Graduate Scholarship Winners


Graduate Scholarship Winners‚Äč

2012 - Collette Thogerson

Collette Thogerson

Collette stated that a good leader has clear vision, can clearly articulate the vision, inspire and motivate others to join the quest for the vision, and passionately pursue the vision to completion. Having a clear vision requires setting goals and setting a course of action to obtain those goals. Collette has had a clear vision for making a difference in the lives of animals since she was a small child. Her vision for helping animals sparked a relentless determination to pursue her education regardless of the obstacles that stood in her path. Collette has demonstrated this by speaking about her research at nearly 20 scientific presentations, winning honorable mention at the Animal Behaviour Society poster competition as an undergraduate and receiving the Poultry Science Association Student Certificate of Excellence Award for an oral presentation. Collette's Master's and Ph.D. projects have involved working with stakeholders to elicit change in animal welfare.

Passionately pursuing a vision to completion requires putting passion into action, a strong sense of determination, competence, patience and dependability. Collette has demonstrated this many times. She stated that she does not take "no" for an answer but instead asks "How can we make this work?" For instance, she wanted to work with zoo animals, but her advisor's main focus was teaching her how to be a rigorous scientist and had concerns about challenges zoo researchers face. Collette has displayed competence, patience and dependability in her research, but also in her home life where she is a wife and mother. Parenting three young children, while pursuing her vision for making a difference in the lives of animals has required an extensive amount of patience, dependability, and a very strong sense of humor.

2011 - Patrick Gunn

Patrick Gunn

Patrick's academic performance speaks for itself as he has pursued a M.S. in nutrition and a Ph.D. in reproduction. He has demonstrated excellent communication skills both on and off campus. He has won both the M.S. and Ph.D. Graduate Student competitions at the Midwest American Society of Animal Science meetings and his teaching evaluations have consistently been near 5.0. Patrick has been actively involved in University and national organizations. He has been an active presenter at the Animal Sciences Workshop for Youth the last three years and has been involved with the Animal Sciences Preview Days. In addition, he has served as an official at the State Livestock Judging Contest for three years and as graduate advisor to Alpha Gamma Rho Fraternity for five years. He is currently serving as the American Society of Animal Science Midwest Section Graduate Director Vice-Chair (2010-11). He has served as a teaching assistant for ANSC 32400 three times, ANSC 43500 two times, and ANSC 30100 once. This fall, he is listed as a co-instructor for ANSC 43500.

Patrick states in his scholarship letter "To be a leader involves passion for understanding the big picture, an action plan developed on the needs and expectations of the group, experience working with people to earn their trust, and helping people be the best they can be. A leader is not a person, but a mindset, and a way of life."

2010 - Heather White

Heather White

Heather joined Dr. Donkin's laboratory in August of 2007 after completing her M.S. at Purdue University with Dr. Latour and Dr. Donkin. She has maintains an outstanding GPA (3.42) and has been a member of the ANSC Graduate Student Association and has served on the Graduate Committee as Student Representative for 2 years. Heather has helped with numerous departmental activities such as Junior Pork Day, Career 4-H Agriculture Campus Visits, and Boiler Barnyard. She has been Captain of the Department of Animal Sciences Tippecanoe County Relay for Life team since 2006, served as Graduate Student Representative to Purdue University Department of Animal Sciences Distinguished Alumni, Life Long Career Category in 2009, as well as serving as the American Society of Animal Science Graduate Student Director (2009-2011).

Heather states in a scholarship letter "... There are many great leaders surrounding us here at Purdue University and we can all learn something different from each of them. Though each leader possess different key characteristics, to me, being actively involved, leading by example, being available and approachable, and being enthusiastic and passionate are absolutely critical to being a successful and influential leader. Every leader possesses a dedication and passion for what they do and if successful, they will inspire us to reach our full potential."

She volunteers as a mentor to 4-H members in Morgan County as well as serves as a College mentor through the Lebanon School Corporation. In summary, Heather has been actively involved and engaged in the Department of Animal Sciences whether she is assisting new graduate students in the lab, being an outstanding Teaching Assistant or representing the University on a national level Heather has demonstrated outstanding leadership. There is no doubt that Heather is destined for great things.

2009 - Rosangela Poletto

Rosangela Poletto

Rosangela joined Dr. Marchant-Forde's laboratory in August of 2005 after completing her MS at Michigan State University. She has maintains an outstanding GPA (3.93) and has been a major supporter of the ANSC Graduate Student Association, helping with numerous activities such as Spring Fest, Career Fairs, Homecoming and Fall Picnics.

Rosangela's nominator states, "Everything that Rosangela takes on gets her fullest attention and commitment. She has TA'd and guest lectured on ANSC undergraduate courses and has shown herself to be an excellent and approachable teacher, she has mentored undergraduate doing independent research and has left a lasting impression of attention to detail, solid science and excellent work ethic. Not content with influencing students already here, she has given her time to Animal Sciences Workshop for Youth and Junior Pork Day and the Purdue Gifted Education Program...

"Outside ANSC Department, she has become involved in farm welfare audits and has completed training with Humane Farm Animal Care, to become an Inspector, and Swine PQAPlus, to become an Advisor. She has also volunteered and carried out a mini research project at the Columbian Park Zoo. In summary, this combination of achievements, to me, show outstanding leadership. I have no doubt that Rosangela is destined for great things and will play a major role in farm animal welfare at local, national and international levels..."

2008 - Brianna Gaskill

Brianna Gaskill

Brianna joined Dr. Garner's laboratory in August of 2005 after completing her BS from Kansas State University. She has maintains an outstanding GPA (3.65) and has been active in ANSC Graduate Student Association serving as Social Co-Chair, as Secretary/Treasurer and now President.

Brianna has shown a talent for leadership. She has don at lot to bring together the diverse studentship of the GSA and to create a more collegiate atmosphere across disciplines in the graduate student body. This can be seen on a daily basis in the POUL Graduate Student offices which are much more friendly and collegiate than even a year ago - we now see graduate students supporting each other and forging friendships across labs in a way that we didn't before. Brianna has also shown strong leadership with her projects, having the confidence to question, and the ability to work with many people in a cheery and friendly way to get things done. These skills also translate into the way she has provided research opportunities and guidance for undergraduates.

Brianna states "Leadership can be defined numerous ways but, to me, the most important qualities are attitude, life style, and involvement. I admire these attributes the most in the leaders I know and I try to emulate these qualities in myself. I do not believe that anyone can lead successfully without displaying these characteristics."