UF/IFAS Animal Sciences’ Mentor Month: Jason Scheffler

Jason Scheffler, UF/IFAS Department of Animal Sciences (ANS) Assistant Professor, serves as a mentor to our graduate and undergraduate students. He and other faculty like him have a significant influence on students’ experience before and after graduation. In honor of National Mentoring Month, his students described his service as an influential mentor and advisor.  

Scheffler teaches two graduate courses, three undergraduate courses, and conducts research regarding meat science and food safety topics. He currently advises three graduate students and is an advisor for the UF Block and Bridle club. Scheffler also has an extension appointment related to Hazard Analysis and Critical Control Points (HACCP) with the animal sciences production sector.  

Scheffler (left) with Block and Bridle advisor Saundra TenBroeck (second from left), 2022 ANS graduate Megan Lee (second from right), and Block and Bridle advisor Joel McQuagge (right) at ANS Club Banquet.


Through his teaching and advising role, Scheffler interacts with many students in the department. Adeel Manzoor, an international Ph.D. student from Pakistan under Scheffler, said Scheffler’s guidance during his transition to the United States made it easier to become acclimated. He also attributes Scheffler’s style of mentorship to his professional growth over the last two years.  


“He does not tell you straight forward what to do, but asks questions to point his students in the right direction, which prepares them for an independent role after graduation,” said Manzoor.  

 Scheffler is known to many students as an easy-going professor within the department. Manzoor said Scheffler’s calm and humble personality is something he is respected for. These traits are well-reflected in his mentorship.  

“He never overburdens me; instead he keeps telling me not to overburden myself and works beside me whenever the need arises,” said Manzoor. 

Scheffler (right) with graduate students Adeel Manzoor (left) and Gabby Allen (center).

Gabby Allen, a current master’s student, has worked in Scheffler’s research lab since the spring semester of 2019. She is currently finishing her master’s thesis “Inactivation of Stress-Adapted Salmonella enterica and E. coli O157:H7 during Biltong Production.” Allen said Scheffler was responsible for many of the opportunities that have equipped her future career 

“Dr. Scheffler has mentored me into the student I am today,” said Allen. “I started in his lab as an undergraduate and was able to gain a lot of hands-on experience that I did not have previously as I was a transfer student.” 

Undergraduate junior, Douglas Natoce worked in Scheffler’s lab on salmonella studies for over a year and a half. Natoce had no previous experience working in a lab when Scheffler took him on as an undergraduate research assistant. With the skills he gained under Scheffler, he found a passion for research and has started working to develop vaccines for chickens at the University of Florida’s College of Veterinary Medicine.  

Scheffler with ANS students and faculty at the 2022 Reciprocal Meats Conference.

“There have been few people who have had an impact on my undergraduate career greater than that of Dr. Jason Scheffler,” said Natoce. “Dr. Scheffler pushes students to explore the world outside of their preconceived notions, opening up new worlds of possibilities.”

To connect with Dr. Jason Scheffler or learn more about him, visit his faculty profile on the ANS website.

Find more information about the UF/IFAS Department of Animal Sciences events on our website. Stay in touch with us on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram. Any questions or inquiries regarding this piece should be directed toward Shelby Thomas at soesterreicher@ufl.edu. Read more stories like this one here: http://blogs.ifas.ufl.edu/animalsciencesdept/. 


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Posted: January 30, 2023

Category: Agriculture, , UF/IFAS Research, UF/IFAS Teaching
Tags: Advising, Animal Research, Animal Science, Graduate, Mentor, UF Animal Sciences, Undergraduate

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