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Two Purdue agriculture students selected for Pillars of Excellency

Two College of Agriculture students were recognized during Homecoming for their service, scholarship and leadership with merit-based scholarships. The Pillars of Excellency prize is awarded annually to junior and seniors who exemplify the mission of land-grant universities.

Austin Berenda, a senior in agricultural economics, received the Teaching and Scholarship Pillar for his mentorship work and involvement in extracurriculars. Berenda hopes to attend graduate school at Purdue and, eventually, support other scholarship programs in his department and university.


Austin Berenda
Kathryn Schwartzman

“The Teaching and Scholarship pillar demonstrates to me how much Purdue emphasizes learning,” Berenda said. “College develops us as people through a multitude of experiences, but at the end of the day the primary reason we are blessed to attend this great institution is to develop our minds and use that knowledge to better the world.”

Kathryn Schwartzman, a junior in animal sciences, received the Service and Leadership Pillar Award. Also a member of the Honors College, Schwarzman was recognized for her academic excellence and as a campus community leader.

“Winning one of the Homecoming Pillars of Excellency awards is such a humbling honor,” she said. “I am so grateful to my peers and professors their constant support and encouragement.”

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