ANSC Annual Graduate Student Luncheon
Thursday, May 21, 2009

The Animal Sciences Annual Graduate Student Awards Luncheon was held in conjunction with the events of the Celebration of Science Week. The week included the LOUJA Competition, the ANSC Graduate Student Awards luncheon as well as speakers from the Baylor College of Medicine (Dr. Monique Rijnkels), University of Missouri (Dr. Randall Prather), and our own Department (Dr. Ryan Cabot).

2009 ANSC Graduate Committee
Paul Collodi, Chair.
Committee members: Layi Adeola, Chris Bidwell, Paul Ebner, Amy Lossie and Brian Richert.


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. 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 presentations.

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

LOUJA Award Winners

2009 LOUJA AWARD WINNERS
Dr. Alan Grant, Department Head, and Dr. Paul Collodi, Graduate Committee Chair, with award winners Weiyi Liu, Nicole Schmelz, Lyndsey Jones, Mi Zou, and Brianna Gaskill.

Presentation titles were:
Brianna Gaskill Shopping for parts vs. final construction: nest building in multiple strains of mice.
Lyndsey Jones Pen and Stall Housed Sows Prefer Unlocked to Locked Free Access Stalls.
Weiyi Liu Zebrafish Dnd possesses ATPase activity that is required for primordial germ cell development.
Nicole Schmelz Feeding Value of Wet Distillers Grains for Lactating Dairy Cows When Co-ensiled with Corn Silage or Haycrop Silage.
Mi Zou Fructose Consumption during Pregnancy & Lactation Induces Glucose Intolerance and Fatty Liver.


2009 PRESENTATION OF THE BOOK-HARMAN 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:

The Book-Harmon Leadership Scholarship is awarded to Rosangela Poletto.

The Book-Harmon Leadership Scholarship is presented to Rosangela Poletto

Rosangela joined Dr. Marchant-Forde's laboratory in August of 2005 after completing her MS at Michigan State University. She has maintains an outstanding GPA (3.93) and has been a major supporter of the ANSC Graduate Student Association, helping with numerous activities such as Spring Fest, Career Fairs, Homecoming and Fall Picnics.

Rosangela's nominator states, "Everything that Rosangela takes on gets her fullest attention and commitment. She has TA'd and guest lectured on ANSC undergraduate courses and has shown herself to be an excellent and approachable teacher, she has mentored undergraduate doing independent research and has left a lasting impression of attention to detail, solid science and excellent work ethic. Not content with influencing students already here, she has given her time to Animal Sciences Workshop for Youth and Junior Pork Day and the Purdue Gifted Education Program...

"Outside ANSC Department, she has become involved in farm welfare audits and has completed training with Humane Farm Animal Care, to become an Inspector, and Swine PQAPlus, to become an Advisor. She has also volunteered and carried out a mini research project at the Columbian Park Zoo. In summary, this combination of achievements, to me, show outstanding leadership. I have no doubt that Rosangela is destined for great things and will play a major role in farm animal welfare at local, national and international levels..."

Congratulations, Rosangela!


PRESENTATION OF 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.

Awards Selection Committee: Layi Adeola, Chris Bidwell, Paul Ebner, Amy Lossie and Brian Richert.


2009 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 an 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: Jean-Loup Rault.

Featherston Off-Campus Training Fellowship Awarded to Jean-Loup Rault

Jean-Loup (who will receive up to $1000 in reimbursements) joined the ANSC Graduate Program at Purdue University in the Spring 2008. He received his M.S. from the University of Paris in June 2007 and is currently pursuing his PhD under the direction of Dr. Donald Lay.

The goal of Jean-Loup's Ph.D. research is to study the involvement of central oxytocin in the stress-coping ability of pigs. Oxytocin has recently been shown to play a major role centrally in social behaviors in rodents and primates, but has never been investigated in farm animals. The easiest way to measure central hormones is in the cerebrospinal fluid. Historically, this has required that the animal be killed, making it impossible to perform repeated collection, or to implant an intracranial catheter, which necessitates invasive neurosurgery. One other option is to implant a spinal (intrathecal) catheter in the lumbo-sacral region, requiring only a relatively light surgery. However, the ability to implant a spinal catheter in pigs is not referenced in the literature. Despite his efforts, he could not find anyone at Purdue who had these skills.

The "Regional Anesthesia Study Center of Iowa" (RASCI) workshop about epidural/spinal catheter placement and ultra-sound guided peripheral nerve blocks, at the University of Iowa. The workshop combines two of Jean-Loup goals in one workshop:

  1. To be trained to perform a spinal catheter placement in pigs, which he will need to perform for his Ph.D. research,
  2. To learn to perform peripheral nerve blocks in swine, for one of their research unit projects on sow lameness.

This technique might stimulate innovative research to sample substances in the cerebrospinal fluid, as a reproducible and relatively non-invasive assessment of the central nervous system. This technique will offer critical knowledge about neurological processes for welfare and other research purposes.

