ANSC Annual Graduate Student Awards Luncheon
Thursday, May 21, 2009
The Animal Sciences Annual Graduate Student Awards Luncheon was held in
conjunction with the events of the Celebration of Science Week. The week
included the LOUJA Competition, the ANSC Graduate Student Awards luncheon as
well as speakers from the Baylor College of Medicine (Dr. Monique Rijnkels),
University of Missouri (Dr. Randall Prather), and our own Department (Dr. Ryan
2009 ANSC Graduate Committee
Paul Collodi, Chair.
Committee members: Layi Adeola, Chris Bidwell, Paul Ebner, Amy Lossie and Brian
THE LOUJA GRADUATE TRAVEL AWARDS were established to provide grants to
Animal Sciences Graduate students, presenting outstanding research papers based
upon original research and excellence of presentation. The LOUJA Graduate Travel
Awards were established in honor of the leadership and dedication to the animal
industry of Dr. and Mrs. J.L. Krider. Dr. Krider served as Head of Purdue's
Department of Animal Sciences from 1963 to 1971 and Professor until his
retirement in 1979. Previously he had served on the staffs of Cornell University
and University of Illinois as well as on administrative assignments with Central
Soya. He was very active in many organizations serving as President of the
American society of Animal Science and as a consultant to several organizations
Each year, Dr. Jake Krider and his wife, Louise, provide travel funds to a
few Animal Science graduate students to attend scientific meetings. Eligible
students must be the author or a co-author on the abstract and must be the
presenter at the meeting. Meetings can be regional, national, or international
as long as the proceedings are published to public acquisition or viewing.
Students will have 12 min. for the oral presentation followed by a 3-minute
questionnaire period. This time schedule applied to both slide and poster
Mrs. Krider passed in October, 2000 and Dr. Krider passed in June, 2005.
2009 LOUJA AWARD WINNERS
Dr. Alan Grant, Department Head, and Dr. Paul Collodi, Graduate Committee Chair, with
award winners Weiyi Liu, Nicole Schmelz, Lyndsey Jones, Mi Zou, and Brianna Gaskill.
Brianna Gaskill – Shopping for parts vs. final construction: nest building in multiple strains of mice.
Lyndsey Jones – Pen and Stall Housed Sows Prefer Unlocked to Locked Free Access Stalls.
Weiyi Liu – Zebrafish Dnd possesses ATPase activity that is required for primordial germ cell development.
Nicole Schmelz – Feeding Value of Wet Distillers Grains for Lactating Dairy Cows When Co-ensiled with Corn Silage or Haycrop Silage.
Mi Zou – Fructose Consumption during Pregnancy & Lactation Induces Glucose Intolerance and Fatty Liver.
2009 PRESENTATION OF THE BOOK-HARMAN LEADERSHIP SCHOLARSHIP
The Book Harmon Leadership Scholarship was established in 2005 by Bob Book
and Bud Harmon in recognition of their efforts to provide and promote leadership
in animal agriculture. Each year, the Book-Harmon Leadership Scholarship
provides a $1,000 scholarship to reward a graduate student in Animal Sciences
that has displayed outstanding leadership skills and efforts.
Criteria for receiving the scholarship:
- Major in Animal Sciences
- Have and maintain a minimum overall GPA of 3.0
- Possess good communication and leadership skills
- Be involved with department, university and national organizations
The Book-Harmon Leadership Scholarship is awarded to Rosangela
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..."
PRESENTATION OF THE W.R. FEATHERSTON AWARDS
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: Layi Adeola, Chris Bidwell, Paul Ebner, Amy
Lossie and Brian Richert.
2009 W.R. FEATHERSTON OFF-CAMPUS TRAINING FELLOWSHIP
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. This year's recipient of this
award: Jean-Loup Rault.
Jean-Loup (who will receive up to $1000 in reimbursements) joined the
ANSC Graduate Program at Purdue University in the Spring 2008. He received his
M.S. from the University of Paris in June 2007 and is currently pursuing his PhD
under the direction of Dr. Donald Lay.
The goal of Jean-Loup's Ph.D. research is to study the involvement of central
oxytocin in the stress-coping ability of pigs. Oxytocin has recently been shown
to play a major role centrally in social behaviors in rodents and primates, but
has never been investigated in farm animals. The easiest way to measure central
hormones is in the cerebrospinal fluid. Historically, this has required that the
animal be killed, making it impossible to perform repeated collection, or to
implant an intracranial catheter, which necessitates invasive neurosurgery. One
other option is to implant a spinal (intrathecal) catheter in the lumbo-sacral
region, requiring only a relatively light surgery. However, the ability to
implant a spinal catheter in pigs is not referenced in the literature. Despite
his efforts, he could not find anyone at Purdue who had these skills.
The "Regional Anesthesia Study Center of Iowa" (RASCI) workshop about
epidural/spinal catheter placement and ultra-sound guided peripheral nerve
blocks, at the University of Iowa. The workshop combines two of Jean-Loup goals
in one workshop:
- To be trained to perform a spinal catheter placement in pigs, which he will
need to perform for his Ph.D. research,
- To learn to perform peripheral nerve blocks in swine, for one of their
research unit projects on sow lameness.
