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Emma Hamilton wins UW-River Falls 2024 WiSys Quick Pitch competition

River Falls-UW-River Falls students Emma Hamilton and Alli Matzek were recognized for their research and presentation skills at the WiSys Quick Pitch competition on Wednesday, March 27.

Senior Emma Hamilton earned both first place and the audience-voted people’s choice award for her pitch, titled “Exploring Head Anatomy in Relation to Several Penetrating Captive Bolt Placements in Fed Cattle to Maximize Animal Welfare at Slaughter.” In her pitch, Hamilton shared that nearly all of the 27 million fed cattle who are sent to a slaughter establishment in the US each year are stunned with a penetrating captive bolt (PCB) prior to harvest procedures. The objective in her research study was to find the most effective way and location to stun cattle so they have a humane and painless end of their lives.

Hamilton’s faculty advisor is Dr. Kurt Vogel, a professor in animal and food science and head of the Animal Welfare Lab at River Falls.

With her first-place achievement, Hamilton will represent River Falls at the Quick Pitch State Final, which will be held during the WiSys SPARK Symposium this July.

Sophomore Alli Matzek earned second place for her pitch, titled “Relationship of Tissue Dimensions and Stun Placements on Cadaver Heads from Bison (Bison bison).” Matzek’s pitch discussed tissue thickness at frontal and poll stun placements in bison and its effectiveness on stunning them prior to slaughter. The goal of her research is to find optimal placement to comply with the Humane Methods of Slaughter Act.

Dr. Vogel is also Matzek’s faculty advisor.

Senior Caleb Lefevre also participated with his project, titled “Identification of the Pure Compound in Lingzhi Mushroom that Inhibits Non-Small Cell Lung Cancer Cells.” 

The panel of judges included:

·         Dr. Sheri Marnell, Director, St. Croix Valley Business Innovation Center

·         Dr. Michael Gilmer, Dean of Students, UW-River Falls

·         Dr. Jeff Cernohous, Chief Operating Officer, Interfacial

To view pictures from the event, click here.

To learn more about WiSys Quick Pitch and upcoming competitions, click here. For questions about Quick Pitch, please contact Margot DeBaker, Regional Intellectual Property and Licensing Associate, at [email protected]