industry. While at Purdue, Austin has been involved in ASM club, Purdue Diesel club, Purdue Quality Deer Management Association club, Alpha Mu Honor Society, and Alpha Zeta Honor Society. He interned at Kingdom Ag Concepts, Inc., during the summer after his junior year. He worked with an engineer building and testing a new design of stalk rolls for combine corn heads. Upon graduation, he has accepted a position with Kingdom Ag Concepts, Inc., in Bremen, Indiana, as a product development specialist.

Hanna Tso - ABE Outstanding Senior - Biological Engineering

Hanna is a senior in biological engineering on the pre-med track. On campus, she is actively involved with the Beering Scholars Student Association, Mortar Board, and Club Tennis. She has conducted research as an intern at the National Institutes of Health for the past few summers and has co-authored a paper in the Journal of Clinical Microbiology. Last summer she interned at the National Eye Institute to work on a retinal tissue engineering project. Hanna looks forward to attending the Indiana University School of Medicine at the West Lafayette campus in the fall.

Outstanding Juniors

Peter Rusche - ABE Outstanding Junior- Agricultural Engineering

Pete is a junior pursuing a degree in Agricultural Engineering with a focus in Environmental and Natural Resources Engineering. He is the Vice President of Agricultural Engineering for the ABE Ambassadors, the Executive Director of Men's Recruitment for the Purdue Cooperative Council, and a member of Fairway Cooperative. The past two summers, Pete has worked for the Hancock County Surveyor's Office and will be working at Purdue under Dr. Keith Cherkauer this upcoming summer. Some of his favorite pastimes include fishing, hiking, camping, playing basketball, laughing, going to Cracker Barrel, and playing keyboards for his church.

Jared Bedel - ABE Outstanding Junior - Agricultural Systems Management

Jared is entering his senior year at Purdue University pursuing a degree in Agricultural Systems Management with minors in Crop Science and Farm Management. Jared grew up in southeastern Indiana near Greensburg. He found his interest in agriculture while working in the ag retail and custom application industry. After graduation, Jared plans to gain a career in the ag retail or equipment industry. Jared is a member of the Alpha Mu Honor Society and an Ag Council Representative for the ASM Club. Jared enjoys spending time with his friends and family, as well as, spending time outdoors doing activities such as hunting and fishing.

Mark Gee - ABE Outstanding Senior - Biological Engineering

Mark is a junior from Johnston, Iowa, and a triple major in Biological Engineering, Biochemistry, and Agronomy. In Biological Engineering, his focus is biomolecular and cellular engineering. His goal is to become an expert in plant biochemistry and use this knowledge to help improve crop options, optimize biological systems, and implement sustainable practices in agriculture. Mark has hands-on growing experience in Iowa and interned at international ag research stations in Mexico and India for a total of seven months before starting college. At Purdue, he has been involved with research projects studying plant epigenetics and advanced phenotyping. This summer, Mark will be interning at DuPont Pioneer for the fourth time. He started as a maize pollinator in the field, then interned in entomology, worked in DuPont Pioneers’ Government Affairs office in Washington DC, and next will be in the engineering group for automated phenotyping. He enjoys spending time with his girlfriend and family, playing soccer, practicing guitar, and hiking in nature. Mark would like to thank his professors and advisors in the ABE Department, Biochemistry, Agronomy, the College of Agriculture and Dr. Akridge, Dr. Tuinstra, Dr. Ejeta, Sherry Pogranichniy, and Dr. and Mrs. Beering for making it possible for him to study for a triple major at Purdue.

Outstanding Sophomores

Zane Gottschalk - ABE Outstanding Sophomore- Agricultural Engineering

Zane is a sophomore pursuing a degree in Agricultural Engineering with a concentration in Machine Systems. He is from Rossville, Indiana, where he was an active member in the local FFA chapter and enjoyed participating in speech contests, as well as dairy and forestry judging contests. At Purdue, Zane is involved with the Alpha Zeta Honor Society, the American Society of Agricultural and Biological Engineers, the Purdue Society of Professional Engineers, and is a member of Alpha Gamma Rho fraternity. He is currently working for Caterpillar in their Lafayette Engineering Division through a parallel co-op program. After graduation, he plans to work in the agricultural industry, designing and manufacturing more advanced equipment to help the agriculturalists that are producing the goods the world needs. Zane would like to recognize and thank the Agricultural Engineering faculty and staff, the many scholarship sponsors, and his family for the support and encouragement he has received.

