Writer: Blair Fannin, 979-845-2259, firstname.lastname@example.org
COLLEGE STATION – Ray Riley, manager of the Rosenthal Meat Science and Technology Center at Texas A&M University in College Station, has received the Vice Chancellor’s Award for technical and programmatic staff.
The Vice Chancellor’s Award in Excellence recognizes the commitment and outstanding contributions of faculty and staff across Texas A&M AgriLife. The award was presented Jan. 14 at the AgriLife Center on the Texas A&M campus in College Station.
Riley, a 36-year veteran of Texas A&M AgriLife Research, has managed the Rosenthal Meat Science Technology Center since 1981 and also serves as a lecturer in the Animal Science 307 meats course. He also serves as the laboratory coordinator for the course, where he has worked closely with over 100 graduate student lab instructors.
As the manager of the Rosenthal Center, Riley handles many AgriLife Research and Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service activities conducted by the meat science faculty. He coordinates the efforts of teachers, AgriLife researchers and AgriLife Extension faculty to maximize the use of carcasses, cuts and facilities, according to the award nomination.
Said Dr. Kerri Gehring, meat science and Hazard Analysis Critical Control Point coordinator in animal science, “As new graduate students get involved with ANSC 307, they attend Ray’s lab to learn from the best. Over the past several years, at least six grad students have received departmental or university teaching awards and each one thanked Ray for his technical guidance and mentoring.”
“His innovative approach to teaching allows Ray to take technical information and explain it in a way that is easily understood by students,” said Jason Bagley, beef resources senior manager for the Texas Beef Council. “Ray has also been at the forefront of designing and teaching classes that give students real world scenarios, preparing them for a career not only in the meat industry but the agriculture industry in general. As an employer, Ray fosters a positive attitude with a willingness to allow students to grow without micromanaging.
“Through AgriLife Extension work, Ray has worked closely with the Texas Beef Council on cutting edge programs such as Beef 706, training cattle producers across the state and providing a model for programs nationally. In addition, Ray has been directly included in beef research that has led to many new innovations in beef quality, consistency and safety.”
Dr. Davey Griffin, AgriLife Extension meats specialist, wrote in his nomination letter, “(Ray) takes this job personally, especially his responsibility to live and pass on the Aggie spirit and traditions. Classes that are conducted at the Rosenthal Meat Science Technology Center take priority over all other activities – regardless if they are Ray’s own classes or others. He always seems to be there visiting with students and making sure the class products are in place and ready. I see him in the lab many evenings and Sunday afternoons just being sure things are ready for the next class. It is no wonder that during our departmental scholarship interviews the classes taught at Rosenthal are held in such high regard by the students.”