Kansas State University Department of Animal Sciences and Industry graduate students Larissa Becker and Erin Beyer were recognized as 2022 recipients of the Larry Corah Graduate Student Award.
Becker completed her undergraduate career at Iowa State University before coming to K-State to pursue a master's degree in applied swine nutrition. She was awarded the Outstanding Master Student Award, which includes a $1,000 scholarship.
Becker, a graduate research assistant, also has been an undergraduate research coordinator and teaching assistant.
Her research topics include establishing lysine requirements for Duroc-sired finishing pigs in a commercial environment; developing an available phosphorous release curve for a commercial phytase source, and evaluating mycotoxin control strategies in nursery pig diets in a commercial setting.
She has also served as the Department of Animal Sciences and Industry Graduate Student Association president and was selected as the National ASAS Graduate Student Director for 2022-24.
"Larissa completed a diverse research program during her master's degree as a part of her goal to become a well-rounded swine nutritionist," says animal sciences professor Bob Goodband, who was also one of Becker's advisors. "We sincerely feel Larissa's scholastic achievement, research success, teaching involvement and contributions to the mission of the department make her a tremendous individual deserving of this award."
Beyer earned the Outstanding PhD Student Award, which includes a $1,500 scholarship. Her dissertation work is a series of projects looking at the impact of meat's degree of doneness on eating quality ranging from very basic work – evaluating the physiochemical changes during cooking – to very applied: feeding more than 250 consumers samples from various muscles at various degrees of doneness.
"Erin is the single most outstanding graduate student with whom I have ever worked," says K-State associate professor Travis O'Quinn. "In her time at K-State, Erin has displayed an incredibly high level of leadership and aptitude in everything in which she has worked and has truly been a key leader within our program and department."
Beyer served as a coach of the 2021 meat judging team, which finished as Reserve National Champions. Beyer spent more than 100 days traveling with the team, cutting product and practicing for events.
"Erin is a phenomenal teacher," O'Quinn says. "Her ability to connect with students is second to none. Visit with any of the students from this team and they will very quickly describe to you the large and lasting impact that Erin made on their lives."
Both the PhD and master’s awards are presented in honor of Larry Corah, who served for 25 years as a K-State beef extension and research specialist. After retiring from K-State, he worked for the National Cattlemen's Beef Association as director of production systems and 17 years as the Certified Angus Beef LLC vice president of supply. The scholarships are supported from the Larry Corah Graduate Student Enhancement Fund.
The award winners are selected based on scholastic achievement, research activity and success, teaching activities, faculty evaluation and overall contributions to the mission of the department.
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