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Nesheim legacy lives on through nutrition fellowships
One generation plants the trees under whose shade future generations rest. ~Chinese Proverb
One of the most rewarding things about my job is introducing donors to their student recipients. Yesterday, October 24th, didn’t let me down.
Sandra Nesheim Rankin (BS ‘ 74 College of Engineering) and her sister Barbara Nesheim Mowry were on campus to meet the graduate students supported by an endowment created by their father, the late Dr. Robert O. Nesheim (PhD ’51, MS ’50, BS ’43 College of ACES). Also in attendance was Sandra’s husband, John Rankin (BS ‘72 College of LAS).
Dr. Nesheim served as head of the Department of Animal Sciences (1964-67). He was a successful executive for corporations such as The Quaker Oats Company and a 16-year consultant for the Office of the Army Surgeon General on research to improve the nutrition for soldiers under extreme environmental conditions.
Before his death in July 2008, he established the “Dr. Robert O. Nesheim Fellowships in Nutrition” to support scholarly work and innovation in the field of nutrition in the Department of Animal Sciences in the College of ACES. He credited his professional success to the outstanding education from the University of Illinois and wanted to leave a legacy for future leaders in nutrition.
His endowment has supported five fellows (Michael Iakiviak, Kelly Kappen, Josh McCann, Lindsay Shoup, and Kelly Sotak) who have and or are currently tackling critical issues in nutrition.
It was wonderful to listen to the graduate students share their gratitude, academic backgrounds, and career aspirations with the donor family. Sandra summed it up, “Dad would have been so proud. And so are we.”
(Front row, left to right) Barbara Nesheim Mowry; Dr. Dan Shike, Associate Professor of Animal Sciences; Dr. Hans Stein, Professor of Animal Sciences; Lindsay Shoup, Nesheim Fellow; Dr. Doug Parrett, Professor and Interim Department Head of Animal Sciences. (Back row, left to right) John Rankin; Sandra Nesheim Rankin; Josh McCann, Nesheim Fellow; Dr. Kelly Swanson, Associate Professor of Animal Sciences.
Dr. Doug Parrett shows the Nesheim family portraits of faculty that were on staff during Dr. Robert Nesheim’s tenure (1964-67) in the Department of Animal Sciences.