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Animal & Equine Science

Our graduate students are some of the most up and coming research from around the world. We pride ourselves in having a diverse set of individuals with skills sets in all areas.


Megan Corgan:

Megan Corgan is from San Diego, CA and is a recent graduate of the Equine Sciences undergraduate program. She is currently working on her Masters in Animal Sciences concentrating on Livestock Behavior and Welfare with Dr. Temple Grandin. Megan's research will be focused on Equine Behavior and Welfare, but she is excited to work on projects focusing on other species as well. During Megan's undergraduate experience, she bought her horse out of the colt training class and has loved growing together since. Her and her horse have enjoyed being a member of the Ranch Horse team as an undergraduate and graduate student. Megan is also very passionate about teaching, as well as research, and is enjoying her time in various teaching assistant and teaching roles.

Jilleen Haddix:

Jilleen Haddix is pursuing a Master’s degree focused on Sustainable Beef Production Systems under the guidance of Dr. Jasmine Dillon. Jilleen grew up in Lake Orion, MI and spent most of her time either at OSMTech (Oakland Science, Mathematics and Technology Academy) or in dance classes at the dance studio managed by her mother. She also cherished time spent at her grandfather’s dairy farm in northern Michigan where her love of animals began. After high school, Jilleen and her family moved to Beijing, China for four years where she studied Chinese language and worked as an English teacher at a bilingual and international pre-school. In 2009, she returned to the US where she graduated from Oakland University (Rochester, MI) with a B.A. in Mathematics and a minor in English. After graduation, she was offered a position at General Motors as a Safety Data Analyst in the Vehicle Safety and Analytics department and while employed at GM she earned an Applied Statistics Certification from Texas A&M. After several years in the automotive industry, she decided to join CSU so that she could combine her two loves – animals and mathematics. Her current research focuses on animal nutrition models and a life cycle assessment of a cow-calf operation. She has a special interest in regenerative grazing and nutrition.

Bailey Klug

Bailey Klug grew up on her family's ranch in Yerington, Nevada where she primarily raised Polled Hereford cattle along with her brother and sisters. She graduated from the University of Nevada Reno in 2 years with a Bachelor's Degree in Veterinary Science. Deciding to continue her education, her and her husband moved to Colorado where Bailey is currently attending Colorado State University. She is a master's student in the Animal Science program with a focus on dairy science. Her deep passion for agriculture has made her strive for higher aspirations and has brought her much success. She wishes to continue her education and is driven to accomplish her goals within the cattle industry.

Andrea Loudenback:

Andrea Loudenback is a master’s student in Beef and Dairy Systems studying sustainable livestock production under Dr. Jasmine Dillon. She grew up in Sioux Falls, South Dakota where she developed a love for animals and a fascination for science. Andrea began her undergraduate studies at the University of Hawai’i at Manoa studying Marine Biology where she found that she desired an education that gave her the ability to work with a broad range of animals. After two years, she transferred to the University of Minnesota Twin Cities to pursue a degree in Animal Sciences while maintaining a minor in Marine Biology. While in Minnesota she spent time working in a sustainable cropping systems lab, deepening her knowledge about livestock species and their welfare, and pursuing independent research opportunities related to sustainable agriculture. Her current research focuses on using climate projections in Colorado to model the implications of climate change on dairy cattle productivity and welfare, economics, and forage quality.

Matthew McQuagge:

Matthew McQuagge is pursuing a Master’s degree in Equine Reproduction under Dr. Jason Bruemmer. He grew up in Florida being involved in both the horse and beef cattle industries and received his Bachelor’s in Animal Science from the University of Florida. Prior to attending CSU, Matthew spent two years working on a feedlot for Cactus Feeders in southwest Kansas. He hopes to eventually find a career in extension or production that combines his interests in both the beef and horse industries.

Cora Okkema:

Cora Okkema is pursuing a Master’s degree in Livestock Behavior and Welfare under the guidance of Dr. Temple Grandin. Cora was born and raised on a dairy farm, but on two separate continents. Her family emigrated from The Netherlands in 1999 and started a dairy farm in Central Michigan. She is proud to say that 20 years later De Grins Oer Dairy milks 675 head of Holstein cattle with a 40-stall Delaval rotary parlor. She earned her undergraduate degree in Animal Science at Dordt College in Sioux Center, Iowa in 2016. After that she pursued a career in Dairy Livestock Nutrition but soon found her calling was elsewhere. Cora became the herdsman of the family farm and realized this is her passion. Being able to experience farming on the production side gave her a more practical understanding of the issues that farmers face. With this production-based mindset and the desire to grow her understanding of the industry Cora arrived at Colorado State University with the commitment to serve her fellow farmers. Her research will be focusing on dairy cull cow welfare throughout transportation and processing.

