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Richart Named Outstanding Senior by CAS
Pennsylvania Ag Connection - 06/02/2020

Olivia Richart is the recipient of the Outstanding Senior Award for the 2019-20 academic year in Penn State's College of Agricultural Sciences.

The Outstanding Senior 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 resumes, grades, interviews and a short essay.

Richart, of North East, Maryland, a Schreyer Honors College student, graduated May 9 with a degree in agricultural sciences and a minor in international agriculture. A member of Penn State's Army ROTC, she has excelled during her time at Penn State both inside and outside of the classroom, noted Alan Schaffranek, director of alumni relations for the college.

"Olivia not only embodies the ideals outlined in the application for the Outstanding Senior Award -- she skillfully teaches others to adopt such principles through her leadership positions," Schaffranek said. "This year's selection process was quite difficult, with many worthy applicants. Special thanks to the Coaly Society and the selection committee for their deliberation."

Richart participated in several internships and study abroad experiences, which shaped her college experience. As a student in "INTAG 300: Agricultural Production and Farming in the Tropics," she traveled to Ghana in 2018 and completed research during the trip.

She also completed research in Bhutan in 2019 for the Center for Himalayan Environment and Development Studies. Her travels continued in Montana, where she spent a summer working on a cattle ranch, and in Norway, where she was a farmhand.

Additionally, Richart was the president of the Ag Student Council, president and founding member of the International Agriculture Club, a member of the Penn State Woodsmen team, and the secretary of both the Coaly Society and the Collegiate FFA. She was part of two honors societies, Gamma Sigma Delta Agricultural Honors Society and Phi Eta Sigma at Penn State.

Her academic success has been recognized through multiple awards and honors during all four years including the Evan Pugh Scholar Award and the President's Freshman Award. Richart also received honors from ROTC, including the Nittany Lion Battalion Top GPA Award in 2017, 2018 and 2019.

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