This technique might stimulate innovative research to sample substances in
the cerebrospinal fluid, as a reproducible and relatively non-invasive
assessment of the central nervous system. This technique will offer critical
knowledge about neurological processes for welfare and other research purposes.
2009 W.R. FEATHERSTON EARLY GRADUATE CAREER AWARD
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. This year's
recipient is Brianna Gaskill.
Brianna joined Dr. Garner's laboratory in August of 2005 after completing her
BS from Kansas State University. In November 2007 Brianna chose the M.S. By-Pass
Degree Option to advance to the PhD. Program. She has maintains an outstanding
GPA (3.88) and has been active in ANSC Graduate Student Association serving as
Social Co-Chair, as Secretary/Treasurer and now President.
Brianna has made great strides in her early career. She has fully embraced
the spirit of graduate work, and through her own initiative has worked hard on
areas she initially found challenging... Brianna is very committed to teaching
- she has sought to improve her teaching skills through a teaching certificate.
She actively participated in teaching class, seeking opportunities to lecture,
committing time to help design and set exams, and guiding students through the
design and execution of their independent projects for the lab...
Brianna's main project examines thermal behavior, temperature preferences,
and refinement of housing for thermal comfort in mice. Work on experiments in
this project is one of the research opportunities we offer undergraduates, and
Brianna has shown excellent leadership in managing the project and providing a
very positive educational experience... She has overseen and managed a project
to develop and test a new apparatus for assessing cognitive abilities in mice.
This work has been extremely successful, and is at the core of a research
agreement we are currently negotiating with Eli Lilly - which simply would not
have been possible without Brianna's efforts.
Brianna's nominator states, "... she has very proactively identified the new
skills she needs for graduate study and beyond, and has set out to develop areas
in which she was less proficient. As a result Brianna is a truly excellent
all-round graduate student, with great potential to succeed in an academic
career... Brianna is a great student, an asset to Purdue, and shows great
2009 W.R. FEATHERSTON OUTSTANDING GRADUATE TEACHING AWARD
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. This year's recipient is
Heather joined our graduate program in the August of 2005. She received her
Bachelor of Science degree from St. Mary's College in 2005. As of August 2007
she completed her M.S. degree and is pursuing her PhD under the direction of Dr.
Shawn Donkin. Heather received nominations for the Graduate Teaching Award for
her accomplishments as a teaching assistant for Animal Sciences 324, Applied
Animal Nutrition (3 semesters & 1 semester as lead instructor); F&N 303
Essentials of Nutrition (1 semester).
Heather's nominator's comments include: ... she was extremely dependable,
well prepared, and earned the respect of the students. I was very impressed by
her performance, and therefore recommended that she serve as lead instructor for
the course while I am on sabbatical this spring. There are very few students who
I would recommend have the sole responsibility for a course, but Heather is more
than capable of teaching a course in our department while balancing her own
courses and research.
As the Outstanding Graduate Teaching Award recipient, Heather was recognized
at the University's Celebration of Graduate Student Teaching Banquet last month.
2009 W.R. FEATHERSTON OUTSTANDING M.S. AWARD
The Featherston Outstanding M.S. Award was established in memory of Professor
W.R. Featherston to annually recognize the Outstanding M.S. student within the
department. This is the first year for nominations for this award and like the
Outstanding PhD award is considered an extremely high honor in the Graduate
Program and serves to reward excellence. The award consists of $500, Certificate
of Award, an Individual plaque and the recipient's name will be added to a
permanent plaque maintained within the department. The Featherston Outstanding
M.S. Award is presented to: Christine Johnson.
Christy joined our graduate program in the August of 2007. She received her
Bachelor of Science degree from Purdue University in 2007. Under the
direction of Dr. Ryan Cabot she will complete her M.S. degree in July and is
already taking classes at Purdue Calumet this summer in pursuit of her teaching
Her nominator states, Christine has done an OUTSTANDING job on may levels
during her time in our Department... her overall grades have been excellent
(3.88/4.000)... In January 2009.Christine delivered both a poster and an oral
presentation about her findings at the IETS meeting in San Diego; she placed as
the runner up... Having one of my students (especially someone who was a first
year graduate student) participate and place in this competition was truly an
honor for me and should serve as direct evidence of Christine's abilities as a
scientist... Christy has been a real leader in my laboratory. She has taken a
active role in mentoring one undergraduate student who is currently engaged in
an honors undergraduate research project... organized the schedules of the other
undergraduate workers in the lab and takes the time to not only explain their
responsibilities, but makes a concerted effort to show them what 'doing
research' in the lab is all about... "
2009 W.R. FEATHERSTON OUTSTANDING Ph.D. AWARD
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's
recipient of this award: Rosangela Poletto.
Rosangela received her D.V.M. from the University of Passo Fundo, Brazil in
2003, she received Master of Science in 2005 from Michigan State University. In
August 2005 she came to Purdue University entering the Animal Science graduate
program to pursue her Ph.D. under the direction of Dr. Jeremy Marchant-Forde.
Nominator's comments include: "Ms. Poletto is... a true asset to the students
with whom she works. She is looked up to as a leader and source of technical
expertise... she is a very driven student who has developed significant
expertise due to her desire to learn. Her solid work ethic, ability to work
effectively in a team, and scientific ability have allowed her to establish
herself as an outstanding graduate student who is very well published and a
leader in her field."