Around the College

Published Tuesday, November 22, 2016
In this issue:

Olympic champion slated as Fish Fry speaker
Ag organizations deliver water, hope to Flint, Michigan
Barn books make perfect holiday gifts
Trio of Ag faculty honored by scientific society

Olympic champion slated as Fish Fry speaker

Olympic diving champion and Purdue graduate David Boudia will be the guest speaker at the 2017 Purdue Ag Alumni Fish Fry. The event is scheduled for February 4, 2017 at the Elements Financial Blue Ribbon Pavilion at the Indiana State Fairgrounds in Indianapolis.

David Boudia (photo by Frank Oliver)

Boudia will share his story of Olympic greatness with the audience and provide an insight into his career that started at the age of 11, according to Danica Kirkpatrick, marketing communications and engagement program manager for the Purdue College of Agriculture.

“When he was just seven years old, David Boudia decided to be an Olympian,” said Kirkpatrick. “Initially, he was terrified of the 10-meter platform, but he overcame those fears and went on to pursue his dream.”

At the age of 16, Boudia became a member of the U.S. National Diving Team and won his first national championship for synchronized diving. With 17 National titles and four Olympic medals, Boudia is the top 10-meter platform diver in the U.S. and one of the best in the world, in both the individual 10-meter and synchronized 10-meter events.

Boudia competed at Purdue University where he broke several records, won numerous titles and received many elite honors, including six NCAA national titles.  He completed his communication degree at Purdue in 2013 through the College of Liberal Arts.

Tickets for the event are now on sale for $25 each. Visit to order. Doors will open at 10:00 a.m., allowing guests to network and visit the exhibits.   

Ag organizations deliver water, hope to Flint, Michigan

A pair of campus organizations recently delivered water and funds to residents of Flint, MI., who have been the victims of a water emergency since 2014.

Ph.D student Brandon Allen (in truck) has made three trips to Flint, Michigan to deliver water to the community. Photo provided

The Purdue chapters of MANRRS (Minorities in Agriculture, Natural Resources, and Related Sciences) and BGSA (Black Graduate Student Association) raised around $3000.00 that was used to purchase water and other items for sanitation options for residents of Flint.

In addition, the groups plan on establishing a scholarship for Flint High School students who have a passion to tackle environmental justices issues such as access to clean water, according to Brandon Allen, a Ph.D. student in Purdue’s College of Agriculture.

“The stories that we heard from the residents themselves were heartbreaking,” Allen said. “Some individuals told us that they are having to replace water filters every 2 weeks.  Other stories that have been in the news speaks of the amount of diseases popping up because people reluctance to use the water to bathe in.”

The most recent trip (in mid-November) brought the total amount raised by Allen and others to over $6,000 (spread over 3 separate trips to Flint, MI). 

“It speaks to the hearts of so many to recognize what it means to have that “humanity element” that we believe this country can exemplify,” Allen said.

“We thank each and every one of our donors for your continued support and we hope that we are representing the Purdue name as the community expects.”

Barn books make perfect holiday gifts

Just in time for the giving season, the Purdue Ag Alumni Association is offering their original coffee-table best-sellers entitled, Barns of Indiana and Barns of Indiana Vol. 2. These books make great holiday gifts and are perfect for displaying in living rooms, classrooms, waiting rooms, and so much more.

A leather-bound set of the Barns of Indiana books is also available for $50.00 Photo provided

The Barns of Indiana volumes are beautiful books that take readers to and inside Indiana's most hardworking structures that were once so central to farm life.

Former Purdue Cooperative Extension Service plant pathologist Don Scott photographed nearly 300 barns during his trips around Indiana. The books include written contributions from former Purdue Ag Alumni Executive Secretary Maurice (Mauri) Williamson as well as from Marsh Davis, President of Indiana Landmarks.

“Don Scott photographed Indiana barns as a hobby while he traveled the state as a Purdue Extension specialist,” said Donya Lester, executive director of the Purdue Ag Alumni Association.

“When he retired, he wanted the photographs to be a gift somehow to the people of Indiana. These books are Professor Scott’s gift to all of us. Because one hundred percent of the net proceeds of the book sales will be designated for Purdue Agriculture scholarships, you can give back to our students with your purchase.”

Volume 1 includes many different sections of barns, encompassing each geographic region of Indiana. There are also many featured sections that showcase popular add-ons to barns.

Volume 2 includes written works by Marsh Davis, showcasing the many different types of barns. And Williamson assisted with a piece called “A Historical Sketch on Indiana Farmers.” Additionally, the book features a unique section on “outbuildings” that were central to most farms a century ago.

A boxed set of the two books is available for $40 by contacting The Education Store at

Trio of Ag faculty honored by scientific society

By Amy Patterson Neubert

Three College of Agriculture professors are among the eight Purdue University faculty to be named fellows of the American Association for the Advancement of Science, the world's largest general scientific society.

The professors are being honored for their efforts toward advancing science applications that are deemed scientifically or socially distinguished.

The College of Agriculture honorees include:

*  James Andrew DeWoody, professor of forestry and natural resources, substantive contributions to the fields of wildlife and fisheries genetics, particularly for extending the theory and practice of parentage analysis in molecular ecology and conservation genetics.

* Barbara Lynn Golden, professor of biochemistry, for numerous key and substantial contributions to the field of RNA structural biology and biochemistry.

* Wallace E. Tyner, James & Lois Ackerman Professor of agricultural economics, for contributions in agricultural and energy economics and research at the interface of the two areas, especially biofuels economics and policy.

Other Purdue honorees include Elisa Bertino, professor of computer science, William A. Cramer, Purdue’s Henry Koffler Distinguished Professor of biological sciences, Hilkka Inkeri Kentamaa, the Frank Brown Distinguished Professor of Analytical Chemistry and Organic Chemistry, Matthew W. Ohland, professor of engineering education and Craig K. Svensson, dean of Purdue’s College of Pharmacy and professor of medicinal chemistry and molecular pharmacology.

The 2016 fellows will be announced in the AAAS News & Notes section of the Friday (Nov. 25) issue of Science, and they will be honored on Feb. 18 at the AAAS annual meeting in Boston.

The tradition of selecting fellows began in 1874. Members can be considered for the rank of fellow if nominated by the steering group of their respective sections, by three fellows or by the association's chief executive officer. Each steering group then reviews nominations within its respective section and forwards a final list to the association's council. The nomination involves all disciplines of science and engineering, which makes it broader than any technical society.