Clifford King - Top Ag Undergraduate

Clifford King 2011  College of Agriculture’s Undergraduate Researcher of the Year in lab

Research Edge Propels Top Ag Undergraduate to Vet School

Clifford King, a student in the Department of Animal, Dairy, and Veterinary Science (ADVS), was recently named the 2011 College of Agriculture’s Undergraduate Researcher of the Year.

King’s recognition comes after doing research with Dr. Jong-Su Eun, an assistant professor in ADVS. His research focused on the effects of temperature on rumen fermentation— how bacteria in cows’ stomachs are affected by temperature. His actual research project was done after working nearly every day over the past summer vacation.

Clifford King weighing samples“I am very honored by receiving the recognition,” King said. “Luckily, Dr. Eun was my mentor. He really helped with how to collect the data and understand it.”

For the instructor himself, it was a pleasure to be able to work with a student whom Eun described as “diligent” with “tons of experience” working on a day-to-day basis.

“He is the greatest student of my career,” said the 10-year teaching veteran who has been at Utah State since 2007. “I say that without any hesitation.

The work goes forward— but now, in front of interested spectators, rather than millions of microscopic organisms. King presented his findings during undergraduate research day at USU and also show off the fruits of his labors at the Animal Dairy Science Association (ADSA) American Society of Animal Science (ASAS) Joint Annual Meeting, July 10-14, 2011, in New Orleans, La. He will be presenting as a part of the meeting’s Undergraduate Paper Presentation Contest.

King was particularly grateful for the college recognition and research opportunity because studying rumen fermentation only helps him to move closer to his goal of becoming a veterinarian. King has already been accepted to veterinary school at Washington State University.

“Doing the research helped me a lot with getting accepted to other schools,” he said. “I made it into vet schools because the research really helped with their decision to accept me.”

King said the research relates directly to his veterinary goals because he has better learned how to work with vaccines and gained experience in animal surgeries and stem-cell research.

Clifford King testing samplesEun couldn’t stop expressing how much he has enjoyed both instructing and working with King. “He is so much an independent student,” Eun said. “I don’t need to monitor his way of working. He knows how to apply basic knowledge. Based on his level, he has created pretty solid data for large scale research projects.”

It is a firm foundation laid for his future career pursuits, an opportunity which, at one point, King didn’t even know was possible.

“I was really surprised, actually,” he said. ”I thought it was masters and graduate level thing. I have been impressed by Dr. Eun in helping me so much and in helping me know of the grants I could receive. I was most impressed with the mentor program and how much Dr. Eun has helped with the research project.”

Clifford King, 2011 College of Agriculture’s Undergraduate Researcher of the Year, Delta, UT
Jong-Su Eun, Faculty Mentor, Animal, Dairy and Veterinary Sciences

Writer: Rhett Wilkinson