ANSC Annual Graduate Student Awards Luncheon
May 10, 2001

The following awards, presentations, and announcements were made at the Graduate Student Luncheon, May 10, 2001.

Congratulations! to the 2001 Featherston Award Winners (Autumn Sorrells, Jason E. Swain, Mahogany Wade, Amber Frederick, and Moige Ongeri)

The W. R. Featherston Awards were established to annually recognize outstanding accomplishments of graduate students in the Department of Animal Sciences. The award was established in honor of the leadership and dedication to graduate students exhibited by Professor W. R. Featherston. Professor Featherston was on the staff from July, 1962 to June 3, 1980, the date of his untimely death. The award is based on the nominee's academic and research accomplishments including publications, presentation at scientific meetings, leadership characteristics and involvement in departmental and University activities.

The FEATHERSTON AWARDS FOR 2001 were presented to:

Featherston Early Graduate Career Award - Jason E. Swain

Jason Swain receiving the award from Dr. Alan Grant
Jason Swain joined the ANSC Graduate Program in 1999 to pursue a Masters degree under the direction of Dr. Rebecca Krisher. Jason's thesis research involves studies directed at optimization of in vitro embryo production. He has compared metabolism of in vitro oocytes to that of those matured in vivo to determine inadequacies in the in vitro environment. He has also examined effects of hormones and growth factors on nuclear maturation rates, assessed fertilization rates with different sperm cryopreservation techniques, and has assessed metabolism of in vitro and in vivo-derived embryos in order to optimize various culture systems. His research has led to the formulation of a new porcine embryo culture medium. Jason received a D. Woods Thomas Scholarship for International Studies in 2000 that enabled him to conduct research involving comparative reproductive physiology of wild and captive elephants in Africa. Thus, implications of Jason's MS research include improvement in reproductive efficiency of agriculturally-important species, as well as information leading to the preservation of endangered and exotic species. At the time of this nomination, Jason was an author or co-author of 5 refereed manuscripts and was preparing two additional manuscripts for publication. He won second place for a presentation of his research at the 2001 International Embryo Transfer Society paper competition and has received a GSA Travel Award.


Featherston Off-Campus Training Award - Autumn Sorrells

Autumn Sorrells receiving the award from Dr. Alan Grant
Autumn completed her B.S. in Animal Science at the University of Missouri in 2000 and since that time has been pursuing her M.S. under the direction of Dr. Susan Eicher. Autumn's thesis research involves the study of immunology and animal behavior to ultimately improve animal well-being. Specifically, she is investigating the impact of maternal housing stressors on the immune system and behavior of piglets. This Featherston Award will provide funds to permit Autumn to participate in an advanced course in immunology from the American Association of Immunologists at Stanford University. The course includes six, ten-hour days of lectures taught by highly recognized immunologists. This course material will complement Autumn's thesis research, and will allow her to have much more input into other immunological studies in the department.


Featherston Graduate Teaching Award - Amber Frederick

Amber Frederick receiving the award from Dr. Alan Grant
Amber earned her B.S. from Purdue and then began her graduate work at Purdue in 2000. Amber is pursuing her MS under the direction of Dr. Rebecca Krisher.


Featherston Graduate Teaching Award - Mahogany Wade

Mahogany Wade receiving the award from Dr. Alan Grant
Mahogany received her B.S. at North Carolina A&T State University and subsequently began her graduate work at Purdue in 1999. She is pursuing her MS under the direction of Dr. Mike Spurlock. After completion of her degree, Mahogany will be attending Virginia Tech pursuing the DVM degree.


Featherston Outstanding Ph.D. Award - Moige Ongeri

Moige Ongeri receiving the award from Dr. Alan Grant
Moige joined the ANSC Graduate Program in 1999 to pursue her Ph.D. under the direction of Dr. Rebecca Krisher. Moige previously received her B.S from Egerton University in Njoro, Kenya, a Masters degree from University of Nairobi and a Masters degree in Basic Medical Sciences from Purdue University. Moige is currently conducting research in the area of oocyte activation and embryo cloning. Specifically, she is working on a project that examines the effects of methylation on development of cloned embryos. Her work has a potentially huge impact upon the field of nuclear transfer. Nuclear transfer embryos are developmentally inferior, producing fewer blastocysts with lower cell numbers and high rates of embryonic and fetal loss after transfer. Moige's work may elucidate a cause for this problem and identify a method to alleviate it. She has authored or co-authored 3 refereed publications and 5 abstracts. She was a recipient of a LOUJA travel award in 2000 to present her research at the SSR (Study of Reproduction) Meeting in Madison, WI. She is a member of SSR, the International Embryo Transfer Society, and the Gamma Sigma Delta Honor Society of Agriculture. While performing her dissertation research in Dr. Krisher's lab, Moige has been a teaching assistant in the Department of Biological Sciences. She has served as the TA for BIOL 301 and 302: Human Design, Anatomy and Physiology continuously. She was recognized for her outstanding teaching last year as the Featherston Outstanding Teaching Award recipient and was honored at the University's "Celebration of Graduate Student Teaching" in 2000. Moige's excellence in research and teaching makes her a very deserving recipient of a Featherston Award.



  • W.R. Featherston Outstanding PhD Award for 2000, Graduate Student Certificate of Excellence at the Southern Society of Poultry Science Meeting – Stacey Neuman
  • W.R. Featherston Early Graduate Career Award for 2000 – Ami Gandhi
  • W.R. Featherston Outstanding Graduate Teaching Award, Purdue University Outstanding Graduate Teaching Award for 2000, and 2000 Purdue Research Foundation Summer Research Award – Moige Ongeri
  • W.R. Featherston Off-Campus Training Award for 2000 – Francis Kearney and Heather Hostetler, Co-winners
  • LOUJA Awards 2000 – Jeff Arseneau, Charles Bormann, Christie Braun, Ami Gandhi, Heather Hostetler, Dustin Kendall, Anne Knee, Moige Ongeri, Carrie McKee and Tom Weber
  • Robert Hogue Award and the Krannert Applied Management Principles Program Award – Edward Onyango
  • Hubbard Feeds Scholarship – Jeff Arseneau
  • International Embryo Transfer Society Student Research Competition for 2001 (among 6 finalists) – Jason Swain (second place award) and Charles Bormann
  • D. Woods Thomas Scholarship for International Studies, 2000 – Jason Swain
  • 2000-01 Midwest ASAS Master's Graduate Student Competition – Tara McDaneld (first place) and Cory Herr (third place winner)
2000-01 Teaching Assistants –

Fall, 2000

    ANSC 102 – Ryan Meunier, Sarah Norberg
    ANSC 106 – Laura Wojtowicz
    ANSC 245 – Cory Herr, Charlie Bormann
    ANSC 281 – Stephanie DeCamp
    ANSC 435 – Cory Herr, Charlie Bormann
    ANSC 441 – Jeff Arseneau
    BIOL 111 – Settor Kemeh
    BIOL 203 – Amber Frederick, Mahogany Wade
    BIOL 301 – Moige Ongeri

Spring, 2001

    ANSC 102 – Sarah Norberg
    ANSC 311 – Stephanie Torrey
    ANSC 324 – Ty Petty, Jeff Arseneau, Brandon Hill
    ANSC 334 – Autumn Sorrell
    ANSC 351L – Casey Walukonis
    BIOL 111 – Settor Kemeh
    BIOL 204 – Amber Frederick Mahogany Wade
    BIOL 302 – Moige Ongeri