University of Kentucky College of Agriculture

Undergraduate Research Assistants

Graduate and Undergraduate Research Assistants are an essential part of the dairy research program in the University of Kentucky Department of Animal and Food Sciences. If you are interested in joining the dairy research team, please contact Dr. Bill Silvia (wsilvia@uky.edu) or Dr. Jeffrey Bewley (jbewley@uky.edu).

 

Undergraduate Research Assistants

 

 

Haley Bastin is a sophomore at UK majoring in Animal Science/Pre-vet from Louisville, KY. She chose dairy to gain experience with large animals and create a sense of community with people who share the same interests. Haley is currently assisting with research using precision dairy technologies for transition cow detection.

 

 

Kerri Bochantin is a freshman majoring in Animal Science. She is interested in learning about a new aspect of the livestock industry and its impact on agriculture. She currently assists in mastitis research.
 

 

 

Andy Carter is a junior at UK majoring in animal sciences/pre-vet from Louisville, KY. His passion for animals started with herpetology and animal husbandry. However, he chose to work with dairy to broaden his knowledge in research and large animals. He currently assists with data analysis and heat detection.

 

Amanda Cvengros is an Animal Science/Pre-Vet major at UK from Lexington, KY. She joined the dairy research team to gain large animal experience. Amanda assists with research detecting estrus. 

Alison DiGennaro is a sophomore majoring in Biology and minoring in Animal Science from Mason, OH. She became interested in dairy through some of her animal science classes. Alison aspires to become a veterinarian and is looking forward to gaining some large animal and research experience.

 

 

Eileen Donoghue is a junior at UK majoring in Animal Science/Pre-vet. She is originally from Frederick, Maryland, and gained an interest in the dairy industry when she first started taking animal science courses at UK. Eileen assists with research detecting differences in locomotion scores of cows housed varying freestall bases.

 

 

Megan Hardy is a junior majoring in Animal Sciences. She was born and raised in Lexington and is actively engaged in the dairy research team at UK. Megan's experience has led her to developing her own research in calving detection and timing of dairy cattle.

 

Aisha Jamal is an Animal Science/Pre-Vet major from West Lafayette, Indiana, but has lived all over the US. She has a B.A. in Film from Penn State ('11). While she does not have a background in agriculture, she has heard many people speak highly of Dr. Bewley and the dairy research program and wanted to gain large animal experience. Aisha is also vegan and wanted to see the conditions of dairy cows would sway her decision to remain vegan. She currently assists with research using precision dairy technologies for reproductive purposes.
 

  Justin Johnson
Katie Kelly majors in Animal Science and minors in Biology at UK. She is originally from Amelia, OH and has a background in equine. Katie joined the dairy research team to gain experience in dairy because she aspires to be a large animal veterinarian. Currently, she assists with research focusing on estrus detection.

 

 

Jenna Klefot is a senior Animal Sciences student and minors in Ag Economics. She was born in Louisville but lived in Lexington for most of her life. She first got an interest in dairy cattle in my animal science courses freshmen year. Jenna has recently been working on a sleep study in dairy cattle.

 

 

Jamie Leistner is a junior Animal Science major from Ashland, KY. Jamie aspires to one day become a veterinarian. While she has never had any experience in the dairy industry, she is passionate about all animals and cannot wait to gain experience! Jamie is currently assisting with research using precision dairy technologies for transition cow detection.

 

 

Jessica Lowe is a senior double majoring in Agricultural Biotechnology and Animal Science with a minor in Biological Science from Belfry, KY. She works closely with research on Precision Dairy Farming as well as other projects conducted by the Dairy Research Team. Jessica recently completed a project evaluating the impact of increased alley scraping frequency in relation to environmental mastitis-causing pathogen counts.

 

Jennifer Lyons is a junior at UK majoring in Animal Science/Pre-vet. She is originally from Louisville, KY, and gained an interest in the dairy industry when she first started taking animal science courses at UK. Jennifer assists with research detecting lameness in dairy cattle.

 

Savannah Meade is a sophomore at UK studying Animal Sciences with minors in Psychology and Biological Sciences. She's originally from Betsy Layne, KY, and gained an interest in dairy cattle as a freshman. She's starting her undergraduate research this semester which will be focusing on somatic cell count and mastitis.

Summer Miller is an Agricultural Biotechnology major at UK from Somerset, KY. She assists with research controlling mastitis and is gaining valuable laboratory skills that will help her later in her academic career.

 

 

 

Emily Morabito is a senior at UK and is originally from Stony Brook, NY. She has a passon for all animals, and has recently become more interested in dairy cows. After graduation, Emily hopes to continue on to graduate school with a focus on animal welfare, or reproductive physiology. Emily's current research focus is in tail shaving.

 

 

Heather Mussell is a senior majoring in Animal Sciences at the University of Kentucky. She is from Louisville, KY but is originally from Toronto, Canada. Her interest in dairy cows began her freshman year after a couple visits to the dairy unit  at UK. Although she has no background in dairy, she is very excited to be a new member of the dairy research team and broaden her knowledge in the industry.
Mickayla Myers is a sophomore from Ferrisburgh, VT. She is an Animal Science Dairy Speciality major at the University of Kentucky. She is currently assisting with research culturing bedding sample to compare composted bedding pack barns and sand freestalls.

 

 

Grace Nation

 

 

Samantha Smith is a senior at the University of Kentucky. She has an animal science and pre-vet major at UK. She grew up in Syracuse, New York. She is looking forward to broadening her horizons. In her animal science class, she gained an interest in dairy cattle. Although new to her, she looks forward to researching and learning as much as she can about dairy cattle.
Virginia Stilwell majors in Equine Science and Management with minors in Biology and Pre-Veterinary Sciences. She is originally from Manassas, VA.  Virginia is assisting with research comparing lameness scores of cows housed on different freestall bases and hopes to gain experience in the dairy field.
 

 

 

Alexis Thompson is a junior studying Animal Science/Pre-Vet with emphases in Dairy Sciences and Animal Industry from Glendale, AZ. She has participated in undergraduate research since her freshman year. Alexis is currently working on a foot care study looking at various products and their effects on digital dermatitis.

Carissa Truman majors in Animal Science at UK. She is originally from Lynchburg, OH. Carissa started working with dairy through Block & Bridle and wanted to continue gaining experience with the dairy research group. She currently assists with milk sampling.

 

 

 

Melody Vanover is a recent graduate from the University of Kentucky with a major in Animal Science. She currently works at South Broadway Vet Clinic and hopes to become a veterinarian. Melody is interested in animal behavior and is conducting research on brush use and heart rate.

 

 

Yu Zang is a transfer student from China at the University of Kentucky majoring in Animal Science. He is very happy to gain knowledge with the dairy research team.