April 28, 2016  

Purdue's top students to be recognized at 2016 commencement

Dana C. Smith

Dana C. Smith 
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WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. — Purdue University will honor some of its highest academic-achieving graduating seniors May 13-15 during commencement ceremonies. 

The university's top female and male students are Dana C. Smith from the College of Science and Quinton T. Nannet from the College of Agriculture.

Smith, of Livonia, Michigan, who majored in mathematics in the College of Science, has been awarded the 2016 Flora Roberts Award. 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.

Quinton T. Nannet

Quinton T. Nannet 
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Nannet, of New Richmond, Indiana, who majored in biochemistry in the College of Agriculture, has been awarded the 2016 G.A. Ross Award. 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.

Smith and Nannet, along with the following student awards, will be recognized at the May 2016 commencement ceremonies.

The France A. Córdova Award for Leadership in Action was awarded to Nannet and Danielle N. McNeely, of Indianapolis, who majored in environmental and natural resources engineering in the College of Engineering. This award honors graduating students who have demonstrated exceptional leadership during their Purdue careers. The students 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 winners receive a certificate, a cash award and their name inscribed on a plaque.

The Louis Sudler Prize in the Arts was awarded to Andrew J. Scher of Carlsbad, California, who majored in civil 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.

Tianyi Zhang, of Hefei, China, who majored in computer science in the College of Science, 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 Morgan A. Craft, of Chicago, who majored in chemistry in the College of Science; Jacob J. Ellis, of Wabash, Indiana, who majored in organizational Leadership in the Polytechnic Institute; Shengze "Terrence" Li, of West Lafayette, Indiana, who majored in accounting in the Krannert School of Management; Christy M. Reick, of Hebron, Indiana, who majored in chemistry in the College of Science; and Mitchell J. Stevenson, of Valparaiso, Indiana, who majored in finance and management in the Krannert School of Management.

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.

The four students who were awarded the Amelia Earhart Scholarship are Reick; Elizabeth A. Hroma, of Chicago, who majored in nursing in the College of Health and Human Sciences; Jennifer Hwang, of Chicago, who majored in speech, language and hearing sciences in the College of Health and Human Sciences; and Laura M. May, of West Lafayette, Indiana, who majored in animal sciences in the College of Agriculture.

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 adds sixth ceremony for spring commencement 

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