Animal Science Graduate Club

The Animal Sciences Graduate Club consists of current graduate students in the Department and serves as a networking opportunity and a social environment among graduate students. The Graduate Club provides an opportunity for students to learn about research others are conducting and to create discussions about projects and their experimental designs or statistical analysis. Most importantly, it provides opportunities to socialize — whether it's a BBQ at lunch or a Twin's game after work. Graduate students conduct tours of the animal barns on campus to generate funds for social activities. 

Animal Facilities Tours
Due to COVID-19, the Animal Facilities Tours have been suspended until further notice.

Animal Science Department Clothing Available for Purchase!

The Animal Sciences Graduate Club is offering for sale Animal Science Department clothing as a fundraiser for the club. Funds from clothing sales will provide the club with more opportunities for social activities and help bring back its community service aspect. Currently the catalog includes t-shirts, sweatshirts, sweatpants, jackets, hats, and more. Feel free to suggest additional items. Please submit orders and direct questions to the Fundraising Chair, Claire Peichel (

Graduate Student Club Officers

Rielle Perttu Swanson

Rielle Perttu Swanson
President and Dairy Barn Tour Coordinator

3rd year PhD candidate. My research focuses on dairy cattle behavior and welfare, specifically the relationship between calf health and feeding behavior collected by autofeeder software.
Beyond my academic activities, I enjoy spending time with friends, family and my dogs and chickens. I especially enjoy traveling, staying active, being outdoors, and tending to my house plants.
As the president, I make key decisions for Grad Club, lead monthly meetings, represent graduate students in the Graduate Studies Committee, and assist other officers with their tasks and planning events.

Kelsey Hammers

Kelsey Hammers

1st year PhD student. My research focuses on fetal imprinting strategies to improve piglet survivability such as feeding elevated levels of zinc to gestating sows.
Outside of school, I enjoy spending time with my family and friends, travelling to new places, taking my dog for walks, trap shooting, and reading.
As vice president, I assist the president and other officers with event planning and executing tasks while also taking notes of every graduate club meeting.


Kayla Law

Kayla Law
Treasurer and GSB Alternative Representative

2nd year PhD student. My research focuses on maternal programming in relation to piglet microbiomes and immunocompetence. In my spare time, I enjoy fostering neonatal kittens, hiking, and rock climbing.


Drew Swartz

Drew Swartz
Social Chair and Dairy Barn Tour Coordinator

2nd Year Masters Student. My research explores the association between transition cow management practices and milk production in automatic milking systems.
Outside of school, I love staying active. Whether it be lifting weights or going on runs, maintaining physical fitness is a key part in my lifestyle.
As the Social Chair, my duty is to organize events that not only connect graduate students but provide an escape from this stressful time in our lives.

Edward Yang

Zhaohui (Edward) Yang
Professional Development Chair

3rd year PhD student. I study swine nutrition, with a focus on ingredient uses. I also have a Business Management Minor from Carlson School of Management.
I like playing soccer, cooking, reading, and going to social events.
As the Professional Development Chair, I organize professional development events for grad students.


Leticia Clemente

Leticia (Lela) Dourado Clemente
Department Event Planner and COGS Respresentative

1st year Master student. I study organic dairy production with a focus on balancing milk and forage quality tradeoffs in organic dairies feeding high-legume diets.
In my free time I like to practice sports, to watch movies and series and read books. And I love traveling and exploring new places.
As a Council of Graduate Students Representative, I represent the graduate students of the department of Animal Science at the University of Minnesota- Twin Cities. And, as a Department Event Planner, I organize events and activities for graduate students.


Sara Arens

Sara Arens
GSB Representative

2nd year Master student.My research focuses on dairy calf genetics and its impact on calf performance using automated feeding systems. I love to get outside by paddle boarding, horseback riding, hiking, and badminton as well as watching movies and hanging out with family and friends. As a Graduate Student Board (GSB) representative I serve as liaison between GSB and the Animal Science Graduate Club and provide feedback and information to each group as necessary.