Skip to Main Content

Top teachers and mentors recognized for exceptional work with students


uring the annual Spring Awards Banquet, the College of Agriculture honored students, faculty and staff. The virtual event was a collaborative effort between the Purdue Agricultural Council and the Office of Academic Programs. A recording of the event can be viewed here.  The following faculty and staff were honored during the event. 


Outstanding Graduate Mentor and Teacher:

Andrew Mesecar, the Walther Professor in Cancer Structural Biology and head of the Department of Biochemistry, has created the Biochemistry Graduate Student Organization and reorganized the graduate program. He uses cutting-edge lab equipment for his research, which serves as an innovative training ground for graduate students.


Richard L. Kohls Outstanding Early Career Teacher:

Brady Hardiman, an assistant professor of urban ecology, teaches Natural Resources Information Systems, the largest lab course offered in the Department of Forestry and Natural Resources. Hardiman transitioned the course from a conventional lecture/lab format to a series of inquiry-based project modules that focus on urban ecology, wildlife, forestry and aquatic sciences. His courses challenge students to apply current knowledge and cutting-edge methods to understand and solve contemporary societal problems.


Outstanding Teacher Award for Clinical Faculty:

Young-Hee Choa continuing lecturer in the Department of Food Science, also serves as a mentor and advisor for undergraduate and graduate students. Cho attends teaching, technical and mentoring workshops to continue to develop instructional and communication skills.  


David C. Pfendler Outstanding Counselor:

Laura Bowling, a professor of agronomy and director of the Natural Resources and Environmental Sciences program, researches hydrology and water resources addressing how the water cycle is altered through human intervention across multiple scales and ecosystems and communicating these findings to stakeholders such as urban planners, conservationists, policy-makers and drainage board. She has served as an undergraduate academic advisor since 2006. As an undergraduate advisor, she helps students identify their academic and professional goals and develop a plan to maximize their potential for success.


Service to Students:

Laurie Lambert Van Keppel, a career services and external relations coordinator in the Department of Food Science, has mentored and supported students for over 30 years. She collects input from students, alumni and industry professionals and uses that feedback to adjust assignments and activities, create new programs and influence positive changes across campus.


Richard L. Kohls Outstanding Teacher:

Dennis Buckmaster  is a professor of agricultural and biological engineering. Since joining ABE in 2006, Buckmaster has been active in approving teaching, expanding resources for teaching, impacting students outside of the classroom and sharing gained insights. He teaches multiple courses that are critical to student success while also sharing his enthusiasm for the material.

Featured Stories

Honey locust leaves and pods
Intro to Trees of Indiana: Honey Locust

Meet the honey locust or Gleditsia triacanthos, also called “thorn-tree,” which has...

Read More
High resolution aerial photo captured by a drone shows individual trees at Martell Forest in West Lafayette, Ind.
Purdue to boost climate-smart forestry practices among private landowners

Purdue University has received $12 million of a $35 million project led by the American Forest...

Read More
farm implement driving down a narrow road
Indiana farm fatality summary shows positive trends, stresses worker safety

Purdue University’s Agricultural Health and Safety Program released the annual Indiana Farm...

Read More
Ariel shot of fall foliage around the Purdue University campus.
Forest migration plays a role in fall foliage colors

While forests are not uprooting and physically moving to new locations, Jingjing Liang says tree...

Read More
Timber rattlesnake in the woods
Unexpected Plants and Animals of Indiana: Timber Rattlesnake

Indiana is home to a large variety of plant and animal life, supported by the range of Indiana...

Read More
FNR 378000 students gained hands-on training in field sampling at Marine Biology Practicum at Seahorse Key Marine Lab in Florida.
Marine Biology Practicum Introduces Students to Field Work

Students in the Marine Biology Practicum class (FNR 378000) spent 11 days before the fall...

Read More
To Top