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including The Conductor, a special section of the Spectrum printed 4 times a year

Miriam Louise Kelly

By Karyn Mitchell, University Relations intern

Spectrum Volume 17 Issue 27 - April 6, 1995

Miriam Louise Kelly is more than your average twenty-two-year-old senior at Virginia Tech. Aside from her outstanding QCA, numerous honorary-society memberships, and a cow named Mistletoe, Kelly is the 1995 Outstanding Senior in the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences.

Kelly grew up on a dairy farm in Tyrone, Penn. That's where she met the Holstein cow born on Christmas Day in 1983. Kelly, then 10 years old, named the new-born calf Mistletoe.

Kelly is goal-oriented. As a transfer student from Penn State, she felt that coming to Tech was the hardest, yet best decision she ever made. What brought her to Blacksburg: "The faculty in dairy science and the dairy science department as a whole," she said.

As she counts down to her May 13 graduation, she is already planning to begin work on her master's degree in animal science at Cornell University. Kelly, who has her sights on a doctorate, wants to concentrate her studies on the relationship between nutrition and physiology in dairy cows.

In the next 10 years she hopes to have a faculty position in dairy science at a major university. She says her "ultimate career ambition is to acquire a challenging, rewarding position which will allow me to assist farmers in becoming more efficient and encourage young people to become more involved in the agricultural industry."

Kelly says she learned a lot from her extracurricular activities. "Being a part of the 1993 Virginia Tech Intercollegiate Judging Team, for dairy cows, was exasperating and exhausting, but a rewarding experience--one where I learned about myself, how to deal with people and success and failure. Doing well at the national contest makes it all worthwhile."

She is also active in several organizations on campus such as Sigma Alpha professional agriculture sorority, Alpha Zeta national agricultural honor fraternity, Omicron Delta Kappa national leadership honor society, Phi Kappa Phi National Honor Society, Golden Key National Honor Society, and Gamma Beta Phi National Honor Society.

She won several top scholarships, including the National Dairy Board Scholarship, the Paul M. Reeves Scholarship as an outstanding senior in dairy sciences, and is a recipient of the Kildee Scholarship. She has also received recognition for her 4-H activities and her involvement with the State Holstein Association as well as the National Holstein Association. She held held offices in the Penn State Dairy Club and the Virginia Tech Dairy Club and was elected to the executive board of the National American Dairy Science Association Student Affiliate Division.