Graduate Student Update
Graduate Student Association
By Monica Pittman
The Graduate Student Association (GSA) had another great year in 2008. The Chili Cook-off was held in January where staff and students competed for the title of "Animal Science Chili Cook-off Champion." Jeb Stevens took home the trophy in 2008. Jason Fields won the cookoff in January 2009.
Coffee and donuts continued this year in the spring and fall semesters. This event offered a great opportunity for students and staff to mingle and enjoy a sweet treat on a Friday morning.
GSA also participated in Spring Fest where they had a booth in the Boiler Barnyard. Graduate students sold animal science merchandise and had great success with face painting.
Additionally, the Barnyard Olympics (part of Workshop for Youth held in the spring) was a fun experience for 4-H students to play games and learn about animal-related topics.
Seminars geared to assist graduate students focused on enhancing interviewing skills and finance management were held in the spring semester.
The Fall Picnic was held in October and provided the opportunity for staff and students to come together and take in the beautiful fall leaves in Cumberland park.
The 2008 awards for participation in GSA activities and a leadership were awarded to Brianna Gaskill (GSA President) and Mandy Horn, respectively.
The philanthropy committee organized GSA involvement in the Wabash river cleanup held in the fall and Winterization, which aids the elderly in preparing their homes for the winter. Additionally, GSA made a donation to Adopt-A-Child for Christmas.
Many of the activities that were hosted by GSA would not be possible without your support. GSA looks forward to another great year and hopes to see you at some of this year's events.
Graduate Student Association Officers
President: Brianna Gaskill
Vice President: Collette Thogerson
Secretary/Treasurer: Jean-Loup Rault
Fundraising: Jessica Guernsey
Social: Stacey Enneking, Staci Weedman
Computer: Josh Jendza
Graduate Programs: Heather White
Program Development/Seminar: Stacey Enneking
Workshop For Youth: Catalina Troche, Lindsey Jones
Student Outreach: Ryan Schroer
Departmental Newsletter: Monica Pittman
Philanthropy Chair: Nicole Schmelz
Graduate Student Awards
LOUJA Award Winners from left to right: Danielle Sholly, Brianna Gaskill, Brett Dufour,
Katherine Baumgarner, and Rosangela Poletto, with Dr. Amy Lossie, LOUJA Coordinator
2008 LOUJA Awards: Danielle Sholly, Brianna Gaskill, Brett Dufour, Katherine Baumgarner, and Rosangela Poletto
Book-Harmon Leadership Scholarship: Brianna Gaskill
W.R. Featherston Off-Campus Training Fellowship: Christine Johnson
W.R. Featherston Early Graduate Career Award: Tracy Scheffler
W.R. Featherston Outstanding Graduate Teaching Award: Collette Thogerson
W.R. Featherston Outstanding M.S. Award: Collette Thogerson
W.R. Featherston Outstanding Ph.D. Award: Melissa Paczkowski
Collette Thogerson won a PSA Student Certificate of Excellence Award for a presentation in the Behavior and Well-being Section of the Poultry Science Association's 97th Annual meeting in Niagara Falls, Canada in July 2008.
Rosangela Poletto received a grant from the Universities Federation for Animal Welfare (UFAW) for conference attendance in 2008 and a Conference attendance award from the Humane Society of the United States to attend ISAE in 2008.
Katherine Baumgarner received a travel grant to attend the Summer Institute in Statistical Genetics at the University of Washington in 2008.
Rachel Dennis received the Graduate Student Excellence Award from the Purdue Graduate Student Government.
Erin Cedeno received first place in the graduate student competition at the Tri-State Dairy Nutrition Conference held in Fort Wayne, IN.
At the Midwestern ADSA/ASAS meeting, C.J. Fleenor placed second in the Graduate Student Paper Competition, M.S. Poster Division. Also, Jeffrey Bewley was one of six 2008 Young Dairy Scholars who made an invited presentation at the meeting; this program showcases the efforts of recent or finishing Ph.D.'s from Midwestern universities.
Pittman Recognized in Dublin for Sow Motivation Poster
Graduate student Monica Pittman was recognized at the International Society of Applied Ethology conference in Dublin, Ireland in August 2008. The poster, "The motivation of gestating sows for an enriched group pen and their behavior after 24 hours of deprivation," placed third. Co-authors include Joe Garner, Brian Richert, Richard Kirkden, Anna Johnson and Ed Pajor.
The poster competition included all levels, from students to senior scientists, and numbered over 140 posters in total. Monica's poster was recognized at the closing ceremony. The Dublin meeting was the largest ever in the history of the Society with over 400 attendees.
Johnson Runner up in Embryo Transfer Society Presentation
On January 6, 2009, Christine Johnson was named the runner-up in the student presentation competition at that 35th Annual Conference of the International Embryo Transfer Society (IETS) held in San Diego, California.
Christy's presentation focused on some of her recent work with histone methyltransferases and the cleavage stage porcine embryo. Her major advisor for the project was Dr. Ryan Cabot.
"I wanted to analyze where this important enzyme localizes during cleavage development in the pig, which may suggest the importance of its role at this developmental time point," said Johnson.
Some of the seminars presented were by world-reknowned scientists, including Dr. Ian Wilmut, who is famous for his success in cloning Dolly.
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