Scholarship honoring alumnus Kaye Andrus supports animal science students

Marie Frese
Marie Frese

This fall, the first group of students received the new Kaye Andrus Scholarship. “For an in-state student, this scholarship will cover the majority of their expenses for the upcoming school year,” says Professor Steven Zinn, head of the Department of Animal Science in the College of Agriculture, Health and Natural Resources. “This will be an annual scholarship for four upperclassmen animal science students. The actual amount will be based on the market performance each year.”

“Kaye was a graduate of the College and left this incredible legacy,” says Amy Chesmer, senior director of development. “He had a lifelong love of animal husbandry, and this scholarship supports students who share that love. The family foundation formed from his estate looked at his passions and connected with the Department of Animal Science.”

Andrus was involved in variety of diversified business ventures, including a large beef cattle farm in Culpeper, Virginia. “Kaye majored in agricultural economics and was smart as a whip,” says Nancy Weiss, former director of development. “He was full of energy and optimism and valued his connection to the College.”

According to Weiss, Andrus was of Lithuanian descent and wanted to support the Republic of Lithuania as it regained its independence in the early 1990s. In 1992, he coordinated and funded an exchange between College faculty and agricultural sciesntists from Lithuania that created relationships in both countries.

Says Chesmer, “This scholarship comes at a critical time when the needs of many students are at unprecedented levels due to the fact that they have been unable to work,” Chesmer says. “Families have been severely affected by the COVID-19 pandemic.”

Marie Frese is on the pre-vet track. She is a College Ambassador, member UConn’s Equestrian Team and Dressage Team, Alpha Lambda Delta National Honor Society and the Pre-Vet Club. She also volunteers for the Husky-for-a-Day program. She says, “The Kaye Andrus Scholarship will significantly help me towards my goal of attending veterinary school after completing my undergraduate degree. This scholarship will allow me to save for my graduate degree and ultimately help me to accomplish my goal of becoming a veterinarian.”

Samantha Barretta with a horse.
Samantha Barretta

Samantha Barretta is interested in animal behavior and volunteers at the Ray of Light Farm in East Haddam and serves as a mentor to the Mighty Mini’s 4-H Club in East Haddam. She is a member of UConn’s Operation Rhino, Wildlife Society, and Dairy Club and works as a veterinary assistant at Adorable Pets Veterinary Center in Haddam.

“Receiving the Kaye Andrus Scholarship is an opportunity I will forever be grateful to have,” Barretta says. “The ability to pursue an education in animal science at the University of Connecticut has been a goal of mine for many years. Upon graduation, I will continue to learn from within the animal industry, which will allow me to serve those in my community. When I received notice that I had been selected for this scholarship, I was ecstatic. Knowing that I can continue to learn at such an elite university with a reduced financial impact on myself and my family is a blessing. I am so thankful to the Andrus Family for their generosity and look forward to continuing my education.”

Jacqueline Lampert with a horse.
Jacqueline Lampert

Jacqueline Lampert hopes to attend veterinary school. She is an intern at Norwalk Veterinary Hospital and interned at Spy Coast Farm in Lexington, Kentucky. She is a member of the UConn Equestrian Team and the Pre-Vet Club and volunteers for the Guiding Eyes for the Blind. Lampert also serves as an Department of Animal Science research student leader, caring for the farm animals and assisting other students.

“I am both humbled and deeply appreciative to have been chosen as a recipient of the Kaye Andrus Scholarship,” Lampert says. “Receiving this scholarship will have a profound impact on my ability to continue my undergraduate education, while also allowing me to pursue my ultimate goal of attending veterinary school without being limited by overwhelming student loans. I look forward to the opportunity of being able to continue expanding my knowledge and experience alongside faculty and my peers in the UConn Department of Animal Science.”

Kirsten Krause with a Holstein cow.
Kirsten Krause

Kirsten Krause is an animal care provider at the Camp Care Therapeutic Riding Center and works as a seasonal farmhand at Lemek Farms’ Larry Berries farm stand in Tolland. She interned with UConn Extension in a summer youth program focused on food safety, agriculture and 4-H youth activities and is very involved with the Tolland County 4-H in numerous volunteer and leadership positions.

She says, “I am beyond thankful and absolutely humbled to be a recipient of the Kaye Andrus Scholarship. I have made it my goal to pay for my entire undergraduate education via scholarships to alleviate the financial stress that my parents would face putting myself and my two brothers through college. It has been a challenging goal to meet between commuting to school and constantly being on the hunt for scholarships, but it is a reward like this one that reminds me that it is worth it. Without the financial support from scholarships like this one, I would not be able to afford to continue my education, so to say that I am thankful is the very least!”

This article originally appeared on CAHNR Newsroom.