SDSU professor Amanda Weaver receives USDA New Teacher award |

SDSU professor Amanda Weaver receives USDA New Teacher award

Courtesy photoAmanda Weaver, South Dakota State University assistant professor, recently received the 2010 New Teacher award at the Association of Public and Land-grant Universities annual meeting in Dallas, TX.

BROOKINGS, SD – South Dakota State University assistant professor Amanda Weaver received the 2010 New Teacher award at the Association of Public and Land-grant Universities annual meeting in Dallas.

The Association of Public and Land-grant Universities, or A-P-L-U, and the USDA sponsored the award. It recognizes two outstanding faculty members nationwide on the basis of their ability as classroom teachers, use of innovative teaching methods, service to students and their profession, and scholarship. The award includes a $2,000 stipend for each recipient.

Weaver has strived throughout her early career to achieve the benchmarks reflective of the New Teacher award. She began teaching as an assistant professor in the SDSU Department of Animal and Range Sciences in 2007. She now instructs five undergraduate and graduate courses in meat science and muscle biology, integrating experiential learning and the development of critical thinking skills into her coursework to better position students for meaningful careers.

Weaver said that she believes students drive learning, and her goal is to direct each student toward understanding by helping students to build on their own experiences. A passionate faculty adviser, she not only assists students planning their academic careers, she spends time with each student, so she may better understand their background and find insights into their future career aspirations. Weaver uses these opportunities to guide professional development and preparedness and connect students with national and international opportunities in the animal and meat industries.

With a research focus on beef quality, Weaver’s own research, as well as undergraduate and graduate student research projects she directs, focus on investigating the mechanisms regulating beef tenderness, as well as fetal programming as it relates to muscle and development. In recognition of her success, Weaver was awarded the SDSU Berg Young Scientist award, and in 2010, she was awarded the Edward Patrick Hogan Award for Excellence in Teaching. Students also selected her as the 2009 teacher of the year in the College of Agriculture and Biological Sciences. Weaver earned her B.S. and Ph.D. degrees at Purdue University.

Weaver said the award ceremonies were humbling, and gave credit to the support she receives from her peers and leadership in both her department and college.

“To receive this sort of recognition is a one-time deal, but I think anyone who loves teaching still sees the many things they want to improve, and you strive to do that,” Weaver said. “I am sure there are other teachers out there who also deserve this award, but I feel the direct support I receive from my department and its leadership, that confidence led to my nomination, and to this honor.”

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