Mt. Sterling’s Katie Garen named distinguished senior at OSU

Katie Garen

(Posted May 14, 2020)

Katie Garen of Mount Sterling has been named a 2020 Distinguished Senior at The Ohio State University College of Food, Agricultural and Environmental Sciences (CFAES).

“The Distinguished Senior Award is the most prestigious undergraduate award in CFAES, recognizing the top graduating seniors from each of the academic units on the Columbus campus,” said Steven Neal, CFAES professor and associate dean for academic programs.

Garen, an agribusiness and applied economics major from Madison County, was nominated by college faculty and staff who felt that she personified the award’s attributes of academic, disciplinary, and professional excellence.

“One of the hallmarks of our college is an emphasis on student success, and it is heartwarming to see it exemplified through the accomplishments of our students,” Neal said. “Recipients are our future innovators and leaders who have already made an impact within the academic environment at this university and beyond.”

In nominating Garen for the award, CFAES faculty members noted her success as president of the Crops and Soils Club, increasing membership and quadrupling meeting attendance.

In addition, she conducted research with Ohio State weed scientists, including trials with marestail and waterhemp seed, chemical trials with Enlist and Dicamba, and other data collection projects.

Garen served in leadership roles for the university’s National Agri-Marketing Association team, Sigma Alpha Sorority, and Alpha Zeta Partners fraternity, among others. She was a member of the Agricultural Systems Management Club and a CFAES peer mentor. She also earned a 3.98 cumulative grade point average and has received the Newcomb Scholar Award every year, indicating that she had one of the highest cumulative grade points among CFAES undergraduates.

“Katie’s internships, involvement, and academic success have already made an impact on the agricultural industry,” said nominator Brian E. Roe, associate chair and Van Buren Professor in the Department of Agricultural, Environmental, and Development Economics. “Katie has prepared herself to be a more impactful innovator by not just focusing on one sector of agriculture but by investing time and taking an interest in water management, precision, weeds, economics, and environmental sustainability, to name a few.”

Garen held internships every summer during college, first with Sunrise Cooperative, then Pioneer Seeds in Nebraska. She impacted that team by leaving a binder of materials and resources they could use to sell their digital ag service. For her last internship, she worked in sales for Corteva AgriSciences in Ohio.

After graduation, Garen will work full time with Corteva Agrisciences as an associate territory manager. She will work directly with farmers and associates in hopes of making a positive impact on the agricultural world.

“My long-term goal is to manage my own territory in south-central Ohio, very close to my operating family farm,” Garen said.

An awards dinner to recognize all 25 CFAES Distinguished Seniors has been canceled due to COVID-19.

“The safety of our community is our top priority,” Neal said. “We are deeply sorry the planned celebration will not occur. The commitment and dedication of these students to their undergraduate education will still be recognized with a special award package that will be mailed later this semester.”

In autumn 2019, there were 2,486 undergraduate students in CFAES pursuing 22 majors and 31 minors.

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