CALS Council Senior Awards

Students dressed in business professional attire stand in front of a stage with faculty dressed in academic robes on either side.

Every Fall and Spring semester, CALS Council recognizes graduating seniors who have gone above and beyond while attending Iowa State. Through six different awards, the council would like to bring attention their hard work and dedication.

Spring 2024 Nominations now open!

All College of Agriculture and Life Sciences Seniors graduating this semester are eligible. Nominations for spring 2024 graduates are now open. You can be self-nominated or a nomination can be filled out by a peer, advisor, or ISU staff member by March 18.

The following awards will be considered this semester:

  • Leadership and Innovation: recognizing a senior who has held leadership roles on campus and shown innovation and creativity.
  • Academic Achievement: recognizing a senior with an outstanding academic record through grades, scholarships and honors received while at ISU.
  • Distinguished Service: recognizing a senior who has dedicated their time to better their community through service activities and organizations, both on and off campus.
  • Outstanding Ambassador of Agriculture and Life Sciences: recognizing a senior who has served as a liaison between Iowa State, the college and communities while representing and educating students about issues pertinent to the student experience.
  • Inclusive Excellence: recognizing a student who has fostered an environment to encourage diversity (religious, racial, ethnic, sexual, geographical, cultural, etc) and inclusion within the college.
  • Outstanding Senior: recognizing a senior who has shown exceptional effort in leadership, service and academia. This is a cumulative award selected by judges, no nomination is necessary.

Congratulations to the Fall 2023 Recipients

  • Megan Decker (agricultural and rural policy studies), Outstanding Senior Award
  • Colton Holdgrafer (animal science), Outstanding Ambassador of Agriculture and Life Sciences Award
  • Erik Gerdts (agronomy), Award for Academic Achievement
  • Grace Spindler (biology), Distinguished Service Award
  • Nicole Gudenkauf (dairy science), Award for Leadership and Innovation
  • Grace Reiss (nutritional science), Award for Inclusive Excellence


Additionally, each fall the Council seeks nominations for the Milleman Family Mentorship Award. This award was established to recognize faculty members, academic advisers, teaching assistants, or club advisers who go above and beyond for their undergraduate students, both in the classroom and individually.

Nominations for the mentorship award have closed.

The applications will include a short essay describing the nominee’s contributions to Iowa State. Questions can be directed to Delaney Graef, chair, CALS Council awards committee.