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2008 Outstanding Senior Award

Posted: June 30, 2009

Diane Nicole Harris, Animal Bioscience
Diane Nicole Harris

Diane Nicole Harris

Diane Nicole Harris of Lancaster  received the Outstanding Senior Award from Penn State’s College of Agricultural Sciences at the college’s commencement ceremony on May 17 in Eisenhower Auditorium on the University Park campus.

This award, sponsored by the College of Agricultural Sciences Alumni Society and the Coaly Society, honors the senior who best balances outstanding academics, extracurricular activities, work experience and communication skills. Candidates are selected based on résumés, grades, interviews and a short essay.

A 2004 graduate of Conestoga Valley High School in Lancaster, Harris will receive her bachelor’s degree in Animal Bioscience with a grade point average of 3.85. Active in several extracurricular activities, she served as an Ag Advocate representing Penn State and the College of Agricultural Sciences at activities throughout the year and informing the public about the diversity of the agricultural sciences.

Harris worked and interned at several locations during her college career. In the summer of 2006, she participated in the Vets-In-The-Wild program in South Africa, where she assisted in game capture and attended classes in Pretoria. She also learned about animal care and observed medical procedures while working for three veterinary clinics in her hometown.

Since 2007, Harris has been a principle investigator in a research lab on campus, studying Salmonella prevalence in canines. She has also served as a teaching assistant for a Penn State animal science course for three semesters.

Harris was also a member of Penn State’s Pre-Vet Club, serving as the treasurer and membership chair. In 2005, she received the club’s Most Active Member award. As treasurer, she managed the $70,000 budget for the 2007 Pre-Veterinary Medical Association National Symposium hosted by the club.

Harris has received many honors and awards. She was named Grand Champion in Amateur Showmanship at Penn State’s 2006 Dairy Expo, and placed highly in several categories at Penn State’s 2005 Little International livestock competition. She has been accepted into several schools of veterinary medicine, including North Carolina State University, Ohio State University and the University of Pennsylvania.

Harris credits most of her success to the opportunities given to her by the College of Agricultural Sciences. “When I began my Penn State career,” she explains, “I was overwhelmed by the thought of attending such a large university. My advice to students is to take advantage of these opportunities. Getting involved made Penn State a more intimate place for me. I truly believe that this college has opportunities to fit every student’s interest.”