It is my belief that higher education is a service-based institution, which must strive to offer the best possible value in the marketplace. The burden of this responsibility falls to the departmental level through undergraduate curriculum offerings and through producer outreach interactions. It is of the utmost importance that these interactions are positive and serve the needs of our clientele. Students need to be assured that they will have an opportunity to receive an appropriate and relevant education within their stated field of interest. This education must lay a solid foundation for further professional education (if desired), and eventual employment opportunities.
Offering a quality education in the field of Veterinary and Animal Science is not an easy task. In addition to the traditional biology and production-based offerings, contemporary issues, such as environmental and food safety concerns, consumer perceptions of biotechnology influences, and animal rights activism, must be addressed. Graduates of the Department of Veterinary and Animal Sciences must be informed and conversant on these and other issues facing today’s producer.
My teaching philosophy is to provide each student with the opportunity to learn the principles outlined in lecture. My teaching style is a didactic approach to communicating principle concepts and in assisting students in the integration of these concepts.
Effective teaching requires equal parts of organizational and communication skills. Students must know what is expected of them. These expectations are communicated to them (repeatedly at times) in a clear, concise, and cohesive manner. Incentives are used to encourage attendance at all course-related events, and timely completion of all assignments. I am a strong believer in the value of student-faculty exchanges found in the classroom, laboratory, and in class review and help sessions. I encourage in-class questions. The number and nature of these queries allow me to gauge my effectiveness in communication. I believe that communication is more than just a concept. The learning process should flow both ways in any student-faculty interaction. My door is always open to students requesting additional help or clarification.
My teaching interests are varied but all revolve around digestion, absorption, and nutrient utilization of feedstuffs by livestock and the subsequent management of these animals. My doctoral work examined the effects of protein nutrition in late-pregnant dairy cattle on production and metabolism. I am also interested in the accuracy of analytical methods used to determine the bioavailability of protein and phosphorus contained in various feedstuffs. Nutrients (particularly phosphorus and nitrogen) that are not digestible are passed with the feces and as such may, in some cases, contribute to eutrophication of waterways and to the odor associated with many livestock operations. These issues have been pushed to the forefront of the livestock industry.