Harstine & Cruppe Honored at CFAES Alumni Awards

The CFAES Alumni Society selected two Animal Sciences alumni for awards at the 2019 CFAES Alumni Awards Program. Dr. Bo Harstine, MS '13 and PhD '16 both in Animal Sciences, was selected for the Young Professional Achievement Award. Dr. Leandro Cruppe, MS '11 and PhD '15 both in Animal Sciences, was selected for the International Alumni Award. Both Harstine and Cruppe were nominated by Dr. James Kinder, professor, and Dr. Michael Day, currently the Chair of Animal Science at the University of Wyoming, who was their advisor. The Alumni Awards Luncheon was held Saturday, March 2nd at the Fawcett Center. 

Click on the name below to learn more about each of our honorees:

Dr. Bo Harstine

Dr. Leandro Cruppe

Dr. Bo Harstine

Dr. Bo Harstine is originally from Dundee, Ohio. He earned his B.A. in Cellular and Molecular Biology from Washington & Jefferson College in Washington, Pennsylvania. He earned his MS (2013) and his Ph.D. (2016) in the Department of Animal Sciences with a concentration in Reproductive Physiology and Endocrinology of Cattle; Dr. Michael Day was his advisor. Harstine is currently the Director of Research for Select Sires Inc. in Plain City, Ohio.

Why/how did you select your area of study for your graduate program?

I grew up on a dairy farm in Northeastern Ohio. I loved science and thought that a career in human or animal medicine would fit my interests, so I attended Washington & Jefferson College to pursue a biology degree in preparation for medical or veterinary school. Towards the end of my undergraduate education, I realized that I wanted to be able to work in agriculture, but that being a doctor or veterinarian probably wasn’t going to be the right career fit. Luckily, I did a summer research internship at Select Sires in Plain City, Ohio. I loved the laboratory work in an agricultural setting, so the decision to pursue graduate degrees in Animal Science was easy after that.

Why did you choose to attend The Ohio State University?

After eBo Harstinexpressing interest in attending graduate programs to study animal reproduction, Select Sires indicated that they were willing to jointly fund a graduate research associateship with a university research program. Dr. Mike Day’s lab in Ohio State’s Department of Animal Science was the perfect fit. An interesting fact: two of my current Select Sires coworkers were already working under Dr. Day in the lab at that time. Who knew we’d all end up working together?

Did you start in Animal Sciences? If not, where did you start and why did you make the switch?

I went to a college (Washington & Jefferson College) that didn’t even have an Animal Sciences Department! Now, reflecting back on my educational path, I’m so glad that I chose to return to my roots in agriculture and the dairy industry. By growing up on a dairy farm, I already knew that some of the smartest, kindest, and most resilient people worked in food production. That’s why ended up coming back full circle: the ability to be a scientist, yet still be on farms and interact with producers, has been a blessing, and I really enjoy what I do.

How did your education at Ohio State influence your choice of career or your career path?

I was fortunate to have an optimal graduate school experience. Foremost, I made it a priority to experience as much University research and academic culture as possible. I lectured for courses within the Animal Sciences Department as a TA, attended and presented at as many academic conferences as possible, performed research projects abroad, served on graduate-related administrative committees, and took classes across many Departments at OSU. I have to mention that none of this would have been possible without the mentorship of my graduate advisor, Dr. Mike Day, and the Graduate Assistanceship established between his research program and Select Sires. The research and coursework I completed at OSU, in conjunction with my interactions to ag industry through Select Sires, solidified my desire to want to be an industry scientist.

Which classes did you enjoy the most while at Ohio State? Which was your favorite and why?

A course I took towards the end of graduate school stands out: Genomics in the Molecular Genetics Department. That course had a strong base of fundamental molecular biology, but also translated very well to real-life examples. I learned a lot about genomics, as well as gene editing techniques, both of which are heavily used in the agricultural and cattle industries today. Within the Animal Sciences Department, the Research Seminars were perfect times to learn about and discuss designing scientific research, critiquing results, and being a critical thinker in general.

What is your favorite memory related to your time at Ohio State?

I made great, lifelong friends during graduate school at Ohio State. There are too many fun memories to choose only one! Tailgating for football games in Plumb Hall, watching Red, White, and Boom  fireworks on the roofs of office buildings, working in the middle of the night on research projects with lab mates, watching friends get their dream jobs upon graduation. Sure, some of those activities weren’t necessarily ‘sanctioned,’ but we had so much fun!

