Iowa State Animal Science Professor Earns USDA Excellence in Teaching Award

November 20th, 2009

AMES, Iowa — An Iowa State University professor of animal science has been awarded the annual USDA Food and Agricultural Sciences Excellence in Teaching Award. Douglas Kenealy is one of two people to receive the national award, which encompasses all the food and agricultural disciplines.

"I believe that you can push students, whether first-year or upper-class, if you consistently remind them of where they will use the building blocks of their education and how it will enhance future success in the classroom or in their career," Kenealy said.

An Iowa State alum, Kenealy joined the animal science faculty in 1975 and established a record as an exceptional teacher, adviser and a leader in curriculum development in animal science. Throughout his career he has taught or advised more than 13,000 students.

Kenealy received the award on Nov. 11 in Washington, D.C. The award is based on teaching quality, philosophy and methodology; service to the profession and students; and professional growth and development. It requires endorsements by an administrator, colleague and alumnus.

David Acker, the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences' associate dean of academic and global programs, supported Kenealy's nomination. He says Kenealy's leadership in revising the animal science curriculum has helped refine ISU's academic offerings to meet industry demands.

"During his tenure Dr. Kenealy oversaw two complete curricular revisions to meet the needs of a changing student population and changes in career opportunities. The goal in each major overhaul was to make the curriculum, and each individual course, focus on outcomes to enhance learning while improving student success in career and life," Acker said.

In addition to his significant undergraduate teaching load and graduate advising, Kenealy assists with job placement activities for animal science and dairy science. During his tenure, annual placement rate has never fallen below 90 percent and for the past five years, placement for undergraduates has averaged 97 percent.

Former advisee Conrad Spangler, a practicing veterinarian, said Kenealy's enthusiasm for animal science and his sincere interest in students has made him an influential mentor for many.

"His lectures in the animal science introductory course were taught in a fun, energetic manner, which is a must when the class meets at 8 a.m.," said Spangler. "Outside the classroom, Dr. Kenealy provides many students with advice on job opportunities and social issues."

Kenealy looks back on teaching as his life's work, but said the process has not been static.

"It began with traditional classroom education, but expanded to include distance education, management of teaching programs and international development. I couldn't ask for a more rewarding career," Kenealy said.

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Contacts: 

Douglas Kenealy, Animal Science, (515) 294-6022, kenealy@iastate.edu

Melea Reicks Licht, Agriculture and Life Sciences Communication Service, (515) 294-8892, mreicks@iastate.edu

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