September 2021

In this issue:

Featured Member - Don Mulvaney, Chair of the NACTA Experiential Learning Committee
Upcoming Events of Interest in September
Welcome New NACTA Members!
Renew or Become a New NACTA Member


Featured Member - Don Mulvaney, Chair of the NACTA Experiential Learning Committee
Each month we sit down with a member to highlight their academic and professional career, and to see how they are making the best of their membership in NACTA. This month’s Featured Member is NACTA Experiential Learning Committee Chair Don Mulvaney.

Where did you complete your studies, where have you taught and where are you now?
I grew up on a diversified small farm in south central Illinois. I received a BS from the University of Illinois where I double majored in Animal Sciences and Agriscience Education. After teaching high school ag in Illinois for a while, I accepted a teaching assistantship within Meat Sciences under the direction of Dr. Robert Merkel at Michigan State University. As a graduate student I coached meat and livestock judging teams and taught meat science courses while conducting mechanistic research in animal growth and muscle biology for the MS and Ph.D programs. Upon graduation, I was offered a position at Auburn University and have now completed my 38th year of service. During my career I have served as Associate Director of our Teaching Center and when our Assistant Dean retired, I served the College of Agriculture in the office of student affairs by coordinating student and leadership development. Recent roles have had me as Secretary of our University Senate and I am presently finishing service of Chair of that body of shared governance representing over 1900 faculty roles and interaction with the Board of Trustees.

What are you teaching, if you still have time in the classroom?
I have developed and/or taught about 30 different courses over my career at Auburn University and these include animal sciences, leadership and ag communication. In addition, I have helped to enable two separate Leadership Studies minors on campus. I presently teach about 60% of my appointment through undergraduate and graduate courses which include: Animals & Society, Modern Livestock Systems, Value Based Marketing of Livestock, Issues in Animal Agriculture, graduate Beef Production Science and a graduate Academic Scholarship & Research course.

How long have you been a member of NACTA?
I believe I have been a member of NACTA since the early 90’s.

Looking at your time with the Association, what have you most enjoyed doing?
When I can attend the conference, I appreciate the diversity of disciplines represented; all with an interest in improving our role as educators through the sharing of scholarship and innovative ideas. Way back when, I served as our State coordinator for NACTA for many years and presently serve as our campus ambassador and enjoy these roles.

I have served on almost all the committees, the editorial board, been ad hoc reviewer, the Journal article award committee and other NACTA award committees.

What are you looking forward to? Committee involvement, conference attendance, leadership opportunities, etc.?
I hope to continue to promote NACTA on my campus and secure added members to enable them to be benefit and be recognized by NACTA.

Because employers of our college graduates are looking for an increased experiential bandwidth of graduates, I am excited to be chairing the Experiential Education Committee and engaging fellow members in exploring ways we can advance and exchange our understanding of EL on our respective campuses as well as strengthening the relationship of the ELC with the Judging Conference programming.

What interesting things are you working on outside the Association right now? Research, presentations, etc.
I am currently Co-Chair of the ASAS Public Policy Committee. The purpose of the committee is to help ASAS shape public policy and public opinion on current issues affecting farm animals and companion animals. The committee meets with representatives from federal agencies (USDA APHIS, USDA NIFA, EPA, FDA CVM, USAID) to build relationships. The goal of these meetings is to make federal agencies aware of the scientific expertise and resources available within ASAS that could be used to develop science-based federal policies affecting poultry and livestock production.

This summer 2021 we held a Contemporary Issues Symposium where we examined the Grand Challenges ahead for research in some key areas of Animal Sciences including my presentation on Workforce Readiness of Graduates and Teaching.

My present research focuses on a study of modalities of communication of science and animal ag issues to varied audiences as well as an examination of the effectiveness of leadership development programming which is part of my extension and outreach programming.

What challenges have you faced in the past year that you feel have better prepared you for your upcoming role?
Having served as the Chair of the University Senate during the Covid year, and thereby serving de facto as ex-officio member of over 55 campus committees, I have become acutely aware of challenges facing higher education, leadership and in ways to help committee work be successful.


Upcoming Events of Interest in September
AAAE 2021 Western Region Conference
September 27 - 29, 2021
Bozeman, MT, USA

AAAE 2021 North Central Region Conference
September 29 - October 2, 2021
Columbus, OH, USA

ACTE Region II Hybrid Leadership Conference
September 24 - 25, 2021


New NACTA Members

NACTA had 11 new members in the last month. We hope you will join us in welcoming them!  

Noah Bradley - Olds College Frank Dougher - Montana State University Lindsey McNeill - University of Nebraska - Lincoln
Sarah Bramall - University of Arkansas     James Hampton - University of Wisconsin-Platteville     Theng Moss - University of Nebraska - Lincoln
Katie Brown - Utah State University Olivia Hile - Michigan State University Marcelo Wallau - University of Florida
Caitlin Clarke - University of Florida Mari Marutani - University of Guam

Renew or Become a New NACTA Member

NACTA is the largest professional development organization that focuses specifically on the scholarship of teaching and learning in agriculture, food and natural resources.

Need to renew your membership? Want to invite a colleague to join? Want to change your membership status? Visit the membership page here.

We appreciate your NACTA membership!