ANSC Annual Graduate Student Awards Luncheon
May 27, 2004

The following W.R. Featherston Awards awards were presented at the Graduate Student Luncheon, May 27, 2004.

The W.R. Featherston Awards were established to recognize the outstanding achievements of graduate students in the Department of Animal Sciences. These awards were 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. Professor Featherston’s teaching and research activities were a source of guidance, encouragement and inspiration to the graduate students.

Awards Selection Committee: Todd Applegate, Shawn Donkin, Diane Moody, Bill Muir and John Patterson. Awards were presented by Dave Gerrard, chairman of the Graduate Committee.


The Featherston Off-campus Training Fellowship was established in memory of Professor W.R. Featherston to annually provide financial support for an M.S. or Ph.D. degree student in the Department of Animal Sciences to attend a formal career development training program, organized workshop, or course off campus. The recipient will be given a check for reimbursement of the expenses, certificate of award, individual plaque and her/his name will be added to the permanent plaque maintained within the department.

Daniele Cary receiving the award from Dr. Dave Gerrard
Daniele C. Cary

Daniele is currently pursuing her Master's degree in Animal Sciences under the direction of Dr. Susan Eicher. She joined the ANSC Graduate Program at Purdue in the Fall 2003. Daniele received her B.S. from Purdue University in 1997. Daniele worked for several years in a cancer laboratory at the University of Pittsburgh Cancer Institute.

Daniele will be taking the American Association of Immunologists Advance Course in Immunology at Stanford University (August 14th-20th). It is an intensive course presenting recent advances in the understanding of immunology and it role in health and disease. Lectures will be given by leading experts in immunology.

Drs. Eicher and Patterson indicates "The knowledge gained in the AAI course will allow Daniele to understand the reason for selecting particular immune functions for various ages and stages of animal production, provide cutting-edge knowledge of the cells that she will be working with in her research (dendritic cells), and allow interaction with other immunology students and premier immunologist of the U.S. ...The benefits ...will be recognition of the Purdue Animal Science Department's involvement in vanguard immunology research and to facilitate immunological input from Daniele into additional studies."

Daniele's award includes up to $1500 in reimbursements.



The Featherston Early Graduate Career Award was established in memory of Professor W.R. Featherston to annually recognize the outstanding M.S. or Ph.D. student within his/her first two years of graduate study. The award consists of $650, plus a certificate of award, individual plaque and her/his name will be added to the permanent plaque maintained within the department.

Ryan Dilger receiving the award from Dr. Dave Gerrard
Ryan Neil Dilger

Ryan joined Dr. Layi Adeola's laboratory in the spring of 2002 to pursue an M.S. degree, specializing in non-ruminant nutrition. Ryan finished his B.S. degree in Animal Sciences at Purdue University as an undergraduate student in Dr. Adeola's lab, Ryan completed an Honor's project, wrote and defended and Honor's Thesis presented the paper in the Undergraduate Competition at the 2002 Midwest ASAS Meeting and won the Undergraduate Paper Competition. This paper was recently published in the Journal of Animal Science.

Dr Adeola indicates, "... his Master's degree research paper has been accepted for publication in Poultry Science. In addition, he has written a program for sorting pigs and birds which we routinely use when starting animal experiments. ...Given his intellectual endowment, drive, motivation and interest, Ryan had the attributes to be a success scientist."



The Featherston Outstanding Graduate Teaching Award was established in memory of Professor W.R. Featherston to annually recognize the outstanding teaching by an M.S. or Ph.D. student within the department. The award consists of $850, plus a Certificate of Award, an Individual plaque and their name will be added to a permanent plaque maintained within the department.

Amanda Weaver receiving the award from Dr. Dave Gerrard
Amanda D. Weaver

Amanda is pursuing a Ph.D. under the direction of Dr. David Gerrard. Amanda joined our graduate program in the summer 2001. She received her B.S. from the Purdue University and passed the M.S. By-Pass examination in January of 2003. Amanda received nominations for the Graduate Teaching Award for her accomplishments as a teaching assistant for Animal Sciences, 102, Introduction to Animal Sciences (lead instructor – Mickey Latour); 301, Animal Growth and Development, 351, Meat Science (lead instructor – Dave Gerrard); as guest lecturer in 201 Functional Anatomy and Animal Performance (lead instructor - Rod Allrich) and 181 as group facilitator, but also for relentless efforts to serve this department in the form of 'non-classroom' instruction and outreach.

