Tag Archives: DASC

Isis Kanevsky‐Mullarky receives ADSA Foundation Scholar Award in Dairy Production

Isis Kanevsky‐Mullarky

Isis Kanevsky‐Mullarky, right, receives the ADSA Foundation Scholar Award in Dairy Production.

The American Dairy Science Association (ADSA) is pleased to announce Isis Kanevsky‐Mullarky as the 2013 recipient of the ADSA Foundation Scholar Award in Dairy Production. The award was presented on Wednesday, July 10, 2013, during the awards ceremony at the ADSA Annual Meeting in Indianapolis.

The ADSA Foundation Scholar Award in Dairy Production was created to recognize a young scholar from the Production Division and their potential in research and educational leadership, and to identify critical issues affecting the future of the dairy industry. Special requirements include a ten year or less post‐final academic degree, current active membership in the American Dairy Science Association, exemplary research and/or educational programs (instruction, extension, or industry), and potential for
future leadership.

Isis Kanevsky‐Mullarky is an associate professor in the Department of Dairy Science. She obtained her B.S. and M.S. degrees from the University of Vermont, where she worked with Woody Pankey and John Bramley. In 2003, she received her Ph.D. from Penn State, where she worked with Lorraine Sordillo. Kanevsky completed her postdoctoral studies at the Trudeau Institute, conducting infectious‐disease research using mouse models. Her current research focuses on enhancing immunity and vaccine development to prevent infections such as Staphylococcus aureus in dairy cattle and human populations.

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2013 Hokie Cow Classic registration

The Virginia Tech Dairy Science Program continues to thrive! Our undergraduate and 4-H programs have had a tremendous year, and we expect another great freshman class in 2013 to carry on the tradition.

Your continued support helps to maintain our momentum as a world-class dairy science program. To continue to achieve our goals, we are hosting the 11th annual Hokie Cow Classic Golf Tournament fundraiser on May 20th at the Blacksburg Country Club. We have four goals for this year’s event:

  • Fund a dozen new scholarships
  • Continue to attract and retain the best students possible
  • Enhance support for undergraduate and 4-H teams and educational activities
  • Make this year’s tournament bigger and better than last year’s!

Thanks to many of you, last year’s fundraiser hosted 85 golfers and grossed $28,000, with more than $17,000 used directly for student program support.

As we plan for the 11th year, we’re hoping for an even bigger and better event. We invite you to join in the fun! The enclosed materials outline the sponsorships we have available, and explain what your support means for the Dairy Science Department.

The 2013 Hokie Cow Classic will be held on Monday, May 20th. A lunch buffet will be available from 11 a.m.-12:30 p.m. Heavy hors d’oeuvres, drinks, awards and auction are scheduled immediately following golf. No jeans or T-shirts please!

Please place this event on your schedule, consider a sponsorship, and join us for the fun! Return the enclosed entry form by May 10, 2013 (checks payable to “Virginia Tech Foundation”). Meanwhile, feel free to contact us with questions or visit the Hokie Cow Classic at www.dasc.vt.edu.


Katharine Knowlton, VT DASC Programs
(540) 231-5287; knowlton@vt.edu

David Winston, Dairy Youth Programs
(540) 231-5693; dwinston@vt.edu

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David R. Winston selected as Dairy Challenge program chair

David R. WinstonExtension dairy scientist David R. Winston has been selected to be the program chair on the 2012-13 North American Intercollegiate Dairy Challenge executive committee.

Winston replaced Coleen Jones as program chair and has served in  countless Dairy Challenge roles dating back to 2002. He was first chair of the Southern Regional Dairy Challenge from 2006 to 2008 and served as 2012 National Contest host coordinator in Roanoke, Va. Winston’s first Dairy Challenge role was as assistant coach for Virginia Tech teams from 2002 to 2004.

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Extension welcomes new employees

Caitlin Miller joined the Prince Edward Extension Office on September 25 as the new Family and Consumer Sciences Agent. This position will focus on continuing to establish and build a thriving local food system. Caitlin received her bachelors from Virginia Tech in crop and soil environmental science with a minor in civic agriculture and food systems. During her time at Virginia Tech, she participated in two study abroad programs in Honduras. With her diversified work experience she has an understanding of how a flourishing local food system can enrich a community and is looking forward to building support and lasting partnerships among the producers, residents, businesses, and institutions of Prince Edward County and the surrounding regions. Caitlin can be reached at 434-392-4246 or cgracem@vt.edu.

