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May 15, 1999

UW-RF College Honors Two Agriculture Students

By Mary Sandelands

UW-RF News Bureau

Two students in the College of Agriculture Food & Environmental Sciences at UW-River Falls were recognized for their contributions or academic performance during the past academic year.

The 1999 Outstanding Senior award was presented to Grant E. Staszak of Bonduel by Dean Gary Rhode. The Rochelle Junkman Seymour award for the graduating senior with the highest grade point average was presented to Janelle Johnson of Bloomer, who graduated with a 4.0 cumulative average after having received all A's during her academic career.

Staszak will be graduating at the end of May with a bachelor's degree in agricultural business and political science.

For the past two years, Staszak represented the 150,000 students in the University of Wisconsin System as their representative to the Board of Regents. He was appointed to the position by Gov. Tommy Thompson. During his tenure, Staszak visited all 26 four- and two-year campuses to meet with students.

Among his many other activities during his academic career, Staszak served as the treasurer for the Future Farmers of America, and spoke at 21 chapter FFA banquets.

Last summer, Staszak interned with the Wisconsin Department of Agriculture, Trade and Consumer Protection.

He was commended during the College's banquet for having been selected into Alpha Zeta, Order of Omega, and Alpha Gamma Rho fraternities.

As a member of Alpha Zeta he was selected as a national scholarship finalist and co-chaired the Farm Day Program for 1998. From the national agricultural fraternity, Alpha Gamma Rho, he earned the 1999 Advisor's Award, was an undergraduate director finalist, and received the Alpha Gamma Rho Fraternity Freshmen Spirit Award.

During his collegiate career, Staszak received five individual scholarships. In 1993 he was awarded the Bay Lakes Cooperative and the Whitetails Unlimited scholarships, in 1997 the Shawano County Farm Progress Days scholarship, and in 1998 he received the Dr. Ray Anderson and the Shawano County Home and Community Education Scholarships.

Staszak has been a productive member of the United Council of UW Students that lobbies the Wisconsin Legislature, UWS Board of Regents and executive branch on behalf of student interests. At UW-RF, he was a member of the CAFES Ambassador Program in 1995, and chaired the farm management contest for the UW-RF Agricultural Technology contest for high school students.

He served the UW-RF Student Senate as the budget committee chair and treasurer from 1994-95 and was President of the senate from 1996-1997. Staszak also was the business manager for the Student Voice, the University's newspaper.

Staszak also has maintained his private interests, serving as a partner in Sandbridge Dairy Farm in Bonduel from 1982-91, and he also and worked at Brunner Farms Inc. in Cecil from 1992-94.

Staszak will end his years at UW-RF as the spring commencement speaker for 1999.

Johnson has been on the deans list every semester while majoring in biotechnology, and working as an assistant in the chemistry and biology departments.

In addition to her rare academic achievement as one of the few UW-RF students to earn all A's, Johnson was active in many student organizations.

On the state level she served as vice president of the Wisconsin Future Farmers of America.

On campus she served as vice president and treasurer of the Agricultural Education Society, was president of the Falcon 4-H club, and was a member of the Honors Club, the Biotechnology Club, and the national honor fraternity, Phi Kappa Phi.

In June, Johnson will be traveling to Norway for a six-month International 4-H Youth Exchange program and upon her return is planning to work in Florida in a biotechnology internship.

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