CANR Outstanding Student Leadership Award

Nominees for the Outstanding Student Leadership Award have shown service and leadership in the college, department or school and through their university activities.

CANR Outstanding Student Leadership Award nominees

Nominees for the Outstanding Student Leadership Award have shown service and leadership in the college, department or school and through their university activities. By tradition, the winner of this award is asked to represent the graduating seniors as class speaker at the CANR Commencement ceremony.

This year, faculty members, academic advisors and club advisors nominated eight seniors. Nominees for the CANR Outstanding Student Leadership Award are:

Rebecca Blundell

Fisheries and wildlife major Becca Blundell, of Roseville, Michigan, has immediate plans to return to a summer research project in Iceland, then attend graduate school.

In addition to her fisheries and wildlife coursework, Blundell has minors in entomology and marine ecosystem management. Her coursework is concentrated in water sciences, fisheries biology management and wildlife biology management. She has maintained a 3.6 GPA and was named to the dean’s list several times.

A regular participant in undergraduate research, Blundell has done research on juvenile bluegill sunfish at the Kellogg Biological Station, citizen response to Michigan wolf management on campus and insect populations on Lake Myvatn, Iceland, through the University of Wisconsin.

She served as president of the Fisheries and Wildlife Club. Under her leadership, that club was one of the most active in the Midwest, earning it the Outstanding Professional Organization Award by MSU Student Life. She organized the Red Cedar River Clean-up, where more than 100 students volunteer.

Blundell has also served as an undergraduate teaching assistant and studied abroad in the Galapagos Islands and in Sweden. She was recognized by the Michigan Chapter of the American Fisheries Society for her enthusiasm to protect fisheries and wildlife, her motivation to teach others, and her professional involvement, integrity, positive attitude and compassion.

“Becca has been instrumental in growing membership in our Fisheries and Wildlife Club,” said Jim Schneider, academic advisor in the Department of Fisheries and Wildlife. “Her enthusiasm, honesty, and ability to organize and motivate people are skills that will serve her well.”

Elizabeth Brajevich

As an environmental economics and policy (EEP) major from Beverly Hills, California, Elizabeth Brajevich has a passion for the environment. This is evident in the major she chose and her involvement with the Residential Initiative on the Study of the Environment (RISE).

She has presented at the University Undergraduate Research and Arts Forum and at a Greening the Supply Chain conference. Brajevich was a vermicomposting grant team leader who led the way in implementing an effective system to compost cafeteria food waste using worms.

She has earned several scholarships over her four years in the CANR, including the EEP Ralph and Patricia Hepp Scholarship, the Hal and Jean Glassen Wildlife Stewardship and the Conservation Scholarship.

Brajevich was a Demmer Scholar and one of two representatives at the 2013 International Student Summit on Food, Agriculture and the Environment in Tokyo, Japan. Last year, she was named one of Glamour magazine’s Top 10 college women.

“Liz has inspired everyone around her with her passion to make a difference for all beings on this planet,” said Ruthi Bloomfield, academic advisor in the Department of Agriculture, Food and Resource Economics. “She has a vision for how to grow the world, help it survive and be sustainable. I am confident that in doing so she will maintain her CANR roots as she prepares her wings to soar.”

Rosalyn Brummette

A senior agribusiness management major with a minor in environmental economics, Grand Ledge native Rosalyn Brummette plans to return to Washington, D.C., to have an influence on agriculture policy at the national level.

In the classroom, Brummette caught the attention of her introductory professor Laura Cheney, a--- professor in the Department of Agriculture, Food and Resource Economics, and was hired as a teaching assistant. In addition, Brummette served as a Demmer Scholar for a summer in Washington, D.C., and was one of two students representing the United States at the International Student Summit on Food, Agriculture and the Environment in Tokyo, Japan.

She also represented MSU as a leaders conference delegate at the Agriculture Future of America Conference in Kansas City. She interned with the Michigan Farm Bureau and Michigan state Rep. Brett Roberts. Brummette was a member of her department’s undergraduate policy committee, a member of the National Agriculture Marketing Association (NAMA), president of MSU Collegiate Farm Bureau and president of Sigma Alpha professional sorority.

“Rosy is one of those students with whom I have enjoyed the journey of developing into a young professional,” Cheney said. “It has been a privilege to watch her many contributions. Rosy exemplifies ‘Spartans Will.’”

Katelyn Burns

Summer will find Roseville, Michigan, native Katelyn Burns, a fisheries and wildlife major in the Bailey Scholars Program, serving as a summer nature camp aide at the Belle Isle Nature Zoo.

Burns has been on the dean’s list eight times and has a cumulative 3.8 GPA. She will graduate with a degree in fisheries and wildlife, a minor in leadership in integrated learning, and another in environmental and sustainable studies. 

Her talents in the classroom have been matched by her involvement in MSU student life, where she is active in the Fisheries and Wildlife Club and the Zoological Student Association. When she isn’t in class or working on a group project, Burns is working in the MSU Meat Lab to pay her way through school.