Laura Siegle joined the Amelia County staff on September 10 as the Extension Agent in agriculture and natural resources. She earned two bachelors degrees from Virginia Tech — one in animal and poultry sciences and the other in dairy science.  She also earned her masters in career and technical education-agricultural education from Virginia Tech. Her education is matched by the time spent managing and working on farms. Throughout her time in school, she worked with cattle, sheep, goats, horses, and hay crops and assisted with numerous 4-H events. Prior to joining Virginia Cooperative Extension, she was working as an agricultural technician at Southern Piedmont AREC. She can be reached at  804-561-2481 or laurab08@vt.edu.

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From the Dean — May 2012

Alan Grant

Alan Grant

Dear Colleagues,

The end of the Spring semester is quickly approaching. As preparations continue for the end of the academic year and the upcoming spring commencement, there will be many receptions across the departments and the university honoring the graduates of the college. I do hope that many of you will be able to participate in some of the events to celebrate the successes of our students. These are enjoyable and memorable for students and their families and friends.

Now that the Virginia General Assembly has concluded its work on the 2012-14 state budget, the university is evaluating the budget’s impact on Virginia Tech.  A summary can be found on General Assembly update: Legislation impacting Virginia Tech, Extension, and higher education. Among the many items included in the budget is an additional $500,000 of funding in each year of the biennium to support staffing in agency 229. This will be extremely helpful to Virginia Cooperative Extension and Virginia Agricultural Experiment Station as we enter the next fiscal year. We will be learning more about the university budget over the next several weeks. Continue reading

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2012 Outstanding Seniors

Each year the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences honors one undergraduate student from each department for their academic achievements, leadership, and experiences beyond traditional coursework.  Of these students, a committee selects the overall outstanding senior for the college.  Below are this year’s award recipients.  They will be recognized on May 11 at a ceremony and reception at The Inn at Virginia Tech and Skelton Conference Center.

Photos and more information about each student will be available at www.cals.vt.edu/current/outstanding-seniors.html in late May. Continue reading

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128 Students, 32 Colleges Participate in 11th Annual Dairy Challenge

Gracious dairy farm hosts and warm, sunny weather welcomed 128 students to the recent southern Virginia for the 11th annual Dairy Challenge. The 2012 contest attracted dairy students from 32 colleges across the United States and Canada, and was hosted by Virginia Tech and North Carolina State University.

This innovative educational program – North American Intercollegiate Dairy Challenge (NAIDC) – has helped prepare 3500 students for careers in the dairy industry, dairy production and veterinary medicine.

“Students hone their ability to work as a team and improve their time management, critical thinking and public speaking skills through participation in Dairy Challenge,” explained David R. Winston, coordinator of the 2012 contest and Extension Dairy Scientist-Youth at Virginia Tech. “Employers in today’s dairy job market seek to hire employees with excellent communication and dairy management skills, and NAIDC is a prime opportunity to advance these skills.” Continue reading

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Eight college teams earn top awards

In the 2012 Dairy Challenge, Virginia Tech students Lindsay Hetrick, Karl Paulson, Chris Potts, Lauryn Singer and coaches Mark Hanigan and Bob James placed second. Each student earned a $100 scholarship.

First Place awards were earned by Cornell University, University of Guelph, The Ohio State University and University of Wisconsin-Platteville. Each first-place team member received a $200 scholarship.

Other second place winners:

  • California Polytechnic State University
  • Kansas State University
  • Utah State University

Other participating colleges were Alabama A&M University, University of Alberta, Berry College, Clemson University, Delaware Valley College, University of Florida, University of Idaho, University of Illinois, Iowa State University, University of Maine, University of Massachusetts, Michigan State University, University of Minnesota, Morrisville State College, University of New Hampshire, North Carolina State University, Penn State University, Purdue University, South Dakota State University, University of Vermont, Washington State University, Western Kentucky University, University of Wisconsin-Madison and University of Wisconsin-River Falls.

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Employee of the Month – June



Wendy Wark

Mike Akers, head of the Department of Dairy Science; Isis Mullarky, assistant professor of dairy science; Wendy Wark; and Alan Grant, dean


Wendy Wark, laboratory specialist in the Department of Dairy Science, was the college’s Employee of the Month for June. She was recognized for her professionalism and work ethic. Her nominator said, “Wendy Wark continuously goes above and beyond her expected duties as a laboratory and research specialist and was instrumental in the successful setup of my new immunology lab in the Department of Dairy Science. Wendy is willing to work flexible hours when necessary, assists in the rigorous cleaning and cataloguing of lab space and equipment, and directs undergraduate students in the steps it takes to set up a new lab. Wendy regularly suggests ways to aid and improve lab and teaching spaces, thereby contributing to departmental goals. Her efforts on various research projects involving new cell culture techniques, immune cell isolation and analysis, and animal handling never cease to amaze me. Not only does she master new protocols in a short period of time, but she continuously provides suggestions for improvement and advancement of our research.”

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