Waite honored with CANR Camden Endowed Teaching Award

Karen Waite, Ph.D., of the Department of Animal Science, to be honored with the 2024 Howard and Lili Camden Endowed Teaching Award

Karen Waite, Ph.D., of the Department of Animal Science, will receive the 2024 Howard and Lili Camden Endowed Teaching Award on May 2.

The Howard and Lili Camden Endowed Teacher/Scholar Award recognizes individuals with five or more years of teaching service in CANR who have developed innovative teaching methods, mentored in- and out- of the classroom and demonstrated instructional excellence, scholarly achievement and professional linkages.

Karen Waite, Ph.D., the director of undergraduate education in the Department of Animal Science and an equine educator in the Institute of Agricultural Technology, has been with CANR for over 24 years. Waite’s instructional career has intentionally focused on developing common-sense, hands-on problem-solving skills. Her instructional efforts are often inspired by practical experiences related to horse ownership and equine extension. Waite’s courses are the first time many students visit a farm, handle large animals or take part in common animal management activities. This in turn creates a foundation of knowledge and practical skills for students to build from as they advance in animal science.

In addition to her own courses, Waite is an advocate for related educational opportunities. Seeing a gap in farrier education in Michigan, Waite collaborated with faculty in the College of Veterinary Medicine to secure a MAAA grant for the establishment of a farrier school at the MSU horse teaching and research center. The program has since graduated over 30 students.

Outside of the classroom, Waite provides student mentorship in a variety of additional capacities. She has served as coach for the MSU Horse Judging Team and faculty advisor to the MSU Equestrian Team and Horseman’s Association. Waite has served on four graduate student committees, acting as chair for two, while supporting countless other graduate students in developing impactful research projects. She additionally guides students through the New Student Orientation process, helping develop their academic trajectory and prepare them for successful careers at MSU and beyond.

According to one nominator, “Dr. Karen Waite personifies the traits described in the Camden Endowed Teacher Award, as evidenced by her dedication and commitment to the development of students both inside and outside of the classroom. She has a long-term record of successful teaching and has scholarly excellence in all aspects of the land grant mission.”


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