Professor Emeritus wins national award for mentoring graduate students

MONTREAL – Jerry Reeves, professor emeritus in Animal Sciences at Washington State University, won the coveted L.E. Casida Award from the American Society of Animal Sciences for excellence in graduate student training in endocrinology and reproductive sciences. The award was announced during the society’s recent annual meeting held here.

“Training graduate students is our way of ensuring excellence in the industry of the future,” said Dan Bernardo, dean of the WSU College of Agricultural, Human, and Natural Resource Sciences. “It is a priority for the college and WSU, and faculty members of Jerry’s caliber are what make quality graduate education possible.”

Margaret Benson, chair of the WSU Department of Animal Sciences, agreed.

“The Casida Award is one of the most prestigious awards in the society,” she said. “Dr. Reeves’ excellent work with graduate students over the past 30 years has produced a community of expertise that now contributes to science around the globe.”

Prior to joining WSU in 1979, Reeves worked as a postdoctoral fellow with Andrew Schally, co-recipient of the 1977 Nobel Prize in Physiology and Medicine, at Tulane University of Medicine. There he contributed to and expanded upon that Nobel Laureate’s research describing the physiological effects of hypothalamic releasing hormones on reproduction.

Reeves continued that research at WSU, developing significant insights in neuroendocrinology and the endocrinology of reproduction. Although his research focused on cattle, his work also helped to inform broader areas of reproductive endocrinology across multiple species. “Over the years, Jerry and is students have had a significant impact on our understanding of animal physiology with a focus on cattle reproduction and management,” Benson said.

In 2001, Reeves presented the WSU Distinguished Faculty Address. He has been recognized with similar awards for teaching excellence and research productivity. He and his team have published more than 134 peer-reviewed publications; he is considered a leading researcher nationally in animal science, beef and dairy science, reproductive biology, endocrinology and immunology. His publications are highly cited by scientists.

Reeves, who retired from WSU in 2008, received numerous teaching awards at WSU and developed innovative and effective approaches to teaching in the area of animal science that are still in use today. In 2004, he received the Graduate Student Advising Award from the Graduate and Professional Student Association at WSU. During his tenure at WSU, Reeves mentored more than 57 graduate students and five postdoctoral fellows in animal sciences. Those students and fellows currently hold prominent positions in more than 25 different academic institutions and government agencies, or industries throughout the world.

Reeves has served on various committees at the university, government and professional society levels. He has served on several U.S. Department of Agriculture and university peer-review panels, and he has held leadership positions at WSU and in scientific societies such as the American Society of Animal Science and the Society for the Study of Reproduction.

The L.E. Casida Award is given to recognize excellence in the education of graduate and/or post-doctoral students to conduct research in the area of reproductive physiology and endocrinology. It is named for scientist L.E.Casida and the views he expressed in a paper in the Journal of Animal Science in 1966. Recipients receive a medal and a cash award.

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