NOVUS Honors Top Animal AG Educator During 2023 PSA Meeting
SAINT CHARLES, MO (July 18, 2023) – Last week, NOVUS representatives presented the 2023 Novus Outstanding Teaching Award to Elizabeth Karcher, Ph.D., of Purdue University during the 2023 Poultry Science Association (PSA) Annual meeting in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.
As the leader in intelligent nutrition for the animal agriculture industry, NOVUS has been a longtime sponsor of the award that recognizes a PSA member who has demonstrated outstanding success in the classroom as well as a dedication to professional improvement and industry excellence.
“This award is our way of recognizing educators who have truly dedicated their professional lives to moving the animal agriculture industry forward,” says Gabriela Cardoso, Ph.D., NOVUS poultry solutions manager for the Americas who presented the award. “The winner of the NOVUS Outstanding Teaching Award is securing the future of our industry through their students and supporting the industry through their research.”
Dr. Karcher is a professor and undergraduate program coordinator in the Department of Animal Sciences at Purdue University in Indiana. Since joining the university in 2008 she has formally educated over 2,500 through over 50 course offerings and study abroad programs focused on personal engagement that helps grow students’ understanding and interest in food animal production that will ultimately provide them with the skills and drive to make animal agriculture a lifelong career choice.
She says her primary goal as an educator is to create workforce-ready animal science graduates with the technical knowledge, skills, and global mindsets necessary to meet the challenge of feeding a growing population.
“My program develops and implements innovative experiential learning platforms that deepen student interest in food animal production, enhance learning, and develop intercultural competencies,” says Karcher. “I focus on active learning strategies to increase first-year student awareness and interest in food animal production. Additionally, I engage students both on and off campus in intercultural learning activities.”
Along with her work in the classroom, Dr. Karcher has published over 25 journal articles on education-related topics and was the recipient of three poultry-related educational grants from the U.S. Department of Agriculture.
She is also the recipient of the Purdue University Murphy Award for Undergraduate Teaching, the USDA Excellence in College and University Teaching in Food and Agricultural Sciences Teaching Engagement Award, the Purdue University Exceptional Early Career Teaching Award, and the North American Colleges, and Teachers of Agriculture Teacher Scholar Award.
Dr. Karcher earned her bachelor’s degree from Pennsylvania State University, her master’s degree from Purdue University, and her Ph.D. from Iowa State University.
She says she has many of her own teachers to thank for her success, but one individual in particular stands out: her undergraduate research mentor at Penn State, Dr. Gabriella Varga.
“After 15 years of mentoring students, I still model my mentoring style after my experience with Dr. Varga,” she says. “She continually challenged me to do my best, demonstrated empathy, and provided me with opportunities to grow both professionally and personally. My decision to attend graduate school was based on my experience working with her as an undergraduate student.”
What advice does Dr. Karcher have for those interested in joining the animal agriculture field? Regardless of your background or hometown, there is a place for you in the agricultural field.
“There may not be another career field that has the potential to impact as many people as agriculture,” she says. “We will continually need students ready to take on the challenge of feeding the growing population. Agriculture utilizes the latest technologies and science to create solutions for a wide range of sectors. Take the time to explore all of these opportunities. The diverse jobs available for graduates highlight the array of opportunities in numerous careers. It is an exciting time to be in agriculture and make an impact on the world!”
PSA is a professional organization consisting of educators, scientists, extension specialists, industry researchers, administrators, producers, and college students who are committed to advancing the poultry industry. Founded in 1908, PSA’s member scientists have contributed through their research to the development of safer and more nutritious food products.
For more information about PSA and other awards presented during the group’s annual meeting, go to https://poultryscience.org/PSA-Annual-Meeting.
Novus International, Inc. is the intelligent nutrition company. We combine global scientific research with local insights to develop innovative, advanced technology to help protein producers around the world achieve better results. Novus is privately owned by Mitsui & Co., Ltd. and Nippon Soda Co., Ltd. Headquartered in Saint Charles, Missouri, U.S.A. novusint.com