ANSC students, faculty honored at 2013 College Convocation

COLLEGE STATION – Four students in the Department of Animal Science are recipients of the Senior Merit Award, the highest award given to an undergraduate student by the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences.


2013 Senior Merit Award recipients from the Department of Animal Science are, front left, Lonisa Early, Lauren Thompson, Katie Muehlstein and Katie Moore. Back left, Also attending convocation were Dr. David Forrest, associate head for academic programs; Donna Witt, senior academic advisor, Dr. Tryon Wickersham, associate professor and recipient of the Honor Professor Award, Chris Skaggs, professor and associate dean, Amber Skinner, academic advisor, and Glenn Holub, instructional assistant professor.

The award, based on leadership, scholarship and service at the department, college and university levels, was presented at the 2013 COALS Convocation held April 13 in College Station.

The award was presented to Lonisa Early, from Paso Robles, Calif.; Catherine Moore, from Keller; Katie Muehlstein, from Kerrville; and Lauren Thompson, from Grandview.

Early, who graduated in May, served as director for Aggie Relay for Life, an ambassador and mentor for the COALS Study Abroad Program and team leader for MSC Hospitality. She was a member of the Alpha Zeta Honors Fraternity and participated in a reciprocal exchange study abroad in Brazil. Early volunteered much of her time serving the National FFA Organization and even held a leadership position as a National FFA Officer. She was selected as a Who’s Who Among Students in American Universities and Colleges. Early plans to pursue a master’s and doctorate degree and hopes to serve the agriculture industry by improving animal agriculture in the developing world.

Moore, who graduated in May, was an officer and member in the Saddle & Sirloin Club and Alpha Zeta Honors Fraternity. She was a member of the national champion Animal Science Academic Quadrathlon Team and the Texas A&M Wool Judging Team. In 2012, she won the Gamma Sigma Delta Outstanding Junior Award and in 2013 she was named the Outstanding Senior Award. Also, in 2013, Moore received the Department of Animal Science Brewer Award. Moore plans to attend Texas A&M Veterinary School and become a veterinarian following graduation.

Muehlstein, an animal science and kinesiology double major who graduated in May, served as president  of the Saddle & Sirloin Club, was a member of the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences Student Council and served as an Aggie Rep for the Department of Animal Science.  Muehlstein was also involved with Traditions Council, MSC Fish and the Wool Judging Team. Last summer, Katie interned in Washington, D.C.  for the U.S. House of Representatives’ House Committee on Agriculture. In 2010, she won the COALS Outstanding Freshman Award. Muehlstein plans to attend either the University of Wisconsin-Madison or Hardin Simmons University to pursue a doctoral degree in physical therapy and would like to practice physical therapy in an outpatient clinic, servicing orthopedic patients in the future.

Thompson is a senior and plans to graduate in December. She is an officer in Alpha Zeta, a member of the Department of Animal Science’s Aggie Reps and a Farmers Fight agricultural advocate. Thompson has been a member of the Meat Judging Team, the Animal Science Academic Quadrathlon Team and the Meat Science Quiz Bowl Team. She works at the Texas A&M University Large Animal Hospital as a student worker technician. Thompson hopes to intern with Gardiner Angus Ranch in the Spring of 2014 in order to gain hands-on experience that will aid her in her goal of becoming a large animal veterinarian through the Rural Veterinary Incentive Program.

Other highlights from Convocation include:

  • Misty Jackson, senior animal science major from Sumner received the first COALS Student Council Endowed Scholarship. This $1,000 scholarship was created by the 2012-2013 COALS Council in order to support students the way in which Foundation donors have supported their education.
  • The 2013-14 COALS Student Council officer team was announced including four animal science students – Katie Heinrich, President; Rachel Bedinger, VP of Finance; Sydney Reese, VP of Programs; Clint Hearn, VP of Public Relations. The COALS Student Council is comprised of selected students from all majors with in the college. Out-going officers include animal science students Whitley James, from George West, and Stefen Tucker, from Wheeler.
  • Dr. Tryon Wickersham, associate professor, was presented the Honor Professor Award by the College Student Council. This award is given to a faculty member who has made outstanding contributions to undergraduate education both in and out of the classroom. One of his students said, “Not only did Dr. Wickersham challenge his students intellectually, he also invests in students’ lives to assure success in their respective majors. He meets the needs of each type of learner in the class in order to fully comprehend each concept.” This is the second consecutive year that a professor within the Department of Animal Science has received this honor.


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