AFS alum Gretchen Mafi tapped for USDA national teaching award
By: Norman Martin
Gretchen Mafi, who received her bachelor's (1994) and doctorate (2000) degrees from Texas Tech University's Department of Animal and Food Sciences, was this month selected to receive a national USDA Excellence in College and University Teaching Award for Food & Agricultural Sciences.
The honor, which celebrates university faculty for their use of innovative teaching methods and service to students, will be presented as part of the 133rd Association of Public and Land-grant Universities Virtual Annual Meeting.
Mafi, currently the Ralph & Leila Boulware Endowed Chair Professor and undergraduate advising coordinator within Oklahoma State University's Department of Animal and Food Sciences, centers her teaching approach on five core values – attitude, commitment to excellence, hard work, leadership and passion. The department is home to more than 1,000 students.
During her 14 years at Oklahoma State, Mafi has taught and mentored more than 5,000 students through traditional and online learning. With a teaching and research focus in meat science and evaluation, program officials note that Mafi is passionate about providing students with hands-on experiences to help them better understand the global importance of the meat industry.
Mafi, who grew up on her family's Olney, Texas ranch, spent much of her childhood in the rodeo arena and show ring. After graduation from Texas Tech, she joined USDA-Agricultural Marketing Service (2001). A year later she took an assistant professor position at Angelo State University, and in 2006 she joined the Oklahoma State faculty.
Mafi has received 19 teaching and coaching awards, including the American Meat Science Association's Distinguished Teaching Award (2019), the Merrick Foundation Teaching Award for the American Free Enterprise System awarded by Oklahoma State (2015), and an Award of Excellence in Teaching from Oklahoma State's College of Agricultural Sciences and Natural Resources.
CONTACT: Michael Orth, chairman, Department of Animal and Food Sciences, Texas Tech University at (806) 834-5653 or firstname.lastname@example.org
1113NM20 / PHOTO: Todd Johnson - OSU Agricultural Communications Services