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Department of Animal Sciences


Meet Hannah Largen: 2024 CFAES Distinguished Senior

April 11, 2024

Animal Sciences student and Honors Program member Hannah Largen embodies the CFAES mission and Buckeye spirit through her scholarship, research, service, and leadership. Hannah also took her interest in human-animal interactions to new levels of prize-winning research.

As the president of the Human Animal Interactions (HAI) Club, and founder and president of the Pilot Dogs Club, Hannah is passionate about human-animal interactions and dedicated to fulfilling the missions of these organizations by engaging their members and giving back to the community.

The HAI Club serves the greater community through animal-related volunteer work. As part of this organization, Hannah led the group as president, aiding the organization in their goal to provide volunteer training of service dogs for the visually impaired. She also has helped train two dogs for Pilot Dogs. She said, “Watching the dogs improve as I work with them is extremely rewarding,” especially knowing “the important role these dogs will serve in the lives of people who need them most.” 

Hannah completed two internships, one in the Ohio State Equine Facility and the other at the Mill Mountain Zoo in Roanoke, Virginia. In Roanoke, Hannah worked with zookeepers to ensure the health and safety of different species at the zoo. She monitored the cleanliness of animal enclosures and prepared food for animals, including supplements and medications, when needed. She also provided enrichment opportunities for them. Hannah discovered a passion for horses and their health and welfare during her Equine Reproduction Internship at the Ohio State Equine Facility. She cleaned stalls, performed routine grooming and health examinations, and learned equine management during breeding, gestation, and lactation. Following her internship, she volunteered to serve as an on-call foaling attendant, staying overnight in the barn to support interns and production students as they learned to monitor the equine birthing process.

Hannah appreciated the support of Dr. Kim Cole, who “instilled a passion for the health and welfare of horses and for the importance of research in animal sciences.” Hannah especially admires Dr. Cole’s “attitude of continuous learning, which made her an amazing research mentor.” In Hannah’s research project, she investigated animal responses to brief human-animal interactions.

She recorded data on acceptance and avoidance behaviors expressed by donkeys, goats, and dogs in brief interactions, which were video-recorded during a previous study. At the CFAES Undergraduate Research Forum, she enjoyed sharing her passion for the project and the study results with students and faculty. She was proud to win the first-place award for her presentation. Hannah will graduate with research distinction.