Message from the Chair

Greetings Alumni and Friends!

I hope that this message finds you healthy and safe in the face of the many difficulties presented by the COVID-19 pandemic. Our students and faculty are rising to the challenge by finding effective ways to continue with their courses, which have resumed through remote (online) learning. Although we are physically separated, we are connected in spirit . Even this newsletter is coming to you in a virtual format for the first time to facilitate its more efficient distribution. We hope that its stories of accomplishment, new additions to the department and our plans for the future will brighten your day.

Overall, 2019 was an eventful year for the Department of Animal and Food Sciences . In this issue of ANFScratchings, you will meet the latest members of the administrative staff and learn more about me as the new chair. I arrived in August and am extremely pleased to be serving in this role. As you will read, there is a lot to be excited about. I look forward to supporting the continued success of the department and working with its exceptional students, staff, and faculty.

Our programs and facilities continue to improve and grow. This year was spent primarily in modular teaching and laboratory spaces on the STAR Campus as we eagerly await the completion of a $38 million renovation of Worrilow Hall . We anticipate moving into the new building in early Fall 2020.

Our Food Science students are enjoying their new test kitchen in the Genuardi Food Innovation Laboratory . We all are reaping the benefits of the laboratory’s large-batch ice cream and cheese processing capabilities where fresh cheddar curds and aged Colby-style cheese are now being produced for sale at the UDairy Creamery and the first short course on the art of cheesemaking was offered to the public in February.

At the graduate level, the department began offering three non-thesis master’s degree programs that provide additional options for continuing education. The master’s degrees are
awarded in Veterinary Biosciences, Biotechnology, and One Health or in Business and Entrepreneurial Leadership with either a food science or animal science concentration. We currently have three students enrolled in the program and five more will start next Fall.

Our Equine Science minor is expanding. In Fall 2020, we will offer a new program in partnership with the Center for Disability Studies and the Department of Behavioral Health and Nutrition that prepares students for a certification in equine therapeutic riding instruction. In Winter 2021, a new study abroad program in Cordoba, Argentina will focus on equine science and international veterinary practice. To support our Pre-Veterinary Medicine major, we will add a new veterinary techniques course in the Fall 2020 term that will provide training in practical skills for clinical small animal veterinary medicine.

Many members of the ANFS community were recognized this year for their contributions and accomplishments in research, service, and outreach, some of whom are featured in this newsletter. Please join me in congratulating them on their notable achievements and enjoy
reading about the many other happenings in the ANFS department from the past year. Please contact Anita Stofa at if you have any updates or news that you wish to share.

Thank you to all our generous donors whose contributions make our work possible.


Erin E. Connor
One Health Seminar Series
Dr. Ryan Arsenault and Dr. Kali Kniel organized the interdisciplinary One Health seminar series during the Spring 2019 semester. After individual seminars on influenza, antimicrobial resistance, mosquito control and vector-borne disease, the series culminated with a full-day One Health Symposium. Dr. Alison Van Eenennaam, Cooperative Extension Specialist at the University of Calfornia Davis, delivered the keynote presentation followed by a screening of her film “Food Evolution” that explores the ways science has been used and abused in public discourse surrounding the genetic engineering of food.
Food Science Program Re-accredited
The Higher Education Review Board of the Institute of Food Technologists (IFT), the professional organization for food scientists, has re-approved our Food Science program. The Board evaluates Food Science programs every five years and determines if a program meets standards set for course offerings, learning outcomes and learning assessments.
Animal and Food Sciences Graduate Student Organization
The Animal and Food Sciences Graduate Student Organization was developed in 2019 to provide the department’s graduate students with opportunities to improve professional development and foster friendships. They held a Halloween party to celebrate and show appreciation for the hardworking ANFS graduate students and invited a guest speaker to discuss the “Dos and Dont's” of laboratory documentation to improve lab management and increase science reproducibility.
Veterinary Internships with Alumni
Dr. Monica Sterk , DVM, (BS, 2013) hosted undergraduate intern Zoey Zuckerman (BS, 2022) this past summer at Veterinary Emergency Group in Nanuet, NY. If you are willing to host a student for a shadowing opportunity or as a paid or unpaid intern, please reach out to Dr. Griffiths at 
Changes to the Department’s Majors
The department has adjusted student majors to better meet the needs of our students. For those students on the animal science track, students can now select among three majors: Animal Biosciences , Animal Science , and Pre-Veterinary Medicine . The Animal Science major has not been changed and the Pre-Veterinary Medicine major represents a re-titling of the previous Pre-Veterinary and Animal Biosciences major. The new Animal Biosciences major is designed to prepare students for post-graduate, research-based degrees (M.S. and/or Ph.D.) in the animal biosciences. 

