ABE 2019 Spring Banquet

April 10, 2019

Students and their families, faculty, alumni, and friends gathered to recognize excellence in the Department of Agricultural and Biological Engineering at the ABE 2019 Spring Banquet, held on Sunday, April 7 at the I Hotel and Conference Center in Champaign, Illinois.

Speakers included Dr. Paul Davidson, assistant professor in ABE. Davidson spoke on behalf of Interim Head Dr. Alan Hansen, who could not be present. Davidson is a graduate of the department and a former award winner.  Dr. Kimberlee Kidwell, dean of the College of ACES, also gave a few brief remarks before dinner and the awards ceremony.

The evening closed with short speeches by our Distinguished Alumni award winners, Allen Rider, Ph.D. ’73 AgE, and Howard Wakeland, MS’54 AgE.

Allen Rider began his career in research first at Oklahoma State, then the University of Nebraska. His last move was to New Holland (now CNH Industrial) where he served as senior research engineer, vice president of engineering worldwide and president of New Holland North America, retiring after twenty-five years with the company.

Howard Wakeland was a full professor in the Department of Agricultural Engineering, and he worked as an associate dean in the College of Engineering. As associate dean, he began the “Revolving Deans” program, which allowed faculty members from each department in COE to work out of the Dean’s office half-time for one year. He also set in place international programs to provide opportunities for students to be involved in exchange programs around the world.

We are always pleased to recognize the unique contributions and accomplishments of our alumni, faculty and students. This year we were privileged to award more than $54,000 to 40 recipients. Congratulations to all our winners, and sincere thanks to those who make these awards possible!

Following is a list of the 2019 award winners.

ABE 100 Best Overall Awards

  • 1st Place “The Blue Seals” – Nicole Koruna, Henal Patel, Stanley Peng, Sinead Soltis, Ian Zhang, Shixin Zhou
  • 2nd Place “Space Force” – Neil Patel, Gabby Plata, Alisha Riles, Noah Stuart, Brooke Stuckemeyer, Peter Ye
  • 3rd Place “AB3, Inc.” – Corey Beccue, Hayden Cekander, Kabir Fakoya, Frankie Henson, Luke Liu, Alexa Smith


ASABE Central Illinois Section Future Leader Scholarship – Kara Brockamp, Zhenwei Wu

ASABE Quarter Scale Tractor Design Team Outstanding Member and Outstanding New Member – Andrew Miller, Nikhil Wagher

Alpha Epsilon Service and Leadership Award – Bianca Bailey

Bauling/Pershing Memorial Awards – Tianai Chen, Brandon Chiodini, Ryan Fogle, Sarah Gardner

Ben and Georgeann Jones Excellence in Teaching Award – Rabin Bhattarai, Christina Tucker

Ben and Georgeann Jones Undergraduate Student Scholarship – Kara Brockamp, Kyle Keuch

Bernard C. Mathews/Mathews Company Scholarship – Alex Brockamp

C.E. Goering Award for Excellence – Cody Kolbus

Douglas L. Bosworth Agricultural and Biological Engineering Endowed Scholarship – Nissa Larson

Dr. Loren Bode Memorial Scholarships – Douglas Bach, Reese Richardson

Dr. Phillip and Carol Buriak Award – Jason Cho, Elisa Kim

E.W. Lehmann Outstanding Student Awards – Tyler Ditchfield, Jiawen Hu, Yixiao Liu, Bobbi Toepper

Frank B. Lanham Award – Kieran Sloan

Gary and Janet Uken Scholarship – Matthew Maske

Helen R. and Richard C. Coddington International Experience Scholarship – Blake Banks

H. Paul Bateman Congeniality Award – Doug Bach, Reese Richardson

J.A. Weber Outstanding Freshman Award – Neil Patel

J. Kent Mitchell Teaching Excellence Award – Luis Rodriguez

John Deere Student Minority Award – Rachel Tham

K.J.T. Ekblaw Outstanding Sophomore Award – Joseph Howard

Larry and Lola Huggins Scholarship – Andrew Gould

Loren R. Maxey Scholarship – Jayna Fittipaldo

Richard C. and Helen R. Coddington Design Team Award – Robert Jane, Jordan Roundcount, Matthew Sebring, Bobbi Toepper, Sam Wang

Robert J. Gustafson Endowed Scholarship – Lauren Lindow

Ryan Tucker McGinn Memorial Award – Ethan Plote

Steve Eckhoff and Pioneer Hi-Bred International Agricultural Engineering Scholarship – Milan Leman

Wendell Bowers Agricultural and Biological Engineering Student Scholarship – Anne Reardon

Distinguished Alumni Award – Allen Rider, Howard Wakeland



News Writer

  • Leanne Lucas