Stockport woman named 2019 Distinguished Senior at OSU

COLUMBUS — Megan Whalin of Stockport, Ohio has been named a 2019 Distinguished Senior at The Ohio State University’s College of Food, Agricultural, and Environmental Sciences (CFAES).

“The Distinguished Senior Award is the most prestigious undergraduate award in CFAES, recognizing the top graduating seniors from each of the academic units on the Columbus campus,” said Steven Neal, CFAES professor and associate dean for academic programs.

Whalin, an animal sciences major from Washington County, Ohio, will be honored at an on-campus awards dinner on March 27 where all 25 distinguished CFAES seniors will be recognized. The CFAES Distinguished Senior Award honors academic, disciplinary and professional excellence.

“One of the hallmarks of our College is an emphasis on student success, and it is heartwarming to see it exemplified through the accomplishments of our students. Recipients are our future innovators and leaders who have already made an impact within the academic environment at this university and beyond,” Neal said.

Whalin is one of those students that excels in so many categories, wrote her nominator, Maurice Eastridge, professor and Extension dairy specialist in the Department of Animal Sciences. “She is a stellar student, has a tremendous work ethic and automatically becomes the leader in group projects. Outside the classroom, she has a passion for serving others,” he noted.

As director of volunteering for the OSU Buckeye Food Alliance, Whalin’s work benefited the community by ultimately providing greater access to food by OSU students who face food insecurity. As a Morrill Scholar, she became a mentor for first-year Morrill Scholarship Program students and encouraged them to become involved in diversity and inclusion on campus.

In addition, Whalin has worked with various organizations to promote food security for the OSU campus and Columbus-wide community. She delivered snack packs to Head Start programs through Buckeyes Against Hunger and worked to prepare a garden for the Columbus refugee community though Students for Refugees. She enhanced the educational experiences of Columbus children by tutoring in a Students for Refugees after-school program, and volunteered at the Mid-Ohio Food Bank and OSU’s on-campus food pantry through the Buckeye Food Alliance.

“Her global understanding of agriculture and world culture greatly expanded during her CFAES years with Study Abroad trips to Nicaragua, New Zealand, Spain, and Ireland,” Eastridge wrote. “Her college experience continues to be so much more than bettering herself, but also giving of herself in bettering the lives of others, regardless of age.”

She has been active in the Buckeye Dairy Club, conducted research on ewes during gestation at OSU’s Agricultural Research and Development Center in Wooster, worked at the OSU Swine Center to learn about other food animal species, and worked as a veterinary assistant at two veterinary hospitals.

After graduation, Whalin plans to attend the OSU College of Veterinary Medicine, with an interest in ambulatory food animal medicine.