Purdue's top students to be recognized at commencement

April 28, 2015  

WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. — Purdue University will honor some of its highest academic-achieving graduating seniors May 15-17 during spring commencement ceremonies.

Brittany Mihalec-Adkins

Brittany Mihalec-Adkins 
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The university's top female and male students are Brittany P. Mihalec-Adkins from the College of Health and Human Sciences and College of Liberal Arts and Stephen O. Mussmann from the College of Science.

Mihalec-Adkins, of Fort Wayne, Indiana, who majored in psychological science and sociology, has been awarded the 2015 Flora Roberts Award. After graduation, Mihalec-Adkins will be starting a master of science in education degree in education psychology at Purdue. The award is presented annually to the outstanding senior woman to honor scholarship, leadership, character and service to the university community. The award is made possible through a bequest from Flora Roberts, a member of the Purdue class of 1887. The recipient receives a $500 award, medallion and her name inscribed on the award marker on Purdue Mall.

Stephen O. Mussman

Stephen O. Mussman 
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Mussmann, of Spencerville, Indiana, who majored in mathematics honors, mathematics/statistics, mathematics-computer science and applied mathematics, has been awarded the 2015 G.A. Ross Award. After graduation, Mussmann will begin a doctoral degree in computer science at Stanford University. The award is presented annually to Purdue's outstanding graduating senior man. G.A. Ross, a 1916 graduate, stipulated that the award go to a graduating senior man demonstrating high standards of academic achievement, outstanding leadership, strength of character and contribution to Purdue. The recipient receives a $500 award, medallion and his name inscribed on the award marker on Purdue Mall.

Mihalec-Adkins and Mussmann, along with the following student awards, will be recognized at the May 2015 commencement ceremonies.

The France A. Córdova Award for Leadership in Action was awarded to Emily C. Erickson of Clarks Hill, Indiana, who majored in biochemistry in the College of Agriculture and Allison J. Turner of Channahon, Illinois, who majored in natural resources and environmental science in the College of Agriculture and in political science in the College of Liberal Arts. This award honors a graduating student who has demonstrated exceptional leadership during his or her Purdue career. The student must have held successful leadership roles at Purdue, working in partnership with staff and faculty to move the university forward, while maintaining a minimum 3.0 grade point average. The award winner receives a certificate, a cash award and their name inscribed on a plaque.

The Louis Sudler Prize in the Arts was awarded to Ryan V. McDonnell of Winter Garden, Florida, who majored in chemical engineering in the College of Engineering. The prize is awarded to an outstanding senior who has demonstrated excellence and the highest standards of proficiency in the visual or performing arts. The late Louis Sudler, a Chicago businessman and supporter of the arts, endowed this award. The recipient receives $1,000 and a certificate.

Yu-Yu "Ellie" Lin, School of Kaohsiung, Taiwan, who majored in management and finance in the Krannert School of Management, received the Martin C. Jischke Outstanding International Student of the Year Award. This award was established by president emeritus Martin C. Jischke to honor an international Purdue student who demonstrated leadership qualities and achieved academic accomplishments through further research, publications or presentations, and participated in service projects. The award is granted to a graduating senior who has attained a minimum 3.0 GPA, demonstrated leadership qualities, achieved academic accomplishments and participated in service projects. The recipient receives a cash award along with their name inscribed on a plaque in Schleman Hall.

The five students who were awarded the Charles O. McGaughey Leadership Awards are Cecilia M. Daizovi of Ossian, Indiana, who majored in public relations and strategic communication in the College of Liberal Arts; Lewis W. Day, of Lafayette, Indiana who majored in mass communication in the College of Liberal Arts; Lauren N. Haslem, of Maineville, Ohio, who majored in history honors in the College of Liberal Arts; Yu-Yu "Ellie" Lin, of Kaohsiung, Taiwan, who majored in management in the School of Management; and Evan H. Williams of Zionsville, Indiana, who majored in electrical engineering in the College of Engineering.

McGaughey, a 1939 Purdue graduate, established the awards to honor students for leadership potential. To be eligible for these awards, students must have completed a minimum of two years full-time study at Purdue and achieved at least a 3.0 graduation index. Recipients are selected on the basis of their contributions to the university and the community. Each honoree receives a crystal paperweight commemorating the award and $3,345 as an acknowledgment of their superior leadership abilities, scholarship and appreciation of basic American values.

Calin B. Cochran, of Colfax, Indiana, who majored in health science pre-professional in the College of Health and Human Sciences, received the Amelia Earhart Scholarship. This scholarship was reinstituted in 1999 after Doreen Buranich Simmons, a 1971 Purdue graduate, committed to see the scholarship return to Purdue after learning of its demise in the 1970s. Her gift became the catalyst for Joan Russell Dudding to honor the university and Amelia Earhart by funding the scholarship on an ongoing basis. The Amelia Earhart scholarship is awarded to a junior or senior with a GPA of 3.20 or higher who demonstrates leadership, determination, ability and potential in academic and/or community activities. 

Writer: Amy Patterson Neubert, 765-494-9723, apatterson@purdue.edu

Source: Christine DeHahn Pass, senior assistant registrar, 765-494-6163, dehahn@purdue.edu 

Related news release:

Purdue commencement ceremonies set at main, regional campuses


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