Michael F. Smith, Curators’ Distinguished Professor of Animal Sciences, has been named an Honorary Member of the CAFNR Alumni Association as part of their 2021 awards celebration. Smith joined Mizzou in 1980 and has had sustained excellence over his 40-year career in teaching undergraduate students, mentoring graduate students and in discovery research in reproductive biology.
He has published 158 papers in refereed journals, including in the leading journal Reproductive Physiology, and has received more than $2 million in funding as a principal investigator and $16 million as co-investigator. Smith designed and developed websites for his Physiology of Reproduction course so students could continue to learn outside the classroom and share with other institutions around the country. He developed the Miller Internship Program in reproductive management that provided 12 to 15 students per year an opportunity to gain training and real-world experience with setting up an estrous synchronization and artificial insemination program with beef producers across the country.
He has received the National Association of Colleges and Teachers of Agriculture Teaching Award of Merit and the American Society of Animal Science Distinguish Teaching Award, in addition to Mizzou’s Kemper Fellowship for Teaching Excellence, the Maxine Christopher Shutz Award and Lecture for Distinguished Teaching, and the Governor’s Teaching Award. Smith has been honored with CAFNR’s Mumford Outstanding Faculty Award, the highest honor given by the college. Smith served as interim unit leader for Division of Animal Sciences from 2000-06.
“Dr. Smith is truly one of the most exceptional undergraduate and graduate teachers in the Division of Animal Sciences and the College of Agriculture, Food and Natural Resources for the past 40 years,” said Rodney Geisert, professor, Division of Animal Sciences. “Dr. Smith is a committed educator who cares deeply about his students and their success in the future. He is concerned about their learning and his teaching focuses on helping students not only learn new concepts, but learn how to apply these concepts to solve real world problems.”
“Rarely has a faculty member spent their entire academic career totally and selflessly committed to one institution and its pathway to success,” said Bryon Wiegand, associate division director, Division of Animal Sciences. “Dr. Smith is real, personable, unassuming and never, never, never seeks the spotlight for himself. Whether teaching undergraduates, mentoring graduate students or leading the Division of Animal Sciences, Mike Smith has given of himself in a way that few faculty members have or will ever give of themselves and their talent.”
Honorary membership in the CAFNR Alumni Association is given to those who are not former students, but who, because of exemplary interest in the college, are so designated.