2017 Fall Semester's Outstanding Seniors

Thursday, February 1, 2018

Every semester University of Arizona students volunteer, intern, conduct research, and persevere toward their professional goals and, in turn, stand out within their campus and city communities. To celebrate their hard work and outstanding achievements, CALS holds an Outstanding Senior Awards luncheon to honor graduating seniors who shine among their peers for their dedication, experience and future goals. We would like to introduce you to some of our outstanding December graduates: 


Lindsey Lundberg

Veterinary Science

Nominated by T. Luise King, DVM, PhD, Dr. King tells us that Lindsey stands out because of her diligence, as both a student and volunteer, and her impact on the UA and our community through her love of animals. Lindsey volunteered at several veterinary clinics within the Tucson community, including Strickland Veterinary Clinic, Paws and Claws Animal Care, the Hope Animal Shelter and the Reid Park Zoo. “Lindsey is a hard worker and always does more than expected,” says Dr. King. “She has also volunteered in several other community organizations, actively seeking out places where she can make a difference.” In addition, Lindsey mentored students struggling with challenging class material in her position as a dorm desk assistant. Dr. King has also stated that, “Her service at the University of Arizona exemplifies her willingness to seek out a variety of ways to help not just students, but also faculty.”

UA’s impact on Lindsey provided her with many opportunities to get involved, including her internship with Reid Park Zoo. She volunteered for three years, made great friends with both the keepers and consistent volunteers, and it was one of the most influential experiences she had with CALS. She encourages students to get involved, especially with the Reid Park Zoo internship: “I would definitely recommend [that] other students participate in this internship due to the immense benefits toward my future career as a veterinarian and the personal growth I have experienced.”

After college, Lindsey plans to attend veterinary school to further pursue a career as a veterinarian. She has been accepted for Fall 2018 at two different institutions. Her parting wisdom to new and current students is this: participate in your community as much as you can.


Aleah Shook

Major: Agricultural Technology Management & Education

Nominated by Edward A. Franklin, PhD, Aleah received the award due to her passion as a learner and sharer; her leadership and jack-of-many-trades roll among her peers; her professionalism and her energy; and lastly, her drive and dedication to student engagement. Her nominator, Dr. Franklin, explains further: “She takes information and assists her peers during lecture and laboratory sessions. [In group projects] Aleah assumes many roles. She is a leader when called upon, she is a listener when her peers share information, and she mentors others when they seek assistance.” Aleah goes above and beyond to help those around her, demonstrating her teacher-like spirit.

Aleah’s involvement with the UA equipped her with many experiences she can apply to her professional and personal life moving forward. The biggest impact on her academic career was her involvement with the campus community and the opportunities provided to all CALS students. Aleah states that, “The experiences that I had within CALS that had a huge impact on my career and personal life were all the organizations available to me. I was involved in Sigma Alpha Professional Sorority, Collegiate Livestock Growers Association and Dean’s Leadership 50, all of which helped me meet a plethora of friends and make connections. I appreciate the fact that CALS is a close-knit community and the professors make it feel like a home, not school.” Her experience with CALS is one that she considers invaluable.

Aleah’s main plan after college is to attend and graduate from the UA’s Agricultural Education program with a master’s degree. Following her graduation, she will pursue a career teaching agricultural education within the Arizona school system. Her long-term goal is to create an agricultural program for students at the Boulder Creek High school in Anthem, AZ. Her dream is to establish a culture that's like a second home to students so they can thrive, grow, and discover their passion while learning how to pursue their goals.

Aleah’s help and care for other students doesn’t stop there. To UA students she says this: “Don’t worry about the money your degree will make, but how much happiness it puts in your heart. That will be more fulfilling than any amount of money.”


Meghan Burch

Major: Retailing and Consumer Sciences

Nominated by Jana M. Hawley, PhD, Meghan received the Outstanding Senior honor because she is professional, respectful, personable, and a natural leader among her peers. Meghan has showcased her strong character and natural leadership abilities at the UA through campus organizations, sought after internships, and community connections. Dr. Hawley explains further: “Meghan served as the Chair of the Nike Campus Liaison group overseeing 14 Nike Ambassadors. She has also been a Kohl’s Liaison and Vice President of Women’s Executive Council of Pi Beta Phi Fraternity, overseeing academic achievements of 313 women students at University of Arizona. Truly, [Meghan is] a remarkable young woman who deserves to be recognized as a CALS Outstanding Senior.” Because of these experiences, Meghan was able to secure a position as an Associate Merchant at the Nike World Headquarters in Beaverton, OR, post-graduation.

Among the numerous activities on-campus that Meghan took part in, one of the biggest impacts on her future was through the connections she made within CALS. “The best engagement experiences that I have had over my past three and a half years are my relationships with Dr. Hawley and Felicia Frontain. These two women have inspired me, encouraged me to follow my dreams and have always believed in me with the constant support, mentorship and personalization within my courses and extracurricular activities within CALS. The University of Arizona is a huge place, and at times it is easy to get lost. However, I always felt a sense of support.” Her take-away from these relationships and time at the UA was simple, and something she wants all UA students to remember, “Never fear the unknown and take advantage of every opportunity presented to you—do not give up.”


Additional students who were honored at the Outstanding Senior Award luncheon include:

Cyrus Smith – Sustainable Plant Systems

Jacob Sosa – Nutritional Science

Melanie Tesh – Animal Sciences

Rayanna Benally – Natural Resources

Ivsa Flores – Environmental Science

Juan Quiroz Gallego – Agribusiness Economics & Management

Emma Skidmore – Biosystems Engineering


Congratulations to all our outstanding seniors. We wish you all the success in the world! Stay tuned for this Spring semester’s amazing seniors and their accomplishments!

Extra Info

Each semester CALS students can be nominated by a member of their department's faculty for their work ethic, experience, campus involvement, classroom success and more. Follow us on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram to be updated on the academic accomplishments of our students!