Caleb Swing :

Caleb Swing is a master’s student studying meat safety and sustainability under Dr. Nair. Caleb is originally from Northern Colorado, but has lived the past decade in China, where he attended Jiangnan University and obtained a B.S. in Food Science, Technology, and Engineering. During his undergraduate studies in China, Caleb conducted research on the antimicrobial properties of essential oil microcapsules in fresh meat products; and also gained extensive experience in meat and dairy processing facilities in both China and the US. Caleb hopes to utilize his Mandarin/English language abilities and unique experiences to deepen his knowledge and understanding of world agriculture, to ultimately pursue a career in meat safety.

Ana Velasquez:

Ana is a DVM from Universidad Austral de Chile. As student her interests were related to Ovine and Bovine productions. For her thesis, Ana worked with a large data set of Chilean dairy herds to determine incidence of subclinical mastitis. Once graduated, she completed two years of internships in conventional and organic dairy farms in the United States. As part of her curiosity, she lived and worked in the Australian dairy industry until became a CSU student in fall 2016. Her research interests as M.S. student at Dairy System Laboratory are dairy calf and cow: health, behavior and wellbeing.



Aerial Belk:

Aeriel is a Ph.D. student in Animal Sciences with a focus on meat science and the microbiome. She has an extensive background in the subject that she developed while raising cattle, showing livestock, and competing on the Livestock and Meats Judging Teams in 4-H. She decided to continue with her interests in the field by pursuing an undergraduate degree in Animal Sciences at CSU while simultaneously working in several research labs: investigating the role of miRNAs in equine reproduction, studying novel antimicrobial treatments on meat safety, and assisting in several meat quality and shelf-life studies. After graduation, she completed a Master’s degree in Animal Science, with certificates in Meat Science and Food Safety, from Texas A&M University. Her thesis topic was comparing the prevalence of Salmonella in beef lymph nodes across feeding stages and feedlot locations. She returned to CSU for a doctoral degree with a focus on microbiome research under Dr. Metcalf. She is currently involved in several studies relating to the role of the microbiome in decomposition in the post-mortem interval.

Heather Deel:

Heather was born and raised in Houston, Texas where she got her BS in Biology at Sam Houston State University. There, she became familiar with the body, which through various events, led her to pursue her PhD in Cell and Molecular Biology at CSU! Her hobbies include reading, video games, her cat, and exploring Colorado, as it is still very new to her!

Miguel A. Sánchez-Castro:

Miguel received his Veterinary Medicine Degree from the Instituto Tecnológico de Sonora (ITSON) in 2013 and his Masters in Sciences in Animal Production Systems by the Autonomous University of Baja California (UABC) in 2016. During his master's studies, Miguel conducted a research stay in the department of Animal Sciences of Colorado State University from January to July of 2015, and a year later, he finally joined CSU as a PhD student in the academic program of Breeding & Genetics. Miguel's previous research focused on understanding the genetic basis of the adaptability of Holstein cows to heat stress, and now, his research focus is on the adaptability of Angus cattle to high altitudes.

Dustin Sargent-Davis:

I, Dustin M. Sargent-Davis, spent my early years in the Marine Corps. I was an infantry Marine with a primary MOS of 0351 Assaultman. I served 15 years (14 and some change) with several deployments, mostly combat. That story now seems like a lifetime ago, but only ended in 2014. I am retired from that job, though a bit earlier than I would have liked. After the Marine Corps, I was a bit lost. For 15 years I had been called Marine, now I was a Marine in civilian life. For the last 5 years, I have committed myself to school. I finished a degree that had been a culmination of failed attempts during my enlistment. I earned my second BS in Human Nutrition from Purdue after listening to someone give nutritional advice, for an unreasonable sum of money, that sounded like a scam. That is where this journey begins. I completed all the requirements for a MS degree in Human Nutrition. I then applied to Red Rocks MS Physician Assistant program and to CSU to pursue a DVM degree. No need for details here. However, I met Terry Engle before completing the pre-DVM check list requirements and knew where my new home resided. I am currently studying under the guidance of Shawn Archibeque trying to establish sound research on the efficacy of Hemp and Hemp by-products as a ruminant animal feed. I was recently asked by one of my old First Sergeants what I planned to do with a PhD. My response, was simple, “Work on trucks.”

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