ANSC Annual Graduate Student Awards Luncheon
Thursday, May 10, 2012
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
Washington State University (Dr. Min Du), and our own Department (Dr. Kolapo Ajuwon).
2012 ANSC Graduate Committee
Paul Collodi, Chair
Committee members: Todd Applegate, Shihuan Kuang, Amy Lossie, Zoltan Machaty,
Jeremy Marchant-Forde, and Marcos Rostagno.
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.
2012 LOUJA AWARD WINNERS:
Left to right: Dr. Alan Mathew, Department Head, Tana Dennis, Sarah
Fraley, Chiao-Ling Lo, Chia-Li Shih, and Dr. Paul Collodi, Graduate Committee Chair
Tana Dennis - Evaluation of feed delivery methods for
growing dairy heifers
Sarah Fraley - Effect of dietary potassium on water intake
and rumen dynamics
Chiao-Ling Lo - Notchless impacts multiple signaling pathways
during pre-implantation development
Chia-Li Shih - The role of MMP-13 in adipocyte differentiation
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 Collette Thogerson.
Collette stated that a good leader has clear vision, can clearly articulate the
vision, inspire and motivate others to join the quest for the vision, and passionately
pursue the vision to completion. Having a clear vision requires setting goals and setting
a course of action to obtain those goals. Collette has had a clear vision for making a
difference in the lives of animals since she was a small child. Her vision for helping
animals sparked a relentless determination to pursue her education regardless of the
obstacles that stood in her path. Collette has demonstrated this by speaking about her
research at nearly 20 scientific presentations, winning honorable mention at the Animal
Behaviour Society poster competition as an undergraduate and receiving the Poultry
Science Association Student Certificate of Excellence Award for an oral presentation.
Collette's Master's and Ph.D. projects have involved working with stakeholders to elicit
change in animal welfare.
Passionately pursuing a vision to completion requires putting passion into action, a
strong sense of determination, competence, patience and dependability. Collette has
demonstrated this many times. She stated that she does not take "no" for an answer but
instead asks "How can we make this work?" For instance, she wanted to work with zoo
animals, but her advisor's main focus was teaching her how to be a rigorous scientist and
had concerns about challenges zoo researchers face. Collette has displayed competence,
patience and dependability in her research, but also in her home life where she is a wife
and mother. Parenting three young children, while pursuing her vision for making a
difference in the lives of animals has required an extensive amount of patience,
dependability, and a very strong sense of humor.
Congratulations, Collette! Collette was unable to attend the awards presentation
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
Abraham has a B.S. degree in marine biology and a M.S. in developmental biology.
Before coming to Purdue, Abraham worked as a fisheries biologist for the Manzanar
Project, which is a private foundation that promotes food production from aquaculture in
Eritrea. At Purdue, Abraham's research has been focused on understanding the molecular
factors that control germ cell formation in fish. Abraham is working on his Ph.D. under
Currently, Abraham is using the purified protein to study the signal transduction
pathway triggered by the factor in fish germ line stem cell cultures. He has also cloned
the GSDF promoter region and has generated a transgenic line of fish that expresses the
red fluorescent protein along with a gene that confers drug resistance under the control
of the cloned promoter. The goal of the work is to understand how GSDF enhances germ cell
formation in the fish gonad and to use the recombinant factor to establish in vitro
cultures of the germ cells.
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.
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 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 Nathan Horn.
Nathan (who will receive up to $1,000 in reimbursements) joined Dr. Adeola's
laboratory in January 2012. Nathan has a B.S. and M.S. from Animal Sciences at Purdue and
has worked in industry for more than three years before returning to work on his Ph.D.
The American Association of Immunologists is conducting a workshop on advanced
immunology in Boston this summer. Participation in the workshop will better equip Nathan
with the knowledge and skills for some of the techniques that will be used in his
research. Nathan has an interest in gut immune response and the impact of botanicals and
oligosaccharides on gut health and integrity. Nathan will have the opportunity to learn
from many of the top minds in the field of immunology. He will be exposed to many
different and novel points of view as well as provide him the opportunity to learn and
discuss the latest techniques and recent developments in immunology with researchers
during the workshop.
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 Pengpeng Bi.
Pengpeng joined Dr. Kuang's lab in August 2010 with a strong background in cell and
developmental biology. Pengpeng is in the second year of his Ph.D. studies.
Within three months after his arrival, he demonstrated outstanding hands-on and
creative ability. He worked almost independently to make several plasmids to express
Notch target genes in muscle cells. He extracted RNA, reverse transcribed and PCR
amplified cDNA of Hes6, Hey1 and HeyL genes from primary muscle
cells and subcloned them into reporter constructs to express these genes. Obviously, he
learned how to grow primary muscle cells in order to complete these tasks.
Due to this contribution, he was the second author in the resulting manuscript for the
Journal of Molecular and Cellular Biology. Pengpeng's contribution also earned him
authorship in a manuscript that is currently under review in Development.
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 Patrick Gunn.
Patrick has pursued a M.S. in nutrition and is currently working on his Ph.D. in
reproduction with Dr. Ronald Lemenager. Patrick has served as a teaching assistant for
ANSC 32400 three times, ANSC 43500 twice, and ANSC 30100 once. This past fall, he served
as co-instructor for ANSC 43500.
One of his nominator's stated that a majority of the laboratories for ANSC 43500 were
hands-on, such as bovine trans-rectal insemination, semen collection and semen evaluation
techniques, and Patrick was very adept at providing assistance to students in learning
these new skills. Patrick presented two excellent lectures during the semester, one on
Bovine Estrous Synchronization and the other on Parturition and Dystocia in Cattle. The
content, organization, handouts and presentation were right on target.
As co-instructor for ANSC 43500, he was fully responsible for the development and
delivery of approximately 50% of the laboratory and lecture materials related to bovine
breeding herd management and reproductive technologies. He also provided input and
assistance with the remainder of the course content related mainly to swine breeding herd
management and reproductive technologies.
Dr. Wayne Singleton compared Patrick with over 25 teaching assistants from over the
years and ranked Patrick at the top in terms of his knowledge of the subject matter,
level of maturity and his current teaching skills and abilities.
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, 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 Patrick Gunn.
The nominator's comments include "Patrick meets all of the criteria of this award."
His academic performance speaks for itself. He has demonstrated excellent communication
skills both on- and off-campus, as well as in both oral and written formats. He has won
both the M.S. and Ph.D. graduate student competitions at the Midwest American Society of
Animal Science meetings. Patrick has been an active presenter at the Animal Sciences
Workshop for Youth the last four years and has been involved with Animal Sciences Preview
Days. In addition, he has served as the American Society of Animal Science Midwest
Section Graduate Director Vice-Chair and is currently serving his term as Chair.
Patrick has been prolific in his graduate research. He has authored or co-authored 7
journal papers, 28 abstracts, 6 other research publications, and 3 extension
publications. In addition, he has 3 additional manuscripts and 8 abstracts submitted,
with 10 more manuscripts in preparation. Patrick has written two successful Rice Grants
totaling just under $20,000 and has presented two invited talks: 1) 2011 Midwest ASAS
meetings on the use of the 5-d Co-Synch + CIDR protocol for use in timed artificial
insemination, and 2) at the 2009 Utah State University Workshop on estrous