Congratulations, Jean-Loup!


2009 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 Brianna Gaskill.

Featherston Early Graduate Career Award presented to Brianna Gaskill

Brianna joined Dr. Garner's laboratory in August of 2005 after completing her BS from Kansas State University. In November 2007 Brianna chose the M.S. By-Pass Degree Option to advance to the PhD. Program. She has maintains an outstanding GPA (3.88) and has been active in ANSC Graduate Student Association serving as Social Co-Chair, as Secretary/Treasurer and now President.

Brianna has made great strides in her early career. She has fully embraced the spirit of graduate work, and through her own initiative has worked hard on areas she initially found challenging... Brianna is very committed to teaching - she has sought to improve her teaching skills through a teaching certificate. She actively participated in teaching class, seeking opportunities to lecture, committing time to help design and set exams, and guiding students through the design and execution of their independent projects for the lab...

Brianna's main project examines thermal behavior, temperature preferences, and refinement of housing for thermal comfort in mice. Work on experiments in this project is one of the research opportunities we offer undergraduates, and Brianna has shown excellent leadership in managing the project and providing a very positive educational experience... She has overseen and managed a project to develop and test a new apparatus for assessing cognitive abilities in mice. This work has been extremely successful, and is at the core of a research agreement we are currently negotiating with Eli Lilly - which simply would not have been possible without Brianna's efforts.

Brianna's nominator states, "... she has very proactively identified the new skills she needs for graduate study and beyond, and has set out to develop areas in which she was less proficient. As a result Brianna is a truly excellent all-round graduate student, with great potential to succeed in an academic career... Brianna is a great student, an asset to Purdue, and shows great promise... "

Congratulations Brianna!


2009 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 Heather White.

Featherston Outstanding Graduate Teaching Award presented to Heather White

Heather joined our graduate program in the August of 2005. She received her Bachelor of Science degree from St. Mary's College in 2005. As of August 2007 she completed her M.S. degree and is pursuing her PhD under the direction of Dr. Shawn Donkin. Heather received nominations for the Graduate Teaching Award for her accomplishments as a teaching assistant for Animal Sciences 324, Applied Animal Nutrition (3 semesters & 1 semester as lead instructor); F&N 303 Essentials of Nutrition (1 semester).

Heather's nominator's comments include: ... she was extremely dependable, well prepared, and earned the respect of the students. I was very impressed by her performance, and therefore recommended that she serve as lead instructor for the course while I am on sabbatical this spring. There are very few students who I would recommend have the sole responsibility for a course, but Heather is more than capable of teaching a course in our department while balancing her own courses and research.

As the Outstanding Graduate Teaching Award recipient, Heather was recognized at the University's Celebration of Graduate Student Teaching Banquet last month.

Congratulations Heather!


2009 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. This is the first year for nominations for this award and like the Outstanding PhD award is considered an extremely high honor in the Graduate Program and serves to reward excellence. 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: Christine Johnson.

Featherston Outstanding M.S. Award presented to Christine Johnson

Christy joined our graduate program in the August of 2007. She received her Bachelor of Science degree from the Purdue University in 2007. Under the direction of Dr. Ryan Cabot she will complete her M.S. degree in July and is already taking classes at Purdue Calumet this summer in pursuit of her teaching degree.

Her nominator states, Christine has done an OUTSTANDING job on may levels during her time in our Department... her overall grades have been excellent (3.88/4.000)... In January 2009.Christine delivered both a poster and an oral presentation about her findings at the IETS meeting in San Diego; she placed as the runner up... Having one of my students (especially someone who was a first year graduate student) participate and place in this competition was truly an honor for me and should serve as direct evidence of Christine's abilities as a scientist... Christy has been a real leader in my laboratory. She has taken a active role in mentoring one undergraduate student who is currently engaged in an honors undergraduate research project... organized the schedules of the other undergraduate workers in the lab and takes the time to not only explain their responsibilities, but makes a concerted effort to show them what 'doing research' in the lab is all about... "

Congratulations Christy!


2009 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 $1000, 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: Rosangela Poletto.

Featherston Outstanding PhD Award presented to Rosangela Poletto

Rosangela received her D.V.M. from the University of Passo Fundo, Brazil in 2003, she received Master of Science in 2005 from Michigan State University. In August 2005 she came to Purdue University entering the Animal Science graduate program to pursue her Ph.D. under the direction of Dr. Jeremy Marchant-Forde.

Nominator's comments include: "Ms. Poletto is... a true asset to the students with whom she works. She is looked up to as a leader and source of technical expertise... she is a very driven student who has developed significant expertise due to her desire to learn. Her solid work ethic, ability to work effectively in a team, and scientific ability have allowed her to establish herself as an outstanding graduate student who is very well published and a leader in her field."

Congratulations Rosangela!


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