ANSC Annual Graduate Student Awards Luncheon
Tuesday, May 17, 2011

The Animal Sciences Annual Graduate Student Awards Luncheon was held in conjunction with the events of the Celebration of Science. The Celebration of Science included the LOUJA competition, the ANSC Graduate Student Awards luncheon as well as speakers from the University of Hohenheim in Stuttgart, Germany (Dr. Markus Rodehutscord), and our own Department (Dr. Layi Adeola).

2011 ANSC Graduate Committee

Paul Collodi, Chair
Committee members: Todd Applegate, Shihuan Kuang, Amy Lossie, Zoltan Machaty, and Jeremy Marchant-Forde

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 and countries.

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 presentations.

Mrs. Krider passed in October, 2000 and Dr. Krider passed in June, 2005.


LOUJA award winners
Left to right: Dr. Alan Mathew, Department Head, Jean-Loup Rault, Brianna Gaskill, Keegan Gay, Laurie Mack, and Dr. Paul Collodi, Graduate Committee Chair

Keegan Gay – Survey of genetic selection practices on pasture-based dairy farms in the U.S.

Brianna Gaskill – Behavioral and physiological thermoregulation in mice with nesting material.

Laurie Mack – Alleyway width in a free-access stall system influences gestating sow behavior and welfare.

Jean-Loup Rault – Effects of oxytocin administration in early life on the behavioral and physiological stress response of swine.


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 Patrick Gunn.

Patrick Gunn receiving the award from Dr. Mathew and Dr. Collodi
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."

Congratulations, Patrick!


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 Changsu Kong.

Changsu Kong receiving the award from Dr. Mathew and Dr. Collodi
Changsu received his M.S. from the Seoul National University in South Korea. He joined the ANSC Graduate Program in Fall 2007 and is pursuing his Ph.D. under the direction of Dr. Layi Adeola.

Changsu's nominator stated that "Changsu is one of the most resourceful and hard-working graduate students I have had the opportunity to work with. He has a bright and intellectually-curious mind."

"Chansu has research interests in the area of amino acid digestibility in swine and poultry, and nutrient utilization responses to exogenous dietary enzymes. His latest publication in Poultry Science was the first paper to report data on ileal digestibility of amino acids in corn, wheat, corn distillers dried grains with soluble, canola meal, soybean meal, and meat and bone meal for ducks.

Congratulations, Changsu!


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.


The Featherston Off-campus Training Fellowship was established in memory of Professor W.R. Featherston to annually provide financial support for a 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 is Jon Klein.

Jon Klein receiving the award from Dr. Mathew and Dr. Collodi
Jon (who will receive up to $1,000 in reimbursements) joined Dr. Lossie's laboratory in June 2010, and is an outstanding student in Animal Sciences and the Neuroscience Training Group in the PULse Interdisciplinary Graduate Program.

An integral component of his Ph.D. research will be designing, conducting and analyzing a next-generation sequencing project aimed at discovering new DNA methylation modifications associated with alcohol-seeking behavior and increased tolerance to alcohol. These studies will use sodium bisulfite sequencing to obtain a global view of DNA methylation in specific regions of the brain known to be involved with alcohol seeking behavior and the acquisition of tolerance.

The workshops will take place at the National Institute of Health and Medical Research in Bordeaux, France. Over six days, experts will demonstrate: 1. Methods for designing whole genome level epigenetics-based studies; 2. Data acquisition of epigenetics-based NGS techniques; 3. Bioinformatics methods for analyzing this vast amount of data; and 4. Practical applications for presenting these types of data.

Congratulations, Jon!


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 Brianna Gaskill.

Brianna Gaskill receiving the award from Dr. Mathew and Dr. Collodi
Brianna joined Dr. Garner's lab from Kansas State in 2005. She is very committed to teaching and has sought to improve her teaching skills through a graduate teaching certificate. Brianna has been a TA for ANSC 30300 and ANSC 40400. Dr. Garner has delegated the supervision of an ANSC 69100 project and several ANSC 49100 projects to Brianna. She has done a great job, spending extra time with the students to help them understand why they are using a particular technique and asking a particular research question, not simply telling them what to do.

Her nominator states, "Brianna has found time to proficiently mentor several undergraduate projects. In the case of some of the longer-standing students, this has given her the opportunity to develop one-on-one long term mentoring skills and relationships. It is just an absolute pleasure to see her work with these students. She has a special knack for patiently guiding them through their projects while holding back enough that the student has both real ownership in the design of their project, and also gets to experience the joy of discovery that is at the core of real research."

Brianna has developed and demonstrated a great talent for classroom teaching and mentoring abilities that will serve her well when she has graduate students of her own.

Congratulations, Brianna!


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, a 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 is Brianna Gaskill.

Brianna Gaskill receiving the award from Dr. Mathew and Dr. Collodi
The nominator's comments include "Brianna is a truly excellent all-round graduate student, with great potential to succeed in an academic career. Her publication record while at Purdue, clearly shows this promise: she has four peer-reviewed papers published, five more in various stages of preparation, and two papers I expect to come out of her thesis work."

Brianna's Ph.D. work addresses mouse thermal behavior and ways of practically meeting their needs in conventional husbandry. She has submitted an excellent Ph.D. studentship grant to NSF to support this project. Brianna had to design her own series of experiments, and came up with a very exciting hypothesis led project. She has submitted grants to AALAS/GLAS and ACLAM to support her Ph.D. experiments and won funding from AALAS/GLAS.

Her nominator also states that "she has been essentially self-running and looked much more like a post-doc than a Ph.D. student. In fact, the NIH post-doc career development award she wrote her prelim for was so strong that we developed it into a NIH grant, which was submitted this fall. She is currently looking at post-doc opportunities and is working towards a faculty career. I look forward to working with her as a colleague for many years to come."

Congratulations, Brianna!