CAHNRS Honors recognize top students, volunteers

Sophie Trombetta, graduate student in animal sciences, displays her word for CAHNRS, “engaging,” during the CAHNRS Honors ceremony.
Sophie Trombetta, graduate student in animal sciences, displays her word for CAHNRS, “engaging,” during the CAHNRS Honors ceremony.

Agents of excellence were recognized at the 2016 CAHNRS Honors awards ceremony, held Thursday, March 24 in Pullman.

The annual gala highlights students, volunteers, donors, faculty and staff who represent the College of Agricultural, Human, and Natural Resource Sciences at its best.

Dean’s Wall of Honor Award: Chuck Eggert

Chuck Eggert, a WSU alumnus with a 1971 bachelor’s degree in Food Science and the owner and founder of Pacific Foods, was named to the Dean’s Wall of Honor for 2016. Eggert is a driving force behind the 30-acre Eggert Family Organic Farm on the WSU Pullman campus.

Chuck Eggert, WSU alumnus and founder of Pacific Natural Foods, speaks with students at the CAHNRS Honors reception. Eggert was named to the Dean’s Wall of Honor.
Chuck Eggert, WSU alumnus and founder of Pacific Natural Foods, speaks with students at the CAHNRS Honors reception. Eggert was named to the Dean’s Wall of Honor.

Starting by providing scholarships, Eggert stepped up his involvement with a generous family gift in 2012 to expand the WSU organic teaching farm from four to 30 acres. This gift created the largest organic teaching farm in the United States.

He is an acting member of the WSU Board of Governors and serves as an advisor for CAHNRS.

Eggert started Pacific Foods in 1997 as a soy milk producer. In 2001, he started farming. To date, his company has converted over 4,000 acres to organic land, focusing on Certified Organic crop production and high welfare, pasture-based animal husbandry.

Dean’s Women’s Leadership Award: Barbara J. Stevenson

Barbara J. Stevenson
Barbara J. Stevenson

Receiving the Dean’s Women’s Leadership Award from CAHNRS Acting Dean Kim Kidwell, Barbara J. Stevenson is a 1976 WSU alumnus and a leader in the beef cattle industry.

Growing up in Arizona, Stevenson was well prepared to attend WSU in animal sciences. Her father managed a feed yard for Farmers Investment Company and eventually started Red Rock Feeding Company that is today a 30,000-head commercial feed yard with a 1,200-acre farm still operated by the Stevenson family.

Barbara graduated from WSU with a Bachelor of Science degree in Animal Science and a minor in Agricultural Economics. Joining the cattle industry, she held sales and marketing positions that enabled her to become a leader and entrepreneur.

In 1990, she started Animal Health Express, a mail-order animal health and livestock supply company, with her husband Tim. In 2002, the couple opened Vaquero Feed and Livestock, a full-service farm and ranch store in Tucson, Ariz.

In 2015, she received the WSU Outstanding Alumnus Award from the Department of Animal Sciences.

Wall of Honor In Memoriam Award: Don Steiger

Don Steiger
Don Steiger

Don Steiger, a 1956 graduate of WSU who passed away on December 4, 2015, was recognized as part of CAHNRS Honors. A loyal Coug and dedicated volunteer, Steiger was born and raised in Colfax, Wash. He was the first of his family to go to college, joined the ROTC program while at WSU, and went on to serve active duty for 28 years. He retired in 1986 as a U.S. Army colonel, having earned many awards and decorations for meritorious service.

Steiger co-founded a small real estate development company in the Washington D.C. area, before moving to California in 1991. From there, he continued to oversee the management of the Steiger family farm near Colfax.

In 2006, Steiger created the Steiger Family Graduate Fellowship in Crop and Soil Sciences.  He volunteered with the CAHNRS Office of Alumni and Development, served on both the WSU Foundation’s Gift Acceptance and Management Committee and CAHNRS National Campaign Council, and was integral to the Campaign for WSU. He leaves a legacy of courage, love, wisdom and service.

Volunteer of the Year and pulse research supporter Phil Hinrichs accepts the 2016 award from CAHNRS Acting Dean Kimberlee Kidwell.
Volunteer of the Year and pulse research supporter Phil Hinrichs accepts the 2016 award from CAHNRS Acting Dean Kimberlee Kidwell.

