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See how our current work and research is bringing new thinking and new solutions to some of today's biggest challenges.

  • Animal Science
  • Animals
The Chobani Scholars Program supports students who have a broad set of agricultural interests, including food and agricultural innovation. Each year for the past six years, the program has selected four College of Agriculture and Life Sciences undergraduate students from New York as Chobani scholars; they will receive $20,000 scholarships ($5,000 per year). Below, one of this year’s recipients, Xavier Panky '26, an animal science major from Baldwin, New York, discusses how the scholarship is helping him achieve his goals.

Why did you choose Cornell CALS?

I’m doing the pre-vet concentration in animal science, hoping to attend the Vet College after I graduate, and Cornell is one of the best and is close to home. In the past I wanted to be a doctor because I feel like it’s one of the best ways to help people and I’ve always enjoyed helping people. But I started to develop an interest in animals, and I felt that through veterinary medicine, I could help both people and animals, because people love their animals so much.

Looking back over your freshman year at CALS, which classes or experiences have been most meaningful for you?

Two classes that have made the biggest impact are Animal Science 1101: Contemporary Perspectives in Animal Science with Professor Tom Overton, and Animal Science 1105: Careers in Animal Science with Lindsay Glasner. They’ve really opened my eyes to the many potential career paths and possibilities available in animal science. Also, the lab experiences and Ezra’s Farm as part of Animal Physiology & Anatomy 1100: Domestic Animal Biology helped me get a lot of beginner, hands-on experience with livestock animals. I did an internship my senior year of high school with the Baldwin Animal Hospital (run by Cornell alums Neal Saslow ’78, DVM ’82, and Anne Munro, DVM ’88), but this was my first experience with farm animals and that let me see what I could potentially be working with in a veterinary practice. I’ve also enjoyed playing the trombone in the Cornell Symphony Orchestra.

And you’ve already joined a research team?

I’m part of the research lab of Dr. Vimal Selvaraj. One of the things he’s concerned about is the lack of diversity in the gene pool in the cattle industry. To try to address that problem, one project Dr. Selvaraj’s lab is working on is to understand more about these proteins called protamines – they’re responsible for packaging DNA in sperm cells and are an important piece of DNA transfer during fertilization. It’s interesting to see how this kind of basic science can influence the hands-on animal science that I’m interested in.

Interested in majoring in animal science?

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Partners cut the ribbon on a new facility


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  • Animal Science
  • Agriculture
  • Animals
a man picks raw wool in a lab classroom

Field Note

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  • Animal Science
  • Animals