Animal behaviour student crowned international faculty champion

United States student, Justin Moorman, received the Faculty Champion Award for the Faculty of Agriculture, Food and Animal Sciences, at the International Office’s Prizegiving event in October.

Justin (pictured below, right, with professor Daniel Mills), who is studying the MSc Clinical Animal Behaviour, received his £1000 prize from Professor Daniel Mills, Royal College of Veterinary Surgeons and European veterinary behaviour specialist, at a special prizegiving for international students from all disciplines and countries, attended by the University’s Vice Chancellor Mary Stuart.

Professor Daniel Mills and Justin Moorman
Professor Daniel Mills with Justin Moorman

As a Registered Veterinary Technician (veterinary nurse) in the United States, Justin decided to seek out a specialist behaviour degree, and says: “I was looking for a quality behaviour programme with a sound scientific basis.” The MSc Clinical Animal Behaviour is an innovative course which equips students with the knowledge to manage problem behaviour in companion animals and provides them with skills to start their own business within the discipline.

He continues: “The course is very intense, but if it was easy, it wouldn’t be worth doing. I’m enjoying the discussion between lecturers, PhD students, and MSc students. There’s a good flow and exchange of ideas between people.”

Justin, who comes from the United States Midwest (Kentucky, which has the nickname of “The Dark and Bloody Ground” because of all the Native American feuds that were fought for control over it) hopes to study a funded PhD after completing his MSc, to make a career in behavioural research, with his ultimate goal being to improve understanding of animals and improve their welfare on a large scale.

Following the ceremony, students and staff were treated to a wonderfully colourful start to Diwali, the Indian festival of lights. International students currently studying across the University had spent many hours rehearsing the for the evening, which included South Asian dance performances, both individually, as well as a group for a “Bollywood” type routine. Many of the performers wore traditional dress, adding to the authenticity of the evening. There were also individual performances from students reciting poetry or signing traditional songs in their native languages.

The International Office is deeply committed to promoting the spirit of internationalisation and has developed a calendar of activities to celebrate culture differences as represented by all our international students. This includes celebrating festivals important to many of the international cultures, including a North American Thanksgiving in November, Australia Day in January, and Chinese New Year in February.