This citation honors College of Agriculture and Life Sciences early- or mid-career alumni who have distinguished themselves through significant advancement and achievement in their discipline, field or area of expertise. This award is given to individuals who have graduated within the last 15 years. Selection is made by the Dean of the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences.
2017 Outstanding Young Professional Awardee
Dawn Refsell, manager of Midwest field development for Valent U.S.A., is an emerging national leader in weed science. In her role, Refsell manages the Valent field development team and Midwest Agriculture Research Center, a 77-acre research farm in Illinois she helped design and develop.
Prior to her current role, Refsell served as a University of Illinois Extension and Outreach agronomist specializing in weed science. She joined Valent in 2009 as a field market development specialist and concurrently earned her doctorate in agronomy from Kansas State University.
Refsell’s leadership and agronomic expertise has risen to a global level. She is a member of the Global Herbicide Resistance Action Committee and serves as the communications lead for the U.S. Herbicide Resistance Action Committee. She is the strategic planning chair for the North Central Weed Science Society and a member of the Weed Science Society of America.
An active young alumna, Refsell frequently returns to Iowa State University to speak to classes, judge weed science competitions and serve as a mentor for young women interested in agronomy. She is an active supporter of Iowa State University College of Agriculture and Life Sciences initiatives, serving in the college’s young alumni program, Curtiss League. In 2013, Refsell was featured in the ISU Alumni Association’s VISIONS Across America project.
Refsell’s contributions extend to many civic organizations. She is a flight liaison for the Heartland Honor Flight and serves on the Missouri Patriot Guard and Missouri Patriot Express.