WALSAA recognizes ten outstanding sophomores

The Wisconsin Agricultural and Life Sciences Alumni Association (WALSAA) recently continued its proud tradition of promoting student excellence at UW–Madison. After receiving countless applications, the WALSAA scholarship committee narrowed its search for the top 10 Outstanding Sophomores through a rigorous prescreening process focused equally on academic achievement, campus involvement/leadership, community service and relevant experience. From there, 26 students were selected to interview in front of a panel of three WALSAA members on Zoom. Ten final recipients were selected based on interview performance. Awards were presented on April 9, 2021 at the WALSAA Virtual Awards Ceremony that can also be viewed online at

WALSAA’s 2021 Outstanding Sophomore recipients include:

  • Ryan Gehin; Baraboo, Wisconsin; Dairy science
  • Sakar Gupta; Appleton, Wisconsin; Biology
  • Lauren Lansing; La Crosse, Wisconsin; Biology
  • Kalina Larsen; Minneapolis, Minnesota; Genetics and genomics
  • Lydia Larsen; Neenah, Wisconsin; Genetics and genomics
  • Tanner Oyen; Lancaster, Wisconsin; Agronomy
  • Olivia Spaight; Waterford, Wisconsin; Dairy science
  • McKenzie Trinko; Shawano, Wisconsin; Animal science
  • Olivia Van Hammond; Appleton, Wisconsin; Global health
  • Alexis Wery; Brussels, Wisconsin; Genetics and genomics

WALSAA is a 501(c)(3) charitable organization that supports the connection of students, faculty and alumni to the University of Wisconsin’s College of Agricultural and Life Sciences, known as CALS. Established in 1972, WALSAA has embarked on a remarkable journey of service and fellowship with alumni and friends of CALS.  For more information on WALSAA visit