Horses love apples. Equine teachers like them, too, especially when they are golden.
Marci Crosby, equine instructor at the College of Agriculture, Food and Natural Resources, University of Missouri, was presented a Golden Apple Award this October for her contributions to students both in and out of class.
“Marci not only teaches, but also manages the horse facilities and program at South Farm,” said Bryan Garton, CAFNR associate dean and director of academic programs. “It is here where she truly exemplifies out-of-the-class learning. She organized and developed the Horse Farm Volunteer Program which allows students to gain hands-on experience handling and caring for horses. Many students come to this program with very little experience working with horses. Marci conducts monthly education meetings so students can learn the necessary skills to help at the farm. The program continues to grow under her leadership and has 55 students already signed up to help next semester.”
The Golden Apple Award is designed to recognize faculty in the College who excel and go “above and beyond” in teaching and/or advising.
To be eligible for the award, faculty members must demonstrate clarity, variability and enthusiasm. They need to be accessible to students, helpful, personable and act as a mentor who students can turn to for advice and direction. Nominees should be well-prepared for classes and encourage creative work. They should demonstrate how they provide opportunities for learning, teaching to clearly established objectives and expectations.
In conjunction with her Equine Behavior and Training course, Crosby developed the annual MU Online Horse Auction. Through this, students get experience in marketing, dealing with potential buyers, showing horses and answering questions.
Although Crosby doesn’t have a research appointment, she helped conduct a research trial on horse lameness. Through this, she provided opportunities for undergraduates to get experience with research. She is establishing an equine study abroad program so that students have the opportunity to experience equine production and management in other countries.
Crosby earned her Master of Science degree in animal biology from the University of California, Davis. She specialized in equine reproductive physiology and endocrinology. Before coming to MU, she taught there and was a Career Discovery Fellow. In California she managed and organized a research trial of 15 broodmares.
Among her awards and honors are the Henry Jastro and Peter Shields Research Award, and the Outstanding Undergraduate Student recognition at the University of Arkansas. She received the Arkansas Distinguished Governor’s Scholarship and the Chancellor’s Distinguished Governor’s Scholarship.
“Marci not only impacts our current students in the College, she is also working on training and recruiting future students,” Garton continued. “She has helped to develop an equine 4-H youth extension program. She speaks to high school students at many of the field days at our farms and centers. She educates adults in the community through state and regional short courses. She is involved in numerous 4-H judging contests.”
Crosby is involved with students from the time they arrive on campus. She helps with summer welcome advising, advises over 30 students in Animal Sciences, and helps students find internships and careers.
“Marci is one of the most outstanding advisors in the Division of Animal Sciences,” noted Rod Geisert, division director and who nominated Crosby for the award. “I am extremely proud of how Marci works with the students to manage the horse farm and the hands on life experiences she provides for our students.”
Marci’s dedication to success in teaching and advising both in and out of the classroom exemplifies the purpose of the CAFNR Golden Apple Teaching Award, Geisert said. “I am impressed at how Marci works with the students to manage the horse farm and the hands-on life experiences she provides for our students. Marci is involved in many different out of class learning experiences with students and has clearly demonstrated a longstanding commitment to student learning and personal development.”
Just don’t let a hungry horse get too close to the award itself.