“What I appreciate most about Katelyn is her desire to give back to our community,” said Dustin DuFort Petty, academic advisor in the Bailey Scholars Program. “She is full of heart, passion and the desire to create a world that is better informed and prepared to tackle 21st century challenges.”

Lindsay Hannah

An animal science major from Grand Blanc, Michigan, Lindsay Hannah has been accepted into Michigan State University’s Veterinary School.

Hannah received an Agriculture and Natural Resources (ANR) Distinguished Scholarship, an academic scholarship awarded to the top students attending the College of Agriculture and Natural Resources. She also participated in the CANR Undergraduate Research Program to get hands-on lab experience. She made a winning presentation at the University Undergraduate Research and Arts Forum this spring. 

“Lindsay had no previous research experience,” said Alumdena Viega-Lopez, assistant professor in the Department of Animal Science. “Her readiness to learn quickly led us to trust her with basic laboratory tasks early on. Her enthusiasm, eagerness to learn and everlasting energy have been a pleasure for everyone and proven her to be a great team player.” 

Hannah is also a leader in her extracurricular activities, serving as standard and ethics board chairman, merchandise chair and personnel chair for the MSU Equestrian Team. She was the SET leader and panhellenic delegate for the Kappa Delta Society. She has held a variety of leadership roles in the MSU Greek Life organization and is director of member development in the Order of Omega Greek Honor Society.


Madeline Judge

Dual major Madeline Judge, of Ann Arbor, Michigan, will put her education into action in Maine this summer as an apprentice farmer at Turner Farm in North Haven, Maine.

Judge majors in environmental studies and sustainability and professional writing, is a member of the Honors College, has maintained status on the dean’s list and earned two study abroad scholarships. She has taken on leadership roles in the Residential Initiative on the Study of the Environment (RISE) during her time at MSU.

She has worked in a variety of roles in and around agriculture, honing skills in writing and in hands-on food experience. She was communications coordinator at the MSU Tollgate Farm and Education Center, an office assistant for RISE and a seasonal farm intern at the MSU Upper Peninsula Research and Extension Center, where she also served a semester as an undergraduate assistant. 

Judge studied for a semester at Wageningen University in the Netherlands, where she took courses in food security, humanitarian aid, food crises and sustainable development. She participated in the CANR Undergraduate Research Program and MSU Alternative Spring Break, and she volunteered with the Be Spartan Green Team. 

“Madelyn has complemented her academic coursework with experiences that highlight her passion for professional writing,” said Michael Everett, assistant professor in the Department of Community Sustainability. “As environmental challenges and opportunities continue to be associated with worldwide wicked problems, Madelyn’s experiences, coursework and writing skills position her to be able to address those problems.”

Tiffany Pupa

Interior design major Tiffany Pupa, of Northville, Michigan, led the effort to build a tiny house on campus to show that today’s students are interested in a sustainable lifestyle where experiences trump material possessions.

Pupa, a member of the Honors College, is an achiever in the classroom. She earned a 3.75 overall GPA and will be accredited by the Council for Interior Design Accreditation. Pupa participated in the CANR Undergraduate Research Program during her first semester on campus.

She is president of the U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC) MSU Chapter, a role that allowed her to bring LEED (sustainable building practices) workshops to campus, and she established an annual trade show and networking event with 25+ companies in attendance.

Pupa also brought the idea of building a tiny house, dubbed Sparty’s Cabin, on campus. In developing this project, she brought together several MSU partners and sponsors, pulling in the MSU Department of Forestry, MSU Shadows, the Forestry Club, MSU Sustainability, MSU Surplus and Recycling Center, MSU Infrastructure and Planning, Auxiliary Enterprises and the Office of Governmental Affairs.

“She works tirelessly as a leader in a multidisciplinary setting,” said Patricia Crawford, associate director in the MSU School of Planning, Design and Construction. “Her skills inform our entire student body of the importance and complexity of design and construction.”

Ryan Zimmerman

Gaylord, Michigan, native Ryan Zimmerman graduated in the fall with a degree in forestry. He works for the Michigan Department of Natural Resources as a forest technician in Onaway, Michigan.

During his time as a student, Zimmerman served as a leader in the Forestry Club in the roles of president, vice president and maple syrup coordinator. In those roles, he ensured that members would be challenged academically and professionally by facilitating experiences with industry professionals to promote forestry. He frequently held demonstrations in chainsaw training and tree climbing to teach other students how to do both safely.

He encouraged his classmates to join the Society of American Foresters and International Arboriculture Society to foster their skills and build relationships. Zimmerman completed independent studies on the growing area of urban and community forestry to address current issues in these areas. He was recognized by the Forestry Alumni Association with its senior award and received the Helmbrecht Scholarship. 

“Ryan’s willingness to accept others and his general positive attitude made a difference in recruiting students to the forestry major,” said Leslie Schumacher, academic advisor in the MSU Department of Forestry.


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