Outstanding Ag Sciences students recognized

UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. -- Courtney Marie Norjen, a veterinary and biomedical sciences major from Ellicott City, Md., is the recipient of the Outstanding Senior Award from Penn State's College of Agricultural Sciences.

The award will be presented at the college's commencement ceremony at 3:30 p.m. May 11 at the Bryce Jordan Center on the University Park campus.

This award, sponsored by the College of Agricultural Sciences Alumni Society and the Coaly Society, honors the senior who best balances outstanding academics, extracurricular activities, work experience and communication skills. Candidates are selected based on resumes, grades, interviews and a short essay.

A Schreyer Honors Scholar, Norjen will graduate with a grade-point average of more than 3.8. During the summer of 2012, she traveled to the Institute for Sustainable International Studies field school in Belize, where she participated with a large animal veterinarian in performing physical examinations and other procedures. She also assisted a wildlife veterinarian at the wildlife clinic, the Belize Zoo and the Belize Bird Rescue.

Norjen also has spent summers working as a veterinary assistant at Paradise Animal Hospital in Catonsville, Md., and as a student exhibit guide at the National Aquarium in Baltimore.

During her undergraduate career, Norjen received extensive research experience. As a research assistant in the lab of Tracy Langkilde, associate professor of biology, she analyzed video of wood frog behavior and morphology and quantified the effects of exogenous corticosterone and testosterone on morphology of offspring in eastern fence lizards. In addition, she worked in Penn State's Animal Diagnostics Lab performing PCR and gel electrophoresis to examine antibiotic resistance in E. coli as it pertains to poultry and livestock.

Active in several extracurricular activities, Norjen served as president of the Pre-Vet Club and co-chaired the club's participation in THON, the IFC/PanHellenic Dance Marathon. She also was a member of the THON Morale Committee, served on the Schreyer Honors College student council and participated with Habitat for Humanity.

Other awards

The College of Agricultural Sciences also will honor outstanding students in golf course turfgrass management and forest technology.

-- Collin Harley, a native of Gilbertsville, will receive the Golf Course Turfgrass Management Program Award. Harley graduated from Bloomsburg University of Pennsylvania with a bachelor's degree in geoscience. While at Penn State, he was a member of the Turf Club and served as its treasurer.

He has worked at several Golf Clubs, including the Hickory Valley Golf Club in Gilbertsville and the Linfield National Golf Club in Linfield. He completed his internship at the Aronimink Golf Club in Newtown Square, which has hosted many major tournaments featuring several of golf's most notable players. Harley has accepted a job at Aronimink following graduation.

-- Ethan Mansfield, of New Milford, will receive the Forest Technology Program Award. Mansfield will graduate from Penn State Mont Alto with an associate degree in forest technology and will continue his education at University Park next fall, working toward a bachelor's degree in forest ecosystem management.

During his time at Mont Alto, he was president of the Forestry Club and a member of the Woodsmen Team. He also was this year's student representative on the Forest Technology Advisory Board.

Last summer, Mansfield worked in the natural-gas industry as an environmental inspector intern for McDaniel Technical Services. He hopes to intern in the energy field again this summer.

Courtney Norjen, a veterinary and biomedical sciences major, is the College of Agricultural Sciences' 2014 Outstanding Senior. Credit: Penn StateCreative Commons

Last Updated May 09, 2014