Major: Animal Science - Meat Animal, Chemistry minor
Year graduated: 2017
Hometown: Mondovi, WI
Sara was an Undergraduate Research Assistant in the Animal Welfare Lab for four semesters, from fall 2015 through spring 2017. Here's some of her thoughts about her experience in the Animal Welfare Lab:
Working in the Animal Welfare Lab, I gained valuable research skills that will help me in graduate school and the Lab has introduced me to people that are now some of my closest friends. My experience in the Lab has also introduced me to many opportunities and connections like participating in the Animal Welfare Judging and Assessment (AWJAC) Competition, in which, this year 2016, our team was the high scoring team in the live assessment portion of the competition.
Specifically, I am interested in bovine species and so I worked on a calf disbudding research project in spring 2016. A portion of that project ended up as my McNair Scholars Research Project where I analyzed Cortisol and Substance P, which are a stress related hormone and neurotransmitter, levels from blood collected daily from dairy calves. It was a very large scale research project and it was interesting to see the dynamic of researchers and assistants working together. I also enjoyed when we took our blood samples down to Iowa State University (ISU) PhAST Laboratory where we had the pleasure of learning how radioimmunoassays work to detect the levels of Cortisol and Substance P in the blood. It was a great learning experience and we made good connections at ISU that we otherwise would not have had the opportunity to make.
Currently, I am applying to multiple graduate schools and I hope to pursue my Master's or Ph.D. in animal welfare and behavior. I would ultimately like to teach at the university level. When I graduate, I will miss the feeling on inclusion, learning, and friendship that I felt while working in the Animal Welfare Lab. Without a doubt, I am not the student or person I am today without being a part of the Animal Welfare Lab.