University of Vermont

College of Agriculture and Life Sciences

Erin King Named 2011 'Outstanding Senior'

For Research with Global Impact and Aways Challenging Herself

Erin King at a reception.
Newly minted graduate Erin King at the 18th annual UVM CALS alumni and friends dinner at which she won the Outstanding Senior Award.

During her first year at UVM, she spent a week framing and roofing a house in Burlington’s North End – for Habitat for Humanity. And for the next four years, she never stopped serving her adopted hometown – especially in ways related to her future career.

Erin King, a new graduate from UVM's College of Agriculture and Life Sciences (CALS), volunteered at local animal hospitals and shelters, a state veterinary office and Tufts University animal oncology unit. She was a UVM swim team athlete, treasurer of the dairy club and herd advisor of CALS CREAM program (Cooperative for Real Education in Agricultural Management). All the while, she was a top student in the classroom and in the lab.

Erin has always challenged herself by taking upper level courses, noted her professor, John Barlow.

CALS animal science chair André-Denis Wright remarked, “her research is the first in the world to show significant differences between the methane-producing microbes in Jersey versus Holstein cattle. Her work will lead to more studies to see how the micro-biomes of these breeds can be altered, to produce milk more efficiently with less environmental footprint.”

That research in the Wright Lab earned Erin King a place in a national competition to take place in July in New Orleans, a URECA Awards (Undergraduate Research: Endeavors, Competitive Award), and the results are under review for publication in the journal “Applied and Environmental Microbiology.”

King's record was lauded during the College's Honors Day program on April 15 when she received UVM’s Animal Science Faculty Award and the American Society of Animal Science Award for distinguished undergraduate research. She later was named the NESA American Dairy Science Association outstanding senior. And at the CALS Alumni and Friends annual dinner on May 14, the College's Dean Tom Vogelmann presented Erin King with the Lawrence K. Forcier Outstanding Senior Award.

King’s bachelor of science degree in animal science, which she received during the May 22 commencement ceremonies, followed one of CALS’ most demanding tracks – pre-veterinary studies. She was accepted into four top veterinary schools and will begin in mid-August at Cornell University, after a short break at home in Cranston, Rhode Island, lifeguarding and waitressing.

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