K-State animal science students win undergraduate research awards

Annual symposium provides prep for next step in careers

Four Kansas State University students earned $1,000 scholarships during the undergraduate research symposium hosted by the Department of Animal Sciences and Industry.

The symposium is held each year to highlight the undergraduate research in the department during the just-completed semester.

The scholarships were awarded based on a combination of students’ scientific abstract, poster and presentation of data. The four winners this year were

  • Keayla Harr, Jeromesville, Ohio;
  • Lilli Heinen, Olathe, Kansas;
  • Mary Markland, Overland Park, Kansas; and
  • Yu Shin Wang, Taichung City, Taiwan.

The symposium and the scholarship awards were sponsored by the Dr. Mark and Kim Young Undergraduate Research Fund, held in the department.

Department officials note that undergraduate research is an opportunity for students to perform in-depth study, gain transferable skills, develop critical thinking and problem-solving abilities, define academic and professional interests, and form relationships with mentors, professors, and other students.

The program gives students the opportunity to work with ASI faculty and graduate student mentors on a project that is rewarding and helps them prepare for their next goals.

“Undergraduate research helps students understand the value and constraints of data,” said Cassie Jones, coordinator of undergraduate research in the department. “Whether they go on to graduate school, return to the ranch, or venture into industry, these students will use data every day to make decisions. An undergraduate research experience helps them understand how to value that data during the decision-making process and will help make them more successful animal scientists.”

Six K-State students will be presenting their research at regional or national meetings.

In addition to the award winners, students in a meat science course focused on the effects of quality grade influences on the beef top sirloin cap (biceps femoris) eating quality; and students in the meat goat nutrition classed focused on evaluating the impact of varying protein source and acid source on feedlot goat growth and carcass traits.

Students conducting the research in the meat science course were Kelsey Bradford, Zachary Callaghan, Greyson Collins, Samuel Davis, Carlie Dill, Keayla Harr, Lilli Heinen, Claudia Hissong, Jordan Johnson, Madison Loschke, Taylor Belle Matheny, Ellie Toothaker, Tessa Vanderree, Yu Shin Wang, Hannah Williams and Brenna Zimmerman.

Students in the meat goat nutrition class were Ashley Craig, Elizabeth Donaldson, Erika Ewing, Addison Gauthier, Jay Henry, Mary Markland, Hannah Miller, Allianna Mitchell, Taylor Mortsolf, Joel Nelson, Madeline Neufeld, Abbey Pentz, Mia Pentz, Madison Pflughoeft, Ashley Royce, Shelby Smith, Eric Valenzuela, Mikaela Weeder and Hsuan-Wei Wu.

Five other students, each in separate classes, also showed their work at this year’s symposium. They are Ashley Hartman, Cameron Hayden, Linnea Rimmer, Miranda Stubbs and Alexander Sevart.

Those interested in sponsoring future programs, or just wanting more information, can contact Jones at 785-532-5289, or [email protected].