Department of Animal Sciences
Animal Sciences - Animal Biosciences
The child of a second-generation dairy farmer, the dairy industry always held a special place in Ashley Stroud’s heart. It was the CFAES Animal Sciences Dairy Science Certificate Program that provided her most valuable learning experiences, allowing her to further cultivate and hone her passion. Through the program, she competed in Dairy Challenge competitions at both state and regional levels, gaining hands-on experience interacting with producers, veterinarians, and other industry professionals.
It was through this program that Ashley had the opportunity to intern with Dairy Farmers of America (DFA), the nation’s largest dairy cooperative. At DFA’s Eastern Laboratory Services in Medina, OH, Ashley gained a breadth of technical experience in lab divisions responsible for examining milk quality, components, chemistry, pathogens, and more. She traveled to surrounding counties to collect water samples, performing assays to determine the safety of drinking water in her home community and gaining valuable field experience.
As an active member of the Animal Science Community Alliance, the department’s student leadership team, Ashley worked with fifteen other students to plan and implement a variety of events including the department’s annual Back2School Bash and Winter Student-Faculty Mixer events. Through the organization, Ashley gave back to her community with programming focused on connecting students with support resources, as well as new student mentorship and prospective student outreach. Ashley called her involvement with the organization the most rewarding experience of her undergraduate career.
Ashley identified Mariette Benage as her mentor, sharing: “She is one of the most hard-working, student-focused people I know. She pours her entire heart and soul into this department, and I truly don’t know what I would do without her. Mariette has served as my professor, advisor, and she has become one of my dearest friends. She constantly pushes me to be the best that I can be, and I admire her more than words can express. The impact she has had and will continue to have on our department is felt by many, but no act of gratitude will ever encompass all that she does for myself and students like me.”
An employee of Campus Grinds through OSU Dining Services for over three years, Ashley has worked as a student manager at university-operated cafes across campus, where she honed her communication skills and learned to function well in high-pressure environments. Ashley expressed her gratitude for the healthy, growth-focused work environment. She also found employment facilitating peer-led learning workshops for introductory biology courses for five semesters.
A 2022 SPHINX honoree and first-generation college student, Ashley plans to attend veterinary school focusing on food animal medicine following graduation. Though her interest in veterinary medicine is long held, she credits her time at OSU with opening her eyes to the breadth of opportunities within the field and solidifying her decision.
Involvement, service, and accolades: Animal Welfare and Behavior Club, vice president and other leadership roles | Animal Science Community Alliance, president | Biological Sciences Scholars Program | SPHINX | Buckeye Dairy | Triota | Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Committee | Pre-Veterinary Medical Association | Alpha Lambda Delta | Bucket and Dipper | ROMOPHOS | OSU’s Leadership Collaborative