Nominator comments include, "She is very effective in the classroom and does a nice job at relating lecture material to discussions in laboratory sessions. ...It is clear that Amanda has a talent for teaching. ...She listens to student's concerns and is able to explain material clearly and accurately. She is a well-prepared, thorough and conscientious teacher that values human interaction and the process of learning. ...Amanda has demonstrated the skills to be considered one of the very best...Amanda is always pleasant and upbeat. She exhibits confidence and sensibility. Amanda has a bright future and I hope it somehow involves teaching because she is good at it. ...Amanda is truly an outstanding graduate student. Her teaching skills make Amanda an asset to both the Animal Sciences Department and Purdue University..."

As the Outstanding Graduate Teaching Award recipient, Amanda was recognized at the University's Celebration of Graduate Student Teaching Banquet last month.



The Featherston Outstanding Ph.D. Award was established in memory of Professor W.R. Featherston to annually recognize the outstanding Ph.D. student within the department. This award is considered an extremely high honor in the Graduate Program and serves to reward excellence. The award consists of $1000, Certificate of Award, an Individual plaque and the recipient's name will be added to a permanent plaque maintained within the department. This year the Awards Committee has selected two students to receive this award.

Edward Onyango receiving the award from Dr. Dave Gerrard
Edward M. Onyango

Edward is pursuing his Ph.D. under the direction of Dr. Adeola. He entered the graduate program in the Department in August 1999 and expects to complete the requirements in Fall 2004. He received his BVM and M.S. from the University of Nairobi, where he was employed as a lecturer in the Department of Animal Physiology.

Nominator's comments include, "...The academic record of Edward in the courses taken at Purdue University is outstanding, his GPA is a phenomenal 3.98...Using his training in Veterinary Medicine and Physiology, Edward set up a variety of procedures investigate the regulation of intestinal phytase and to accurately measure amino acid transport across enterocytes both in vitro in vivo. Toward this end, Edward has accumulated impressive and thought-provoking data, some of which he has presented at scientific meetings and some has been published...

Edward's accomplishments include:

  1. Nine refereed journal articles
  2. Two manuscripts in review
  3. Five manuscripts in preparation
  4. Research Grant, $23,230, Funded
  5. Taught ANSC 102L
  6. Lectured in ANSC 522
  7. Robert L. Hogue Scholarship, 2001: Awarded for doing research with potential benefits to the poultry industry
  8. Certificate of Excellence in Graduate Student paper presentation at Poultry Science Association 92nd Meeting, Madison Wisconsin, July 6-9, 2003
  9. Recognized by the Gamma Sigma Delta Honor Society of Agriculture (Purdue University Chapter) for high scholarship and outstanding achievement, April 9, 2003
  10. Invited presenter at Wabash County Office & Metro North Elementary School for Purdue University Extension. "Passport Adventure" – Knowing other cultures of the world.
  11. President of Adventist Collegiate Fellowship at Purdue organized Grand Alternative events

Kola Ajuwon receiving the award from Dr. Dave Gerrard
Kolapo M. Ajuwon

Kola received his M.S. in December, 2001 and is currently pursuing his Ph.D. under the direction of Dr. Spurlock.

Nominator's comments include, "It is my opinion that Kola is one of the finest young students that I have had the privilege of meeting, and that he is an exemplary doctoral student. His kind and cordial way has made him popular among his peers and among the faculty, but more than anything, his academic abilities have earned him their respect. In the classroom, Kola has completed a rigorous graduate education curriculum with an outstanding GPA (3.81)...Kola's extraordinary scientific competence is evident in the depth at which he engages science and in his ability to defend his scientific opinions...He balances his commitment to graduate education against family responsibility in a remarkable way..."

Kola's Accomplishments include:

  1. Seven referred publications
  2. Two abstracts
  3. Guest Lecturer and/or taught in ANSC 620, ANSC 595, ANSC 595C and 595R
  4. Recipient of the LOUJA Award, 2002
  5. Oral presentation at the Joint ASAS-ADSA-SCAS Meeting, July 2003

Congratulations to the award winners

Plaques maintained in the department will be displayed in showcases – donated by Jake Krider, Professor Emeritus and a former Department Head of Purdue Animal Sciences.