Ron Russell is among nine members of UW-Madison’s academic staff who were selected to receive 2015 Academic Staff Excellence Awards. Russell, a senior lecturer in the Department of Animal Sciences, received the Chancellor’s Hilldale Award for Excellence in Teaching. Winners were honored by Chancellor Rebecca Blank at a ceremony on April 7 and at the Academic Staff Assembly meeting on April 14.
Here’s Russell’s profile from last week’s award announcement:
Ron Russell, senior lecturer in the Department of Animal Sciences
Chancellor’s Hilldale Award for Excellence in Teaching
Ron Russell’s courses span livestock production from conception through consumption and virtually every aspect in between. His direct approach to science reaches students where they are, whether he’s leading the Meat-Animal Evaluation Team or teaching students who question the use of animals in the provision of food.
Students describe how Russell eliminates the intimidation factor of contributing in class, helping them understand incorrect answers in a way that encourages them to not just learn the right responses, but understand the science and basis behind them. He uses his relationships with livestock producers and meat processors from across the state to supplement teaching, provide hands-on experiences and contribute to student development.
Russell’s expertise has led to him becoming a passionate ambassador for his program and the UW System, both on and off the job. He has taught and consulted in Costa Rica, St. Vincent and Russia, covering the full realm of livestock and meat processing.
“He’s more than just a teacher,” says Bob Kauffman, emeritus professor of animal sciences. “He’s a wonderful example of a coordinator of organized learning in its finest format.”