LSU College of Agriculture News Fall 2017

Linda Benedict  |  1/22/2018 4:51:47 PM

Cocktails and Cuisine raises money for scholarships

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The LSU College of Agriculture held its fourth annual Cocktails and Cuisine on Oct. 13 at the Baton Rouge Gallery. The evening included a silent auction and music by the John Gray Jazz Trio. With the support of donors and sponsors, the college raised more than $22,000 for scholarships. A special thank you to sponsors, Zen-Noh Grain, Louisiana Department of Agriculture and Forestry, Lamb Weston, Louisiana Agriculture Consultants Association, Roseneath Plantation, Louisiana Land Bank, The Cajun Spoon, Louisiana Association of Conservation Districts, and Rogers and Tess Leonard. Attending Cocktails and Cuisine were at (left) students in the School of Renewable Natural Resources Clint Pace and Colette Pansini and college alumni Cody and Tori Wells.


Daniel participates in Alumni Speaker Series

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Annie Daniel, director of veterinary instructional design and outcomes assessment at the LSU School of Veterinary Medicine, spoke to students in October during the college's Alumni Speaker Series.

The New Orleans native took a nontraditional route, starting college after she was married and had children. While an undergraduate, she served as a Les Voyageur and was involved with the college. She graduated in 1994 with a degree in home economics and started working as a teacher in the East Baton Rouge Public School System.

Daniel continued as a graduate student part-time while working. She received her master’s degree in 1997 and Ph.D. in 2001.

She eventually found her passion in teaching how to teach. She served as the assistant director of the Teaching, Learning, Technology, and Culture Center at Dillard University and the director of the Office of Medical Education at Tulane University School of Medicine. She also worked at Des Moines University, in Des Moines, Iowa, as the director of the Center for the Improvement of Teaching and Learning and associate professor of public health before joining the LSU School of Veterinary Medicine.

She said her career has taken her in places she didn’t expect to go. “Who knew that a home economics teacher could be over teaching at a whole university,” she said.

She encouraged students to look for areas where they can make a difference. “Being familiar with your skillset and how you can use them in different environments is very important,” Daniel told the students.

Daniel also spoke about her experience as a visiting professor in Taiwan, where she has been teaching sociology for the past few years during the summer.


Godoy wins best student poster presentation at professional meeting

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Felipe Godoy won first place at the Organization of Nematologists of Tropical America student poster session competition at the organization's annual meeting in Mayagüez, Puerto Rico, in July 2017. His poster presentation was entitled, “Host status of selected rice cultivars to Aphelenchoides besseyi in Louisiana.” Godoy will soon finish his master’s degree in the Department of Plant Pathology and Crop Physiology under the guidance of Charles Overstreet, Edward C. McGawley and Clayton Hollier. Godoy is from Brazil and came to LSU after completing his Bachelor of Science degree in agronomy from Federal University of Uberlândia, Minas Gerais.


Two students intern at Audubon Center

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On the New Orleans West Bank, on a tract of land where the road seems to end, is the Freeport-McMoRan Audubon Species Survival Center. Within the lush landscape live lions, giraffes, bongos and other animals not typically found in south Louisiana.

It is here that two LSU College of Agriculture students have spent their summer caring for this menagerie. Ke’Vonn Faulkner, a junior in animal sciences, and Darby Simmons, a junior in natural resource ecology and management, each did a 10-week internship at the center.

Faulkner’s focus during the internship was caring for the center’s whooping crane and Mississippi sandhill crane populations.

“I actually dress in costume and interact with the baby chicks because we don’t want them to have any human interaction and because we want to release them to the wild so they can fend for themselves,” she said.

Faulkner said she didn’t give much thought to working with birds before, but said the experience has opened her eyes.

Simmons spent more of her time with the center’s hooved animals such as eland, yellow-backed duiker and sable. “It’s all kind of animals from all over the world that I’ve never gotten to see or experience before,” she said.

Both students want to become veterinarians, but Simmons said the internship has fueled her interest in conservation.

“I want to obviously be able to help animals as a veterinarian, but with the conservation side to also be able to help them in their environment,” Simmons said.

The students say the work was a perfect way to spend their summer, and they know the experience will help them pursue their dreams.


Student looks for new crawfish products

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Takunrat Taksima, a doctoral student from Kasetsart University in Thailand, is spending a year at the LSU AgCenter studying the antiaging effects of the chemical astaxanthin, which is derived from crawfish shells. She is working with Subramanian Sathivel, a professor of food processing and engineering in the Department of Biological and Agricultural Engineering. He is looking at ways to derive benefits from various parts of crawfish.

Taksima is extracting and developing a delivery system containing astaxanthin, an antioxidant, to study its use in slowing the progression of Alzheimer’s disease. She is spending a year in Sathivel’s lab working on this project. Midway through her study, she has explored ways to get the proper dosage of astaxanthin into a capsule from. Her next step will be testing its antiaging effects on laboratory rats. “I will divide the rats into five groups to study their body weight and oxidation levels on their organs,” she said. Sathivel said he also plans to study astaxanthin’s effects on oxidative stress-related diabetes and obesity.


Organizations partner to create scholarship

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Louisiana Volunteers for Family and Community and the Louisiana Extension Association of Family and Consumer Sciences present a check to establish an endowed scholarship in the LSU College of Agriculture. From left, Gina Eubanks, LSU AgCenter associate vice president and program leader for nutrition and food sciences; Karen Overstreet, associate director of the School of Nutrition and Food Sciences; Robin Landry, AgCenter southwest regional coordinator for family and consumer sciences; Sylvia Guillotte, LVFC president; Bill Richardson, LSU vice president for agriculture and dean of the College of Agriculture; and Lindsey Fussell, AgCenter director of development. Photo by Hannah Venerella

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