Students Earn Poultry Science Association Travel Grants

Two Department of Animals Sciences graduate students, Revathi Shanmugasundaram and Kim Wilson, and one former undergraduate student, Victoria Polentz, were awarded travel grants to attend the Poultry Science Associations’ (PSA) Annual Meeting in Orlando, FL. The students participated in annual competitions for graduate and undergraduate students to attend the annual PSA meeting July 17-20, 2017, and participate in the student presentation competition. The award provides up to a maximum of $1,000 per award for qualified expense reimbursement for students traveling from the United States, Canada or Mexico.

Revathi Shanmugasundaram received her DVM and MS degrees in Animal Genetics and Breeding from Tamil Nadu Veterinary and Animal Sciences University, India. Currently she is post-candidacy in her PhD program under the supervision of Dr. Michael Lilburn, studying the effects of embryonic thermal manipulation on heat shock protein 70 and T cell development in ducks. Before starting her PhD, Revathi worked for over 10 years in the area of chicken immunology, mainly on chicken T regulatory cells. Revathi studied T regulatory cell roles during immune responses of poultry by developing a monoclonal antibody against chicken CD25. She has published over 35 articles.

Kim Wilson was born and raised in La Quinta, California and received her BS in Animal Science with a minor in Business Administration from Cal Poly-San Luis Obispo. Once she completed a research internship at Disney's Animal Kingdom Department of Animal Health, she was offered a graduate assistantship at the University of Georgia poultry science program under the guidance of Dr. Jeff Buhr. In December 2014, Kim completed her MS, which studied pre- and post-harvest microbial interventions for Salmonella. Currently, Kim is post-candidacy, working to complete her PhD in Animal Sciences with Dr. Lisa Bielke, with a focus in poultry enteric health and diseases. In her MS and PhD programs, Kim has been invited to give lectures in numerous poultry science and animal science classes. She has also mentored undergraduates in research projects that resulted in abstracts for poultry-related meetings. She was also awarded a Certificate of Excellence at the 2013 and 2016 PSA meeting. Kim currently serves as a University Student Ambassador for PSA.

Victoria Polentz is from Grove City, Ohio. She graduated in May 2017 from The Ohio State University with a B.S. in Animal Sciences and a minor in Molecular Genetics. While at Ohio State, Victoria had the opportunity to study the effects of diet and age on breast muscle characteristics in commercial broilers, with Drs. Michael Cressman, Michael Lilburn, and Macdonald Wick. In August 2017, Victoria began her MS at West Virginia University, studying poultry nutrition and feed manufacturing with Dr. Joe Moritz.

Graduate students Kim Wilson (standing second from left) and Revathi Shanmugasundaram (standing, far right) earned Poultry Science Association travel grants

Alumnus Victoria Polentz (seated, third from left) earned the Poultry Science Association's Jones-Hamilton Co. Undergraduate Student Travel Award