Food Science students now have the option to pursue their studies in one of three concentrations. Each concentration requires students to complete a suite of courses that span the spectrum of fields of Food Science, such as food processing and engineering, food microbiology, food chemistry and analysis, food biotechnology and food product development. In the chosen concentration, additional courses are to be completed to achieve a more in-depth understanding and professional preparation in other relevant areas of Food Science. The Science Concentration requires students to take a selection of science-based courses but gives students the flexibility to select additional courses that meet their specific interests. The Operations and Management Concentration gives students interested in the production and business sides of Food Science access to food production and food marketing and management courses. Students in the Culinary Concentration will take courses that involve the study of food principles, preparation and presentation. 
Say Cheese...
In the fall of 2019, cheese production began in the Charles A. Genuardi ’70 and Patricia Genuardi Food Innovation Laboratory . This facility, opened in April 2019, houses cheesemaking equipment including a vat pasteurizer and packaging instrumentation. To ensure that safe products leave the facility, sanitation equipment has been installed and tests are run in a quality assurance laboratory. A food science test kitchen is also available for students and faculty to work on projects, coursework and research. As with the UDairy Creamery , student learning is a big part of the mission of the facility. “We are incredibly excited about this new space. It will provide our students with opportunities to create and develop new food products that align with consumer trends in their product development course,” said microbial food safety professor Dr. Kali Kniel
Worrilow Hall Renovation
The major change to the exterior of Worrilow Hall , the construction of a central stairway, is now taking shape. The changes to the interior have advanced to the point where drywall is already being installed at some locations in the building. Should everything continue as planned, the renovated building should be move-in-ready sometime in the fall.
Welcome to Our New Faculty and Staff Members
Dr. Erin Connor joined the ANFS Department in August as a Professor and the new Department Chairperson. She comes to UD with 20 years of federal government experience as a scientist with the USDA’s Agricultural Research Service in Beltsville, Maryland.

Dr. Connor received her Bachelor’s and doctoral degrees in Animal Science from the University of Maryland and her Master of Science degree in Wildlife Science from Virginia Tech. The focus of Dr. Connor’s Ph.D. research was the growth hormone axis of beef cattle, and her work resulted in a patented blood test for predicting rate of gain and carcass fat of young beef bulls. In 2000, Dr. Connor was hired as a Research Molecular Biologist at the USDA’s Beltsville Agricultural Research Center (BARC) where she worked until 2019. During her tenure at BARC, Dr. Connor worked on multiple research projects focused on improving cattle production. She studied mammary gland development and mastitis of dairy cows, developed gene maps to support the bovine genome project, created tools and resources to improve feed efficiency of dairy cattle through genomic selection, and investigated ways to promote gut development and health of dairy calves.

From 2011 to 2016, Dr. Connor also had an administrative appointment at BARC, serving as the Research Leader of the Bovine Functional Genomics Laboratory and the Animal Genomics and Improvement Laboratory where she led multidisciplinary research teams and managed budgets, supporting facilities, and ~30 personnel. The mission of these research units was to improve the health and productivity of cattle and small ruminants through basic research and genomic selection. During 2014, Dr. Connor had the opportunity to serve in an interim appointment as the Acting Assistant Director and Acting Director of BARC where she oversaw the Center’s 20 research laboratories studying diverse agricultural topics ranging from remote sensing, food safety and quality, parasitic diseases of plants and food animals, to crop germplasm preservation. Since 2009, Dr. Connor also has held an adjunct appointment as Professor at the University of Maryland in the Department of Animal and Avian Sciences where she served on several graduate advisory committees of students studying dairy nutrition.

