AMES, Iowa – A student in the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences at Iowa State University received the George Washington Carver Spirit of Innovation and Service Award.
Cody Acevedo is a senior in animal ecology from Watertown, Wisconsin. Acevedo, who was nominated to receive the award, described it as inspiring.
“It was interesting to see the other students who were nominated, but also professionals who had contributed to underrepresented minorities and it was amazing to see all the things they had done,” Acevedo said.
The award honors George Washington Carver, who was an internationally recognized scientist, inventor, artist and musician born into slavery in Missouri near the end of the Civil War. He was the first African American student to be admitted to Iowa State. He earned his bachelor’s degree in 1894 and his master’s degree in 1896. Carver was the first African American faculty member at Iowa State and went on to gain an international reputation during a long career at Tuskegee University.
The award is sponsored by the George Washington Carver Birthplace Association, which is a nonprofit cooperating association of the National Park Service at the George Washington Carver National Monument near Diamond, Missouri.
Elizabeth Martinez-Podolsky, College of Agriculture and Life Sciences multicultural liaison officer, said Acevedo’s passion for nature reflects what George Washington Carver did during his lifetime.
“Getting to know Cody has allowed me to learn about his passion for native butterfly species and conservation,” Martinez-Podolsky said. “It’s the same passion for science and research that empowered George Washington Carver to succeed.”
The award is presented to students who are first-generation college students, pursuing a scientific degree, doing well academically, involved in research, engaged in arts and the humanities, and who demonstrate a determination and perseverance in pursuing their educational and life goals.
This year Acevedo was one of four recipients nationwide to receive the Carver Spirit of Innovation and Service Award. The other recipients were:
- Raymond Thomas, Kansas State University
- Stephanie Twohey, Simpson College
- Tiiwon Siaway, Tuskegee University