Dr. Todd Thrift, associate professor and extension beef specialist in the UF/IFAS Department of Animal Sciences, was recently awarded a Superior Accomplishment Award from the University of Florida in the academic personnel category. This program recognizes faculty and staff members who contribute outstanding service, efficiency, or to the quality of life provided to students and employees.
Thrift has a 70% teaching appointment and a 30% extension appointment, but his colleagues agree that he goes above and beyond in each. His peers and students alike commend his unique teaching style, and his commitment to each student he teaches, whether they be a traditional college student or a Florida cattleman that he is working with through extension.
“The beef production courses that Thrift has been teaching for many years exceeded my expectations tenfold,” said animal sciences undergraduate, Will Kempfer. “Not only does he teach the practical side of the industry, he gives so many students that have never had the opportunity, a chance to get their hands dirty and get some real-world experience.”
Two of the Extension programs Thrift worked on last year, Beef 706 and Fed-Beef Challenge, were brand new programs requiring novel efforts to develop, advertise, and implement. Additionally, the synergy that existed between the Beef Cattle Short Course, Beef 706, and Fed-Beef Challenge created an opportunity for highly efficient resource use, access to a broad and diverse audience, and educational experiences that were hands-on and full of experiential learning.
“In the span of six weeks Todd delivered four large Extension programs, all while teaching his full teaching load of 10 credits in the spring,” said Dr. Matt Hersom, professor and director of the Piedmont Research and Education Center at Clemson University and previous associate professor at the University of Florida. “Three of the Extension programs were three-day events that required the coordination of facilities, staff, animals, faculty, participants, and other logistical necessities.”
Thrift has been with the University of Florida since 2001. Prior to coming to the University of Florida, Thrift worked for Texas A&M University as a beef cattle specialist for five years.
In addition to Thrift, several animal sciences faculty and staff were nominated and received IFAS Superior Accomplishment Awards.
IFAS Superior Accomplishment Award Recipients:
- Clerical/Office Support: Melony Gay Hale, Research Administrator
- Scientific Technical: Liz Jannaman, Chemist II
- Community Service: Adegbola Adesogan, Professor and Director, Feed the Future Innovation Lab for Livestock Systems
IFAS Superior Accomplishment Award Nominees:
- Administrative Supervisory: Byron Davis, Lab Manager
- Administrative Supervisory: Tommy Estevez, Lab Technician
- Administrative Supervisory: Allyson Trimble, Undergraduate Advisor
- Academic Personenel: Jason Scheffler, Assistant Professor
- Clerical/Office Support: Renee Parks-James, Graduate Advisor
- Diversity and Inclusion: Kyle Mendes, Education/Training Specialist II
Congratulations to all of the Superior Accomplishment Award nominees and winners!