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U of I College of ACES Alumni Association honors 2011 Outstanding Young Alumni

Published November 22, 2011

The University of Illinois College of Agricultural, Consumer and Environmental Sciences (ACES) Alumni Association has named Dawn Jackson Blatner of Chicago, Holly Spangler of Marietta, and Bradley Wolter of Aviston, as recipients of the 2011 ACES Outstanding Young Alumni Awards.

These awards recognize outstanding accomplishments of living ACES alumni who have demonstrated outstanding professional achievement or outstanding leadership or service that has significantly enhanced or improved the lives of others. The awards were presented on Nov. 18 at the annual ACES College Connection event at the Alice Campbell Alumni Center in Urbana.

Dawn Blatner graduated from the ACES dietetics program in 1997 as a Bronze Tablet recipient. She went on to work at the weight management center of Northwestern Memorial Hospital and eventually formed her own business, Dawn Nutrition Strategies. She advises her clients on how to use food to optimize health and is author of The Flexitarian Diet. For nine years, Blatner was the national spokesperson for the American Dietetic Association and she still maintains a media presence, including being a blogger for USA Today and the Huffington Post and serving as a registered dietician for NBC News Chicago,, and Fitness Magazine, which named her one of the best dieticians in the country. She received the Lifetime Television "Remarkable Woman" award in 2011.

Holly Spangler is a 1998 agricultural communications graduate and received the Warren K. Wessels Achievement Award for the outstanding senior in the College of ACES. She joined Prairie Farmer as a student and is currently working as an associate and field editor. She brings real-world production agriculture experience to the topics she covers, including a range of production, management and issue-oriented stories. She also shares the trials and tribulations of young farmers through her monthly column, "My Generation." Spangler serves on the board of the American Agricultural Editors Association (AAEA). In 2005, AAEA named her a Master Writer and she has received several awards from the association for her photography. As a founding member of the Ag Communications Alumni Leadership Council, Spangler has worked closely with the council to support the program and engage alumni with students to better understand the field of agricultural communications.

Bradley Wolter received his bachelor's degree (1997), master's degree (1999), and Ph.D. (2002) in animal sciences and is an active member of the American Society of Animal Science, and the Illinois and National Pork Producers Associations. He has published more than 80 scientific articles, abstracts, and technical bulletins on swine nutrition, welfare, and production management and is a highly sought-after industry speaker. Wolter is the chief operating officer of The Maschhoffs, one of the nation's largest family-owned pork production networks. The Maschhoffs offer dynamic internship programs in the company for ACES undergraduates. Wolter also developed the ACES Master of Animal Science in Swine Production degree, aimed at students planning a career in production management in the swine industry. His services to ACES include being a member on the External Advisory Committee for Animal Sciences and giving lectures in Animal Sciences. Wolter and his wife support the Bradley and Kimberly Wolter Jonathan Baldwin Turner Scholarship, a significant commitment to ACES students.