Rebecca Skinner-Atkinson was the 2009 Young Alumni Winner
Rebecca Skinner-Atkinson (second from left), a 1999 Black Hills State University graduate, receives the Young Alumni Achievement Award from Tom Wheaton (left to right), director of Alumni Relations; Sandy Mattern, BHSU Alumni Association President; and BHSU President Kay Schallenkamp, during the 2009 Student Volunteer Awards Celebration. The Young Alumni Achievement Award honors an alumnus who has attended BHSU within the past 10 years and has distinguished him or herself with outstanding achievements, contributions, and service to society, the community, and BHSU.

The Black Hills State University Alumni Association recently presented the Young Alumni Achievement Award to Rebecca Skinner-Atkinson, a 1999 graduate of the University who works an assistant professor in the Department of Animal Science at Southern Illinois University Carbondale (SIUC).

The Young Alumni Achievement Award is given to honor an alumnus who has attended BHSU within the past 10 years and has distinguished him or herself with outstanding achievements, contributions, and service to society, the community, and BHSU.

As a BHSU student, Skinner-Atkinson was president of the Student Ambassadors and the Health Science Student Organization. She was also a resident assistant at Thomas Hall and later the director of the campus apartments. In addition she spent two years as a student worker in the alumni office.

After graduation in May of 1999 with a bachelor of science degree in biology and chemistry, Skinner-Atkinson moved to Fort Collins, Colo., and worked for Agilent Technologies for two years. From 2001 to 2003 she was a Graduate Research Assistant at the University of Wyoming earning her Master of Science in Animal Science. From 2003 to 2006 Rebecca remained at the University of Wyoming as a Graduate Research Assistant and in 2006 obtained her PhD.

In August 2006, Skinner-Atkinson was hired as an assistant professor in the Department of Animal Science at SIUC. As a beef forage specialist, she is currently a member of the Illinois Forage and Grassland Council, the Society of Rangeland Management, the American Society of Animal Science, and Gamma Sigma Delta Honor Society of Agriculture.
Skinner-Atkinson has been the recipient of several awards throughout her educational and her professional career including Outstanding PhD. Student, Gamma Sigma Delta Honor Society of Agriculture, Best Oral Presentation, University of Wyoming Graduate Student Symposium, and recently she was named the Donald Elkins Excellence in Education Award at SIUC. Rebecca’s service, numerous publications and grants makes her a leader in the area of Animal Science.

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