ANSC Annual Graduate Student Awards Luncheon
Friday, May 14, 2010
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 North Carolina State University (Dr. John G.
Vanderbergh), and our own Department (Dr. Joe Garner).
2010 ANSC Graduate Committee
Paul Collodi, Chair.
Committee members: Layi Adeola, Shihaun Kuang, Amy Lossie, Zoltan Machaty and
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.
2010 LOUJA AWARD WINNERS
Left to Right: Dr. Alan Sutton, Interim Department Head, Meliza Cruz Ward (Dr.
Ajuwon), Yaqin 'Kathy' Liu (Dr. Kuang), Alison Angione (Dr. Kuang), Emily
Arentson (Dr. Donkin), and Dr. Paul Collodi, Chair of the Animal Sciences
Alison Angione - The role of PPARd in satellite cells and muscle development.
Yaqin Liu - Molecular characterization of heterogeneous populations of adipogenic progenitors
Meliza Cruz Ward - Dynamic changes in extracellular matrix gene regulation in adipose tissue and impact on preadipocyte proliferation and apoptosis
Emily Arentson - Maternal fructose consumption programs gene expression pattern in intestine of male offspring
2010 PRESENTATION OF THE BOOK-HARMON 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 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.
G.W. FRIARS INTERNATIONAL GRADUATE STUDENT FELLOWSHIP
The purpose of the Gerry W. Friars Fellowship is to alleviate some of the
monetary stress of foreign students at Purdue University. Dr. Gerry Friars
completed his Ph.D. at Purdue University in 1961, while on leave from the
Ontario Agricultural College; the College later became part of the University of
Guelph. Dr. Friars' career at Guelph from 1951 to 1985 involved teaching and
research in poultry and fish genetics and breeding. From 1985 to 1995 he was the
Chief Scientist at the Atlantic Salmon Federation with a cross appointment at
the University of New Brunswick. His long association with graduate students
cultivated an awareness of the financial needs of these students. An annual
award of $400 is awarded to an international M.S. or Ph.D. student studying
quantitative poultry or fish genetics in the Department of Animal Sciences. This
year's recipient is: Zhengyu Jiang.
Zhengyu received his M.S. from Nanjing Agricultural University in 2006. He
joined the ANSC Graduate Program at Purdue in the Fall 2007 and is pursuing his
Ph.D. under the direction of Dr. Todd Applegate.
Zhengyu's nominator stated: "Jiang has been one of the most hardworking and
brightest students that I have ever had in my laboratory thus far. As outline in
his CV, he has been author or co-author on 6 peer-reviewed articles in English
and 11 in Chinese, and 8 abstracts."
"... Jiang has set out on a very interesting and ambitious research program
for his dissertation research. His goal has been to fully sequence a secretory
mucin gene for the chicken. In doing so, has found that it is transcriptional
elements herein there are regions that have alternate splicing which are
regulated by diet, essential oils, and plausibly disease status..."
"To convey some of his recent finding, Jiang will be presenting two papers
the European Poultry Conference in France this August…as well as a paper during
the joint ADSA/ASAS/PSA meeting in Denver..."
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.
2010 W.R. FEATHERSTON OFF-CAMPUS TRAINING GRADUATE AWARD
The Featherston Off-campus Training Graduate Award 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: Chunmin Wang.
Chunmin (who will receive up to $1000 in reimbursements) joined the ANSC
Graduate Program at Purdue University in the Fall 2006. He received his M.S.
from Purdue University in May 2008 and is currently pursuing his PhD under the
direction of Dr. Zoltan Machaty.
The goal of Chunmin's Ph.D. research is to study the Oocyte and Preimplantation
Embryo Molecular Biology laboratory training course organized by the Primate
Embryo Gene Expression Resource at Temple University Medical School in
"... Because the training course that is organized by the Primate Embryo Gene
Expression Resource provides hands-on training in all of these areas as they are
applied in preimplantation development, it will be a tremendous help for our
work and particularly for Chunmin’s project... "
The object of this course is to provide training in a great number of
techniques applicable to oocytes and early embryos of any mammalian species.
These are techniques that are crucial for Chunmin’s research. This course will
provide participants with board exposure to state-of-the-art methods and
techniques on cellular, molecular and immunological approaches currently being
use to advance our knowledge in reproductive biology..."
"... For his continued improvement he needs additional education in molecular
techniques and their applications in reproductive biology; this requires him to
seek off-campus training because this technical expertise is not readily
available in our department..."
2010 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 Blaire Aldridge.
Blaire joined Dr. Radcliffe's laboratory in August of 2006 after completing
her B.S. from Earlham College. Blaire is in her second year of her Ph.D. program
with Dr. Radcliffe.
Blaire's nominator states: "Along with her research efforts, Blaire has been
actively involved as a Teaching Assistant in ANSC 324 and has helped mentor
several undergraduate projects in my laboratory ... Blaire has taken on these
responsibilities with enthusiasm and has needed very little guidance."
