College of Agriculture names new Professorship in Excellence in Teaching


Photo courtesy of Barb McBreen/College of Agriculture and Life Sciences

Jodi Sterle, right, was named the 2012 recipient of the Eldred and Donna Harman Professorship in Excellence in Teaching and Learning for the department of animal science.

Maia Zewert

The animal science department in the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences has named Jodi Sterle the 2012 recipient of the Eldred and Donna Harman Professorship in Excellence in Teaching and Learning.

The late Eldred Harman, a 1947 graduate of the animal science department, and his wife Donna established the professorship in 2010 as part of the Iowa State University Foundation’s “Campaign Iowa State: With Pride and Purpose.”

“The late Eldred Harman was very interested in helping the teaching program in animal science as well as students in the department,” said Maynard Hogberg, professor and chairman of the animal science department.

“Creating an endowed professorship in excellence in teaching and learning gives increased visibility and stature to the teaching mission within the department,” Hogberg said.

Douglas Kenealy was the first to receive the award in 2010 at its conception. Kenealy will be retiring this spring after 37 years with the department.

“I thought it was time for a change, and with the change a new thought process which would come from new leadership,” Kenealy said.

The department faculty said they will miss Kenealy’s presence.

“Kenealy’s impact on the undergraduate students has been legendary,” Sterle said. “The two things that strike me about Kenealy are he loves Iowa State and he loves students.”

Hogberg also expressed his gratitude for all Kenealy brought to the department.

“[Kenealy] has provided outstanding leadership to this program and helped build this teaching program to one of the best in the nation among animal science departments,” Hogberg said.

The professorship is given to the section leader for the undergraduate programs in animal science. The award includes funds that are used to enhance both learning and teaching. The endowed account has been used to support student needs, such as supporting club projects, as well as sending faculty to teaching conferences.

“The funds that come with the professorship allowed us to do some things for faculty and programs otherwise wouldn’t be possible to do because of a tight budget,” Kenealy said.

Sterle is already making plans for next year when she will be taking over Kenealy’s responsibilities as the animal science undergrad program coordinator. With increasing enrollment in the program, Sterle hopes to meet the needs of over 1,000 undergraduate students without seeing the quality of the education suffer.

“My goal is to make improvements where we can and continually adjust as our students and industry change,” Sterle said. “Getting to know our students and their goals and needs is still important.”

A new class will be introduced to the animal science curriculum next year. “The Art and Heritage of Livestock,” taught by Sterle, will delve into the history of livestock’s importance in society.

“We will cover livestock in religion, livestock in advertising, livestock in the movies, livestock in music and livestock in mythology,” Sterle said.

Sterle said the assignments for the class would include a photography project, an open art project, a livestock brands project and a self-heritage paper about livestock’s influence in students’ backgrounds.

“Sterle is and will continue to do wonderfully. She has lots of her own ideas about moving the program forward, and most importantly, the students already love her,” Kenealy said.