ASAS accepting applications for science writing internship

The American Society of Animal Science is currently accepting applications for its summer 2018 Science Communications Internship.

During the eight-week internship, the intern(s) will work with ASAS staff to write press releases and scientific research summaries, write and edit online and e-newsletter content, generate social media posts, produce webinars and videos, and contribute content to the Jr. Animal Scientist magazine and the website. In addition, the intern(s) may be asked to assist staff with meeting programming and preparations.

The intern(s) will also travel, expenses paid, to Vancouver, Canada, to report on the ASAS-CSAS Annual Meeting, July 8-12, 2018. The internship begins in early June and concludes at the beginning of August.

Requirements: Applicants must be currently enrolled in a university program. Applicants must be willing to provide proof of health insurance. Applicants must have writing experience, and they should be comfortable writing about science for a non-scientific audience. Applicants must be willing to live in Champaign, Illinois during the eight-week internship. Interns will be expected to work 40 hours per week. Interns will be responsible for travel expenses to Champaign and for finding housing in Champaign.

Salary: $1,500 per month for two months.

Applications due: November 15, 2017

Please submit a cover letter, resume with references, and two writing samples. Any questions or application materials should be sent to ASAS Scientific Communications Associate, Ms. Kim Schoonmaker, at

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Meet Your ASAS Western Section Graduate Student Representatives!

Stacia Prosser, Senior Representative

Hometown: I don’t really have a designated hometown; I was born in Jacksonville, FL and grew up in different states all along the east coast. Most recently, I hail from Milford, CT.

Education: BA, English, Southern Connecticut State University; BS, Animal Science, University of Connecticut; MS, Animal Science, New Mexico State University

Current position: PhD, Reproductive Physiology & Molecular Biology, New Mexico State University

A tip for surviving grad school: One of the best myths about graduate school that I have ever heard has been that “the researchers around you know exactly what they are doing.” Success in graduate school lies on grit, indomitable spirit—accepting failure and moving on in spite of it. Each time you troubleshoot and have a moment where “AHHHH IT WORKED!” will bring you one tiny, miniscule step away from crushing uncertainty.

Past agriculture experience: I was a late bloomer in the world of agriculture. Coming out of high school, I majored in English and spent most of my time in the darkroom processing photographs, but after graduation became more interested in where my food came from. I quit my job, pursued an apprenticeship at a farm in Shelton, CT, and ultimately decided to go back to school. At UCONN, I worked nights milking at the dairy barn and spent days working at the beef, sheep, and poultry units and taught undergraduate students how to show poultry for the yearly Little International Livestock Show. In addition to this, I spent my senior year managing a small beef herd at a family farm near campus.

Hobbies: I absolutely adore hiking and generally anything to do with the outdoors. One of my goals when I finish my program is to thru-hike the Pacific Crest Trail from the United States-Mexico border to the Canadian border. It’s 2,663 miles and takes about six months.

Favorite foods: Pizza! Pepperoni and green chile, to be exact.

Goals for her coming term as a graduate director: My main goal for this term is to cultivate and maintain communication channels—we will seek to communicate with graduate student members through social media and WSASAS email distributions and ensure that the WSASAS Executive Committee hears student ideas. WSASAS has some excellent and well-established student programs but, in order for these programs to be continuously successful, we must always keep students’ needs in mind.

Contact information: We are here to represent YOUR interests! Email with anything you want to experience at future WSASAS meetings, and we will do our very best to accommodate.


Kathryn Smith, Junior Representative

Hometown: Pittsburg, TX

Previous Education: B.S. Animal Science, Production Option, Certificates: Equine Science and Meat Science; Texas A&M University

Current position: M.S. Animal Science (Rumen Microbiology); New Mexico State University

A tip for surviving grad school: “Graduate school is not about what you know coming in, but knowing how to learn and look up what you do not know.”

Past agriculture experience: I was raised on a family owned and operated cow calf ranch located in East Texas. Growing up I was heavily involved with 4-H and showed numerous animals including, horses, goats, swine, and poultry. After showing goats for a few years, I started breeding and selling show goats for other 4-Hers. In high school I was a member of FFA and competed in Horse Judging. As an undergraduate I was involved in equine nutrition research during my senior year.

Hobbies: Does graduate school count as a hobby? Growing up my hobbies were dancing (15 years) and showing horses in Western Pleasure and English events. Today my hobbies include buying makeup and cooking. It’s way cheaper than horses!

Favorite foods: I do consider myself a “foodie,” but my favorite food is still peanut butter and jelly. A PB&J was in my lunchbox everyday of high school. The obsession is real.

