Enhancing Research Opportunities for Students

Mark and Kim Young give back to the Department of Animal Sciences and Industry in hopes of creating more research opportunities for students.

For Mark Young, K-State alumnus, working with undergraduate research contributed major benefits to his career — during and after college. While attending K-State, Mark conducted research with Dr. Keith Bolsen for the Department of Animal Sciences and Industry.

“Receiving my bachelor’s, master’s, and doctorate from Kansas State University has allowed me to pursue my dreams and become the president and owner of a successful feed additive business,” Mark said.

Mark says when he was a student, K-State did not have an official undergraduate research program for animal sciences and industry like the one offered now.

“I learned a tremendous amount from assisting in conducting research with Dr. Bolsen’s group, and that morphed into an opportunity to attend grad school, which changed everything for me,” Mark said.

Mark and his wife, Kim, established an undergraduate research fund for the Department of Animal Sciences and Industry to support the program and give students more opportunities to work with undergraduate research.

“I hope the undergrad research program allows the students to have a more well-rounded education — teaching them that research is important and is part of a real-life decision-making process,” Mark said.

Mark said participating in undergraduate research will provide students with stronger skill sets, such as critical thinking, communication and public speaking skills. Students will be able to utilize these skills for the rest of their college and professional careers.

“The opportunities given to me by K-State have truly changed my life,” Mark said. “The connections I made at K-State have helped forward my career as well.”

Mark hopes the program will continue expanding and eventually become mandatory for all animal sciences and industry undergrads so that students will secure the same benefits as he did.

“It is very satisfying to give back to an institution that has been a big part of your success,” Mark said. “Without those opportunities, we may have not been as successful as we are today.”

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