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A Conversation with a PDPS Scholarship Family Member

NC State student walking on a hill.

Alissa Allen Stribling, the niece of former Prestage Department of Poultry Science (PDPS) faculty member Daniel Fromm, attended the April 2017 NC State PDPS Annual Awards Banquet with a mission to honor her uncle.

Stribling presented the award to PDPS senior Ana Telkamp. She wants to remind those who value education that even small donations to a university scholarship can add up and make a difference in a student’s life.

In the last 10 years, she has made contributions to educational and non-profit organizations in honor of her uncle’s memory. A chance meeting in Europe led her to an opportunity to recently connect with the NC State PDPS. This interview highlights her journey to learn more about her uncle, who died tragically in 1969.

What is the purpose of the Daniel Fromm Memorial Scholarship?

The Daniel Fromm award is presented to a Poultry Science Department student who exhibits pre-established criteria in the areas of leadership and character. My understanding is that this was an innovative scholarship, one of the first established in poultry science by the industry in 1970 and an honor to the quality of Dan’s work and life.

What is your relationship to Daniel Fromm?

Dan was my uncle. I felt close to Uncle Dan growing up in NC and I was proud to have a family connection to NC State through his 10 years of service as a poultry science faculty member.

How would you and others describe Dan?

Dan, a native of Pennsylvania, not only had a sense of humor, but he was intelligent, having earned a Ph. D in Poultry Products from Penn State in 1954. Also, on an earlier trip to Raleigh, I learned that in 1961 he was presented with the Institute of American Poultry Industries Award for several papers he published on egg and meat safety.

As a child, I could tell that Dan was a goal-oriented person. However, I did not learn until 2008 that he had been a member of the Armed Forces. Recently a colleague researched his war record. We were amazed to learn that he survived 35 bombing missions in B-24 aircraft over Germany as a gunner in World War II.

Like many families, he lost a loved one in World War II. His older brother, Sammy, an aerial gunner, died in enemy occupied territory, having received the Purple Heart military honor.

What is your connection to the Poultry Science Department today?

I met the retired head of the Poultry Science Department, Dr. Bob Cook, through a chance meeting of his neighbor, Elsie. She and I happened to be tourists on a 10-day tour to Ireland in June 2015. While walking up to the Victorian Hanging Gardens of Kylemore Abbey in County Clare, we discovered our mutual connection to Dan Fromm. Later that year she introduced me to her neighbor, Dr. Robert “Bob” Cook, now retired. Dr. Cook knew my uncle as a graduate student in the department and also when he returned to the Poultry Science Department as its head on July 1, 1969. Bob provided me with a lot of information and memories of Dan’s life and career.

Dr. Cook also encouraged me to call the university if I wanted to know more about my uncle’s research. In planning a trip to NC this winter, I did call and not only did the Interim Department Head at the time, Dr. Peter Ferket, invite me to drop by the department, he presented me with a book on the history of the poultry science department. It was an emotional moment for me to see a page on Uncle Dan’s contribution to poultry science and his career history. It was also an unexpected honor to be invited to attend the 2017 Poultry Science Awards Banquet on April 21st and present the Daniel Fromm annual scholarship award to a deserving student.