In her new role as ANFS Department Chairperson, Dr. Connor has a minor research and teaching appointment. Her research program will use in vitro models (intestinal organoids from cattle) to identify compounds that improve gut function and investigate their mechanisms of action. This information can be used to develop novel feed additives that support dairy cattle health and improve dairy producer profitability.
Sheila Boulden joined ANFS as Business Administrator after Becky George retired from the University. Sheila has been employed at UD for 16 years.
Eileen Adams has joined the ANFS Business Office as an Administrative Assistant III. Eileen has over 12 years of administrative office experience including backgrounds in health care and engineering.
Student Organizations
The Animal Science Club has had another very successful and active year. We started the year off strong by hosting the North Eastern Student Affiliate (NESA) Block and Bridle Competition. We hosted students from eight different schools, for the first time in over 20 years. Pulling off NESA was a whole club effort and one of the most exciting aspects of the year. The rest of the Spring semester consisted of four destress events for PAWs, a trip to a therapeutic horse riding facility, Ag Day, and of course, numerous trips to Steve Cook’s farm, Cool Rock Stock. We also had speakers from Tri-State Bird Rescue and Research, Ross School of Veterinary Medicine, and University of Minnesota Veterinary School. We then started the 2019-2020 school year off strong with a great Fall semester. The club started a Mentorship program this year where freshmen can pair up with upperclassmen of similar interests and career goals. Some events from this semester included our annual trip to Cowtown Rodeo, a trip to the Wolf Sanctuary, our annual Pumpkin Sale fundraiser, an SPCA Adoption Event, and goat vaccinations on Ritter Family Farms. Some of our speakers for the semester were a representative from CompAnimals, an equine chiropractor, a representative from Kaplan and a Brazilian veterinarian. We are so excited to see what this next year has to offer for our club!

Food Science Club ’s new and enthusiastic executive board actively recruited new members, especially freshman Food Science majors throughout the Fall 2019 semester. Weber Stibolt, a UD Food Science alumni, presented his experiences working in the food science industry and specifically at Beyond Meat. Gustavo Silveira, a current student at UD, informed members about the End Hunger CropDrop Collaboration and the Food Recovery Network. The Club also participated in College Aggies Online events, an organization that promotes agriculture via technology. The club also organized fun food-themed meetings such as Pasta Night and Friendsgiving, followed by theme-specific activities and trivia! Members networked at the IFT Suppliers Night in Philadelphia and are excited to host the IFTSA College Bowl in the Spring!
Awards and Recognition
Emeritus Professor Dr. George F. W. Haenlein received the 2018 Delaware 4-H Hall of Fame Award. He was also recently appointed co-editor of the Advances in Dairy Research journal. 

Dr. Limin Kung was recognized as a “Top 100 Author”. His 2018 publication, “ Silage review: Interpretation of chemical, microbial, and organoleptic components of silages ”, co-authored with Dr. Randy Shaver, Dr. Rick Grant, and alumnus Dr. Renato Schmidt is among the 100 most highly cited papers published in the Journal of Dairy Science since 2016.

Alumnus Dr. Michael Babak received the Bart Rispens Research Award that is given biennially to the first author of the best paper published in the journal Avian Pathology . He, coauthors Dr. Erin Brannick and Dr. Carl Schmidt , and corresponding author Dr. Behnam Abasht were recognized at the World Veterinary Poultry Association Congress Meeting in Bangkok, Thailand in September, 2019 for their paper “ Evidence and role of phlebitis and lipid infiltration in the onset and pathogenesis of Wooden Breast Disease in modern broiler chickens.

Dr. Kali Kniel assumed the presidency of the International Association for Food Protection in July of 2019. The association's focus is protecting the global food supply. An IAFP Member since 1999, Dr. Kniel is a member of several Professional Development Groups and has served on numerous committees throughout her membership.