"Her research focuses on differentiating modes of absorption and action of
copper between dietary copper sources... To Accomplish her research Blaire is
evaluating gene expression form intestinal, kidney, and liver samples obtained
form pigs fed 2 dietary Cu sources at 3 different dietary concentrations. She is
evaluating gene expression using microarray chips coupled with qRT-PCR. In
addition, she is working with David Salt's lab to obtain a complete ionomics
profile…Blaire is very driven and motivated in her research efforts and this
results in her being very productive."
2010 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
Monica received her Bachelor of Science degree from Michigan State University
in May of 2005. She joined our graduate M.S. program in the August of 2005. In
September 2007 Monica chose the M.S. By-Pass Degree Option to advance to the
Ph.D. Program, she was formally under the direction of Dr. Ed Pajor, after his
departure from Purdue, Dr. Joe Garner has agreed to become her Major Advisor.
She has maintains an outstanding GPA (4.00) and has been active in ANSC Graduate
Student Association serving as Ambassador Liaison (2006-2007), Purdue Graduate
Student Government (PGSG) Senate Representative (2007-2008), PGSG Academic &
Professional Development Committee Secretary (2007-2008). She has served on
department committees as well: Departmental Newsletter Committee (2008-2010) and
Departmental Seminar Committee (2009-2010).
Monica received nominations for the Graduate Teaching Award for her
accomplishments as a teaching assistant for Animal Sciences, 303, Applied Animal
Behavior (1 semester); 404 Animal Welfare (3 semesters), 495, Animal Welfare
Judging Team (2 semesters).
Monica's nominator’s comments include: "... Monica is an exceptional graduate
student with a serious commitment to teaching. I have no doubt that she will be
an excellent faculty member one day."
Another nominator commented: "... Monica has been a huge asset to the
department, in terms or research and extension, but especially teaching ... One
of Monica's qualities that I really admire is her drive to critically assess her
performance, and strive to improve herself. Despite her considerable
achievements in teaching, she nevertheless decided to work for the Graduate
Teaching Certificate, and has clearly benefitted from incorporating her
experience in this program ... Altogether, Monica is a very impressive student,
and is quickly amassing the skills and experience required to excel in
As the Outstanding Graduate Teaching Award recipient, Monica received the
Committee for Education of Teaching Assistants (CETA) Teaching Award at the
Celebration of Teaching Excellence Banquet in April 2010. Monica was also
awarded a Purdue Graduate Teaching Certificate, April 2010.
2010 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. 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:
Jack joined our graduate program in the August of 2008. He received his
Bachelor of Science degree from the Purdue University in May, 2008. Under the
direction of Dr. Zoltan Machaty he will complete his M.S. degree in August.
His nominator states, "I have been able to closely observe Jack's
intellectual abilities, work ethics, and communication skills in the past one
and a half years. I've found that he is a very gifted and motivated individual
who is highly dedicated to his studies. He regularly shows initiative and
self-sufficiency in the laboratory. Besides, he is also extremely diligent and
very reliable in every task that is assigned to him. He always shows genuine
interest in everything he does and he is not afraid to ask questions or to
engage in discussions about his or other students' projects….In general, Jack
possesses a very positive attitude. This enabled him to exhibit a unique ability
to work with others and he quickly gained and maintained the respect of his
peers. His outstanding communication skills also allow him to interact
effortlessly with everyone he comes into contact during his daily activities. He
was also able to establish a good working relationship not only with members of
his advisory committee but also with other professors in the department."
Congratulations Jack! Jack was unable to attend the Awards presentation
2010 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 $1,000,
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: Heather White.
Heather received her B.S. at Saint Mary's College in May, 2005, she joined
Dr. Donkin's laboratory in August of 2007 after completing her M.S. at Purdue
University with Dr. Latour and Dr. Donkin.
Nominator's comments include: "... I have witnessed a large number of
graduate students complete their degree program as either my own or serving on
graduate committees. I feel strongly, she ranks as one of the best student to
come from our department in my tenure at Purdue University. As evidenced,
when she was completing her M.S., she took the lead in getting her work in
manuscript form and at the same time, she started her Ph.D. program…Within two
months of finishing her M.S., she had both manuscripts prepared and submitted…In
short, Heather knows how to bring something to an end-point and put the
finishing touches on the work, a skill not realized by many in academia."
Another nominator's comments include: "Heather is on of the most dynamic
students I have encountered in my 15 years as a faculty member at Purdue
University. I cannot fully express in a letter the exceptional potential that
she has for success as a teacher, researcher and future faculty member. She is
extremely self-motivated and takes advantage of every opportunity she encounters
to grow both personally and professionally. She has a solid grasp of both
applied nutrition and basic aspects of nutritional physiology, metabolism and
molecular biology. She is an excellent writer and verbal communicator. She has
developed a cadre of leadership skills through the 'mini MBA program' available
through the Krannert School of Business at Purdue... Clearly Heather White is
one of the 'best & brightest' graduate students in the Department of Animal
Sciences and at Purdue University and perhaps nationally. Through her engagement
in departmental activities, excellence in the classroom, her research endeavors,
and service to her fellow students Heather White has defined a new standard of
excellence for the graduate students in Animal Sciences at Purdue University. In
my estimation she truly represents the spirit of the Featherston Outstanding
Ph.D. Student Award..."