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2017 Alumni Award Banquet

The West Virginia University Davis College of Agriculture, Natural Resources and Design Alumni Association recently held its annual awards banquet as part of the festivities celebrating 150 years of WVU. This year, the Association was pleased to recognize five alumni for their accomplishments at the June 24 event.

Jessica Clark Risser

Young Distinguished Alumna

Risser (BS, 2005) was named this year’s Young Distinguished Alumna. She earned a doctorate of veterinarian medicine from NC State University in 2009, and then accepted a position with Country View Family Farms in Middletown, Pennsylvania, as a staff veterinarian. In this role she managed the health of 47,000 sows in a farrow to finish system. In 2012 she assumed the role of animal health and welfare manager for the company. Over the last eight years, the company has grown to 60,000 sows and the welfare program for the entire operation encompasses a harvest facility of over 2.5 million hogs.

In order to fulfill this role, Risser has maintained licensure to practice veterinary medicine in five states. She has successfully addressed all three of the major disease threats to swine production during her time at Country View, including Porcine Reproductive and Respiratory Syndrome Virus (PPRSV), Porcine Epidemic Diarrhea Virus (PEDV) and Swine Flu.

She has maintained her close association with the Davis College and offered support in many ways. She has made presentations to classes relating to the swine industry, and also met with the spring Swine Production class each semester. In addition, she has worked to offer internships and employment opportunities to deserving students.

Rustin Moore

Distinguished Alumnus

Moore (BS, 1986) was recognized as one of four Distinguished Alumni this year. After graduating from WVU, he went on to receive his DVM from Ohio State University in 1989. He also earned a PhD from OSU and became a Diplomate of the American College of Veterinary Surgeons in 1994.

Moore has had extensive experience in the veterinary field with an emphasis on equine medicine and surgery. His academic progress has been through veterinary school appointments at OSU, University of Georgia, Kansas State University and Louisiana State University. He returned to Ohio State as the chair of the Department of Veterinary Clinical Sciences. He currently serves as dean of the College of Veterinary Medicine.

He has maintained a close relationship with the Davis College, the Davis-Michael Pre-Veterinary Scholars Program, WVU and the WV Veterinary Medical Association. In 2015, he was inducted into the WVU Academy of Distinguished Scholars. He continues to work to recruit West Virginia students to be able to attend the Ohio State University College of Veterinary Medicine. Moore initiated a scholarship to offer awards specifically to West Virginia students to attend the Ohio State College of Veterinary Medicine.

image of Jeff and Lisa McCutcheon being presented an award

Jeff and Lisa McCutcheon

Distinguished Alumni

Jeff and Lisa (McClain) McCutcheon received the Distinguished Alumni award as a couple. Jeff received his bachelor’s degree in 1993 and master’s degree in 1995 from WVU. He earned his doctoral degree from Ohio State University in 2014. Lisa received her bachelor’s degree in 1995 from WVU and a master’s degree from OSU in 1997.

The McCutcheons have distinguished themselves as highly effective Extension educators in their roles with the OSU Extension Service. Currently, Jeff is serving as the Southeast Regional Director for the OSU Extension Service. Lisa is the Extension Educator for 4-H and Youth Development and County Extension Director for Licking County, Ohio.

Jeff and Lisa are the parents of two children who are highly involved in 4-H and other activities. While their schedules are hectic, they have committed their careers and lives to furthering agriculture and youth development. They remain close to their family in West Virginia and to the Davis College as outstanding Mountaineers.

image of Jeff Semler being presented with an award

Jeff Semler

Distinguished Alumnus

Semler (BS, 1982) was also recognized as a Distinguished Alumnus. He earned a master’s degree in animal science from the University of Connecticut in 1984 with an emphasis in reproductive physiology.

When his sojourn in Connecticut was complete, he returned to WVU as an Extension Agent in Berkeley County. He then went on to work as a herdsman for several large dairies in West Virginia and Maryland before becoming an Extension Agent for the University of Maryland in 1988. Currently he is the UMD Extension Educator-Agriculture for Washington County in western Maryland.

Semler is widely known for his leadership and contributions in the areas of dairy husbandry, forage and pasture management, farm profitability, youth development and agricultural advocacy. His scholarly efforts have yielded many publications and he continues to engage in meaningful research work that is expanding the field of knowledge. He continues to be an effective spokesman for lifelong learning and is a shining representative of WVU and the Davis College.