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Gunn Earns PK-12 Council’s Staff Excellence Award

The College of Agriculture PK-12 Council’s Outreach and Engagement Awards were established to recognize, reward and celebrate faculty and staff involved in successful outreach and engagement activities and to encourage the improvement and expansion of those activities.
Megan Gunn
Megan Gunn, FNR aquatic ecology research laboratory manager and undergraduate student recruiter, has been selected as the 2020 recipient of the Staff Excellence Award. Gunn works with schools to provide expertise in natural resources they may lack and attends a variety of events to inform students about career opportunities related to natural resources. She also shares about avenues available at Purdue to assist students in gaining the experience and education necessary to have a career in the field through school visits, field days with hands-on experiences and campus tours.

Gunn has reached more than 3500 students and 100 teachers over the past two years, while also serving as the coordinator for programs such as “The Familiar Faces Project” and the “Diversity in Faces, Spaces and Places.” The goal of The Familiar Faces Project is to increase the interest in natural resource science careers by bridging the gap between underrepresented minority youth communities and professionals in the field that look like them. The Diversity in Faces, Spaces and Places program is an eight-week summer internship program, a research and extension experiential learning for undergraduates (REEU) program hosted by FNR in the summer of 2019. The program also allowed high school students to experience research and outreach first hand while shadowing the undergraduate interns and presenting their Megan Gunnown findings to their family members at the closing ceremony.

Gunn also has been active on engaging people on social media, being featured as the trending figure in the #ActualLivingScientist campaign to show the range of what scientists can do and help youth identify more than Einstein, Darwin and Newton when asked to name a scientist. She also has spread scientific knowledge through the Familiar Faces Project’s YouTube channel.

Gunn is the third member of the FNR faculty or staff to receive an award from the College of Agriculture’s PK-12 Council, following 2016 Emerging Faculty Impact Award honoree Dr. Rod Williams and 2017 Emerging Faculty Impact Award winner Dr. Bryan Pijanowski.

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