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Alumni Spotlight: April Englishbey

Released by Panhandle State Campus Communications on 01/11/2019 April Englishbey —Courtesy photo April Englishbey —Courtesy photo

Goodwell, Okla. —No stranger to Oklahoma Panhandle State University, the tables have turned for April Englishbey a 2013 graduate who is now instructing an Animal Science Problems class, Basics of Meat Science and Food Safety. April graduated summa cum laude in December of 2013 with a degree in Animal Science. She played Volleyball for the Aggies and worked in the Firestone Meat Lab both of which served her well for her future.

She commented, “Working in the meat laboratory, I made lifelong friends and learned valuable skills that have assisted in my higher education and knowledge of the meat industry.”

After graduating from Panhandle State, April attended Mississippi State University to pursue a Master of Science degree in meat and animal sciences from January 2014 to December 2015. She received a Borlaug Global Food Security Graduate Research Fellowship grant and conducted research in Vietnam about the baseline prevalence of Listeria, Salmonella, and Escherichia coli in beef, pork, and chicken in various retail settings. After earning her master’s degree, April went to Texas Tech University (TTU), from January 2016 to May 2019, to pursue a doctoral degree in food microbiology and animal science. While at TTU, she continued to conduct baseline studies in harvest, processing, and retail settings in developing countries and the United States, evaluated lactic acid bacteria based probiotic effectiveness in feedlot cattle, conducted numerous antimicrobial intervention studies, and created and taught courses. Additionally, her dissertation project over the past two years focused on the dissemination and fate of foodborne pathogens and indicator bacteria after antimicrobial interventions of sulfuric acid fertilizer or Ultra-Violet light were applied prior to being drip or furrow irrigated during spinach and cantaloupe growing seasons. April will defend her PhD in December 2018 and graduate in May 2019.

She has accepted a Technical Support Specialist position with Hygiena and will provide science-based support for the BAX® PCR Testing System. Food companies, service labs, and government regulators around the world rely on the BAX® System to detect unwanted pathogens in raw ingredients, finished products, and environmental samples by utilizing a DNA-based detection method.

Reflecting back on her time in Goodwell, April comments, “Throughout my career in academia and now industry, I really attribute my life path to the time that I spent at OPSU. I learned so much through the animal and plant science courses, and the amount of hands-on experience that I was afforded really made me stand out in my master’s program. Most of all, the meat lab managers, AJ (Anthony Ingo) and Chief (Daren Stephens), introduced me to an entire industry that I had no clue about and encouraged me to search further and pursue a passion.”

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