Animal Science Assistant Professor Steve Kelm has been named as the recipient of the highest award at UW-River Falls.
Kelm was named the 39th recipient of the Distinguished Teacher Award by Chancellor Ann Lydecker. The award was announced on April 23 at the University's awards ceremony.
Selection is through polling by graduating seniors and recent alums. Those nominees said of Kelm:
"He's an outstanding educator, mentor and friend. These are only a few of the distinguishing assets of Dr. Kelm. He is a professor who challenges you to meet your goals, guides you to help you form your own decisions, and most importantly, listens to you when you need to talk. He is a true inspiration to the Animal and Food Science Department, and most importantly, to students."
Another added: "Dr. Kelm is a very effective teacher. He makes class interesting by getting to know each person and always coming to class with a smile."
A third nominator offered: "He is willing to spend the extra time and effort assisting struggling students. He's very encouraging, always cheerful, and easy to acquire knowledge from."
Said Lydecker in announcing the award, "For 127 years, UW-River Falls has been a teaching institution. We take great pride in that mission, so much so that our most prestigious award is to celebrate those faculty who excel at our most fundamental value.
"Our students and recent alumni tell us that Steve Kelm is one of our very best faculty at ensuring that our students are engaged in learning. He will serve as a role model to all of us on how to give our best efforts so our students can learn here and thrive in their professional lives," Lydecker said.
Said department Chair Tony Jilek: "Steve is a great colleague and teacher as he is eager and willing to cooperate and to do his fair share or more. His concern for and attention to students is exceptional and his smile and laugh are contagious."
Kelm joined the faculty in 1998 after earning his doctorate at Iowa State University with specialties in animal breeding and immunobiology, and a master's in animal breeding.
Kelm teaches courses in junior- and senior-level dairy management, dairy cattle evaluation, introduction to animal science, principles of animal breeding, orientation to dairy science, and senior seminar in dairy science. He also serves as an adviser for 50 undergraduates, he helps to coach the dairy cattle judging teams, and he is a co-adviser to the undergraduate dairy club. That latter responsibility last year earned him recognition as the National Advisor of the Year for the American Dairy Science Association.
In the College of Agriculture, Food & Environmental Sciences, Kelm is involved in many activities that directly affect student learning outcomes. He is a mentor for the Ronald E. McNair Postbaccalaureate Achievement Program, he is on the Pilot Plant Advisory Board, a member of the Dairy Learning Center steering committee, the Internship committee, the Experiential Learning Committee, and others.
He has served on numerous University committees including academic advising, the Student Academic Success Center advisory board and on the Chancellor's Search & Screen Committee.
Kelm's likeness will be added to the UWRF Distinguished Teacher display in the Wyman Building, and he will be invited to deliver the Fall Commencement Address in December.