The American Meat Science Association (AMSA) has announced that Dr. Deb VanOverbeke, Associate Professor of Meat Science at Oklahoma State University, is the recipient of the 2014 Distinguished Teaching Award. The award was established to recognize excellence in the teaching of undergraduate and graduate meat science courses and the impact on the lives of those students in a highly positive manner. The award is sponsored by Kraft Foods Group Inc./Oscar Mayer, Madison, Wisconsin.

In 2005, Deb joined Oklahoma State University as an Assistant Professor in Meat Science.  In 2010, Deb was promoted to Associate Professor.  Deb is responsible for teaching two undergraduate courses and two graduate courses each year—three of which were developed at OSU.  Deb’s teaching efforts generate, on average, over 650 student credit hours a year.  In 2009, she also began offering the senior Animal Science Capstone course online and has expanded this offering to each fall, spring, and summer term. 

In addition to these courses, Deb serves as the Advising Coordinator for the Department of Animal Science and she advises nearly 90 undergraduate students and has served as the major professor for 11 graduate students.  She also advises the OSU Block and Bridle Club and has also advised the Meat Science Association and the College’s Student Council.  Deb assists with numerous extension programs including the Beef Quality Assurance Program, Beef Quality Summit, Pork 101, the Meat Animal Evaluation Contest and various others. 

Deb’s research focuses on beef quality and sensory attributes as related to production management of cattle and she has most recently been involved in completing the 2011-2012 National Beef Quality Audit for the National Cattlemen’s Beef Association.  She is frequently called on by industry organizations to provide insight to issues, conduct research trials, and to give presentations or workshops on numerous issues.  She has authored or co-authored 58 journal articles, has co-authored three book chapters, and has secured over $4.2 million in external and internal research funding. 

In addition to conducting and publishing her own research, she currently serves the Journal of Animal Science as an Associate Editor.  She has been recognized by NACTA Teacher Fellow and as the Southern Section ASAS Young Animal Scientist for Education and Research.  Deb has been a member of AMSA since 1998 and has served as the Chairman of the Quiz Bowl Committee, as well as Abstract Chairman and Reciprocation Session Chair for the Reciprocal Meats Conference Planning Committee. 

Deborah VanOverbeke received her B.S. degree in Animal Science from the University of Nebraska in 1996.  After completing her B.S. degree, she worked for the Nebraska Cattlemen where she coordinated the Beef Quality Assurance and Nebraska Corn-Fed Beef Program until 1998.

Deb attended Colorado State University for both her M.S. and Ph.D. degrees in Animal Science with a Meat Science emphasis.  Deb received her M.S. degree in 2000 and her Ph.D. in 2002.  Upon completion of her Ph.D. in 2002, she joined the University of Minnesota as the Meat Quality and Safety Specialist.  During her time at Minnesota, she co-developed and taught with the College of Veterinary Medicine, Pre-harvest Meat Quality and Food Safety, and team taught the Global Beef Systems course for the School of Public Health’s Summer Institute. 

Dr. VanOverbeke was nominated by Dr. Gretchen Mafi, Associate Professor, Oklahoma State University, who said “Dr. VanOverbeke is a friend, mentor and teacher to all of her students, she constantly pushes them to use their talents to accomplish the task at hand.”

Source: AMSA