ANSC Annual Graduate Student Awards

Thursday, May 13, 2021


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.


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


Amanda B. Alvarenga
Can measurements early in life predict cow temperament over time? A genetic study of temperament in American Angus heifers and cows.

Jacob R. Tuell
Fresh beef tumbling: Can tumbling without brine improve the quality, palatability, and proteolysis of sirloin muscles?

Lucy Markland
Effect of feeding resistant starch on sow and piglet farrowing performance and blood parameters.


Yuechi C. Fu
The effects of early-life microbiota transplantation on growth performance, ileal morphology, and immune response in egg-laying strain chickens.


Mariah Nondorf
Effect of fresh beef tumbling at different postmortem time on quality and proteolytic attributes of M. longissimus lumborum.



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
  • Have an up-to-date Progress Report from their Graduate Advisory Committee

The Book-Harmon Leadership Scholarship is awarded to Jacob R. Tuell.


Jake started his Ph.D. studies under the supervision of Dr. Brad Kim in 2018. His research focuses on improving overall meat product quality attributes through various novel pre- and post-harvest processing approaches. In addition, he has mentored several undergraduate students, his peer graduate students, and visiting scholars in the past years. With his outstanding mentoring skills and tireless support, several of his mentees won various awards at national conferences and research competitions. He has also been a very active leader and helper for our department's student engagement activities, such as the Purdue Meat Science Quiz Bowl Team (team co-coach), Indiana Meat Packers and Processors Association Product Convention Day (product judge), and the Illinois Association of Meat Processors and Purdue Meat Extension BBQ Bootcamp events. Additionally, Jake is a member of the departmental Graduate Student Association, he is the graduate student representative on the Graduate Programs Committee, and he has also served on the Graduate Student Advisory Board for the College of Agriculture, working on current issues facing agriculture students.


Congratulations, Jake!




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 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 Amanda Alvarenga.


Amanda received her B.S. and M.S. degrees in Brazil and since 2019 she has been working under Dr. Luiz Brito's supervision. Her research focuses on the integration of genomics, large-scale phenotypic datasets, and advanced statistical modelling to optimize genomic selection for improved cattle behavior and welfare. She is very productive and has already published two manuscripts with a third currently under review by the co-authors. Her commitment to excellence in research and dedication to learning new skills is indicated by the fact that she has recently been selected, through a national competition, to participate in a summer internship at the American Angus Association, where she will be working closely with an experienced team of geneticists. In addition to her outstanding performance in research, Amanda has also served in multiple extracurricular roles in our department and has contributed to the training of several undergraduate and graduate students.


Congratulations, Amanda!



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 Griffin Nicholls.


After receiving his M.S. degree in 2020, Griffin started his Ph.D. studies in Dr. Kara Stewart's laboratory. In addition to his Ph.D. program and role as graduate student facilitator for the department's undergraduate management internship program, Griffin has been a teaching assistant for ANSC 33300 (Reproductive Physiology). His passion for effective undergraduate teaching and mentorship is profusely obvious; his positive and welcoming attitude has been a critical component getting students excited about the material and encouraging them to learn. In addition, Griffin has been heavily involved at all stages of our department's undergraduate program. At the freshmen level he has served as a teaching assistant and laboratory coordinator for ANSC 10200 (Introduction to Animal Agriculture) and has also served as a teaching assistant for ANSC 43500 (Reproductive Management of Farm Animals), where he helped to provide students with the vital linkage between basic physiological concepts and application in the real world.


Way to go, Griffin!



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 Jacob Maskal.


Jacob's involvement in graduate level research started while he was an undergraduate student and this provided him with the necessary tools to be a valuable collaborator within our department. During his time as a M.S. student, Jacob worked on a very intensive data collection process with a positive attitude towards accuracy and excellence in experimental design, data collection, and data analytics. By the end of his master's studies he has published seven peer-reviewed research articles (two as first author and five as co-author), all while maintaining an outstanding grade point average. The published papers cover topics related to quantifying and mitigating the effects of heat stress in pigs, which is an important area of concern to the global swine industry. Jacob started his Ph.D. program in Dr. Luiz Brito's laboratory in May, 2021. His research will focus on multidisciplinary projects integrating stress physiology, nutrition, welfare, and genomics.


Congratulations, Jacob!



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 there are two recipients of this award: Ayodeji Aderibigbe.


Ayodeji joined Dr. Layi Adeola's lab in 2017 to pursue a Ph.D. degree in Animal Sciences. Since starting graduate studies, he has maintained an outstanding 4.0 GPA across a good breadth of challenging courses. His research seeks to identify unique properties of a variety of exogenous enzymes in improving energy and nutrient utilization when added to the feed of broiler chickens and pigs. In a relatively short span, he has published 10 papers as well as 7 abstracts that were presented at multiple national and international conferences. Ayodeji works long hours and shows aptitude to carry out independent research. His skill sets for designing and conducting research are excellent. In addition, Ayodeji is an active member of the ANSC Graduate Student Association and is exceptionally helpful to, and a valuable resource person for, his fellow graduate students in the department.


Congratulations, Ayo!



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 the recipient of this award is Mary Lucy Markland.


Lucy has been an excellent student and has embraced studying and conducting animal science since she arrived in August 2019 and started her studies under Dr. Don Lay's supervision. She jumped straight into starting her research after arrival and because of her willingness to work extra hours she completed her first project after only 4 months into her program. Lucy is aware of what it takes to be successful and thus she applied for and won an internship with Zoetis, a global animal health company, to gain experience and expertise working with industry this summer. She also realizes it is not enough to do good science if you cannot communicate it well and understand how the industry works. Therefore, she is excited about earning her accreditation as a Certified Auditor for Swine Welfare Management through the Professional Animal Auditor Certification Organization (PAACO). Attendance at this workshop will provide an excellent opportunity for Lucy to not only sharpen her skills in assessing animal welfare on farms, but to also understand many aspects of the swine industry that students do not gain from earning a M.S. degree.


Congratulations, Lucy!



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, in the absence of qualifying applicants, the Gerry Friars Fellowship has not been awarded.