COA Awards for Excellence Honorees
The College of Agriculture recognized five members of the Department of Animal and Range Sciences among its recipients of Awards for Excellence. Below is a list of departmental honorees and short explanations of their contributions to the college. Congratulations to our honorees and for everyone on a successful academic year!
NACTA Teaching Award of Merit for Faculty
Dr. Sarah McCoski, assistant professor in the Department of Animal and Range Sciences, is the 2022 College of Agriculture and North American Colleges and Teacher of Agriculture Teaching Award of Merit for Faculty recipient. This award recognizes emerging excellence in on-campus teaching that aims to transform students and the teacher for the better through innovation in teaching, discovery-driven education experiences, exceptional student engagement, and imparting skills relevant to the workforce. Dr. McCoski uses various teaching tools in her classes to get students thinking critically.
Dr. McCoski engages students in physiology of animal reproduction (ANSC 321), assisted reproductive technologies (ANSC 421), and advanced physiology of reproduction (ARNR 523) through journal articles and case studies and asks them to apply what they learn toward their future career goals. Her dedication to connecting students' futures to what they are learning is inspiring.
NACTA Teaching Award of Merit for Graduate Students - ANRS
Eden Manuel, master's student in the Department of Animal and Range Sciences, is a 2022 College of Agriculture and North American Colleges and Teacher of Agriculture Teaching Award of Merit for Graduate Students recipient. Eden has contributed as a teaching assistant to physiology of animal reproduction (ANSC 321), assisted reproduction technologies (ANSC 421) and equine reproduction (EQUS 436). Multiple comments from evaluations portray Eden as someone who is passionate about teaching and about the success of the students she teaches.
It is also clear she subscribes to the idea that one always needs to continue to learn and to teach is to have more depth of knowledge than what might first be presented, so as to be able to ask students to reach for more depth themselves. She does so with thought provoking questions and her ability to connect the science with real world use.
Meritorious Service Award
Susan Cooper, assistant to the department head of Animal and Range Sciences, is the 2022 College of Agriculture Meritorious Service Award recipient. The award recognizes individuals for their dedication and extraordinary service to the College of Agriculture and the Montana Agricultural Research Station and go above and beyond the service expectations. Ms. Cooper, while assistant to the department head for the last 15 years, concurrently held several official titles within the department: administrative team supervisor, office manager and Farrier School coordinator. While these roles all rely on a strong administrative skillset, each also presents unique challenges that require nuanced, evolving and creative soft skills. Ms. Cooper helped organize the department's advisory committee, ensuring highly effective communication and outreach and engagement with Montana communities and stakeholders. She continues to play a large role with this committee as its coordinator.
Since then, she has also taken the lead on keeping other advisory committees - Montana Wool Lab and Dan Scott Ranch Management - up to date with meetings and news about the department's teaching, research and extension efforts. Montana producers have advocated for the department in part because Susan keeps them informed about its accomplishments in teaching, research and service. As faculty and staff noted, "Susan stands out as the go-to person and as a steady and positive representative for the department who truly seeks to help others."
Impactful Outreach and Community Engagement Award
Dr. Megan Van Emon, associate professor in the Department of Animal and Range Sciences, is the 2022 College of Agriculture Impactful Outreach and Community Engagement Award recipient. The award recognizes individuals who have made especially significant outreach and engagement contributions to benefit the many diverse communities and populations of Montana. Dr. Van Emon is an Extension beef specialist, whose role is impacting the producers of our community through her Extension and outreach programs. To this end, she presented 35 outreach events that reached more than 1,000 producers in 2021 alone.
Last year, Montana producers and those in the surrounding regions were affected by a record setting drought that affected forage quality and availability for livestock producers. Dr. Van Emon was at the forefront of MSU Extension efforts to help producers navigate the multitude of challenges this brought. She served on a drought and wildfire taskforce, educated producers in outreach events and through news articles, radio station spots and a newsletter about the initially unrecognized dangers of nitrate toxicity brought about by the drought. Dr. Van Emon also developed a nitrate screening kit for Extension agents. Without hesitation, Dr. Van Emon is willing to help stakeholders to the best of her ability. For these efforts and the foundational relationship she has established, Dr. Van Emon is "well respected and adored by producers and other stakeholders."
Excellence in Research and Discovery Award
Dr. Carl Yeoman, professor in the Department of Animal and Range Sciences, is the 2022 College of Agriculture Excellence in Research and Discovery Award recipient. The award recognizes scientists who are national leaders in their area of research and whose research has made substantial contributions in moving forward their profession and improving the economy, society and quality of life beyond the contribution to academia. Dr. Yeoman joined the Department of Animal and Range Sciences at Montana State University in 2012 and rapidly established himself as both a departmental role model for his enthusiasm for research and productivity and as an internationally recognized leader in microbiome research with research outputs spanning both human and agricultural animal interests.
Dr. Yeoman has amassed over $7 million in funding, with his research resulting in an impressive 97 peer-reviewed manuscripts in high-impact international peer reviewed journals with nearly 5,000 citations. His national peers said "Dr. Yeoman's unique ability to contribute to multiple microbiome research fields and coalesce observations from, at times seemingly disparate research foci ... have led to significant discoveries that have the potential to greatly improve the economy and sustainability of animal agriculture. Moreover, Dr. Yeoman's willingness to cross disciplines and pursue these research efforts are testament to his enthusiastic passion for research and are why he is a well-liked and respected member of the field."