March 01, 2017

Students, staff honored at agriculture college banquet

by Andrea Hahn

CARBONDALE, Ill. -- The College of Agricultural Sciences at Southern Illinois University Carbondale honored students and staff at the 65th Annual All Ag Banquet, held Friday, Feb. 24. 

Student nominations and votes power two of the awards given annually at this banquet: the Donald M. Elkins Excellence in Education Award and the Gary L. Minish Outstanding Mentor/Adviser Award. This year, Susan Graham, a member of the college dean’s staff, accepted the Elkins Award, given to her for her unflagging devotion to promoting the college and its students. Peter Dirks, lecturer in agribusiness economics, and coordinator of recruitment, retention and placement, accepted the Minish Award. 

Student organizations within the college are known for their high level of activity, including representing the college and interacting with high school students for student organization-led events. This year there was a tie for Outstanding Club: the Collegiate Farm Bureau and the Forestry Club shared the top honor. The Outstanding Club Runner-Up is the SIU Equestrian Team.

Student honors include scholarship awards. Here are this year’s recipients, with hometown and major:

Outstanding Senior: Gabrielle Fry, Lindenhurst, animal science

Outstanding Senior Runner-up: Danielle Freelove, McHenry, agribusiness economics

Outstanding Junior: Renee Kinzinger, New Athens, agribusiness economics and accounting

Outstanding Junior Runner-up: Graydon Baima, Collinsville, animal science, and Elizabeth Lewis, Boonville, Ind., agricultural systems and education

This year’s group of i2i Scholars also received recognition at the banquet. The i2i Scholars are involved in mentored research with practical applications within the agricultural industries. The students are listed here with hometown, major and mentor: 

• Graydon Baima, Collinsville, animal science major, mentor Gary Apgar

• Jordan Bramlett, Carbondale, forestry major, mentor Jon Schoonover

• Kayla Broster, Mount Carmel, crop, soil and environmental management major, mentor Karla Gage

• Cara Engel, Grayslake, animal science major, mentor Amer AbuGhazaleh

• Molly Groninger, Murphysboro, biological sciences major, mentor Jeremy Davis

• Alexis Johnson, Springfield, Tenn., animal science major, mentor Karen Jones