Katie Carnahan - ABE Outstanding Sophomore - Agricultural Systems Management

Growing up in a rural community in Ohio, Katie quickly learned of her passion for agriculture. Choosing Purdue has led her to many great opportunities and accomplishments to prepare her for a successful career in the industry. As a returning Intern of the Year to Helena Chemical Company, she is looking forward to a summer filled with hands on-learning. She is currently a sophomore majoring in Agricultural Systems Management and plans to work in precision agriculture sales after receiving her undergraduate degree. Katie is a member of the ABE Ambassadors, Alpha Mu Honor Society, and Secretary of the ASM Club.

Margaret Hegwood - ABE Outstanding Sophomore- Biological Engineering

Margaret is a sophomore pursuing a degree in Biological Engineering with a focus in Cellular and Bio-molecular Engineering and a minor in Biotechnology. She is currently a member of the Society of Women Engineers and the National Society for Collegiate Scholars. Her love for engineering and travel is fostered by her work with Purdue’s Global Engineering Programs, where she serves as both office assistant and undergraduate course assistant to the Global Engineering Cultures and Practice Learning Community every Fall. She also has a strong passion for international development, which has grown through her work with the Innovation for International Development (I2D) Lab at Purdue, volunteering with the Mandela Washington Fellowship’s Young African Leaders Initiative, and her personal research with a Global Design Team for Quality Medicine Testing in partnership with the Kilimanjaro School of Pharmacy in Tanzania. In the Fall of 2016, she was selected as one of eleven Emerging Leader Interns to work for the Land O’Lakes, Inc. Global Food Challenge Program. She began working with Land O’Lakes this semester and this March of 2017 was selected to represent Land O’Lakes and Purdue University as a Next Generation Delegate for the Chicago Council’s Annual Global Food Security Symposium in Washington D.C. This summer she will continue her work with Land O’Lakes in Arden Hills, Minnesota to design sustainable solutions to global food insecurity while also working both domestically and abroad, including in the mid-Western United States, Washington D.C.,Tanzania, and South Africa.

Outstanding Freshmen

Jonathan Neff - ABE Outstanding Freshman - Agricultural Systems Management

Jonathan came to Purdue from a strong agricultural background. He grew up on a farm and spent 10 years in 4-H taking livestock. He also judged livestock and soils in FFA, going to 4 national contests. Currently, he is a freshman in Agricultural Systems Management. He participates in ASM club and Diesel club and is a member of the Ag. Tech and Innovations learning community. In his spare time, Jonathan runs his own small engine repair business.

Adam Hemmelgarn - ABE Outstanding Freshman- Pre-ABE

Adam is a freshman pursuing a degree in Agricultural Engineering with a concentration in Machine Systems. He is also currently working toward earning a Certificate of Entrepreneurship and Innovation through the Krannert Business School. Adam is from Noblesville, Indiana. He was an active member in his local Boy Scout Troop, earning the Rank of Eagle Scout in 2013. He also held multiple leadership positions in the Noblesville High School Band, such as Band Council President and Section Leader. He was also very active in his church’s youth group. At Purdue, he is involved with the Wesley Foundation, serving as the Service Chair on the student leadership board. He currently plays in the Purdue Collegiate Band, and plans to continue in band through the rest of his Purdue career. He is a regular attendee of the American Society of Agricultural and Biological Engineers club meetings, and hopes to get more involved there as he continues down his path at Purdue. After he graduates, he plans to get a job with an equipment manufacturer designing and manufacturing the equipment that will be used to feed the world’s growing population.


