Congratulations! to the 2001 Featherston Award Winners (Autumn Sorrells, Jason E. Swain, Mahogany Wade, Amber Frederick, and Moige Ongeri)
The W. R. Featherston Awards were established to annually recognize outstanding accomplishments of graduate students in the Department of Animal Sciences. The award was 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. The award is based on the nominee's academic and research accomplishments including publications, presentation at scientific meetings, leadership characteristics and involvement in departmental and University activities.
The FEATHERSTON AWARDS FOR 2001 were presented to:
Jason Swain joined the ANSC Graduate Program in 1999 to pursue a Masters degree under the direction of Dr. Rebecca Krisher. Jason’s thesis research involves studies directed at optimization of in vitro embryo production. He has compared metabolism of in vitro oocytes to that of those matured in vivo to determine inadequacies in the in vitro environment. He has also examined effects of hormones and growth factors on nuclear maturation rates, assessed fertilization rates with different sperm cryopreservation techniques, and has assessed metabolism of in vitro and in vivo-derived embryos in order to optimize various culture systems. His research has led to the formulation of a new porcine embryo culture medium. Jason received a D. Woods Thomas Scholarship for International Studies in 2000 that enabled him to conduct research involving comparative reproductive physiology of wild and captive elephants in Africa. Thus, implications of Jason’s MS research include improvement in reproductive efficiency of agriculturally-important species, as well as information leading to the preservation of endangered and exotic species. At the time of this nomination, Jason was an author or co-author of 5 refereed manuscripts and was preparing two additional manuscripts for publication. He won second place for a presentation of his research at the 2001 International Embryo Transfer Society paper competition and has received a GSA Travel Award.
Autumn completed her B.S. in Animal Science at the University of Missouri
in 2000 and since that time has been pursuing her M.S. under the direction
of Dr. Susan Eicher. Autumn’s thesis research involves the study
of immunology and animal behavior to ultimately improve animal well-being.
Specifically, she is investigating the impact of maternal housing stressors
on the immune system and behavior of piglets. This Featherston Award
will provide funds to permit Autumn to participate in an advanced course
in immunology from the American Association of Immunologists at Stanford
University. The course includes six, ten-hour days of lectures taught
by highly recognized immunologists. This course material will complement
Autumn’s thesis research, and will allow her to have much more input into
other immunological studies in the department.
Amber earned her B.S. from Purdue and then began her graduate work at Purdue in 2000. Amber is pursuing her MS under the direction of Dr. Rebecca Krisher.
Mahogany received her B.S. at North Carolina A&T State University and subsequently began her graduate work at Purdue in 1999. She is pursuing her MS under the direction of Dr. Mike Spurlock. After completion of her degree, Mahogany will be attending Virginia Tech pursuing the DVM degree.
Moige joined the ANSC Graduate Program in 1999 to pursue her Ph.D. under
the direction of Dr. Rebecca Krisher. Moige previously received her
B.S from Egerton University in Njoro, Kenya, a Masters degree from University
of Nairobi and a Masters degree in Basic Medical Sciences from Purdue University.
Moige is currently conducting research in the area of oocyte activation
and embryo cloning. Specifically, she is working on a project that
examines the effects of methylation on development of cloned embryos.
Her work has a potentially huge impact upon the field of nuclear transfer.
Nuclear transfer embryos are developmentally inferior, producing fewer
blastocysts with lower cell numbers and high rates of embryonic and fetal
loss after transfer. Moige’s work may elucidate a cause for this
problem and identify a method to alleviate it. She has authored or
co-authored 3 refereed publications and 5 abstracts. She was a recipient
of a LOUJA travel award in 2000 to present her research at the SSR (Study
of Reproduction) Meeting in Madison, WI. She is a member of SSR,
the International Embryo Transfer Society, and the Gamma Sigma Delta Honor
Society of Agriculture. While performing her dissertation research
in Dr. Krisher’s lab, Moige has been a teaching assistant in the Department
of Biological Sciences. She has served as the TA for BIOL 301 and
302: Human Design, Anatomy and Physiology continuously. She
was recognized for her outstanding teaching last year as the Featherston
Outstanding Teaching Award recipient and was honored at the University’s
“Celebration of Graduate Student Teaching” in 2000. Moige’s excellence
in research and teaching makes her a very deserving recipient of a Featherston
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