Alumni and Development Volunteer of the Year: Phil Hinrichs

Phil Hinrichs, a third generation graduate of CAHNRS in the class of 1980, has been an active volunteer and passionate advocate for pulse crop research.

As the owner and operator of Hinrichs Trading Company, a chickpea processing company located in Pullman, Phil and his wife Pamela have worked alongside Northwest chickpea growers for the last 30 years.

Hinrichs’ relationship with WSU’s late president, Elson S. Floyd, directed his volunteer efforts to CAHNRS. He served on the CAHNRS National Campaign Council, which was instrumental in raising $251 million during the Campaign for WSU. Hinrichs continues to be a lead volunteer as the chair of the National Pulse Crop Distinguished Endowed Chair campaign, an effort to bring a world-class leader in genetics and breeding to head a nationally coordinated program developing improved pulse crop varieties.

Phil believes volunteering is the best class he ever attended at WSU.

Kevin Murphy, the Robert A. Nilan Endowed Chair in the Department of Crop and Soil Sciences, receives his Faculty of the Year award from CAHNRS Acting Dean Kim Kidwell.
Kevin Murphy, the Robert A. Nilan Endowed Chair in the Department of Crop and Soil Sciences, receives his Faculty of the Year award from CAHNRS Acting Dean Kim Kidwell.

Alumni and Development Faculty of the Year: Kevin Murphy

Kevin Murphy, the Robert A. Nilan Endowed Chair in the Department of Crop and Soil Sciences, leads the barley and alternative crop breeding program at WSU.

He was born and raised among a community of rice researchers in the Philippines. At the age of ten, Kevin did his first independent study focused on the symbiotic benefits of intercropping a nitrogen-fixing aquatic plant, azolla, with cultivated rice. Murphy received both his master’s degree in Crop Science in 2004 and doctorate in Plant Breeding and Genetics in 2007 from WSU.

His work on the International Quinoa Symposium, the Innovators Series in Seattle, and several fundraising efforts has developed unique relationships that are leading to generous support towards his breeding program. Murphy has not only raised funding for his quinoa research program, but has helped growers, students, faculty and staff expand their programs.

He has three daughters: Olivia, Eliza and Fiona.

Alumni and Development Staff of the Year: Angela Lenssen

Angela Lenssen, honored as the Alumni and Development Staff of the Year, with her family.
Angela Lenssen, honored as the Alumni and Development Staff of the Year, with her family.

Angela Lenssen spent more than four years managing the marketing and communications for the bi-state School of Food Science, a collaborative program shared between the University of Idaho and WSU.

Acting as a conduit between students, alumni, and industry partners, she helped bridge both universities and private industry to enhance student experiences and opportunities. Lenssen developed internships and helped students with employment placement, working closely with the development offices to increase scholarship funding and overall private support benefiting students and programs in Food Science.

In January, she left the school to become Marketing and Promotions Coordinator for WSU Summer Session.

Lenssen is a native of the Palouse. Her father and her husband, Dwayne, are dryland grain farmers. Angela and Dwayne have three children: Sadie, Allison and Grant.

Student Awards

2016 Aggie of the Year Jenica Hagler is a senior in Agricultural and Food Systems.
2016 Aggie of the Year Jenica Hagler is a senior in Agricultural and Food Systems.

Aggie of the Year

Jenica Hagler was selected as the top agricultural student of the year. She is a senior studying Agricultural and Food Business Economics.

Nominees: Hannah Symonds, AFS, Agricultural Education; Francisco Gonzalez, AFS, Agricultural Technology and Production Management; Clint Keane, Animal Sciences, Animal Management Option; Lauren Celmer, Food Science; Brent Etzkorn, Integrated Plant Sciences (IPS), Fruit and Vegetable Management; Suzanne Kaye, IPS, Viticulture and Enology, Tri-Cities.

Family and Consumer Scientist

Winner: Hayley Hohman, Economic Sciences, Quantitative Economics Option. Nominees: Sophia Collins, Apparel, Merchandising, Design and Textiles, Design Option; Hailey Wright, Human Development; Taylor Weik, Landscape Architecture.

