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UW Researcher, Faculty Member Receive Honors from National Animal Science Society
July 10, 2008 — A researcher and a faculty member in the Department of Animal Science at the University of Wyoming were honored by the Western Section of the American Society of Animal Science during its recent meeting in Laramie.
Assistant Professor Min Du, specializing in muscle biology and meat science, received the Young Scientist Award, and Associate Professor Paul Ludden, specializing in ruminant nutrition, received the Distinguished Teaching Award. Frances Niemela, a UW graduate student from Hill City, S.D., received second place in the paper competition. All are in the College of Agriculture.
Faculty and staff members from 27 universities of the western United States and Mexico comprise the region. More than 200 registered for the Laramie event. "The conference went very well," said Gary Moss, professor in the UW Department of Animal Science and president-elect of the Western Section. "The comments I've heard have been very positive."
Du received his bachelor's degree from Zhejian University, Hangzhou, China, his master's degree from China Agricultural University, Beijing, China, and his doctorate degree from Iowa State University. He joined the department in 2003.
Du has 37 refereed publications as primary author, directed the research of graduate students and research scientists in his laboratory resulting in another 22 publications, and collaborated on another 26. He has secured more than $1.4 million in grants with an additional $1.68 million proposal pending.
Doug Hixon, head of the Department of Animal Science, said Du has not only contributed to scientific knowledge but has been very relevant to animal agriculture.
"He has bridged the gap between basic research and industry problems in order to further enhance meat quality," noted Hixon. "He is extremely hard working and of utmost integrity."
Ludden received his bachelor's degree from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln, his master's degree from Purdue University and his doctorate from the University of Missouri-Columbia.
Student evaluations consistently rank Ludden at the top of the scale, whether teaching a beginning or advanced course.
"Paul is a caring individual who has worked hard to develop his teaching skills to a superior level," said Hixon.
Niemela, an animal/veterinary science major, received second place in the Graduate Student Paper Competition. Her paper was "Traditional and self-fed cull cow feeding programs: Evaluation of performance and economics," with fellow graduate student Chris Loehr and Associate Professor and extension beef specialist Steve Paisley.
"Frances is a hardworking master's student working under the direction of Associate Professor Paisley," said Hixon. "The graduate student paper competition evaluates students on the quality and effectiveness of their oral presentation and in addition to their printed manuscript. Frances presented her research results on a topic very relevant to Wyoming beef producers as well as the U.S. beef industry."