Professor of Agriculture Aslihan Spaulding is the recipient of a Living Our Values Award.

people clapping

Members of the Department of Agriculture cheer for colleague Aslihan Spaulding as she receives a Living Our Values Award.

The Living Our Values awards recognize individuals and groups that exemplify Illinois State’s core values of Learning and Scholarship, Diversity and Inclusion, Respect, Collaboration, Individualized Attention, Civic Engagement, and Integrity, as spelled out in Educate Connect Elevate: Illinois State – The Strategic Plan for Illinois’ First Public University 2018-2023. The awards celebrate the commitment to live the University’s values every day, and strengthen the campus community by sharing those values.

Spaulding was nominated for the core values of Learning and Scholarship, Individualized Attention, Diversity and Inclusion, Respect, and Collaboration. “Over and over again Dr. Spaulding has demonstrated these values in her teaching, scholarship, and service activities. She is most deserving of this recognition,” said Rob Rhykerd, the former chair of the Department of Agriculture who nominated Spaulding.

students in hardhats at a harbor

Students studying abroad with Professor Aslihan Spaulding in Argentina.

Joining Illinois State’s faculty in 2003, Spaulding serves as the study abroad coordinator for her department. She recently co-led students to study the farm-to-table food systems in Argentina. Learning came in conversations and meetings with farmers, manufacturers, and the agricultural counselor at the U.S. Embassy in Argentina. “It was an eye-opening experience for all of us. There are so many similarities, yet major differences in how we approach food and farming,” said Spaulding. “The impact of economics on their livelihood is something students would not have fully grasped until they met with local farmers and businesses.”

Spaulding said her goal is to expose students to the many career opportunities in the food industry. She takes students to professional development events with the Private Label Manufacturers Association (PLMA) University Outreach Program, the Produce Marketing Association (PMA) Immersion Academy, and the National Grocers Association (NGA) Food Industry Coalition.

Her work has also catapulted the ISU chapter of the National Agri-Marketing Association (NAMA) into a national force. Under her guidance, the ISU NAMA has received the Outstanding Student Chapter award six times. She was awarded the John B. Riley Outstanding National Student NAMA Advisor Award and the ISU Registered Student Organization Advisor of the Year Award for her efforts.

Logo with the words Educate, Connect, Elevate, Illinois State: The Strategic Plan for Illinois' First Public University, 2018-2023Nominees for the Living Our Values awards can be any current Illinois State student, faculty, or staff member, or a group of people at Illinois State working toward a program or initiative that reflects the core values.

Nomination forms can be found on the Educate Connect Elevate: Illinois State website.