Two UW-River Falls students were honored by the Wisconsin chapter of the American Society of Agricultural and Biological Engineers at its March 28 meeting in Oshkosh.
Sophomore Virginia Lee of Mequon received the Agricultural Engineering Student of the Year award. The agricultural engineering program is one of the newest programs at UW-River Falls. Lee was among the first students accepted into the program in 2016 and is the first UW-River Falls student to receive this award. Lee’s career path was sparked by a high school service trip to Ecuador. She wants to use her agricultural engineering degree to help reduce poverty by removing deficiencies and inefficiencies in getting food, water and other critical resources to communities.
Lee is employed in the Dairy Pilot Plant on campus and is a member of the Dairy Club, the Newman Club and the Falcon Pulling Team, which is designing and fabricating a quarter-scale tractor for the ASABE intercollegiate competition in June. During her spring break in 2017 she participated in a Habitat for Humanity project in Jefferson City, Mo. Lee also is a Falcon Scholar, enrolled in the Honors Program on campus and has made the Dean’s List each semester. She will intern this summer as a dairy process engineer with GEA North America.
Jon Kusz, a senior from Stillwater, Minn., was the recipient of the Agricultural Engineering Technology Student of the Year award. Kusz is president of the Falcon Pulling Team, overseeing 20 active members as they prepare for the June competition. He has also been involved in volleyball intramurals and served as president of his Residence Hall Council and vice president of the Agricultural Industries Club, which organizes various career development field trips and a pond clean up in the local community. He participated in a study abroad program during his sophomore year.
Kusz hopes to secure a position as a manufacturing engineer and to start a company with a focus on increasing sustainability and helping ensure that fresh water and secure food sources are available to everyone.