Members of our department were awarded two CANR Seed Grants to develop novel research ideas. Scientist Adrienne Shearer (PI) and Dr. Kali Kniel (co-PI) received an award for their proposal entitled “ Interactions of bacteria and human norovirus and its surrogate, Tulane virus ”, and Dr. Yihang Li will work on “ Evaluation of early life stress on long-term intestinal development and function in nutrient sensing and transport in pigs .”
Dr. Michele Maughan (B.S. 2007, M.S. 2007, and Ph.D. 2012) and Dr. Robert M. Thompson, Jr. (B.S. 1981) were honored at the CANR George M. Worrilow and Distinguished Alumni Awards ceremony in April 2019. Dr. Maughan, senior research scientist with Extet, Inc., was recognized for her accomplishments and expertise with military working dogs. Dr. Thompson, owner of Lums Pond Animal Hospital, was recognized for his devotion to the veterinary profession and service to the Delaware and American Veterinary Medical Associations.

Laboratory Coordinator Laura Hougentogler received a UD Career Center Faculty and Staff Career Innovation Grant to support the Brandywine Zoo Young Adult Careers Conference held in late October 2019.

Diane Venninger retired from the department in December after having served as Administrative Assistant II since 2010. She was the face of the office for many of us and we wish her the best.
Joe Patria , Ph.D. student in Dr. Mark Parcells ’ lab, won the graduate student presentation award at the 91st Annual Northeastern Conference on Avian Diseases in September 2019 for his presentation entitled, “ Immune activation and T-cell transformation as drivers of mutation selection in the coding sequence of the Meq oncoprotein of Marek’s disease virus .”
Kelly Mulholland , Ph.D. student in Dr. Calvin Keeler ’s lab, received the Richard B. Rimler Memorial Paper Award at the American Association of Avian Pathologists annual meeting in August 2019 for her presentation entitled “ What’s in the tracheal microbiome of a commercial broiler flock?

