ASI students participate in Undergraduate Research Symposium

MANHATTAN, Kan. — A total of 68 undergraduate students presented research posters during the Kansas State University Animal Sciences and Industry Undergraduate Research Symposium on Tuesday, Dec. 14. The symposium, hosted at the Stanley Stout Center, highlighted ASI undergraduate research for the fall 2021 semester.

The Dr. Mark and Kim Young Undergraduate Research Fund in Animal Sciences and Industry sponsored this year’s symposium and the Undergraduate Research Awards distributed during the event.

Seven students were awarded $1,000 scholarships based on a combination of their scientific abstract, poster and presentation of data. Winning the scholarships were: Cassandra Black, Bellevue, Neb.; Brigette King, Smithton, Ill.; Jordan Vail, Westminster, Colo.; Keaira Menard, Kinsley, Kan.; Emma Pool, Caney, Kan.; Ivan Bueso-Interiano, Kansas City, Kan., and Laura Carpenter, Wamego, Kan.

Undergraduate research is an opportunity 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 students 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. 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.

Kansas State University Department of Animal Sciences and Industry 2021 Fall Undergraduate Research Symposium participants. Photo courtesy Kansas State University


Summary of the students’ projects and mentors:

Marisa Avila – Effects of sorghum concentration on digestibility – Chuck Zumbaugh and Cassie Jones

Jill Broxterman – Characterization of model milk protein concentrates containing microparticulated whey proteins – Jayendra Amamcharla

Jasmin Choate – The impact of Synovex C implantation during suckling on pre-weaning growth performance of beef cattle – Payton Dahmer and Cassie Jones

Autumn Eggers – Investigating the prevalence of Anaplasma marginale in breeding cows and the impact of chronic anaplasmosis on packed red blood cell volume and pregnancy rates – Kathryn Reif

Elizabeth Fisher – The effects of grain sorghum inclusion on nutrient digestibility in Rambouillet lambs – Chuck Zumbaugh and Dr. Cassie Jones

Amanda Holmes – Development and scale-up of gluten-free lemon blueberry muffin – Kelly Getty and Kelly Whitehair

Audrey Marchek – Trends in feedlot performance and economics-focus on feedlots – Ken Odde

Tiffany Oberdorf – The effects of sorghum inclusion in lamb diets on apparent total tract digestibility – Chuck Zumbaugh and Cassie Jones

Trinity Pfaff – Effects of an in-feed yeast fermentation based-probiotic on the prevalence of Salmonella in lymph nodes of dairy cattle – David Renter

Samantha Rice – Antimicrobial activities of cannabinoids against bacterial pathogens that cause liver abscesses in feedlot cattle – T.G. Nagaraja

Oliver Schmitz – The effects of inoculants on nutritional composition, fermentation, and bacterial communities on freshly cut corn silage – Mike Brouk

Jordan Vail – Generation and characterization of polyclonal antibodies against Bovine Parainfluenza-3 Virus [Genotype C] – Tae Kim and Waithaka Mwangi

In the undergraduate research with meats class (ASI 560A), students studied the evaluation of PLA2 antibody to extend meat shelf-life by preventing the breakdown of phospholipids. This project was sponsored by Mark and Kim Young Undergraduate Research Fund in Animal Sciences and Industry. Researchers were: Grace Aust, Laura Carpenter, Kalen Dressler, Emma Pool and Rishita Shetty.

In the undergraduate research with sheep class (ASI 560C), students studied the evaluation of soybean meal addition to increase crude protein on lamb growth and nutrient digestibility. This project was sponsored by Dr. Mark and Kim Young Undergraduate Research Fund in Animal Sciences and Industry. Researchers were: Hanna Allen, Isabel Bond, Claire Conrad, Emileigh Dinkel, Lucy Donnici, John Frey, Justine Hurst, Alexis Justice, Brigette King, Elizabeth Lang, Ashley McLoughlin, Cassie Miller, Alice Newell, Macy Palmer, Autumn Ramos-Clevenger, Katie Reinert, Gracie Rishmany, Elizabeth Sandstrom, Brittany Smith, Catherine Tupac and Sarah Weekes.

In the undergraduate research with beef class (ASI 560E), students studied Guanidinoacetic acid (GAA) supplementation to dairy calves. This project was sponsored by Dr. Mark and Kim Young Undergraduate Research Fund in Animal Sciences and Industry. Researchers were: Jessica Ambrosier, Mallory Beltz, Mackenzie Birney, Cassandra Black, Grace Borgaila, Levi Bradley, Ivan Bueso-Interiano, Charles Bunker, Matthew DuBois, Reagan Evans, Madie Evje, Grace Gregg, Caitlin Gunnin, Ashlee Hanratty, Gabby Harlow, Clare Kohl, Karisa Leonard, Samantha Masisak, Lauryn Mauler, Keaira Menard, Brianna Moore, Elizabeth Moore, Kadyn Nuncio, Gabriel Ruvalcaba, Avery Schaefer, Brandi Schnitkey, Liz Smith, Kaylee Sund, Tori White and Olivia Wiley.

Undergraduates interested in learning more about the ASI research program, or those interested in sponsoring the program, can contact Cassie Jones, coordinator of undergraduate research, at (785) 532-5289 or


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