Students Receive Senior Merit Awards

Congratulations to three of our students on receiving this year’s College of Agriculture’s Senior Merit Awards during a special virtual ceremony during the second week in May.

Seniors Marina Conner, Jordan Cornell, and Harlee Schneider received the awards for their leadership, scholarship and service at the department, college and university level.  The Texas A&M College of Agriculture and Life Sciences Senior Merit Award is the highest award given to undergraduates by the College.

Jordan Cornell

Cornell is an Entomology major with a minor in Public Health from San Antonio.  He was a member of the Corps of Cadets and served as Scholastic Officer.  He was a member of Army ROTC, the AMC Honor Guard and O.R. Simpson organization within the Corps of Cadets.  Jordan was a volunteer with Connecting Point Church where he was a lead classroom teacher for Pre-school Sunday School and with Robyn’s N.E.S.T. program for young children.

Cornell held a full-time summer internship with Alturas Wildlife Sanctuary in the Summer of 2018 where he assisted veterinarians with care for rescued animals and participated in Army Cadet Training in the Summer of 2019.  He has also served as USA Hockey Official and Trainer from 2013-18. He received the Gold Star Award for Academic Excellence and the American Legion Academic Medal.  He was the recipient of the Len P. Quattrochi Memorial Scholarship, Texas Armed Services Scholarship, 3-Year Advanced National Army Scholarship and the General Rudder Scholarship.

Cornell plans to commission into the Army and pursue a career as an officer in the Army working with in public health entomology to provide a healthy environment for communities across the country and around the world.

Marina Conner

Conner is an Entomology major from Rowlett, Texas Marina was a member of the Corps of Cadets where she served as Public Relations Corporal in 2017-18, Scholastics Sergeant and Squad Leader in 2018-19 and Scholastics Officer and Squad Leader in 2019-20. She was also a member of the Fightin’ Texas Aggie Band for four years and was chosen for ceremonial bands for both President George H. W. Bush’s funeral and Governor Greg Abbott’s Inauguration. She served as a host for Texas A&M Korean Guest Exchange Program for January/February 2019 and 2020 and served as primary contact to Korean cadets for their month long stay at Texas A&M.

Conner also was a member of the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences Student Council for two years serving as Entomology Departmental Representative and member of the Service Committee. She was a Wildlife Center Aide in 2019 for the Winnie Carter Wildlife Center, teaching facility of Texas A&M College of Veterinary Medicine & Biomedical Sciences aimed to familiarize students with managing and caring for exotic and wildlife animals. Conner participated in the Texas A&M University Concert Band as a Symphonic Band French horn player for four years and Concert Band First chair French horn player for two years.

Conner has been Co-Leader of a Cadet girls Bible Study with Campus Crusade for Christ and was a 2017-19 Distinguished Member of the Pre-Vet Society assisting with annual Texas A&M College of Veterinary Medicine Open House and service events. Additional service activities for Marina included Cornerstone Church Soup Kitchen for the homeless, Aggieland Humane Society 2018 Wiener Fest, Special Olympics Texas Fall Classic in Bryan/College Station in 2018 and 2019 and Campus Crusade for Christ at the University of Bologna, Italy in 2017. Professional development activities include shadowing veterinarians on both large and small animals at East Lake Veterinary Hospital, VCA Park Cities Animal Hospital and Crossroads Veterinary Clinic.

Conner participated in a Texas A&M Caribbean Tropical and Field Biology Study Abroad Program in 2018 where she conducted a field research study on Streak Gecko, Gonatodes vittatus and currently working with Texas A&M professor and Trinidadian professor to prepare paper for submission to the Living World Journal of Trinidad and Tobago Field Naturalists’ Club. Marina was a Buck Weirus Spirit Award Recipient in 2019 and was recognized as Phi Kappa Phi Gathright Outstanding Junior for the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences in 2019.  Due to her excellence in campus involvement, she was selected as the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences Gates-Muller University Award Nominee in 2020.

Harlee Schneider

Harlee Schneider is a Forensic & Investigative Sciences major from Bastrop, TX.  She was a member the of Entomology Scholars Society and the Aggie Forensic and Investigative Sciences Organization (AFIS).  As a member of AFIS, she volunteered with the Chemistry Open House in 2017, 2018 and 2019.  She was also a member of Texas A&M Cupcakes, a non-profit organization that hosts bake sales to benefit the Brazos Valley Food Bank. Schneider also volunteered for the Youth Adventure Program hosted by the Entomology Department to teach high school students about a variety of forensics topics. She served as a Peer Notetaker for Disability Resources.

Schneider also was an intern with the College Station Police Department Criminal Investigations Division in Fall 2019 and volunteered with the Division in Spring 2020.  She also held internships with Clinical Pathology Laboratories in Summer 2016 and with a local physician’s office, Dr. Robert Dougherty, in 2015-16.  She was involved with undergraduate research with an abstract, “Disruptions of Solenopsis invicta Pheromone Trails” published in Instars: A Journal of Student Research in 2019.  She was inducted into the honorary societies of Sigma Alpha Pi and National Society of Collegiate Scholars.  She also was the recipient of several scholarships including Dr. Adrienne Brundage, Joe and Billy Manion, Bastrop County Aggie Mom’s Club, Freedom Alliance Scholarship and the Allan A. Marburger ’60 Endowed Opportunity Award. Schneider plans to attend medical school and become a forensic pathologist.

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