Department of Agricultural and Biological Engineering

Graduate Student Association Officers - 2013-2014

President

Taylor Leahy

Taylor Leahy

leahy3@illinois.edu

It is truly an honor to serve as your ABE GSA President. Currently, I am a second-year Master's student, focusing on Soil and Water Resources Engineering. Unlike most students, I conduct my research off-campus, at CERL for the Army Corps of Engineers. Dr. Prasanta Kalita continues to serve as my unwavering, fearless adviser for the last six years. When not in the classroom or office, I can be found spending time relaxing, traveling, or just enjoying the great outdoors.
 
 

Internal Vice President

Stephanie Herbstritt

Stephanie Herbstritt

herbstr2@illinois.edu

Hi! My name is Stephanie. I am a second year Master’s student working with Dr. Cooke in the Soil and Water group. My research focuses on bioreactors used to treat agricultural drainage water. I am originally from Bellefonte, Pennsylvania, a small town located in what is known as Happy Valley near stunning mountains and streams and my first love—Penn State—where I completed my B.S. in Biological Engineering and minored in Environmental Engineering. Go Lions! When I’m not busy being a graduate student, I can be found doing something active outdoors. I look forward to serving the members of the GSA as internal vice president and getting to know all of you!

External Vice President

Zhongzhong Zhang

Zhongzhong Zhang

zzhang52@illinois.edu

Hi, I'm Zhongzhong. I'm a Ph.D. student working with Dr. Yuanhui Zhang. I came to the U of I after graduating from Fudan University in Shanghai, China. Now my research focuses on computational fluid dynamics and HVAC technologies. I'm a big fan of sports especially football (NOT American football!) and badminton. I look forward to meeting you all on the sports field and having tons of fun!
 

Treasurer

Jude Holscher

Jude Holscher

jholsch2@illinois.edu

I am a first year Master’s student in TSM at UIUC, working under Dr. Paul Davidson. My research is currently focused on cover cropping’s effect on nitrate and phosphorus leaching. I am from a small town, Palestine, located in central Illinois. I received my B.S. in Agricultural Engineering in 2010. Following graduation, I worked for an environmental consulting and also farmed. My real passion is sustainable agriculture, but I also enjoy activities such as sports and hiking, whatever keeps me outdoors. Contact him at: Jholsch2@illinois.edu

Secretary

Safyre Anderson

Safyre Anderson

sandrsn3@illinois.edu

Hi I'm Safyre (pronounced "sapphire") and I'm a 3rd year MS student with Dr. Bhalerao with a specialization in Biological Engineering. I'm originally from San Jose, CA and all its sunny and blizzard-less glory! I graduated from UC Davis in Biological Systems Engineering in 2010. The number one thing I miss about California.. the awesome food! I look forward to bringing together ABE students (old and new) with GSA foodie events!
 

Social Chair

Brett RamirezBrett Ramierz

ramire10@illinois.edu

Brett Ramirez is currently working on his Master’s in ABE with a focus on assessing the reliability and validation of measurements to accurately quantify methane emissions from beef cattle. He earned his BS in ABE from UIUC with a minor in biomolecular engineering in 2008. During his undergrad, he was a three-time varsity letter winner in track and field and winner of the 2008 ASABE undergraduate poster competition. Hobbies include traveling, playing sports, and electronics prototyping.
 

Athletics Chair

Tim Rendall

Tim Rendall

Rendall1@illinois.edu

My Name is Tim Rendall. I was born and raised in Bartlett, IL. I received my bachelors of science in technical systems management in 2013 from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. The following fall I started to pursue my graduate degree in the department.  I work with advisor Dr. Richard Cooke and have a research interest in water quality of runoff from agricultural fields.
 

Webmaster

Jaime Thissen

Jaime Thissen

thissen2@illinois.edu

Jaime Thissen’s research interests are in energy development, sustainability and international policy. He is currently a SURGE Fellow and is working with Dr. Davidson on developing a cattail resource project relating to biomass extraction and water quality. This past summer he conducted multidisciplinary sustainability research regarding the Amazon Rainforest as a Summer Predoctoral Fellow. Jaime is a nine-time scholarship winner, former McNair Scholar, McNair Fellow and is a former array team member of the University of Minnesota Solar Vehicle Project. He has previously worked with the USDA, UNEP and Buccleuch Estates in Scotland. He has also given numerous research presentations.

 

Previous Officers

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