Awards and Honors

Posted: May 21, 2008

Distinguished Alumni; College, and University Awards
  • Dr. Paul Shellenberger , Professor Emeritus, has been named the Dairy Science Distinguished Alumnus. Paul, who currently lives in Franklin, IN, will be recognized at the Nittany Lion Classic this Fall.

  • Jorge A. Elizondo-Salazar received 2nd Place at the Graduate School's 23rd Annual Graduate Exhibition in the area of Health and Life Sciences.

  • Terry Etherton received the Booster Award from the Penn State Stockmen's Club in April at the Club's Annual Spring Banquet.

  • In the Gamma Sigma Delta poster competition in March, Karen Racicot , Ph.D. advisee of Troy Ott , won first place in the Biological Sciences Division. Erin Nowelsky won 5th place in the Undergraduate category. Jud Heinrichs and Gabriella Varga also had student award winners.

  • Dr. Don Orr has been selected to receive the College of Agricultural Sciences Outstanding Alumnus Award.

    Dr. Dana Putnam has been selected to receive the College of Agricultural Sciences Outstanding Recent Alumnus Award.

    Don and Dana will be honored at a College event that will be held on November 7 at the Nittany Lion Inn. As always, the Department will host an event on Friday afternoon to celebrate this honor. Later that afternoon Don and Dana will be honored at a formal reception hosted by the Dean of the College.

College of Agricultural Sciences Agricultural Student Council Awards

  •  Educational Activities: Block and Bridle
  • Ag Man of the Year: Kyle Grim
  • Ag Woman of the Year: Byrnn Kepler
  • Ag Club Adviser of the Year: Dan Kniffen for Block and Bridle

The Center for Student Engagement University Awards

  • Outstanding Student Organization of the Year: Block and Bridle
  • Outstanding Club Adviser of the Year: Dan Kniffen
  • Craig Millar Award for Leadership and Service: Kyle Grim

College Staff Laureate Awards

  • Customer Service Award: Randy Swope
  • Leadership Award: Vivian Baumer
Bill Rishel

William H. Rishel, York County native and owner of Rishel Angus, North Platte, NE, was named the 2008 Penn State DAS Animal Science Distinguished Alumnus and will be honored during Little I/Dairy Expo weekend, April 18 and 19.

Rishel received his B. S. and M.S. in animal industry in the College of Agricultural Sciences, in 1967 and 1969, respectively.

Well known for his successful breeding program, Rishel has bred Angus sires that have played a dominant role in American Breeders Service and Accelerated Genetics.

Two dominant sires produced by Rishel Angus are B/R New Design 036, the #1 sire for registrations in the Angus breed in 2001 and 2002, and the #1 sire in semen sales for ABS Global for two consecutive years; and B/R New Frontier 095, the #1 sire for semen sales for Accelerated Genetics in 2004 and 2005.

Rishel has provided strong leadership within the industry, currently serving as vice-president for Nebraska Cattlemen.

He also served on the Cattlemen's Beef Board from 200 -2006, being chair of the Product Enhancement Committee and a member of the audit committee, the advertising committee and the administration subcommittee. He was a member of the board of directors of the Nebraska Cattlemen Research and Education Foundation from 1996-2007, serving as president from 2000-2002.

Dr. Terry Etherton, head of the Department of Dairy and Animal Science said, "Bill's outstanding success within the beef industry is a tribute to the strong foundation he received as a Penn State student. He is an exceptional alumnus and outstanding role model, whose contributions and leadership will have lasting benefit to the entire industry."

As an undergraduate at Penn State, he was a member of the Coaly Society, the Block and Bridle Club and worked in the beef barn. He was show chairman of the 50th Little International in 1967, and was named champion showman of Little I in 1964, and reserve champion showman in 1965. He was assistant beef cattle herdsman in 1967-68.

Rishel was a member of the national champion livestock judging team at the International Livestock Expo in Chicago in 1966, and was second high individual in the contest.

As a 4-H'er in York County, Rishel showed several county and state champions including the 1963 Pennsylvania Farm Show Grand Champion Steer. He was also a member of the 1959 Pennsylvania Champion 4-H Livestock judging team. His parents are Edward and Evelyn Rishel, and he has two brothers, Ed and Dick.

Married to Barbara, they have three children, Jill, Joy and Judy and five grandchildren.

Rishel has received wide recognition within the beef industry, including being named 2007 Record Stockman U. S. Livestock Industry Leader of the Year, 2006 Nebraska Angus Association Producer of the Year, 2006 Honorary Angus Foundation Inductee, 2005 Beef Improvement Federation Seedstock Producer of the Year, 2005 Inductee Angus Heritage Foundation, and receiving the 2001 Certified Angus Beef Seedstock Commitment to Excellence Award.

He continues to judge Angus shows around the country, most recently the 2007 Western National Angus Futurity, Reno, NV; 2006 National Western Stock Show Angus Carloads/Pens; and the 2005 National Western Stock Show National Hereford Show and National Shorthorn Show, among other state and national shows.

Other industry leadership positions he has held include service on the Certified Angus Beef Board of Directors, the American Angus Association Board of Directors and the Nebraska Cattle Board of Directors.