LUBBOCK, Texas — Ohio native Edward W. Mills, Ph.D., associate professor of dairy and animal science at Penn State University, received the 2010 American Meat Science Association’s Distinguished Teaching Award at association’s Reciprocal Meat Conference in Texas June 23.
Mills is also an undergraduate adviser in the Department of Dairy and Animal Science, where he has been teaching and conducting research for 22 years. Mills’ specialties are in muscle foods and meat processing.
The award is given annually in recognition of excellence in teaching of undergraduate and graduate meat science courses. Selection of the winner is based on the ability to generate interest in the meat sciences, enthusiasm for teaching, staying abreast of the latest technologies and motivating students.
Mills said he is gratified by the award, noting that it has special meaning to him because it is presented by his peers.
A native of Carroll County, Ohio, Mills received both his bachelor’s and master’s degrees at Ohio State University, and his Ph.D. in meat science at Purdue University. Before coming to Penn State, he taught at Purdue University in the food science department and worked in the meat industry for two years.
Mills said that while he deeply appreciates receiving the award, he derives the greatest pleasure “from interactions with students who are excited about learning.
“That moment when you realize from their questions that they have picked up some vital information is really rewarding.”
As an adviser, he works with students throughout their academic careers and said he enjoys the very positive interaction with them, including watching them move on and raise families and have successful careers.
His undergraduate courses involve lectures and labs dealing with the physical and biochemical processes which affect palatability and wholesomeness of meat, milk and eggs, the processing of meats, food industry practices and government regulation of the food industry.
In addition to teaching, Mills conducts research in the areas of food safety and meat processing, focusing on improving the look, taste and safety of animal products. He works closely with meat processors in improving their products and developing new items.
More than 600 people attended the conference to share research findings and stay current on issues affecting the meat industry.