Alpha Zeta Brings Home The Hardware

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Andy Klunk

Morrill Chapter Members Receive Scholarship Recognition

Recently, a group of eight Active Members received four different awards. The awards were the Alpha Zeta Lindley Hoag and Dorothy Dennis Award, the Dr. David A. Morrow III Alpha Zeta Fraternity Scholarship, the Alpha Zeta Corporation Scholarship, and the Morris Brown Scholarship Award. We spoke to several of the recipients on their recognition, how they achieved their award, and their plans after Penn State and Alpha Zeta.

“The award that I received from Alpha Zeta was the Morrow Alpha Zeta Scholarship,” said senior Andy Klunk. “Other scholarships that I received from the College of Agriculture here at Penn State were the College of Ag General Scholarship, Frank S. & Nina Cobb Scholarship (goes to Food Science majors and is based on academics and research), and PA Meat Packers Scholarship.

The Morrow Alpha Zeta Scholarship was based on academic achievement as well as how involved one is within our fraternity. A form was filled out for this scholarship apart from the College of Agriculture general scholarship application, providing the AZ alumni choosing the winners to know what we do within Alpha Zeta, what it means to us, and some of our achievement and goals. Roles that I have held are Philanthropy and Community Service Chairs. I am currently Scribe.

The College of Ag General Scholarship, Frank S. & Nina Cobb Scholarship, and PA Meat Packers Scholarship were all gained from filling out the College of Agriculture general scholarship application. Each was based on academic achievement. Some other information about each is as follows: The Frank S. & Nina Cobb Scholarship goes to Food Science students that show leadership and potential in research. My leadership could be seen from my participation in Alpha Zeta, research, and working at our Sensory Evaluation Center to get experience in sensory. The PA Meat Packers Scholarship goes to a student that shows proven interest in the meat industry. My showed interest was from interning at the Meats Laboratory as well as doing research there.

Winning the Morrow Alpha Zeta Scholarship allowed me to go to the College of Agriculture Scholarship Dinner where I got to meet the wife of the deceased Mr. Morrow. Hearing more about him and his legacy was nice and interesting to learn about. I'm very appreciative of the generosity that alumni like Mr. Morrow have shown to current members of this house.

I will be graduating in December. After graduation I will be taking on an R&D scientist role at Unilever NA in Englewood Cliffs, NJ either in tea or ice cream products. Obtaining a job in food R&D has been a goal of mine since I started in Food Science so I am proud to say that I have accomplished that goal and hope to have a successful career in R&D.:

Another Active of Morrill Chapter, Jonathan Rutledge, brought home some bragging rights of his own, winning the Dr. David A. Morrow III Alpha Zeta Scholarship.

Jonathan Rutledge

“I believe I was chosen as a recipient for this award for being involved in Alpha Zeta, as well as doing well academically,” said Rutledge. “I have also worked for Penn State’s Veterinary Extension Team, mostly aiding in dairy mastitis research.”

Currently, Rutledge assumes several roles within Morrill Chapter, including:

  • Current Risk Manager
  • Previous New Member Educator
  • Previous Ag. Student Council Representative

“I recently submitted my veterinary school applications and I’m awaiting responses from schools between November and March,” said Rutledge. “Ultimately my plan is to return home and work alongside my father at his veterinary practice, the Cherry Ridge Veterinary Clinic.”

Izaiah Burkunewicz

“This fall I received a minor scholarship through an Alpha Zeta Corp. Board Scholarship,” said Izaiah Bokunewicz, a sophomore at Penn State and member of AZ.

“I earned the award for my hard work, academically, last year.  Last year, as a freshman, I received over a 3.5 GPA and did undergraduate research, in the spring semester, studying the effective vegetative growth of different leafy greens, in raft-system hydroponics, with LED lighting.  Last spring, 7 students in the College of Agricultural Sciences received undergraduate research funding.  I was the only freshman, out of the College's 7.  Within the Alpha Zeta Fraternity, I do not hold any executive board position, but am looking towards becoming Philanthropy Chair or Sustainability Chair for the 2018 year.

After College, I am interested in taking my background in Plant Sciences, to urban areas, managing food production facilities, using indoor methods such as hydroponics and aeroponics.  When food is grown, organically, in these types of systems, and there is a market for this food, it can (potentially) be very profitable.  For the time being, the medical cannabis industry is another industry that I look towards, opportunistically, when evaluating about the most potentially successful industries to work in, with a Plant Sciences degree.”

“The award I received is the Alpha Zeta Lindley Hoag and Dorothy Dennis Award,” said Morrill Chapter undergrad, Chris Toevs.

Chris Toevs

“I received this award based on my academic performance in school. In addition, my involvement in extra-curricular clubs like the American Society of Agricultural and Biological Engineers, the Penn State Quarter Scale Tractor Pulling Team, and the Agricultural Student Council helped award me the scholarship. Finally, I earned the reward based on my involvement inside the Fraternity itself where I have held positions such as Treasurer, Community Service/Philanthropy Chair, and THON Chair.

Besides financial support, I gained a further appreciation for the support network Alpha Zeta Fraternity has given me over the past three years. Ever since pledging the fraternity, the alumni connections and scholarships have enhanced my Penn State Experience. Without the fraternity, I would not be the college man that I am today. 

Over the past three years in the fraternity, I have held many roles. However, currently I am the acting Treasurer and the Penn State THON chair. 

After college, I wish to work for a machinery company testing power transmissions. From there, I wish to acquire my Professional Mechanical Engineering License after gaining experience underneath a licensed engineer. Eventually, I would like to start donating back to the fraternity that has helped make my college years worth remembering.”