The American Meat Science Association (AMSA) has announced that Dr. Jim Claus, Professor and Director of the Meat Science and Muscle Biology Laboratory at the University of Wisconsin-Madison is the recipient of the 2015 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. Dr. Claus will be honored at a special awards banquet at the AMSA 68th Reciprocal Meat Conference on Tuesday, June 16, 2015 in Lincoln, NE.  

Jim Claus earned his B.S. in Animal Science from the University of Connecticut (1980), M.S. in Animal Science from Kansas State University (1982), and Ph.D. in Food Science also from Kansas State University (1989).  Prior to his Ph.D. work, Jim held positions at both Patrick Cudahy Inc. and Superior Brand Meats. After the completion of his formal education, Jim started his faculty career as a member of the Department of Food Science and Technology at Virginia Tech and continued there for 10 years. In the fall of 1999, Dr. Claus joined the Department of Animal Sciences at the University of Wisconsin - Madison as an Associate Professor specializing in muscle foods technology.

In this current role, he teaches courses at the University of Wisconsin, including Introduction to Meat Science and Technology and Commercial Meat Processing. He is also very active in undergraduate and graduate student advising. Dr. Claus also had the unique honor to serve as an external examiner for doctoral theses in Sweden and Finland.  His research emphasis has focused on aspects of value-added muscle foods including improvement in meat tenderness, muscle pigment chemistry as related to meat color, technology for the development of low-fat processed meats, and textural defects in sectioned and formed poultry products.

He has been an active AMSA professional member since 1978 and served as Director of the association from 1997-1999. He has extensive involvement as a member of numerous AMSA committees. In addition, he also served as the Chair of the RMC that was held at Oklahoma State University in 1999, and served as a Host Chair for the 2014 RMC in Madison. He was a professional member of the Institute of Food Technologist and served as the Chair of the Muscle Foods Division of the IFT. He has served as a Board Member for Meat Science (journal) since 2007, and a previous Associate Editor for the Journal of Muscle Foods. His career to date has been productive yielding 61 journal publications, 2 book chapters, 2 refereed conference proceedings, 56 abstract presentations, 14 technical reports, 8 patent disclosures, and 31 invited presentations. As a principal investigator, he has been awarded 40 extramural grants and as a co-investigator awarded 24. He has been the recipient of an USDA Food Science Ph.D. Fellowship (1985-1988), an AMSA Achievement Award (1995), and an invited sabbatical at the Norwegian Food Research Institute (2000).

Dr. Claus was nominated by Drs. Amanda King and Tim Knight, who both stated “Dr. Claus demonstrates on a daily basis extra effort and pride in teaching Meat Science to students. His devotion to student learning has been unfaltering, making him especially deserving of this award.”

Source: AMSA