Goals for her coming term as a graduate director: Western Section is known for developing graduate students due to the highly competitive Graduate Student Paper Competition. I would like to continue preparing graduate students for future careers by providing programs for Lunch and Learn to better prepare them for industry or academic careers. Increase communication to graduate students within WSASAS throughout the year to increase involvement in activities, award and networking opportunities. I would also like to increase undergraduate involvement and interactions with graduate students and provide Lunch and Learn programming that can benefit undergraduates as well as graduate students.

Contact information: Don’t hesitate to contact me at

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Highlights from WSASAS grad student events

By Hannah Cunningham

The 2017 WSASAS Graduate Student Mixer was a huge success! This mixer was located at both Sidestreet and Proof Distillers in Fargo, N.D. Students from across the section were able to visit about their programs and make new friends. There were 70 registered for the event! Tours of the distillery, pool games, and darts provided an enjoyable evening for everyone. We also would like to thank both establishments for making donations to the event as well as NDSU Carnivore Catering for their donations. Because of their contributions this event was a great success.

The WSASAS Graduate Student Lunch and Learn was attended by nearly 50 students. Dr. Mark Miranda, National Program Leader for the Animal Nutrition, Growth and Reproduction Division of Animal Systems presented, “Grant Writing Tips for Success: Ten Thing You Must Do.” Dr. Mirando also reviewed the NIFA Pre- and Postdoctoral fellowships program. Following this Dr. Jennifer Hernandez-Gifford, Dr. Shanna Ivey and Dr. Allison Meyer joined Dr. Mirando for a panel discussion. Students heard great advice on strategies for grant writing and left the lunch and learn inspired for our future grant writing endeavors.

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Update on WSASAS Grad Student Mixer

Dear WSASAS Graduate Students,

The Graduate Student Mixer on June 21st at 7:00 PM will be held at both Sidestreet and Proof Distillers (addresses below). They are located downtown right across from each other. Transportation will not be provided, but Fargo does have Uber and multiple taxi options.

We apologize for any confusion regarding location of the mixer. If you registered for the event be sure to get your free t-shirt at the registration desk. Additionally, we will be outside of Sidestreet at 7:00 PM to hand out free drink tickets to those registered for the event. Tickets are good for one free draft beer or well drink at Sidestreet.

Please feel free to contact us with any questions ( or .

We are looking forward to seeing you downtown!

Hannah and Stacia

Sidestreet Grille & Pub:  404 4th Ave., Fargo, ND 58102

Proof Artisan Distillers: 414 4th Ave N, Fargo, ND 58102

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Student events at Western

By Stacia Prosser and Hannah Cunningham

The 2017 WSASAS Section Meeting in Fargo, ND is hosting a number of student events we are greatly looking forward to.

This year’s Graduate Student Paper Competition will be held on Wednesday, June 21, 2017 from 7:55 a.m. to 5:00 p.m., and has a record number of participants. This competition provides graduate students with an opportunity to develop their abilities to communicate scientific data in oral and written format. Judges individually score proceedings and oral presentations, and compile scores for the first, second, and third place participants. Students diligently prepare for these presentations, so be sure to attend and support your peers! Winners will be announced at the awards banquet the evening of Thursday June 22, 2017.

The Graduate Student Mixer on the evening of Wednesday June 21, 2017 will be held in downtown Fargo with drink specials at Sidestreet Grille & Pub and distillery tours at Proof Artisan Distillers. Registration for this event is $10, and includes a t-shirt to commemorate the event and covers your first drink at Sidestreet. Graduate Student Mixer attendees. Meet in Homewood Suites Lobby at 7:00 PM on 6/21/17.

The Graduate Student Lunch and Learn, “Grant Writing for Success,” will be held on Thursday, June 22, 2017, from 12:00-1:30 p.m. This session is only $10, includes lunch from Smiling Moose, and is open to all students. There are still some spots, so please register if you haven’t done so yet. Proficient crafting of grant proposals is valuable to both masters and doctoral students during their degree programs and critical for future success. Undergraduate students are also invited, and will benefit from an early introduction to the process and necessity of writing grants.

Dr. Mark Mirando from NIFA will begin with a talk entitled “Grant writing for success: Ten things you must do,” covering major points of grantsmanship and the NIFA Pre- and Postdoctoral Fellowships program. A panel discussion will follow with Dr. Mirando, as well as Dr. Allison Meyer from the University of Missouri, Dr. Shanna Ivey, and Dr. Jennifer Hernandez Gifford, both from New Mexico State University.

Also making an appearance this year will be a Recruitment Board. Opportunities for continuing industry, academia, or continuing graduate school will be posted here, so check the board to see what opportunities are available in your field. As you pack for 2017 WSASAS, bring your CV and post it here if you are seeking a position!

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