2016 ABE Outstanding Students

Outstanding Seniors

Candace Popp - ABE Outstanding Senior - Agricultural Engineering

Candace is a senior studying Agricultural Engineering, with a focus in Machine Systems, and obtaining a minor in Management. Originally from Memphis, Indiana, she is the 4th generation on her family’s farm and her love for agriculture started early on. While in the Agricultural and Biological Engineering department, she has participated in the Purdue Quarter Scale Tractor Pulling Team and the ASABE chapter. Candace has been active on campus as a College of Engineering Ambassador, a two-year executive board member for Purdue University Dance Marathon (PUDM), and as a host for the Old Masters program. After graduation, Candace is excited to begin working for John Deere in the engineering developmental program. She would like to thank everyone in the ABE department, especially her professors and class, for making the past 4 years such a rewarding experience. Candace is also extremely grateful to her family and friends for all of their love and support to get her where she is today.

Edward Babinec - ABE Outstanding Senior - Agricultural Systems Management

Ed is a senior in ASM with a minor in Farm Management. He chose Purdue’s ASM program because of hisdesire to work hands-on in the field of Agriculture. While at Purdue, Ed has been involved in the Purdue Trap and Skeet team, Indiana Farm Bureau and Indiana Young Farmers through Farm Bureau, and ASM Club. He interned for ADM during my sophomore and junior summers. At the beginning of his sophomore year he started working at the Purdue Animal Science Research Farm at the Farm Operations and Feed Mill units. He will be working full time for ADM in Toledo, OH as a Maintenance Supervisor Trainee after graduation.

Jaycey Hardenstein - ABE Outstanding Senior - Biological Engineering

Jaycey is a senior in biological engineering with a minor in chemistry. On campus, she conducts research in the Laboratory of Renewable Resources Engineering on food pathogen detection and also enjoys tutoring underclassman in various engineering and natural science courses. While interning at NASA Ames Research Center in the Space Biology Division, she designed a neonatal habitat for future experiments on the International Space Station. Last summer, she interned at Eli Lilly and Company within insulin manufacturing. Jaycey looks forward to beginning her career at Eli Lilly this summer as a manufacturing scientist within the same department.

Outstanding Juniors

Casey Martin - ABE Outstanding Junior - Agricultural Engineering

Casey is a junior pursuing a degree in Environmental and Natural Resources Engineering and a minor in Natural Resources and Environmental Science. She is from Colorado and has also lived in California, Texas, and Georgia. She is involved with the Purdue iGEM team, Karate Club, and Society of Women Engineers and has been an officer in iGEM and Karate Club. In past summers she had an internship with the iGEM team and a SURF internship with Dr. Hoagland in the Horticulture Department. She is continuing the Horticulture research this year investigating how microbes help defend plants from parasites. In her spare time, she enjoys reading, hiking in the Rockies, scuba diving, and white water rafting. In the future, she plans to earn a Master’s degree in Environmental Engineering and go into the consulting field.

Michael (Cole) Mundell - ABE Outstanding Junior- Agricultural Systems Management

Cole is pursuing an ASM degree, and minoring in Crop Science and Farm Management. Cole grew up around the outskirts of Kokomo, IN in the town of Sharpsville, where he attended Tri-Central High School. His family owns and operates a 1200 acre farm of corn, soybeans, and wheat along with 2 farrow to finish hog buildings. Upon graduation from college, Cole plans to either get a job in the equipment industry, grain industry, or return back home to help operate the farm becoming the 6th generation in his family to do so. Cole is a member of the Alpha Gamma Rho Fraternity, ABE Ambassadors, Alpha Mu Honors Society,and ASM Club. In his spare time, Cole enjoys hanging out with family and friends, hunting,and fishing.

Mark S. Aronson - ABE Outstanding Junior - Biological Engineering

Mark is a junior in Biological Engineering on the biomolecular and cellular engineering track. At Purdue, he is the former president of the iGEM bioengineering team, an undergraduate researcher in the Rickus lab, and a Resident Assistant in Shreve Hall. Following graduation, he plans to pursue a Ph.D. in synthetic or systems biology. One of Mark’s favorite pastimes is existing, a hobby he picked up a few years ago and has since decided that he likes it enough to keep doing it for at least a bit longer. This summer, Mark will be participating in the Amgen Scholar program at Columbia University in the City of New York, performing tissue engineering research in the Hung lab.

