AFS doctoral student Sarah Kane among prestigious NSF Fellowship recipients
By: Norman Martin
Sarah Kane, a high-achieving doctoral student within Texas Tech University's Department of Animal & Food Sciences, is one of a half-dozen students within the university selected to receive a Graduate Research Fellowship from the National Science Foundation to assist their educational experience. These fellowships are extremely competitive as NSF received some 44,000 applications and awarded only 2,000.
“I am incredibly honored to have received this award” Kane said. “In addition to the prestigious nature of this award, this fellowship provides financial security so that I can pursue academic interests and unique research opportunities, which may otherwise not be possible. I believe this elevates the level of research I am able to conduct here at Texas Tech.”
Kane's academic interests include canine olfaction, specifically in odor generalization and discrimination. Today, she works as a research assistant within Texas Tech's Canine Olfaction Research & Education Laboratory, which is led by Associate Professor of Companion Animal Science Nathaniel Hall. Earlier this year Hall received a Chancellor's Council Distinguished Research Award, the highest faculty honor in the university system.
“Sarah Kane's award allows her to pursue unique and creative research ideas within our program, and really push the science forward on our understanding of olfaction and cognition in animals,” Hall said. “I'm excited and impressed by Sarah's work. She is setting a new standard of research for detection dog science.”
Kane received her bachelor's degree in biology from Hamilton College in Clinton, New York. Prior to her starting her NSF fellowship studies in 2021, she worked as a research assistant at the Penn Vet Working Dog Center in Philadelphia. At the center, she helped on projects studying canine detection of invasive species, ovarian cancer and wildlife diseases. In addition, Kane collaborated on a 2015 project studying the efficacy of diabetic alert dogs in Bristol, England.
The fellowships are awarded to graduate students based on their achievements and their promise as demonstrated through the significance of their proposed research and its broader impact, said Mark Sheridan, dean of the Texas Tech Graduate School. The fellowship provides a stipend and assists the student with tuition, fees and other associated educational expenses.
Recipients have three years of funding that can be spent over a five-year period. The NSF program also provides internship opportunities that are important to high-achieving students by helping them explore career avenues, he said. The other Texas Tech doctoral students receiving NSF Fellowships include Juan Dominguez, chemistry-biochemistry; Jessica LaFond, chemical engineering, Abigail Rutrough, biological sciences; Katherine Shircliff, clinical psychology; and Mason Tedeschi, biological sciences.
CONTACT: Clint Krehbiel, Dean, Davis College of Agricultural Sciences & Natural Resources, Texas Tech University at (806) 742-2808 or Clint.Krehbiel@ttu.edu
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Editor: Norman Martin
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