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K-State Today

May 10, 2022

Agricultural economics announces 2022 Outstanding Senior awards

Submitted by Mary Bowen

The agricultural economics department has selected four students for the 2022 Outstanding Senior Award. The award recognizes seniors in the department for their significant contributions during their time at Kansas State University.

"It is an honor to recognize four exceptional seniors from our department this year," said Elizabeth Yeager, associate professor of agricultural economics and director of undergraduate programs. "Each of these students has excelled in the classroom and served their communities and our department well. We appreciate all of their contributions and wish them the best as they become alumni from the Department of Agricultural Economics."

The following students were recipients of the Agricultural Economics Outstanding Senior Award:

Walker Clawson, Meade, senior in agricultural economics and animal sciences and industry with a business minor. During Clawson's time at K-State, he has been a member of FarmHouse Fraternity, College of Agriculture Ambassadors, Ag Council, the National Agri-Marketing Association team, and the 2021 Meat Judging Team. Walker is also a student fellow with the Center for Risk Management Education and Research. He has interned with 21st Century Equipment in Alliance, Nebraska, and with Desert Ranch at the Rex Ranch near Lisco, Nebraska. After getting married following graduation, Clawson will begin work with Schiff Farms Inc. near Minatare, Nebraska. He will work and rotate through the farm, ranch and feedlots, learning all aspects of the operation.

"I'm honored and humbled to have been chosen as one of the Outstanding Seniors in the Department of Agricultural Economics," Clawson said. "I'm thankful for the staff and students that made my agricultural economics experience at K-State full of growth and lifelong connections. The future of K-State agricultural economics is great and I'm excited to use the knowledge and relationships I've gained in my future career." 

Reagan Hoskin, Pittsfield, Illinois, is completing her bachelor’s degree in agribusiness. Hoskin is a transfer student from John Wood Community College. During her time at K-State, she has been involved in the Agricultural Economics/Agribusiness Club, Pre-Law, the Swing and Salsa Club, and competed with the National Agri-Marketing Association marketing team and sales team. For the past two semesters, Hoskin has worked as the teaching assistant for production economics taught by Brian Coffey. In 2019, she completed a seed sales internship for AgriGold. Following graduation, she will complete a marketing internship at Evoia, a startup company working with biostimulants. In August, Hoskin will attend law school at the University of Kansas.

"It is an honor to receive the Outstanding Senior Award," Hoskin said. "Over the past two years, K-State has given me the opportunity to develop both hard and soft skills. I have enjoyed the classes and getting to know my professors. It has been a wonderful experience and I am grateful for my K-State family."

Reed Middleton, Hermiston, Oregon, senior in agricultural economics and global food systems leadership with minors in Spanish and leadership studies. Middleton decided to pursue a degree at K-State because of her interest in agriculture and desire to see new places. She quickly found K-State and the agricultural economics department to be a place not only for learning but also for building lifelong friendships and professional networks. Middleton has been a College of Agriculture Ambassador, a member of Kappa Delta sorority, a teaching assistant for Barry Flinchbaugh and most recently, student coordinator for Food Security Scholars. Middleton is currently completing her final semester abroad in Montevideo, Uruguay. She will begin a master's program in food economics and marketing at the University of Reading in England this fall.

"The ag economics department has given me so much," Middleton said. "It has served as a place to be curious and encourages me to take ownership of my own learning. Our faculty are some of our biggest cheerleaders and our peers quickly become some of our best friends and future professional connections. I am honored to receive this recognition, especially alongside such stellar peers."

Summer Santillana, Leoti, Kansas, graduated summa cum laude in December 2021 with a Bachelor of Science in agriculture, majoring in agricultural economics. She served as the College of Agriculture graduation commencement speaker. While at K-State, Santillana served as the president, vice president and chaplain of the Alpha of Clovia 4-H Cooperative Leadership House; member of the XIX Mortar Board Chapter; member of K-State Ag Economics Club; member of K-State Minorities in Agriculture, Natural Resources, and Related Sciences Chapter; and was a student assistant in the College of Ag Diversity Programs Office. She was selected as a K-State Truman Scholar nominee and a recipient of the David and Susan Barton Leadership Scholarship for 2020 and 2021 and earned a certificate in conflict resolution. Santillana has completed an internship with Union Pacific Railroad and previously worked for Archer Daniels Midland and Scott Cooperative Association. Through her work in the Office of Diversity Programs, Santillana has co-facilitated numerous programs and presentations and has assisted in leading partnerships across campus. After graduation, she transitioned into the role of coordinator at the Office of Diversity Programs.

"I am honored to have been selected as one of the outstanding seniors in Agricultural Economics at K-State," Santillana said. "Coming from a small town, I didn't know what to expect from college, but K-State ag econ truly provided me with professors and resources that helped it to be fun to learn and easy to find help when needed. I am proud to have come from this department and hope that it continues to grow and works to create a sense of belonging for all students."