Meat science students awarded scholarships at SMA Convention

SAN ANTONIO — Several meat science students in the Department of Animal Science are recipients of scholarships presented during the 59th Southwest Meat Association Annual Convention held in San Antonio July 22-25, 2015.


From left, Courtney Boykin, Loni Woolley, Hillary Henderson, Jim Ondrusek, Clay Eastwood, Crystal Waters, Micki Gooch, Madalynn Kainer, McCalley Cunningham and Drew Cassens.

The Bob Ondrusek Memorial Scholarship was presented to Texas A&M graduate students Drew Cassens, Courtney Boykin, Aeriel Belk, Clay Eastwood, McKensie Harris, Hillary Henderson and Crystal Waters; and undergraduate students McCalley Cunningham, Micki Gooch, Kline Jones, Madalynn Kainer and Shelby Schiefelbein.

This scholarship, which was started in 2000 by the SMA Foundation, is the primary source of scholarship funds for undergraduate and graduate students interested in meat science in the United States. Bob Ondrusek left a lasting impression and impact on many people through his business, Columbia Packing Company in Dallas, and through his charitable and personal support of the Southwest Meat Association, FFA, 4-H and many other association and activities.

Hillary Henderson

Hillary Henderson

In addition, Hillary Henderson, from Alvin, Texas, received the SMIKids Scholarship. This scholarship is given by the Burley Smith family to undergraduate and graduate students at Texas A&M University interested in the meat industry. Henderson received a bachelor’s degree in animal science from Texas A&M University and worked in private industry before returning to graduate school.

Hannah Laird, meat science graduate student from Dickinson, Texas, received the SMA Foundation graduate scholarship. Laird is working in the sensory analysis area and has an undergraduate degree from Baylor University.


Jim Ondrusek and Hannah Laird

Many faculty and students from the Department of Animal Science attended and participated in the annual convention. The group promoted the department’s teaching, research and extension programs by visiting with convention participants who stopped by the department’s exhibit booth at the Supplier’s Showcase held on July 24. Dr. Gary Smith, visiting professor of animal science, presented two talks and Dr. Davey Griffin served as photographer during the convention.

The Southwest Meat Association was founded in 1957 by a group of Texas meat packers who came together to form an organization that would unite packers/processors with the goal of promoting goodwill, friendship, education, legislation, and better labor relations within the meat industry, according to the organization’s website.


Leslie Frenzel, Clay Eastwood and Mark Frenzel

For more information and photos from the SMA Convention, visit


via Texas A&M Meat Science

For more information regarding news from the Department of Animal Science, College of Agriculture and Life Sciences, Texas A&M University, please contact Courtney Coufal at or (979) 845-1542.

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