Outstanding Sophomores

Robert "Levi" Bays - ABE Outstanding Sophomore - Agricultural Engineering

Robert “Levi” Bays is a sophomore pursuing a degree Agricultural Engineering with a specialization in Machine Systems, a minor in Engineering Leadership, and a certificate in Entrepreneurship and Innovation. Interning with John Deere for his second time this summer, he will be working on a design team improving future combine separation and cleaning systems. Post graduation, he plans on forging a unique path that can combine his love for agriculture and engineering with a life dedicated to serving those in need. Some of Levi’s involvements include being a member of the Purdue PUP team, Big Brothers Big Sisters of Lafayette, and Fairway Cooperative. Outside of school involvements, his hobbies include intramural sports, playing the guitar and banjo, and being involved in his local church.

William Field - ABE Outstanding Sophomore - Agricultural Systems Management

Growing up on a farm, Will has always had a first-hand account of the many aspects of agricultural life. Wanting to continue his education after high school, Will chose Purdue due to his love of agriculture and farming. He is currently a sophomore majoring in Agricultural Systems Management and plans to work in the Ag equipment industry after receiving his undergraduate degree. Will is a member of the ASM Club, Alpha Mu Honor Society, and the Purdue Trap and Skeet Club.

Davis Jeffries - ABE Outstanding Sophomore - Biological Engineering

Davis Jeffries is a sophomore pursuing a degree in Biological Engineering with a focus on Food Processing.  He is currently a member of the Agricultural and Biological Ambassadors, a small-group leader for IGNITE, and a member of Alpha Tau Omega Fraternity.  Having never traveled abroad prior to attending Purdue, Davis has taken advantage of the opportunities afforded to him.  Last summer, he traveled to Europe through a Purdue Study Abroad program, where he learned about food production in Spain.  This recent spring break, he performed missionary work on a farm in Cuba providing food for the Cuban people.  He aspires to continue traveling the world following graduation to explore food production.  This summer, Davis will be in Le Sueur, Minnesota, working in Research and Development with Davisco, Inc.

Outstanding Freshmen

Zane Gottschalk - ABE Outstanding Freshman - Agricultural Engineering

Zane is a freshman pursuing a degree in Agricultural Engineering with a concentration in Machine systems. He also hopes to earn a Certificate of Entrepreneurship and Innovation through the Krannert Business School. From Rossville, Indiana, he was an active member in thelocal FFA chapter and enjoyed participating in speech contests, as well as dairy and forestry judging contests. At Purdue he is involved with the Grand Prix Junior Board and the Formula SAE team. He is a member of Alpha Gamma Rho fraternity and also member of the Purdue Society of Professional Engineers. After graduation, he plans to work in the agricultural industry, designing and manufacturing more advanced equipment to help the agriculturalists that are producing the goods the world needs.

Derek Neuhoff - ABE Outstanding Freshman - Agricultural Systems Management

As a fourth-generation grain and livestock farmer from Huntingburg, Indiana, Derek was inspired his father’s words that when you enjoy what you are doing, it won't seem like work. Derek is a freshman majoring in Ag Systems Management and pursuing minors in Food and Agribusiness Management and Crop Science.   He participates in the Ag Technology & Innovation Learning Community and the ASM club and was named the National Winner in the 2015 FFA Proficiency Award in Diversified Crop Production Placement.  In addition to working on his family's farm, Derek has served on mission trips in various states throughout the country. When he graduates college he intends to return to the family farm and use the knowledge he learned to increase the farms' grain production.


