Elischer and Nelson to receive inaugural MSU Extension Excellence in Teaching Awards
Melissa Elischer and Ashly Nelson to receive inaugural Michigan State University (MSU) Extension Excellence in Teaching Awards on May 11.
Melissa Elischer and Ashly Nelson will receive inaugural Michigan State University (MSU) Extension Excellence in Teaching Awards. The awards will be presented at the College of Agriculture and Natural Resources (CANR) Faculty and Staff Reception May 11.
The MSU Extension Excellence in Teaching Awards recognize MSU Extension educators who have demonstrated exceptional teaching skills, implemented innovative techniques and contributed to the success and impact of MSU Extension programs on society.
Elischer has served MSU Extension as the 4-H dairy educator for nearly ten years. During that time, she has traveled to every corner of the state teaching youth and volunteers about dairy cattle, dairy foods, animal behavior, animal welfare and animal ethics for all 4-H project species. She has presented at national 4-H youth events, as well as national and international conferences, sharing her hands-on, experiential teaching methods to engage learners of all ages. Elischer is also a frequent guest speaker for courses in the Department of Animal Science, teaching students about animal behavior, welfare, and species-specific topics. For as much as she loves teaching, she may be more excited when a 4-H youth or student can bring her new information, and everyone learns together. Elischer earned bachelor’s degrees in both animal science – animal behavior and welfare and theatre production – design and technology from Purdue University. She then earned a master’s degree from MSU in animal science with a thesis on Characterizing the health and welfare of periparturient dairy cows in a pasture-based automatic milking system.
Nelson has served MSU Extension since 2015 as a community nutrition instructor. With a bachelor’s degree in public health from Central Michigan University, Nelson has been able to make an impact in Detroit and Dearborn public schools. In Wayne County alone, Nelson has taught close to 300 classes and has reached over 20,000 people with her direct education and policy, system and environmental changes. Nelson’s creative teaching style has allowed her to reach all different audiences and make nutrition fun. Because of her ability to connect with the students, her work with the school community has been successful when creating healthier, sustainable environments.