Student and Faculty Members Honored at Chancellor’s Award for Excellence

CAFNR was well represented at the 2012 Chancellor’s Excellence Awards ceremony.

Jillian Yoder and Scott Brown were honored with the Chancellor’s Award. William Folk and Sheila Grant were both presented the Outstanding Undergraduate Research Mentor Award at the Undergraduate Research and Creative Achievements Forum.

The annual Undergraduate Research and Creative Achievements Forum showcases student research and scholarly and creative achievements to the Mizzou community.

Yoder is a senior in animal science. Brown is a research assistant professor of Agriculture and Applied Economics. They were recognized for research regarding the correlation between the use of quality genetics and profitability in Missouri beef calves.

Folk, professor of Biochemistry, and Grant, associate professor of Biological Engineering, received the Outstanding Undergraduate Research Mentor Awards. This award recognizes the dedication of faculty who advise undergraduates in their research projects and creative and scholarly activities.

One of the students who nominated Folk credits the professor for working with “each student individually to help them succeed and to achieve what they want for their careers. I don’t know of one of his students who has not succeeded after leaving the lab. A lot of that success is due to Dr. Folk, his lab environment and his ability to see potential in and inspire students.”

Folk’s research interests focus on using molecular biology and biotechnology to improve human health and reduce disease. The major interests of his laboratory at MU are the use of biotechnology to improve plant protein nutritive quality for resource poor areas of the world, and studies of the molecular biology of cancer and infections by polyomaviruses.

“It means a lot to be thought of well by the students,” Folk says. “Especially those whose goals I share—to advance the understanding through inquiry and application of science.”

Grant’s research involves utilizing nanotechnology to develop novel sensing mechanisms and sensing platforms. Additionally, she is developing nanostructured biocomposites for enhanced tissue integration and biocompatibility for soft tissue repair and replacement. Grant has also helped create several high tech ventures. She has received grant funding from the National Pork Board, the Missouri Beef Council Agency, and the Department of Agriculture via a subcontract with the University of Minnesota. She mentors several undergraduate researchers and graduate students.

Students describe Grant as an inspirational and caring mentor. One of the students who nominated Grant for the award says the professor “does such a wonderful job of getting undergraduates involved because she presents her work in an intriguing and welcoming way. In her mind, every student is equally important and I think that is what truly pushes Dr. Grant from being a good mentor to an outstanding one.”