2015 ABE Outstanding Students

Outstanding Seniors

Gavin Downs - ABE Outstanding Senior - Agricultural Engineering

Gavin is a senior in Environmental and Natural Resources Engineering from Ft. Wayne, Indiana. While in the Agricultural and Biological Engineering department, he has enjoyed studying sustainability issues and completed a special topic study on irrigation efficiency. Outside of the department he is a member of the Purdue Baseball team and will be a two-year member of the Boiler Athletic Council (BAC). After graduation, Gavin will begin his graduate degree under Dr. McMillan studying the hydrologic effects of restored streams.

Jonathan Pelsey - ABE Outstanding Senior - Agricultural Systems Management

Jonathan is a senior also majoring in Agricultural Economics with a minor in Farm Management.  Growing up around agriculture made the decision to come to Purdue University an easy one.  He has enjoyed the opportunity to gain diverse of knowledge at Purdue and gain exposure to the many aspects of agriculture.  Traveling abroad to Zambia was a highlight that opened his eyes to many global opportunities and issues in agriculture.  While at Purdue, Jonathan was involved in the Purdue Young Group, Agricultural Systems Management Club, and Internationally Connected in Agriculture’s Future organization.  He is a member of the Apostolic Christian Church in his hometown of Francesville and was actively involved in the branch of the church in West Lafayette.  Jonathan is returning to his family grain farm in Francesville and is also launching his own farming operation centered on blueberry production.

James Nolan - ABE Outstanding Senior - Biological Engineering

James is a senior in Biological Engineering interested specifically in systems and synthetic biology, he enjoys Agricultural and Biological Engineering for its diversity of concentrations, small classes and direct role in solving this century’s grand challenges.  Through the Interns for Indiana program, he has worked for Mor-NuCo LLC to develop a high-throughput tool for estimation of molecular mass and isoelectric point of Ecto-NOX 2 cancer biomarker transcript variants.  James thanks the ABE students, faculty and staff for all they have taught him.  He also thanks his family for their love and support.

Outstanding Juniors

Danielle McNeely - ABE Outstanding Junior - Agricultural Engineering

Danielle is a junior pursuing a degree in Environmental and Natural Resources Engineering. She grew up in Indianapolis and is hoping to do environmental work that focuses on sustainable communities. Her participation in EPICS Water Resource Management team has led her towards pursuing a job involving working with water. Danielle is an intern at Purdue’s Office of University Sustainability as well. Her role is managing the volunteers for recycling at home football games and getting students involved in the annual Recyclemania contest. She is also the Honors College Mentor President, overseeing all of the Honors College's 70 mentors and their 600 freshmen students. This summer she will be participating in an internship with DuPont in Wilmington, Delaware. Her project will be focused on product stewardship and environmental regulations. Danielle hopes to use her degree to bring clean water and better food production to parts of the world that are in need.

Alex Emenhiser - ABE Outstanding Junior - Agricultural Systems Management

Alex is studying Agricultural Systems Management, with minors in Crop Science and Farm Management. He is from Monroeville, IN. where he grew up on a corn, soybean, and wheat farm. He wanted to pursue a career in agriculture after seeing how fulfilling the work is. He is the President of FarmHouse Fraternity, and also involved in ASM club and Purdue’s Collegiate Farm Bureau. After college, he hopes to enjoy a career where he can apply all of the aspects of agriculture that he has learned at Purdue.

Jaycey Hardenstein - ABE Outstanding Junior - Biological Engineering

Jaycey is a junior in Biological Engineering with a minor in chemistry. On campus, she conducts research in the Laboratory of Renewable Resources Engineering on food pathogen detection and also enjoys tutoring underclassman in various engineering and natural science courses. Last summer, she worked at NASA Ames Research Center in the Space Biology Division to design a neonatal rodent habitat for future experiments on the International Space Station. Jaycey looks forward to broadening her experience base by working in pharmaceutical processing this summer at Eli Lilly.

Outstanding Sophomores

Anderson Smith - ABE Outstanding Sophomore- Agricultural Engineering

Anderson is a sophomore pursuing a degree in environmental and natural resource engineering, with minors in Spanish and global engineering. Currently, Anderson is involved with the ABE Ambassadors, for which he will hold the position of president for the upcoming academic year. Although Anderson will be interning with John Deere this summer, his post-graduation aspirations do not include pursuing a career in industry; Anderson plans to dedicate his life to humanitarian work in developing countries. In order to prepare himself for this, he is part of the Global Engineering Alliance for Research and Education program at Purdue, which consists of participation on a global design team, studying abroad for a semester, and interning abroad for a summer. Outside of his academic and professional involvements, Anderson enjoys outdoor recreation, playing intramural sports, and being involved in his local church.

