Every year CALS honors a select group of seniors for their outstanding academic achievement and contributions to the College. This year eight students were recognized; six won the CALS Outstanding Senior Awards and two won the Meyerhoff Award, a prestigious Campus award. The CALS Outstanding Senior Award winners were: Leann Barden, Ashley Gramza, Nicole Helmke, Jennifer Lechowiec, Molly Sauerbry, and Tanya Zimmerman. The Meyerhoff Award winners were Katherine Gielissen and Craig Kohn. Short biographies are included below.
CALS Senior Award Winners
- Leann Barden, Food Science, Milwaukee. Leann had a very impressive undergraduate career. She served as the Food Science Club President, participated on numerous committees for Women In Science and Engineering, contributed to two undergraduate classes, tutored other students, and taught science to elementary youth. Leann also interned with two major food companies and has a book chapter on career preparation in press. Leann’s contribution to her fellow students and the College cannot be overstated.
- Ashley Gramza, Wildlife Ecology, Perrysburg, Ohio. Ashley’s undergraduate career was characterized by high levels of academic achievement and involvement in College, Campus, and community activities. Ashley graduated with a 3.88 grade point average. She also served as the Wildlife Society Club President earning an award for being the club’s most active member. She regularly volunteered for the Wisconsin Chapter of The Nature Conservancy, The Wisconsin Audubon Society, and The Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources. Ashley’s academic achievement and participation makes her an outstanding CALS senior.
- Nicole Helmke, Microbiology and French, Lancaster. Nicole contributed greatly to the CALS and the Madison community. While pursuing a double major, Nicole led biology outreach activities for youth, participated in almost four years of undergraduate research, and held leadership and volunteer positions with community organizations. Nicole was able to do all of this while maintaining a 3.98 grade point average setting a remarkable example for other students.
- Jennifer Lechowiec, Genetics, Highland, Ind. Jennifer will be attending graduate school at the University of Washington in the fall after a very impressive undergraduate career. Jennifer’s work in the classroom and research lab earned her numerous awards recognizing her scholastic and research accomplishments. In addition, she participated in five student organizations taking leadership roles in four of them. Jennifer’s high level of achievement is remarkable.
- Molly Sauerbry, Biology, Apple Valley, Molly’s record of scholarship and leadership are admirable. Graduating with a 3.95 grade point average, she has received many academic honors. Molly was involved with undergraduate research and hopes to publish her work with Dr. Pamela Kling on the relationship between kidney development and adult hypertension. She also participated in four student organizations, served as the President of the Health Education Leadership Program, and helped teach “The Genetics of Heart Disease.” Molly is a standout among students interested in health professions.
- Tanya Zimmerman, Agricultural Education, Portage. Tanya made a tremendous contribution to the College during the last four years. She served as the CALS Student Council President, was a CALS Ambassador, and was a student representative on CALS committees. Tanya’s leadership within the College strengthened student organizations and shed light on student achievement. Although her presence will be missed, she leaves a strong legacy for others to follow.
Meyerhoff Award Winners
- Katherine Gielissen, Biochemistry, Plymouth. Katherine Gielissen, is an honor student in the College of Agricultural and Life Sciences; she is majoring in Biochemistry and has maintained a 4.0 grade point average. In addition to her outstanding academic achievements, Katherine’s record of leadership and service is inspiring. As a Biocore Outreach Ambassador, Katherine secured funding to expand outreach education programs for rural Wisconsin school districts. In addition, she regularly visits Madison area schools and supplements their science curricula with interactive science demonstrations. Katherine has also worked on important population health concerns in Uganda contributing to nutrition education efforts and diabetes research. Katherine’s impact on the campus and community is impressive.
- Craig Kohn, Agricultural and Biology Education, Bonduel. Craig Kohn has made a tremendous contribution to the University of Wisconsin-Madison and the Wisconsin community through his scholarship, leadership, and service. Craig maintains a high grade point average majoring in Agricultural and Biology Education. On campus he is a student athlete and has held more than eight officer positions across six student organizations. At the community level, Craig has contributed to educational programs for middle school and high school youth in Madison and across the State. Craig’s remarkable energy and leadership will be missed as he graduates and takes on new challenges.