College of Agriculture & Natural Resources
Agricultural & Resource Economics

AREC Celebrates the Holidays and 2017 Graduate Student Awards

AREC hosted its annual Graduate Awards and Holiday Luncheon on December 7, 2017, and recognized six graduate students with awards and scholarships.

One of the honorees was second-year graduate student Christopher Holt. He received the Rhona Lantin Award for best paper by a first-year student. He also presented his research from this paper at the graduate poster session that was on November, 29 2017.

“I developed a new method that can be broadly applied using very little data on emissions,” said Holt. “It provides policymakers with information about what it costs to reduce pollution.”

Another award winner is third-year graduate student Yujie Lin, who won the Bessie H. DeVault Award for best paper by a second-year student.

“I’m really glad. For that paper, I took Erik Lichtenberg’s class, and he helped me form the idea,” said Lin. Her paper focused on agglomeration bonus and land conservation.

Andrew Brudevold-Newman, who graduated in 2017, received the Dr. and Mrs. Bill V. Lessley Award, for best Ph.D. dissertation. It was titled Essays on Education in Developing Countries. His paper examines government subsidized education and education policies. Brudevold-Newman currently works as a development economist at the American Institute for Research.

Award recipient Jun Zhang also was recognized at the luncheon, and accepted the John R. and Marjorie C. Moore Award for best effort to publish a paper in an academic journal. He is a fourth year graduate student.

“Unfortunately my paper was rejected, but it gave me a chance to improve it,” said Zhang at the event. He followed the advice he received from the peer reviewers and has submitted the paper to another journal. “This award encourages students who want to pursue an academic career and lets us know about the reality of what it takes to publish a paper.”

At the event, fourth year graduate student M. Mehrab bin Bakhtiar received the Bruce and Mary Ann Gardner Dissertation Enhancement Award. With the award, he received $5,000 to put towards his research.

“I’m trying to look into how giving income to very poor women improves household decision making,” said Bakhtiar. His research is focused in Nigeria.

The final award given was the Dr. Bruce L. Gardner Memorial Scholarship to first-year graduate student Samuel Williamson.

“I am extremely appreciative,” said Williamson. “It helped me pay for a lot of my moving costs.”

During the luncheon, donors were also recognized for their contributions. Without them, these awards possible would not be possible. Members of the family of Bill Lessley attended the luncheon. Chuck McCormick, who was a friend of Rona Lantin and is now a contributor to the scholarship named in her honor, was also there.

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