Kylie Philipps and Trent Schwartz have been selected as the 2021 American Meat Science Association (AMSA) Student Teacher “Cleaver” Award winners. A meat cleaver is resilient and designed to break through soft bones and cartilage. Graduate teaching assistants are encouraged to be “cleavers” by being resilient in teaching abilities, breaking through to students, and enhancing their knowledge. The tough metal and thick blade of a cleaver are unique and more durable compared to other knives. Graduate students are expected to be durable through their obligations, and above all, to create a unique learning experience for students.

Kylie Philipps is a master’s student in the Department of Animal Science at the University of Florida. “As an undergraduate, I was fortunate to be taught by some outstanding instructors. However, one of these individuals stood out above the rest, as he continually challenges me and teaches me how to truly think. He has been the biggest supporter through my graduate education and the reason I strive to challenge my students to be learners the same way he challenged me,” said Philipps. Her passion for teaching served her well as a graduate teaching assistant while at the University of Florida. “From the very first class, she did an amazing job teaching and managing her students; we were all engaged despite meeting via zoom,” said Douglas Natoce, an undergraduate student at the University of Florida.

Trent Schwartz is currently a Ph. D. student in the Department of Animal Science at Texas A&M University. Schwartz says, “My passion for teaching and mentoring students can be attributed to all of the amazing folks who have helped me along the way.” With a motto of “students first” defining his teaching philosophy, he successfully converted a meat science course to online during the COVID-19 pandemic. Dr. Jeffery Savell, University Distinguished Professor, Texas A&M University says, “Trent has become a valuable part of our program, who puts all of his efforts to do the best he can and deliver every time.”

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Source: AMSA