The American Meat Science Association (AMSA) has announced Dr. Gretchen Mafi as the recipient of the 2019 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 Hawkins Inc. Dr. Mafi will be honored on Tuesday, June 25, 2019 at a special awards banquet during the AMSA 72nd Reciprocal Meat Conference in Loveland, CO.
Dr. Gretchen Mafi is the Ralph & Leila Boulware Endowed Chair and Professor in the Department of Animal and Food Sciences at Oklahoma State University, where she conducts research and teaches undergraduate and graduate courses in meat science. Gretchen serves as the advising coordinator in the department that is home to over 1,000 undergraduate students.
Gretchen grew up in Olney, TX on her family’s ranch, where she spent much of her childhood in the rodeo arena and show ring. She earned her bachelor’s degree in 1994 from Texas Tech University, a Master of Science degree in 1996 from Colorado State University, and a Ph.D. in Animal Science with emphasis in meat science in 2000 from Texas Tech. After graduation, Gretchen joined USDA-Agricultural Marketing Service in 2001. In August 2002, she accepted an assistant professor position at Angelo State University, and in 2006 she moved to Oklahoma State University.
Gretchen’s love and passion for teaching make her career choice in academia obvious. She teaches three meat science courses each semester at OSU, along with advising and research responsibilities. She conducts research in the area of meat cutability and quality, with over 70 published articles in scientific journals. Also, Gretchen coaches the Oklahoma State Meat Judging Team and Meat Evaluation Team. With these responsibilities, she is actively involved in fundraising for the team, generating funds annually, and growing endowments to support the programs.
Gretchen is actively involved in the American Meat Science Association, serving as a member of the Board of Directors from 2014-2017, a leader of several committees and served as the AMSA Intercollegiate Meat Coaches Association President in 2010-11, and will serve again in 2019.
Gretchen received the Merrick Foundation Teaching Award for the American Free Enterprise System awarded by Oklahoma State University in 2015, as well as the Award of Excellence in Teaching from the OSU College of Agricultural Sciences and Natural Resources. Gretchen and her husband, Jeff Mafi reside on their farm in Coyle, OK, raising purebred Angus Cattle.