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Turning Up the Heat: PDPS Staff and Students Win PSA Awards

NC State faculty and students in a large conference room

July was hot in North Carolina, but San Antonio, TX – where many Prestage Department of Poultry Science (PDPS) faculty, staff and students attended the 2018 Poultry Science Association (PSA) Annual Meeting – was even hotter. In the extreme heat, PDPS members stayed cool while presenting research, networking with colleagues and accepting awards.

Becca Wysocky Wins Tyson Foods Inc. Support Personnel Award

Becca Wysocky behind a lectern
Becca Wysocky accepting her award at PSA

One PDPS staff member was especially on fire. Becca Wysocky, a Research Specialist in Jim Petitte’s lab, had just won a Pride of the Wolfpack award from CALS when she learned that she’d won the Tyson Foods Inc. Support Personnel Award from PSA.

The Pride of the Wolfpack Award will be no surprise to anyone who knows Wysocky’s deep NC State roots. While an NC State undergrad, she took Carm Parkhurst’s introductory poultry class. That class created a spark that led to a B.S. in Poultry Science and a career in the poultry industry. After working as a hatchery manager for Perdue Farms, Wysocky returned to PDPS. It’s her work at NC State that led to her Tyson Foods award.

The Tyson Foods Inc. Support Personnel Award recognizes outstanding support of research, extension or teaching poultry science programs. Judging criteria include

  • technical expertise
  • teamwork
  • notable contributions
  • mentoring and
  • enthusiasm.

Wysocky’s long-term efforts in these areas – in and out of the lab – make her award well-deserved.

Currently working under Jim Petitte, who nominated Wysocky for the Tyson award, and Ken Anderson, Wysocky conducts research for multiple layer studies ranging from surrogate eggshell culture to ovarian cancer biomarker discovery to feed additive trials.

In addition to conducting lab research, Wysocky participates in a variety of youth programs, including embryology outreach – working with second graders to incubate and hatch chicks – and Extension events like FFA Poultry Judging and 4-H competitions.

Asked about the future, Wysocky said she’ll “continue…to learn and grow.” Her commitment to continual improvement and her recent awards reflect Becca’s think and do attitude, which is appreciated around campus and around the poultry industry.

More PSA Awards

Wysocky wasn’t the only PDPS member winning accolades in San Antonio. Several PDPS students were recognized for their research and presentations.

  • Ph.D. candidate Krista Eberle-Kish won the Maurice Stein Fellowship Award, presented to a graduate student whose research may lead to improvements in efficiency and profitability for the egg industry. Eberle-Kish, under the director of Ken Anderson, will defend her dissertation in Fall 2018.
  • Olivia Wedegaertner, a graduate student working with Peter Ferket, was recognized for her research poster and
  • Katherine Cupo, a graduate student working with Robert Beckstead, was recognized for her research presentation in the Genomics area.
  • Gustavo Quintana-Ospina won the Jones-Hamilton Co. Undergraduate Student Travel Award, allowing him to travel to San Antonio for the PSA meeting and meet with company representatives to discuss his research and career goals.

About PSA

PSA (opens in a new tab) is a professional organization committed to advancing the poultry industry. The annual meeting (opens in a new tab) is an opportunity for researchers, industry employees and students to present research, share ideas and maintain professional networks.