GAINESVILLE, Fla. — The University of Florida named animal sciences assistant professor Antonio Faciola as the 2020-2021 Undergraduate Faculty Advisor/Mentor of the Year in their annual teaching and advising awards for faculty and staff.
Faciola joined the UF/IFAS department of animal sciences in 2017, with a focus on livestock nutrition. He manages a large research team and has mentored more than 65 undergraduate students in his lab.
“Dr. Faciola facilitates an exceptional academic environment for his students, ensuring their future success,” said John Arthington, animal sciences professor and chair. “He believes the main components of mentorship are leading by example, being relatable, compassionate and genuinely committed to student success, and fostering a work environment that is conducive to excellent work.”
Faciola also teaches one of the larger undergraduate courses, Principles of Animal Nutrition, and is regularly praised by students for his passion for the subject, enthusiasm for teaching and care for students and their professional development
Grant Yungmann, Faciola’s former student and teaching assistant, said “Dr. Faciola is one of the best mentors and professors that UF has to offer.”
Students find Faciola’s mentorship to be led with compassion, empathy and genuine interest in their success.
“He maintains contact with a lot of his former students and research assistants, celebrating their accomplishments when they get into veterinary schools or research programs,” said Yungmann. “I remember sitting in his classes, listening as he announced to the whole class whenever teaching assistants got into veterinary schools. One day, I hope to be one of the teaching assistants he is proud to say will become a veterinarian.”
Faciola coordinates the undergraduate honors program for his department and serves as a mentor for the UF Multicultural Mentor Program and the UF/IFAS Minority Research Program, which provides paid summer internships for minority students from 1890 land-grant institutions, who are matched with an advisor of their interest.
The UF/IFAS College of Agricultural and Life Sciences recognized Faciola as the college’s top undergraduate faculty advisor/mentor of the year in April.
The College of Agricultural and Life Sciences (CALS) administers the degree programs of the University of Florida’s Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences (UF/IFAS). The mission of the College of Agricultural and Life Sciences is to deliver unsurpassed educational programs that prepare students to address the world’s critical challenges related to agriculture, food systems, human wellbeing, natural resources and sustainable communities. The college has received more total (national and regional combined) USDA teaching awards than any other institution.