8 to join Purdue's Distinguished Agriculture Alumni roll

March 24, 2015  


WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. - Eight educators, executives and researchers will receive the Purdue University 2015 Distinguished Agriculture Alumni Award, the College of Agriculture's top honor.

They will be presented the award April 3 during a ceremony at 3:30 p.m. EDT in the North Ballroom of Purdue Memorial Union on the West Lafayette campus. A reception will precede the ceremony at 2:30 p.m. Both events are free and open to the public.

The DAA award recognizes Purdue Agriculture alumni who have demonstrated outstanding accomplishments, made significant contributions to their professions or to society in general and exhibit high potential for future professional growth.

The 2015 class brings to 208 the number of alumni who have received the award since it was created in 1992.

 "As with all previous recipients, the new inductees are terrific examples of what Purdue Agriculture produces every year - farmers, scientists, educators, entrepreneurs and business executives who become leaders in their fields," said Jay Akridge, Glenn W. Sample Dean of Purdue Agriculture. "We are very proud of them and what they have accomplished to this point in their careers. And, we are even more excited about what they will yet accomplish."

The inductees are:

* Victoria L. Finkenstadt (Ph.D. 1997) of Peoria, Illinois. Finkenstadt is the lead scientist at the U.S. Department of Agriculture's Plant Polymer Research Unit in Peoria location. Her mission is to identify materials and develop technologies that expand the markets for agricultural commodities. Photo link.

* Dale Griffin (BS 1981 and ‘83, M.S. '85) of Cutler, Indiana. Griffin has been an agriculture teacher and FFA adviser at Rossville High School in Clinton County since 1986, teaching nearly 3,000 students during his 29-year career. Photo link.

* Issoufou Kapran (M.S. 1988, Ph.D. '98) of Accra, Ghana. Kapran is program officer for AGRA, the Alliance for a Green Revolution in Africa. Kapran is working to develop a viable seed industry as a means of combating food insecurity in Africa. Photo link.

* Vicki A. McCracken (M.S. 1981, Ph.D. '84) of Pullman, Washington. McCracken is a professor and associate director of Washington State University's School of Economic Sciences. Photo link.

* Craig Newman (B.S. 1971) of Westfield, Indiana. Newman is president and chief executive of AgReliant Genetics, working to expand the role of technology and innovation in field crop agriculture. Photo link.

* Christopher A. Novak (Executive MBA 2003) of Chesterfield, Missouri. Novak is chief executive of the National Corn Growers Association. He previously was CEO of the National Pork Board. Photo link.

* Michael E. Pape (Ph.D. 1989) of Ann Arbor, Michigan. Pape is CEO and co-founder of Nymirum, a privately held drug discovery company that has developed a proprietary technology platform targeting ribonucleic acid (RNA) with small molecules.  Photo link.

* Raghavan Srinivasan (Ph.D. 1992) of College Station, Texas. Srinivasan is a professor in the Texas A&M University Department of Ecosystem Science and Management and director of its Spatial Sciences Laboratory. In 2011, Srinivasan was appointed senior scientist of the Borlaug Institute. Photo link.

Writer: Keith Robinson, 765-494-2722, robins89@purdue.edu

Source: Jay Akridge, 765-494-8391, akridge@purdue.edu

Ag Communications: (765) 494-2722;
Keith Robinson, robins89@purdue.edu
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