Michael (Cole) Mundell - ABE Outstanding Sophomore- Agricultural Systems Management

Cole is pursuing an ASM degree, and minoring in Crop Science and Farm Management. Cole grew up around the outskirts of Kokomo, IN in the town of Sharpsville where he attended Tri-Central High School. His family owns and operates a 1200 acre farm of corn, soybeans, and wheat along with 2 farrow to finish hog buildings. Upon graduation from college, Cole plans to either get a job in the equipment industry, grain industry, or return back home to help operate the farm becoming the 6th generation in his family to do so. In his spare time, Cole enjoys hanging out with family and friends, hunting and fishing, and participating in antique tractor pulls.

Lauren Bailey - ABE Outstanding Sophomore- Biological Engineering

Lauren's love of genetics and music made attending Purdue University an easy decision. Her passion for genetics led her to major in biological engineering. After receiving her undergraduate degree, she then hopes to obtain a Ph.D. in human genetics or pharmacology/toxicology and pursue a career in personalized medicine. She is also actively involved in the band department. She's a member of the "All-American" Marching Band, Boiler Brass, and the band service fraternity--Kappa Kappa Psi. She has also been a team captain for Relay for Life for the last three years.

Outstanding Freshmen

William Field - ABE Outstanding Freshman - Agricultural Systems Management

Growing up on a farm, Will has always had a first-hand account of the many aspects of agricultural life. Wanting to continue his education after high school, Will chose Purdue due to his love of agriculture and farming. He is currently majoring in Agricultural Systems Management and plans to work in the Ag equipment industry after receiving his undergraduate degree. Will is a member of the ASM Club and the Purdue Trap and Skeet Club at Purdue.

Lauren Miller - ABE Outstanding Freshman - Pre-ABE

Lauren is a freshman majoring in Biological Engineering with a focus in food processing. She hopes to minor in Spanish and study abroad to Spain next year. She says, “I have always loved food and all the ways in which it can be processed. On top of that, I have a passion for nutrition that has lead me to follow a career path in which I can help to design healthy, safe, and affordable food products to better serve not only America, but the world. My parents have always encouraged me to follow a career in STEM and have been incredibly supportive of my education. I am so thankful for them, and the wonderful community here at Purdue, and this prestigious award.”


2014 ABE Outstanding Students

With the rapid increase in our student population, the faculty decided in 2013 to name an honoree in each discipline (Agricultural Engineering, Agricultural Systems Management, Biological Engineering, and Pre-ABE). The students indicated (*) will advance to compete at the College level for Outstanding Student in the College of Agriculture.

Outstanding Seniors

2014 ABE Outstanding Students

Outstanding Seniors: Ian Hahus, Agricultural Engineering; Corbin R. Abrell, Agricultural Systems Management; Gordon Showalter*, Biological Engineering
Outstanding Juniors: Nicole Solitro, Agricultural Engineering; Joel Waterman, Agricultural Systems Management; James K. Nolan*, Biological Engineering
Outstanding Sophomores: Danielle N. McNeely, Agricultural Engineering; William R. Sparks, Agricultural Systems Management; Jaycey R. Hardenstein*, Biological Engineering
Outstanding Freshmen: Megan R. Shivley, Agricultural Systems Management; Lauren E. Bailey* - Pre-ABE


2013 ABE Outstanding Students

Outstanding Seniors: HannahJoy Pheasant, Agricultural Engineering; Eli H. Fred, Agricultural Systems Management; Sean Kearney*, Biological Engineering
Outstanding Juniors: Jordan M. Garrity, Agricultural Engineering; Adam W. Sills, Agricultural Systems Management; Jessica L. Wade*, Biological Engineering
Outstanding Sophomores: Caroline A. Schier, Agricultural Engineering; Joel T. Waterman, Agricultural Systems Management; James K. Nolan*, Biological Engineering
Outstanding Freshmen: Peyton E. Hite, Agricultural Systems Management; Sarah M. Cox* - ABE Outstanding Freshman - Pre-ABE


