Thursday, April 28, 2011

An Award!

Today I won an award :-)  I have to admit that it was almost a fluke thing because, while I had been planning on putting the application together for a few months, I didn't actually write anything down for the application until about the day it was due!  At the time I figured that I might be the only one applying so it was better to send my quick thoughts than nothing at all.

The award is to support some of the research I want to do into the possibilities of community engagement with my animal science students.  It is easy for engineering or construction or business students to find a community partner that needs help solving a problem, thereby giving the students real-world, hands-on experience.  It is an entirely different matter to find these partners in animal science.  That just isn't the way the industry works.

From the first day that I started my job, I heard about PACCE.  That stands for Pioneer Academic Center for Community Engagement and I wanted to be involved.  I just didn't know how.  I talked and asked and bugged for suggestions and I kept pestering the dairy farm manager.  So last year he gave me an idea: the cowbrush.  I believe I put a link on that story on Facebook, but here it is again: UWP Cowbrush.  That was a fun project and for my Dairy Products class this semester, there are students making yogurt.  The most popular is Pioneer Pumpkin Pie, but there are also Chocolate-covered Strawberry, Strawberry Cheesecake, Smores, Cow Pie, Dirt Cup, Chocolate-covered Cherry, and even one more unusual: Goat Milk Honey Crunch.  It was a fun run but now I am already thinking about the next project: getting a milk pasteurizer on the farm.

I enjoy getting the students involved in more than just the mundane lectures.  I am also looking forward to tweaking my lectures to add more pizazz but MAN does that take time!  I can't do real justice to all five/six classes each year and so I focus on one at a time. 

There is more...I want to put it brain is constantly full of it.  It is exciting and fun and I am loving how God is using the short time I was in Oklahoma to work interesting things here in Wisconsin.  I often thought "Why am I even here!" but then I figured that if I had chosen the University of Alberta, that I wouldn't have had as much time for family (and so no husband, kids, Georgia, Georgia friends, etc.) so that alone is a huge blessing and God-send.  But now to see that that time in OK even benefited my future in my career, well, that is overwhelming.  In other words, it is a "God thing".

More on the exciting adventure of Tera in Dairy Science-land later...