Awards and Recognition

Posted: June 8, 2010

Faculty, staff, students and alumni receive honors

Student Awards

Jessica Bussard and Meghan Pierson received 1st and 2nd place in the undergraduate poster competition at the Mid-Atlantic Nutrition Conference. The research results they presented were from studies on teff hay digestibility in horses and basal glucose characteristics in growing foals.  Both students are members of the Penn State Equine Research Team.  Jessica will start her pursuit of a master’s degree in agronomy at the University of Kentucky in the spring of 2011.

Jessica Tekippe placed 2nd in the Alltech Graduate student paper competition out of over 2,000 proposals.

At the college’s Research Exhibition in March, Jessica Tekippe placed 1st for her poster,  "Effect of Origanium Vulgare on Production, Methane, and Ruminal Fermentation in Dairy Cows" and undergraduate Stephanie Heilman placed 3rd for her poster, "Effects of Herbs and Essential Oils on In Vitro Batch Culture Ruminal Fermentation", which is her honor's thesis.  Stephanie, an advisee of Troy Ott, conducted her research with Jessica and Gabriella Varga.

Club Awards

The Collegiate Farm Bureau. a newer student organization, recently received the College’s Outstanding Organization and Professional Leadership Development Award.  The Club has over 25 members from across the college and is advised by Megan Sinasky and Ann Swinker.

Block and Bridle Club again received the “Outstanding Student Organization” of the year award from Penn State’s Center for Student Engagement.  They also received high overall team and institution awards from the Northeast Student Affiliate.

Staff Award

In March, Coleen Jones received the Outstanding Recent Alumnus Award from the Department of Dairy Science at Virginia Tech.


Animal Sciences majors received six of the 23 scholarships awarded by the Pennsylvania Farm Show Scholarship Foundation in January at the Pennsylvania Farm Show in Harrisburg. The Foundation awards scholarships to young people who are registered in a post-secondary educational institution and who have exhibited livestock at the Farm Show. To be chosen, students must exhibit leadership qualities and excellent academic performance. Since 2005, the College has provided additional scholarship money to Farm Show scholarship recipients who are enrolled in the College. The amount of this year's Farm Show scholarship is $3,500 and the College added $2,000. The Animal Sciences students who received scholarships are: Constance Anderson of Saltsburg, a junior; Sarah Doyle of Red Lion, a sophomore; Sarah Farley of Hazle Township, a freshman; Ashley Gerstlauer of Philadelphia, a sophomore; Ryan Nolt of New Holland, a sophomore; and Cortney Wright, Cassville, Huntingdon County, a freshman.

Beef Quiz Bowl Team

For the 14th time in 17 years, Penn State's student Beef Quiz Bowl team earned a top-two finish at the National Beef Quiz Bowl, which was held on January 29 in San Antonio, TX.  Kansas State University won the contest.  Penn State's team included Robyn Bechtel of Martinsburg, Dustin Brown of Tyrone, Elizabeth Cloninger of Centre Hall, and Jenna Pannone of Flemington, N.J. 

With its second-place finish, Penn State remains the most-decorated team in National Beef Quiz Bowl history. Since the contest's inception in 1993, Penn State has represented the Northeast Region 14 times, winning the national championship 9 times and placing second 5 times.  Chris Raines, Vivian Baumer, Dale Olver, and Dan Kniffen co-advised the team. The National Collegiate Beef Quiz Bowl is a joint program of the National Cattlemen's Foundation and the American Society of Animal Science. Teams are composed of four students, and questions are open-ended or multiple choice. The event requires students to have a working knowledge of the science of multiple disciplines, government policies, and other information pertinent to the beef industry.

NESA Honors

Penn State was named top University in the Northeast Student Affiliate competition in January at the University of Rhode Island. The contest included livestock judging, quiz bowl competition, and paper presentations.  Penn State entered 8 of the 39 teams participating in the event. The overall winning team included Janelle Hartzell, Kristina McAllister, Dustin Brown, and Elizabeth Smith.  Janelle also placed first in Paper Presentations and was named Outstanding Senior.

Business Plan Competition

Alyssa Klein, an Animal Sciences sophomore and Schreyer Honors College scholar, is on a four-member team that won the Business Plan Competition at Washington State University, sponsored by the College of Business's Center for Entrepreneurial Studies. The team, one of 12 in the graduate division, competed with a viral diagnostic product, QVET, under the company name Febris Inc.

The team received a $14,000 cash prize and each team member received a smart phone.  Klein, from York, PA, was the science lead for the project.  Her team proposed developing and marketing a viral diagnostic test called QVET, using technology developed by Troy Ott while he was at the University of Idaho. The technology was recently patented in the US. Ott is Klein's academic advisor and supervises her honors research project.  QVET is a point-of-care, lateral flow diagnostic that can detect viral infections in animals not showing signs of disease.