McKensie Harris, Hannah Laird, and Katy Jo Nickelson received the Z.L. Carpenter Outstanding Graduate Student Award in Meat Science at the Animal Science Awards Banquet on Thursday, April 26, 2018. The Carpenter Award is named in honor of Dr. Zerle L. Carpenter who began his career at Texas A&M University as an assistant professor of animal science in 1962. Dr. Carpenter rose to become full professor of animal science in 1971, head of the Department of Animal Science in 1978, and director of the Texas Agricultural Extension Service (now the Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service) in 1982. In 1988, he was named associate vice chancellor for agriculture for The Texas A&M University System. Dr. Carpenter retired in 1997 after providing leadership for the Extension Service for 15 years.
McKensie Harris is from Laramie, Wyoming where she received her undergraduate degree from the University of Wyoming. McKensie began her master’s work at Texas A&M University in the fall of 2015 under the direction of Jeff Savell. She served as the assistant coach of the Meat Judging Team in 2016 and as the coach of the team in 2017. McKensie led the market cow and bull phase of the National Beef Quality Audit – 2016, and conducted a study on the evaluation of postmortem aging of Texas-style beef briskets. During her time at Texas A&M University, she helped with Beef 101, Beef 706, Pork 101, Texas Aggie Processed Meats School, Barbecue Summer Camp, and various 4-H and FFA meat judging activities. McKensie served as an ANSC 307, “Meats” lab instructor and as a teaching assistant for ANSC 317. She graduated December 2017 and is now employed as a livestock extension specialist for Colorado State University.
Hannah Laird is from Dickinson, Texas and received her undergraduate degree from Baylor University. She is working on her Ph.D. here at Texas A&M University with Rhonda Miller after receiving her M.S. degree here also. Hannah teaching activities include leading the lab for ANSC 447, “Advanced Meat Science and Technology,” and helping with lecture and labs for ANSC 487/687, “Sensory Evaluation of Foods.” She maintains, trains, and leads an experienced trained sensory panel using the Spectrum™ Descriptive Analysis Method, which conducts research on meat products such as beef, pork, lamb, and chicken, and beverages such as whiskey, coffee, and wine. Hannah also conducts research relating to color, shelf-life, and sensory effects of antimicrobial and antioxidants treatments on ground beef and chicken. She is the Sensory Society of Professionals Student Representative to the executive board, and has led various activities in Beef 101, Beef 706, Pork 101, Zoetis Beef University, Kroger Boot Camp, Texas Aggie Meat Processing School, and Creative Sausage Making. Hannah has served as a judge for the Texas Association of Meat Processors product show.
Katy Jo Nickelson is from Fort Worth, Texas, and she received her undergraduate degree in animal science from Texas A&M University. She began working on her M.S. degree under the direction of Kerri Gehring and Jeff Savell in the fall of 2016. Katy Jo’s teaching activities have included ANSC 307 “Meats,” ANSC 108, “General Animal Science,” and ANSC 117, “Texas Barbecue.” Katy Jo is the coach of this year’s Meat Science Quiz Bowl team, which will compete at the American Meat Science Association’s Reciprocal Meat Conference in June. Her research activities have focused on food safety/microbiology with her thesis project conducted on the presence of Salmonella in lymph nodes of cattle from the U.S. and Mexico. Katy Jo has been involved in a number of food safety and government policy activities including serving as a participant in the Domestic Crisis Strategic Response Exercise, U.S. Army War College, the research committee, MSC SCONA (Student Conference on National Affairs), and as an intern for the Agricultural and National Resources Policy Program in Washington, DC. She has been an instructor for Beef 101, Beef 706, Pork 101, Barbecue Summer Camp, Camp Brisket, and other departmental extension/outreach program throughout her program. Katy Jo will be attending the Bush School of Public Service beginning in the fall of 2018 to pursue a master’s program there.
Congratulations to McKensie, Hannah, and Katy Jo for receiving the Carpenter Award for 2017.