October 8, 2021

Three students honored with Purdue Homecoming Pillars of Excellency

Purdue on Saturday (Oct. 2) announced three recipients of the merit-based Homecoming Pillars of Excellency during halftime of the Homecoming football game against Minnesota.

In 2019, the Purdue Student Union Board (PSUB) celebrated its land-grant legacy by establishing the merit-based Homecoming Pillars of Excellency to honor three students during this year’s Homecoming celebration. The Purdue Student Union Board created this honor to recognize students who exemplify education and scholarship, service and leadership, and research and innovation.  This award is open to juniors and seniors, and each awardee received a $1,000 scholarship.

This year, the Pillars of Excellency were awarded as follows:

* Austin Berenda, a senior majoring in agricultural economics from Earl Park, Indiana, received the Teaching and Scholarship pillar. The Teaching and Scholarship pillar recognizes a top student who has demonstrated qualities such as a commitment to learning through serving as a teaching assistant or mentor, or who has participated in an internship or co-op position.

* Kathryn Schwartzman, a junior majoring in animal sciences from Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, received the Service and Leadership pillar. The Service and Leadership pillar recognizes a top student who has demonstrated qualities by serving in a leadership role, participated in Purdue organizations, mentored others or volunteered for at least 150 hours within the past year.

* Kaustubh Ray, a senior majoring in aeronautical and astronautical engineering from Morris Plains, New Jersey, received the Research and Innovation pillar. The Research and Innovation pillar recognizes a top student who has demonstrated at least one of following criteria: completed 150 hours of verified research, been a member of a team that published research, created a unique solution to problems faced within their research area, or founded or participated in a startup company or project.

Sponsors for the Homecoming Pillars of Excellency are the Purdue Student Union Board and Office of the Vice Provost for Student Life.

Source: Chelsea Schwab, harri648@purdue.edu

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