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Purdue Entomologist named 2007 Hovde award recipient

Ag Communications
By Jennifer Stewart Cummins
December 10, 2007

Tom Turpin inside the Entomology Boiler Bug Barn.

WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. - Purdue University entomologist Tom Turpin is the 2007 recipient of the Frederick L. Hovde Award of Excellence in Educational Service to Rural People of Indiana.

The award, which honors Purdue staff with a record of outstanding achievement and service to rural Indiana, was announced Saturday (Dec. 8) at the Indiana Farm Bureau convention in Indianapolis.

"Dr. Turpin is an outstanding educator and communicator, and his service to Indiana agriculture and to his profession is truly representative of what this award is all about," said Don Villwock, president of Indiana Farm Bureau.

Turpin, who is the driving force behind programs like "Bug Bowl" and "Insectaganza," was recognized for his efforts to educate thousands of people in various audiences about the importance of insects and the roles they play in agriculture.

"Turpin's efforts have played an integral role in educating students and the general public about science and the key role insects play in agriculture and the environment," said Randy Woodson, Glenn W. Sample Dean of Agriculture. "He teaches his materials in fun, creative ways that draw in audiences and really make a difference in the way people perceive the world of entomology."

In addition to his efforts in the classroom and his work on special events, Turpin has appeared on television and radio shows and as a guest speaker at hundreds of educational programs in nearly every county in Indiana, in more than 30 states and in more than a dozen countries.

He has taught more than 10 percent of the current undergraduate student body about insects, poetry and prose and agricultural heritage. Throughout his career, Turpin has served as major professor for more than 20 graduate students.

Turpin also serves on the advisory committees for several educational organizations, including Conner Prairie and Prophetstown State Park.

"Dr. Turpin has an uncanny ability to entertain and educate at the same time, and he does this with seemingly boundless energy," said Steve Yaninek, head of the Department of Entomology. "He has been and will continue to be an inspirational role model for our students and an exceptional representative of Purdue in the State of Indiana."

The Frederick L. Hovde Award of Excellence in Educational Service to Rural People of Indiana is sponsored by the Indiana Farm Bureau and carries with it an $800 cash prize.

Hovde, who served as Purdue president from 1946 until he retired in 1971, inspired the award.


Writer: Jennifer Stewart Cummins, (765) 494-6682, cumminsjs@purdue.edu

Sources: Randy Woodson, (765) 494-8391, woodson@purdue.edu

Ag Communications: (765) 494-2722;
Beth Forbes, forbes@purdue.edu
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