UF CALS students earn top honors at annual banquet

GAINESVILLE, Fla. — Students who earned honors from the University of Florida College of Agricultural and Life Sciences at its April 14 banquet show exemplary scholarship, leadership and commitment to the community.

“One of our top priorities for CALS is to recruit and retain outstanding students,” UF CALS Dean Elaine Turner said. “Our annual Scholarship and Leadership Awards Banquet gives us the opportunity to showcase the achievements of those students. The award winners are truly the best of the best. I’m so proud that they chose CALS to further their education.”

The college is part of the UF Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences. The students honored at this year’s awards ceremony represent some of the most accomplished students in the college:


  • Rebecca Gould – dietetics – Baltimore. Gould received the E.T. York Jr. Medal of Excellence. York led UF/IFAS from 1963 to 1973 and later served as chancellor of Florida’s State University System. Presented each year to the outstanding junior, the recipient of this award exhibits a distinguished academic record and demonstrates great leadership.


  • Clay Hurdle – agricultural education and communication – communication and leadership development – Lake Park, Ga. Hurdle was presented with the CALS Alumni and Friends Leadership Award. This award recognizes a student who exemplifies leadership, scholarship and citizenship. It goes to an outstanding senior who has shown leadership in departmental or college organizations and supports the agriculture, natural resources and life science industries.
  • Emily Quintero – food science and human nutrition – nutritional sciences — Miami. Quintero received the Larry J. Connor Medal of Excellence. This award was established in 1999 to honor Connor, who served as CALS dean from 1991 to 1999. Recipients are outstanding senior students who have achieved a distinguished scholarship record, have demonstrated a high degree of leadership and foster diversity within the student body and society.


    • Steven Che – food science and human nutrition – dietetics – Vancouver, Canada. Che was presented with the J. Wayne Reitz Medal of Excellence. This award, established in 1967, is presented to the outstanding senior for distinguished scholarship and leadership. It’s named for J. Wayne Reitz, UF provost for agriculture from 1949 to 1955, and UF president from 1955 to 1967.
    • Shavone Taylor – animal sciences – animal biology – Sunrise, Fla. Taylor received the Emelie L. Matthews Award of Excellence. The award, established in 2015 to honor a 35-year CALS employee, is given to the outstanding senior who entered UF as a transfer student.
    • Berthrude Albert – agricultural education and communication – Cap-Haitien, Haiti. Albert received the Jack L. Fry Award for Teaching Excellence by a Graduate Student. This award is given in honor of a former CALS assistant dean and recognizes excellence and effectiveness in classroom or laboratory teaching in addition to high academic achievement.
    • Estaban Rios – agronomy — Argentina. Rios received the Jimmy G. Cheek Graduate Student Medal of Excellence. This award is presented to a graduate student who shows achievement and potential, leadership, community involvement, commitment and passion about his or her chosen field of study, personal sacrifice for his or her education and effort above and beyond the call of duty. It is named for a former CALS dean and senior vice president for agriculture and natural resources.Information about the awards and past honorees can be found at http://bit.ly/1SmvWHp.

By: Brad Buck, 352-294-3303, bradbuck@ufl.edu

Source: Elaine Turner, 352-392-1961, returner@ufl.edu


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Posted: April 28, 2016

Category: UF/IFAS Teaching
Tags: Awards, CALS, College Of Agricultural And Life Sciences

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