The University of Wisconsin-River Falls College of Agriculture, Food and Environmental Sciences presented awards to two outstanding seniors for 2015-16 at their annual Senior Supper on April 27.
Shelby Springman of Wilmont, MN, received the Dr. Earl Hildebrand Memorial Award. This award is presented to a student who best exemplifies a combination of scholastic achievement, extracurricular involvement and leadership roles within the college. Senior students are nominated for this award by faculty in the college, with the College Scholarship Committee making the final selection.
Springman graduated in December 2015 with a bachelor's degree in animal science and a minor in chemistry and is currently pursuing a master's degree in animal science at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln. At UW-River Falls, Springman was the recipient and lead investigator on an Undergraduate Research, Scholarly and Creative Activity grant focused on determining the time of ovulation in sheep following treatment with gonadotropins.
She led a team of peer livestock enthusiasts in organizing sheep education meetings for youth in Wisconsin and served as vice president for the Block and Bridle Club, captain of the Relay for Life team, and as a Chancellor's Student Ambassador, representing the university in various capacities.
The group of faculty and staff who nominated Springman wrote, 'Her unique combination of intelligence, confidence, interpersonal skills and humility are difficult to find. She is destined to be a leader in our agricultural industries and she will continue to make contributions to society that all of us can be proud of.'
The Rochelle Junkman Seymour Award for the student with the highest GPA was presented to Nathanael Holmes, a horticulture major from Ellsworth. Not only was Holmes committed to his own learning and academic excellence but he assisted others, too, through his work in the tutoring center. He was active in the Horticulture Society and Phi Alpha Xi, volunteered for campus planting and landscape projects, co-chaired the nursery and landscape portion of the annual Agricultural Technology Contest and earned multiple awards at the Mid-America Collegiate Horticulture Society conferences and contests.
The horticulture faculty described Holmes as a 'well-rounded, deeply engaged young professional that exemplifies outstanding CAFES student achievement and engagement.'
Holmes has accepted a position with Countryside Gardens in Delano, MN, in the garden design, installation and maintenance area.
The Senior Supper is sponsored by the CAFES Alumni Association to recognize the accomplishments of the graduating seniors and to welcome them into the ranks of alumni. This was the 32nd year for the event that by tradition features speakers from industry, the graduating class, and the faculty. This year's speakers included Leslie Svacina, a 2004 graduate of UWRF and the executive director of the Wisconsin Association of Agricultural Educators; Tyler Foote, a graduating senior in agricultural education from Brandon; and Jim Graham, professor of agricultural education.