Scholarship established to honor Dr. Gordon Niswender

Gordon D. Niswender
Gordon D. Niswender

In his nearly four-decade career in the Colorado State University College of Veterinary Medicine and Biomedical Sciences, Dr. Gordon Niswender served as interim dean, associate dean for research, director of the Animal Reproduction and Biotechnology Laboratory, and director of the Equine Sciences Program. He was part of the first class of University Distinguished Professors, and before he retired in 2010, he developed a successful program that trained individuals to use agricultural resources to maximize profit for farmers and ranchers.

Now Niswender, who passed away in March 2017, is being honored with a scholarship established in his name by his family, colleagues and friends.

‘Loved teaching and mentoring students’

“Gordon loved teaching and mentoring students as well as his research,” said his wife, Jody Niswender. “He devoted 40 years to Colorado State University to make it a better place for students to learn and to prepare for their future.”

One of Niswender’s passions was to support agriculture and agricultural education in rural communities, and he worked to provide opportunities for high school students to acquire practical agricultural knowledge and skills. The Gordon Niswender Memorial Scholarship continues that passion by supporting outstanding students majoring in an agriculture-related degree at CSU.

“This scholarship is the perfect way to honor my father’s legacy,” said Kory Niswender. “Three things he felt strongly about are encompassed in it: agriculture, education and Colorado State University.”

Inaugural recipients

This was the first year the scholarships were awarded, to twin sisters Kayla and Jenna Frink from Eaton, Colo. Kayla and Jenna were selected in part because they epitomize Gordon’s work ethic and commitment to agriculture. They grew up in an agricultural setting, participating in 4-H and raising sheep. Both are animal science majors at CSU, and both are pursuing an agricultural business minor.

Pictured from left, Jody Niswender, Jenna Frink, Kayla Frink and Kory Niswender
Pictured from left, Jody Niswender, Jenna Frink, Kayla Frink and Kory Niswender

Kayla’s interests include both 4-H and FFA, and she plans to continue in the livestock and agriculture industries. Jenna is involved in multiple activities at CSU including the Meat and Livestock Judging teams, Block and Bridle, and Livestock Association.  She plans to pursue graduate education in animal nutrition or meat science.

“I am truly honored to have received the scholarship in honor of Dr. Niswender,” said Jenna. “I look forward to the opportunities that are ahead of me at Colorado State University and in the agriculture industry.  I can’t thank the Niswender family enough for helping me fund my future.”

“By being honored this prestigious scholarship, it has helped me to pursue my education in animal science and continue in helping me to pursue my future in agriculture,” Kayla added.

More information

For more information on the scholarship, contact Jody Niswender.