Outstanding Junior in Agricultural Sciences

Winner: Kyle Strachila, Agricultural and Food Systems (AFS), Agricultural and Food Business Economics. Nominees: Randee Zerger, AFS, Agriculture and Food Security; Jesse White, AFS, Agricultural Education; Brandon Knodel, AFS, Agricultural Technology and Production Management; Aaron Appleby, AFS, Organic Agriculture Systems; Sarah Willsey. Animal Sciences, Pre-Veterinary Medicine Option; Zoe Cross, Food Science; Brennan Hyden, Integrated Plant Sciences (IPS), Agricultural Biotechnology; Tyler Baker, IPS, Fruit and Vegetable Management; McKinley Dixon, IPS, Viticulture and Enology; Trevor Powers, IPS, Viticulture and Enology, Tri-Cities.

Bunny and Brandon
Scholarship donor Cecelia “Bunny” Quirk meets recipient Brandon Knodel, an Agricultural and Food Systems major, at the 2016 CAHNRS Honors reception, Thursday, March 24. More than 30 students, donors, volunteers and faculty were recognized at the annual awards night.

Outstanding Junior in Human Sciences

Winner: Mackenzie Selleg, Human Development. Nominees: Kristen Ozaki, Apparel, Merchandising, Design and Textiles, Merchandising Option; Abigail Dovre, Economic Sciences, Business Economics Option; Christina Andresen, Interior Design; Anna Staal, Landscape Architecture.

Emerging Undergrad Leader in Agriculture

Winner: Serena Ranney, Food Science. Nominees: Molly Dilworth, Agricultural and Food Systems, Agricultural and Food Business Economics; Tynnetta Stumvoll, Animal Sciences, Pre-Veterinary Medicine Option; Katilin Miller, Integrated Plant Sciences (IPS), Agricultural Biotechnology; Christopher Wiley, IPS, Field Crop Management; Ryan Kraemer, IPS, Landscape, Nursery, Greenhouse Management; Melanie Ford, IPS, Viticulture and Enology, Tri-Cities.

Emerging Undergrad Leader in Human Sciences

Winner: Shelby Ruiz, Interior Design. Nominees: Marisa Cargin, Economic Sciences, Business Economics Option; Elizabeth Healy, Human Development; Philip VanDevanter, Landscape Architecture.

Yvonne Thompson, a crop and soil sciences graduate student, meets Mary Ellen, Blaire and Craig Steiger, whose family’s scholarship supports her studies.
Yvonne Thompson, a crop and soil sciences graduate student, meets Mary Ellen, Blaire and Craig Steiger, whose family’s scholarship supports her studies.

Outstanding Seniors

Stephanie George, Agricultural and Food Systems (AFS), Agricultural and Food Business Economics; Mia Thomsen, AFS, Agricultural Education; Brett Larmer, AFS, Agricultural Technology and Production Management; Clint Keane, Animal Sciences, Animal Management Option; Sophia Collins, Apparel, Merchandising, Design and Textiles, Design Option; Ember Steen, AMDT, Merchandising Option; Madison Moore, Economic Sciences, Agricultural Economics Option; Justin Shiver, Economic Sciences, Business Economics Option; Corbin Poppe, Economic Sciences, Economics, Policy and Law Option; Riley Seeger, Economic Sciences, Environmental and Resource Economics Option; David Park, Economic Sciences, Financial Markets Option;  Jordan Sperl, Economic Sciences, International Economics and Development Option; Crystal Swanson, Economic Sciences, Quantiative Economics Option; Jake Blaylock, Food Science; Hailey Wright, Human Development; Hanadie Morrison, Human Development, Global Campus; Griffin Berger, Integrated Plant Sciences (IPS), Fruit and Vegetable Management; Megan Davis, IPS, Landscape, Nursery, Greenhouse Management; Sean Lanphere, IPS, Turfgrass Management; Molly Warren, IPS, Viticulture and Enology; Daniel Hottell, IPS, Viticulture and Enology, Tri-Cities; Julie Harris, Interior Design; Jeremy Auer, Landscape Architecture; Logan Eres, Western Agricultural Economics Association; Adrian Rus, Wildlife Ecology.

Superior Club

Winner: Dairy Club. Nominees: Food Engineering Club, Food Product Development Team, Horticulture Club, Human Development Club, Pre-Vet Club, Student Swine Co-op.

Read more about CAHNRS

• Learn about volunteer opportunities in the College of Agricultural, Human, and Natural Resource Sciences here.

• Learn more about studies at CAHNRS here.

• Learn more about research at CAHNRS here.