2012 ABE Outstanding Students

Laurent Ahiablame - ABE Outstanding PhD Student
Shahriar Karim - ABE Outstanding MS Student

Outstanding Senior: Benjamin Daily, Agricultural Systems Management/Agricultural Economics
Outstanding Junior: Elymae Cedeno, Biological Engineering
Outstanding Sophomore: David Bedel, Machine Systems Engineering
Outstanding Freshman: Jonathan Pelsey, Agricultural Systems Management

 


2011 ABE Outstanding Students

Jiji Chen - ABE Outstanding PhD Student
Jonathan Claussen - ABE Outstanding PhD Student

Outstanding Senior: Katherine "Kat" Gilbert, Biological and Food Process Engineering
Outstanding Junior: Benjamin Daily, Agricultural Systems Management/Agricultural Economics
Outstanding Sophomore: Sean Kearney, Biological Engineering/Applied Mathematics
Outstanding Freshman: Zane Graper, Biological and Food Process Engineering


2010 ABE Outstanding Students

Aeraj ul Hague - Purdue Student Engineering Foundation Outstanding Graduate Student & ABE Outstanding PhD Student
Ruth Pinto - ABE Outstanding MS Student

Purdue Student Engineering Foundation Outstanding Senior: Jeff Wojcicki, Environmental and Natural Resources Engineering
Outstanding Senior: Mary Jane "Janie" Stine, Biological Engineering
Outstanding Sophomore: Molly Scherer, Biological Engineering
Outstanding Freshman: Josue Ordaz, Biological Engineering.


2009 ABE Outstanding Students

Majdi Abou-Najm - Purdue Student Engineering Foundation Outstanding Graduate Student
Jun Wang - ABE Outstanding PhD Student
Azalenah Shah - ABE Outstanding MS Student

Purdue Student Engineering Foundation Outstanding Senior: Ben Dietrich, Agricultural Engineering
Outstanding Senior: Craig Barcus, Biological & Food Process Engineering
Outstanding Junior: Janie Stine, Biological & Food Process Engineering
Outstanding Sophomore: Jacob Ohlemiller, Machine Systems Engineering
Outstanding Freshman: Ben Daily, Agricultural Systems Management


2008 ABE Outstanding Students

Dazhi Mao -  Purdue Student Engineering Foundation Outstanding Graduate Student
Srinivasulu Ale - ABE Outstanding PhD Student
Amy Penner - ABE Outstanding MS Student

Purdue Student Engineering Foundation Outstanding Senior: Keith Mears, Agricultural Engineering
ABE Outstanding Senior: Jonathan Newell, Environmental & Natural Resources Engineering
ABE Outstanding Junior: Craig Barcus, Biological & Food Process Engineering
ABE Outstanding Sophomore: Janie Stine, Biological & Food Process Engineering
ABE Outstanding Freshman: Courtney McWaine, Environmental & Natural Resources Engineering


We have quite a gap in this information. If you have any filler material for us, please send it on!


1997 ABE Outstanding Students

ABE Outstanding Senior: Brent A. Anderson, Food Process Engineering
ABE Outstanding Junior: Nathan A. Litz, Agricultural Systems Management
ABE Outstanding Sophomore: Shoshone A. Leung, Food Process Engineering
ABE Outstanding Sophomore: Karen M. Lewis, Food Process Engineering


1996 ABE Outstanding Students

ABE Outstanding Junior: Douglas J. Biehl, Agricultural Systems Management
ABE Outstanding Junior: Karesa G. Keenan, Food Process Engineering
ABE Outstanding Junior: Wade A. Scott, Food Process Engineering
ABE Outstanding Sophomore: Nathan A. Litz, Agricultural Engineering