Outstanding Students Recognized for Impact Beyond the Classroom

April 17, 2017
Outstanding students Rudoff and Berning

Before the ceremonial mortarboard toss at graduation, the end of spring term brings a whirlwind of activity including celebrations, award ceremonies and banquets. According to graduating senior Craig Berning, his being named a CFAES Outstanding Senior, a Denman Forum winner and an Ohio State Board of Trustees Student Recognition Award recipient has led him to reflect on his time at OSU and his unique accomplishments. Berning spent a summer interning in Washington D.C. learning about food policy issues and the experience influenced his honors thesis on GMO and smart labeling.

“Learning how food policy and legislation worked influenced the direction of my research,” shares Berning. “So my professional interests expanded into the academic realm.”

Berning believes interning in D.C. made him a more aware citizen and the skills he gained set him up to land a job. He is returning to the capital city in May start a job as a government relations coordinator for an agricultural agency.   

Graduating senior Helena Rudoff is a 2017 CFAES Internship Award recipient. She applied her out-of-the-box thinking to land a unique internship in D.C. that helped her chart the course for graduate school.  Rudoff’s unconventional approach to learning started at Metro High School where she took STEM-focused college courses.  Once at OSU, she became an Environment, Economy, Development and Sustainability (EEDS) major.  When it came time land an internship, she was the only EEDS student selected to participate in the Washington Academic Internship Program.   Rudoff and 29 other students who are studying public affairs through OSU’s John Glenn School of Public Affairs lived and took classes together, while participating in various internships around D.C.   

“I interned at the Department of Agriculture in the Department of Communication,” shares Rudoff. “I learned about food issues, rural development and natural resources conservation and wrote blogs on the subjects."

Rudoff knew she wanted to attend graduate school but was not entirely certain which degree program to pursue.  

“My internship helped me figure out that I wanted to focus on environmental and economic policy,” shares Rudoff.  “I have always wanted to see how different worlds connect.  I’m really excited to attend the University of Pennsylvania and begin this new chapter of discovery.”