What positions have you held since graduating and where have you worked?

I started working as a Research Associate at Select Sires following graduation. I was fortunate to be promoted to Director of Research last year. Some people are surprised that someone as early in their career as me was offered that position, but I’ve been working hard to prove that I’m up to the task!

As of today, what is your favorite career highlight?

Being able to visit other countries to learn about global agriculture and to experience different cultures has been wonderful and eye-opening. Along the same lines, interacting with international visitors to Ohio is always a treat.

What advice would you give to a current student?

Be sure that you’re pursuing an education (and subsequent career) that you’re passionate about. If possible, take a few classes in areas outside your major to see if anything else might be a better fit. Also, do [paid] internships during summers or other free time. I repeat that advice to undergraduate students often!

Anything else you would like to share?

I have to thank my family and mentors for supporting me along the way. When you’re busy pursuing school or working hard early in your career, the support from family, friends, and mentors helps make it all more manageable and enjoyable.

 

Dr. Leandro Cruppe

Dr. Leandro Cruppe is from Jundiai, a city in the state of Sao Paulo in Brazil. He earned his DVM from the Veterinary School at Sau Paulo State University. He earned his MS (2011) and his Ph.D. (2015) in the Department of Animal Sciences; Dr. Michael Day was his advisor. Cruppe is currently in Research, Development, and Marketing for Select Sires Inc. in Brazil.

Why did you choose to attend The Ohio State University?

Exclusively due to Prof. Michael l. Day

Leandro CruppeDid you start in Animal Sciences? If not, where did you start and why did you make the switch?

In Brazil, we go straight from high school to the Vet School (5-year program), no need for a bachelor's program.

How did your education at Ohio State influence your choice of career or your career path?

Several collaborative research projects between OSU and Select Sires helped me find my job. With that research, I got close to several departments at Select Sires and Select Sires found a position that I could take over

Which classes did you enjoy the most while at Ohio State? Which was your favorite and why?

  • Stats with Norman St.Pierre at Animal Sciences
  • Ruminant Nutrition with Steve Loerch and Francis Fluharty (Favorite due to the Professors!!!)
  • Lactation Physiology with Kristy Daniels

Which professor, faculty or staff member had an impact on your education and why?

  • Dr. Michael L. Day = changed my life and made me a better person; I'm not quite as good as him, but I'm much better than what I was. He helped to improve me me not only in academia, but I became a better man.
  • Dr. Martin Mussard = helped with 100% of my projects and from him I learned all the techniques related to reproduction physiology. He is a good friend.
  • Greg Fogle = my first friend in the US, he was there always when I needed help and always ready for a beer when needed!
  • Dr. Steve Loerch = made me see the world differently and from him I learned to question more of the available research.

And a special thanks to all my friends from Dr. Day’s lab: Fernanda Abreu, Lucas Souto, Martin Maquivar, Martin Mussard, Lucas Helser, Matt Utt and Bo Harstine.

What is your favorite memory related to your time at Ohio State?

Several, I just can’t choose a specific one. But I used to enjoy a lot of my time at Belle Valley Research Station (OARDC) with Wayne Shriver and his crew.

What positions have you held since graduating and where have you worked?

I have worked exclusively for Select Sires Inc. in Brazil

Please share any professional awards or honors you have received over the years since graduating:

Gamma Sigma Delta; Professional Agricultural Society. Outstanding Graduate Student Achievements in 2010-2011Leandro Cruppe with his family

As of today, what is your favorite career highlight?

Being the Reproduction and Genetics Team Leader for the JBS/JBJ Group in Brazil; Brazil has the biggest beef cattle industry in the world.

What advice would you give to a current student?

Listen to your Professor – Be his/her friend – Enjoy every moment with your advisor, this attitude will make your life easier......it's the easiest pathway to success.

What impacts did the Department of Animal Sciences have on your personal and professional life?

All the experiences that the Department of Animal Sciences offered during my stay at OSU made my family proud of me and made me be proud of my family and friends.

Anything else you would like to share?

I learned to enjoy and learn from all the good and bad leaders that are presented in our lives. They all have a lot to teach/offer to us. Filter, digest and use it.