by Ellen Bombela, College of Agriculture and Life Sciences Communications Service
For Sherry Olsen, teaching goes beyond the classroom.
As the meat science lecturer and meat judging team coach and program coordinator for the Iowa State University Intercollegiate Meat Judging Team, she often finds herself teaching on the road.
Her efforts as both a lecturer and a coach have earned her the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences Excellence in Teaching by Lecturers and Adjunct Faculty Award. Winning the award caught Olsen off-guard, but she is humbled and honored.
"I wasn't expecting it," Olsen said. "I get to come to campus every day and do something I'm very passionate about - helping young men and women discover and develop outstanding careers in the livestock and meat industries. I certainly appreciate that other people think that my work is worthy of recognition."
The meat judging team competes at contests on the regional and national levels and they regularly travel from Colorado to Kentucky and South Dakota to Texas. That's a time commitment for both Olsen and the students.
"I like to say that we use the meat judging activity as a tool to assist students to develop those attributes that will make them excellent employees after graduation," Olsen said. "They all learn how to better manage their time, become effective communicators and team players, and learn how to network."
When Olsen is not coaching and traveling with the team, she is serving as a lecturer and advisor for students. In her classroom, Olsen tries to incorporate as much active learning as possible.
"I learn best when given the opportunity to practice what I've just been taught. Therefore, I enjoy giving my students the same opportunities," Olsen said. "Active learning allows students to practice their newly learned skills."
"I get to work with outstanding students each day - and I am very grateful for that. We are so fortunate to have great young men and women in our classes," Olsen said.
Olsen received her bachelor's degree in animal science from the University of Missouri-Columbia in 1982. She received her master's and Ph.D. degrees in meat science from Iowa State University in 2006 and 2012.
Iowa State University College of Agriculture and Life Sciences will present awards to faculty and staff on March 8 at its Spring-Semester Convocation and Awards Program in the Memorial Union.
March 1, 2018