Clay Honeycutt ’20 Named CALS Outstanding Senior for Community Engagement

Congratulations to all of the 2019-2020 College of Agriculture and Life Sciences Outstanding Senior Awards recipients.

Outstanding Scholarship

The award for Outstanding Scholarship honors a graduating senior who exemplifies extraordinary academic engagement either bridging concepts across disciplinary boundaries or developing depth of expertise within a singular discipline. Nominees will have performed well in their classes, pursued advanced and challenging coursework, and demonstrated an ability to think creatively and critically.

Young man in a greenhouseLogan Kallam was selected as the recipient of the Outstanding Senior Award for Scholarship. Logan graduated in December with degrees in Plant Biology and Environmental Sciences; he completed both degrees in only three and a half years. He ranked first in a class of more than 8,000 students, earning him the honor of university valedictorian. He was elected to Phi Beta Kappa after his second year and completed the requirements for the University Scholars Program. Logan participated in two study abroad experiences through NC State in Sweden, Germany, and the Czech Republic after his first year, and in spring 2019 spent a full semester at the University of Sunshine Coast in Queensland, Australia. He is the recipient of several scholarships: Jack & Delanie Winchester Scholarship, Jerry H. Fox Scholarship, William R. Poole Scholarship, Larry A. Whitford Botany Scholarship. Logan’s record of co-curricular activity outside the classroom is outstanding: served as a lab instructor for the college’s general ecology course, worked as a Forestry Technician Assistant with the US Forest Service focused on inventorying the vegetative composition of field sites in the Nantahala Forest in southwestern NC, conducted research with Dr. Imara Perera on the molecular mechanisms of plant stress signaling and response in Arabidopsis. He was a member or the Botany Club, serving as its Vice President and as a representative to the Agri-Life Council. Currently, he is a lab technician working in the lab of Dr. Terri Long in Plant Biology on iron absorption and homeostasis experiments. He plans to attend graduate school in ethanobotany.

Outstanding Research

The award for Outstanding Research honors a graduating senior who has added significantly to the body of knowledge in her/his research discipline. Nominees will have demonstrated initiative, independence and positive contributions to an active lab/research program. 

Young woman wearing a hood in an open fieldMikayla Moore was selected as the recipient of the Outstanding Senior Award for Research. She will graduate with a degree in Animal Science (Industry) and a minor in Agriculture Business Management. Mikayla served as the lead undergraduate researcher in Dr. Carrie Pickworth’s lab examining beef cattle weaning. The complex study required collecting data from three project treatments, at two outlining research stations, involving over 250 cow-calf pairs. She demonstrated skills of animal husbandry while in the field collecting data through taking animals weights, body condition scores, hip heights, and blood collection. Mikayla presented her findings on the body weight and body condition progression of both calves and cows during the weaning phase comparing three weaning strategies at the Southern Section American Society of Animal Sciences. She prepared a poster for the North Carolina Beef industry members at the NC Cattlemen’s Conference and will be an author on at least two scientific articles. Additionally she has received several awards and scholarships: American Society of Animal Undergraduate Scholastic Achievement Award, NC Cattlemen’s Association Internship, Winslow Foundation Scholarship, Roger and Phyllis McGraw Animal Science Scholarship. She was a member of the Animal Science Club, Collegiate Cattlemen’s Association, and Collegiate Livestock Judging Team. Mikayla plans to pursue a Master’s degree in Animal Science.

Outstanding Community Engagement

The award for Outstanding Community Engagement honors a graduating senior who has achieved significant accomplishments in the realm of service. Nominees will be leaders who used their time, talents, and intellect to improve their community. Clayton Honeycutt and Marlee Marrotta have been selected as co-recipients of the Outstanding Senior Award for Community Engagement.

Young man posing for a photoClayton Honeycutt will graduate with a degree in Biological & Agricultural Engineering Technology and a minor in Agribusiness Management. He is a Park Scholarship recipient where he served as a civic engagement initiative facilitator, freshmen retreat facilitator, and peer mentor program co-director. He was a program assistant for the North Carolina FFA Association where he developed leadership curriculum and coordinated leadership development events, designed logos and marketing materials for conferences, coordinated a large scale trade show that included 75 vendors from across the country, and managed a team of convention staff and visual art specialists for a state-wide conference. Clayton served as Vice Chair of the Young Farmers and Ranchers Association, was a representative to the Agri-Life Council, and received the NC State BAE Senior Award for Engagement (2020). He participated in an international agriculture study abroad program to Scotland and Ireland where he learned about agricultural practices and technology unique to the region. Since 2013, he served and continues to serve as a volunteer firefighter for the Spivey’s Corner Volunteer Fire Department where he performs various operations in the areas of technical rescue, fire extinguishing, vehicle rescue, and community assistance. He assists in numerous fundraisers including the National Hollerin’ Contest and BBQ Cook-off. He also served as a classroom volunteer for the Ligon Magnet Middle School FFA Chapter where he worked with 7th and 8th grade students and assisted in the development of a leadership curriculum based on the importance of agriculture and community service. After graduation, Clayton plans to obtain a position in the fields of precisions agriculture, controlled animal environments, environmental engineering, or consulting services. He will continue to serve as a volunteer firefighter.

Young woman standing next to a plant bedMarlee Marrotta will graduate with a degree in Applied Nutrition Science. She has significantly impacted her community with her nutrition education expertise. Marlee served as an intern with UNC Rex Hospital in the Post-Operative Unit and then interned with LifeStyle Medical Centers, an outpatient nutrition practice. She worked with dietitians to gain valuable exposure to medical nutrition therapy and obtain a foundation in best practices in clinical nutrition education. She served as a community nutrition intern with SNAP-Ed where she has been helping to implement nutrition education programs and initiating and following-up on implementation of policy, systems, and environmental changes for programs at sites where SNAP-Ed programs are held. She made a positive impact in the lives of the community participants by exposing participants to taste tests paired with nutrition education lessons and creating and implementing informational slideshows to express the important role of nutrition in health. Marlee was involved in several service learning programs in the Department of Food, Bioprocessing, and Nutrition Sciences: completing 15 hours of service-learning with the 4-Cs Food Pantry and completing a series of assignments where she evaluated the programming offered at this agency to create suggestions for how they might improve their efforts. She also volunteered at the Holly Spring Food Cupboard.  Marlee completed the CALS Honors Program in which she created a virtual reality video training experience to help train students enrolled in nutrition education service-learning classes. She served as a teaching assistant and community liaison for NTR 420: Applied Nutrition Education service learning course. Marlee will enroll in the Gillings School of Global Public Health at UNC Chapel Hill in the fall to pursue a Masters of Public Health in Nutrition and Dietetics.

This post was originally published in College of Agriculture and Life Sciences News.