Kelly Mulholland , Ph.D. student in Dr. Calvin Keeler ’s lab, and Brienna Anderson , Ph.D. student in Dr. Kali Kniel ’s lab, were both awarded CANR Unique Strengths Dissertation Fellowships in One Health. These fellowship awards provide a significant stipend and funds to support professional travel and research expenses related to their programs for 2019-2020.
Alexa Johnson , Ph.D. student in Dr. Amy Biddle ’s lab, won second place in the graduate student poster competition at the Mid-Atlantic Nutrition Conference for her presentation entitled “ Microbiome effects on metabolic efficiencies in easy and hard keepers.
In Memoriam
Dr. Eric Benson passed away unexpectedly on April 6, 2020. After completing an undergraduate degree at the University of Delaware, Dr. Benson completed M.S. and Ph.D. degrees at the University of Illinois. Dr. Benson returned to the University of Delaware’s Department of Biological Resources Engineering in CANR in 2001 as an Assistant Professor, and he quickly rose through the ranks to Associate Professor and Professor. Dr. Benson joined the Department of Animal and Food Sciences with the reorganization of CANR’s engineering programs in 2011. In ANFS, his research focused mostly on engineering of poultry systems, providing growers with research-based recommendations on lighting systems, air quality, machine vision and controls. He also worked closely with Research Associate Dan Hougentogler, Senior Scientist Brian Ladman and fellow faculty member Bob Alphin, who together formed an integral part of the statewide emergency poultry management team in Delaware. His team brought animal management personnel from around the world to Newark for an annual workshop on emergency animal management, funded continuously by USDA for several years. This group was also essential in coordinating response to the 2014-2015 highly pathogenic avian influenza outbreak, also known as the worst animal health disaster in U.S. history. Dr. Benson was also committed to supporting student success. He involved over 50 students, both graduate and undergraduate, in research projects in less than two decades. During his time in the Animal and Food Sciences Department, he taught hundreds of students in ANFS 100: Animals and Human Culture and ANFS 451: Emergency Animal Management. His passion for animals extended to a family business in sled dog adventures that he ran with his wife Catherine. Dr. Benson is deeply missed by faculty, students and staff of the department as well as the countless others he has impacted.
Dr. Sue Snider passed away on March 19, 2019 after having only recently retired in January 2019. She had been a valuable member of the department since she joined in 1983. Provost Robin Morgan stated “Sue Snider worked tirelessly via the University of Delaware Cooperative Extension network to promote nutrition and food safety throughout Delaware.” Her contributions included acting as director of the Expanded Food and Nutrition Education (EFNEP) and Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Programs (SNAP-Ed) that annually brought $1.3 million dollars in federal funds to Cooperative Extension and employed several nutrition assistants. Dr. Snider received regional and national awards for her programming efforts related to safe food handling practices in homes, public spaces, restaurants and farms. Dr. Kali Kniel indicated “[Dr. Snider] was active in many large collaborative projects that developed novel outreach programs that impacted youth and adults around the world. She is missed by this entire food safety community.”
The Department of Animal and Food Sciences is pleased to recognize alumni, faculty, staff, parents, students, organizations and friends who supported the department and the UDairy Creamery during calendar year 2019. Anyone interested in donating can do so at . The following listing includes donors who designated gifts to the ANFS Department from January 1 through December 31, 2019. 
Russell N. Abel
Dana F. & Bart W. Albrecht
Wayne I. Anderson
Kathryn M. Babiarz
Amy S. Biddle
Ann S. Billek
Boehringer Ingelheim Animal Health USA, Inc.
Cynthia Pacesa Boettger & John T. Boettger II
Cara Sierchio Bogash
Lauren Bradford
Jane Burton Bruins
Barbara B. & Steve Carrig
Patrick J. Carroll
Katherine M. Cattani
Joseph Daniels
Rita W. Devine
James W. Jr. & Mandy S. Dicker
DuPont Industrial Biosciences
Theresa Courtney Dzik & John C. Dzik
Louisa Patnovic Emerick
Gisselle P. Garcia
Kelli A. Garrity
Laura Marcinko Gerard & Thomas Gerard
Virginia Kauffman Gillam
Denise Goheen
Tanya F. Gressley
Bertha Gross -Bondarovschi
Carla M. Guerron-Montero
Maureen Hermes-Kane
Pauline & John Himics
Neal & Julie Hobert
Heather-Ann Herrick Howard
Michelle Wood Herring
Candice L. Hoffman & Alfred L. Pennesi
Camille M. & Jeffrey A. Hoover
Susan & David Hunt Sr.
Peter R. Jamieson
Lalith H. Jayawickrama
Janet Schourek Johnson
Dennis & Anne Johnson
Carole Lynch Jorgensen
Michele M. Karpovich & Ronald R. Staib
Susan & James Kennedy
Esther J. Kernosh
Jill Kreitman & Corey Goldstein
Katherine E. LaDow
Sabine P. Lanteri
Sylvia H. Lee
Kyle T. Macasevich & Amanda Leber Macasevich
Ashley Thorn Mahaffey
Milos Markis
Lisa A. Marsico
Deanna Rubulotta Martin
Robyn M. Mauskopf
Raven S. McBroom
James E. McCann
Jennifer Cleveland McEntire
Merck Animal Health
Susanne Morganstein
Lisa Newcomer Mulhall
Amanda Bonner Nugent & Daniel W. Nugent
Kathryn Lamborn O'Connell
Karissa Oliver
Linda A. & Thomas Olsen
Susan Parker
Norene W. & Frederick E. Parola
Linda & Dean Poll
Phil Ratliff
Elizabeth Takacs Restivo
Mark & Barbara C. Rieger
Lynn N. Rudman
Diane Lease Sammelwitz & Paul H. Sammelwitz
Daniel J. Sarkissian
David P. & Aruni Shapiro
Adrienne Hagelstein Shearer & Andrew L. Shearer
Serena Silverberg
Kristy C. Smith
Estate of O. Sue Snider
Raymond R. & Maureen T. Stankiewicz
Allison Stine
Denise & Michael Stypinski
Carol Rogers Sutton & Robert E. Sutton
Katherine Johnson Swanson & David E. Swanson
Kayla D. Tereszcuk
The Rite Bite, LLC
USPOULTRY Foundation
Kristen Verhey