Auburn CSES Club wins high honors at national meeting

By Laura Cauthen

The Auburn University Crop, Soil and Environmental Sciences Club achieved several “first-in-club-history” distinctions at the annual national meeting of Students in Agronomy, Soils and Environmental Sciences, or SASES, in Tampa, Florida, Oct. 22-25. The honors include placing in the two competitions and the election of a member to national office.

The group placed second in the President’s Trophy Contest, a finish that distinguishes the Auburn club as one of the best chapters in the U.S. Auburn environmental science senior Jamila Murchison’s presentation highlighting the club’s public service, club development, fund raising and professional promotion activities clinched the honor.

Murchison also was elected vice president of the SASES in the national officer team election, marking the first time an Auburn student has served on the organization’s cabinet. As an officer, she will help plan both the regional SASES meeting in March and the 2018 national meeting in Baltimore.

Daniel Carter, a freshman in agronomy and soils, claimed the other Auburn honor, placing fifth in the national speech contest.

“These accomplishments are especially important, in that we are one of the few universities from the Deep South that participates in these undergraduate student activities,” said David Weaver, club faculty advisor. “Most of our competitors come from larger programs in the Midwest and West.”

John Beasley, soil, crop and environmental sciences department head said that the club members’ achievements cast a spotlight on Auburn’s programs.

“Our presence at the national level continues to grow,” he said. “I am very proud of our students.”

The SASES annual meeting is held in conjunction with the international annual meetings of the American Society of Agronomy, Crop Science Society of America, and Soil Science Society of America. The meeting, with the theme "Managing Global Resources for a Secure Future," brought together more than 4,000 scientists, professionals, educators and students.

Weaver said students who attend and compete in the event gain leadership experience and learn about the most pressing soil, crop and environmental sciences issues, as well as meet industry employers and representatives of various graduate programs throughout the U.S.

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