Leadership Consideration

Mizzou Animal Sciences student finalist for national award

Tasia Taxis, graduate student in animal sciences at the University of Missouri, was among 25 finalists nationally considered for the 2015 K. Patricia Cross Future Leaders Award.

The award recognizes students who show exemplary promise as future leaders of higher education, who demonstrate a commitment to developing academic and civic responsibility, and whose work reflects a strong emphasis on teaching and learning.

The Association of American Colleges and Universities administers the award. Doctoral-level graduate students planning a career in higher education are eligible. The award honors the work of Cross, professor emerita of higher education at the University of California-Berkeley.

Taxis was born in Dornsife, Pa., and earned her undergraduate degree in Animal Sciences-Biotechnology from Purdue University. She was awarded her master’s in Animal Science-Bovine Genomics from Mizzou in 2011. She expects to complete her Ph.D. in Animal Science-Metagenomics this summer.

A Half-Dozen Scientific Papers Already

She has authored or co-authored six peer-reviewed scientific papers and 32 professional abstracts. She was named an education fellow in Life Science by the National Academies in 2014, and was awarded the MU Chancellor’s Award for Public Outreach in 2011. She was elected to the Board of Directors of the American Society of Animal Science in 2014.

Taxis currently serves as a graduate research assistant to William Lamberson, professor and associate chair of the Mizzou Division of Animal Sciences. She also works as a graduate teaching assistant in such courses as Introductory Animal Science, leading 25 students in a lab section, and has taught Biology 101 at the Moberly Area Community College.

“The students loved Tasia’s teaching and her student evaluations were almost always perfect even though her courses are rigorous and her expectations high,” Lamberson said. “Beyond her formal efforts, she volunteers to provide enhanced science activities at a local elementary school.”

She was also an organizer of a course that teams undergraduates interested in research with graduate students in a mentoring experience. Taxis and a colleague developed and taught a course, Applied Livestock Genomics, as part of a National Science Foundation funded workshop on active learning.

Taxis plans a future in higher education after receiving her Ph.D.