ANSC Annual Graduate Student Awards Luncheon
Thursday, May 14, 2015
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, and keynote speakers
Dr. Michael R. Ladisch from Purdue's Department of Agricultural and Biological
Engineering and Dr. Christopher Knight from Novus International.
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.
2015 LOUJA AWARD WINNERS:
Left to right: Xi Chen, Gabriela Morello, Katherine Boesche, Nathan Horn, Pengcheng Xue, and Dr. Todd Applegate, Graduate Committee Chair
Katherine Boesche - Saturated and unsaturated fatty acid pretreatment
regulates [1-14C] C16:0 metabolism in Madin-Darby bovine kidney cells
Xi Chen - Interactive effects of aflatoxin B1 and dietary
protein concentration on performance and health in broiler chicks
Nathan Horn - Impact of a garlic product on growth performance, ileal
morphology, and ileal cytokine and tight junction gene expression in nursery pigs
Gabriela Morello - Investigating piglet crushing by the sow: Does environment
play a role?
Pengcheng Xue - Dietary nigrogen level affects ileal phosphorus digestion in
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 Katherine Boesche.
Katie stated that a good leader is an excellent communicator, a positive and
enthusiastic individual, and can influence and support coworkers to accomplish a goal.
Communication and listening skills must be equally employed by an effective leader.
Katie has served the Department as an officer in GSA for two years and was the
departmental representative on the College of Agriculture's Graduate Advisory Committee.
She has also volunteered at several State 4-H and FFA events, including the Superior
Young Dairy Producer Contest at the State Fair. Katie has served as an official judge for
the Indiana State 4-H and FFA judging contests.
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 $1,000 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 Pengcheng Xue.
Pengcheng came to Purdue in the Fall of 2011 and is investigating the correlation
between phosphorus and nitrogen nutrition in broiler chickens and pigs for his Ph.D. and
has completed six studies. He has published three papers and has prepared two other
manuscripts that are being reviewed by co-authors.
Pengcheng has been involved in a number of Animal Sciences' service and leadership
activities. He has also been involved in leading undergraduate students during industry
tours, mentoring ANSC undergraduates about graduate school life and animal science
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 Christopher Byrd.
Chris plans to participate in the 2015 Professional Animal Auditor Certification
Organization's (PAACO) Poultry Welfare Auditor course, which takes place on May 26-28 in
Woodstock, Ontario, Canada. Courses offered provide stakeholders with training on the
minimum standards and criteria for audits in order to ensure that species-specific
welfare guidelines are interpreted and applied in the same way across each industry.
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 Christopher Byrd.
Chris joined Dr. Makagon's lab in the Fall of 2013. Chris is an extremely
well-balanced student and came to Purdue ready to "hit the ground running." He has taken
the lead on every part of his Master's program from experiment design, project management
and data collection to data analysis and information dissemination. His ability to
coordinate with researchers and staff from across disciplines in order to develop
protocols, schedule and conduct data collection speaks to his strong organizational and
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 Caitlin Vonderohe.
Caitlin enrolled in a dual degree program in the Fall of 2013 where she is pursuing
her Ph.D. and DVM at Purdue.
Caitlin has taught major sections in Applied Animal Nutrition, Physiology, Horse
Evaluation and Horse Management. For the two years, she has served as a TA in Applied
Animal Nutrition. In this role, she is responsible for one-two lab sections every week
and has taught numerous lectures. Caitlin also serves as a coach to the Horse Judging
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 Christopher Byrd.
Chris' research has focused on the development of a quantitative method for the
assessment and identification of impaired walking ability in Pekin ducks. He is following
up on these findings by developing and evaluating a new quantitative tool, which can be
used in gait research – a treadmill test. He has completed the critical development phase
and is using the treadmill test to evaluate the effects of analgesics on walking
Chris has presented components of his research at industry meetings and the North
American regional meeting of the International Society for Applied Ethology. He has also
received an invitation to present his research findings at the 2016 Maple Leaf Farms
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 Xi Chen.
Xixi joined Dr. Applegate's lab in August 2012 with an interest in developing
quantitative, biological indicators of liver and metabolic dysfunction between different
poultry strains (ducks and broilers specifically) when exposed to aflatoxin.
She has been the author or co-author on five peer reviewed articles. She currently
represents the graduate students on the Graduate Committee and serves as a regional
graduate student representative to the Poultry Science Association.