|January 31, 2003
Volume 33 Number 9
|A publication for the faculty, staff, administrators, and friends of California State University, Chico|
The Synergy of Teaching and Research
Cynthia Daley, assistant professor of biotechnology, College of Agriculture,
has been named this year’s Outstanding Professor. This most prestigious
award in the university, selected by the Faculty Recognition and Support
Committee, is given to the faculty member who best exemplifies a teacher/scholar.
Daley’s research is in the diverse fields of assisted reproductive technologies and alternative uses for agricultural wastes. Her participation in a national research project that resulted in the birth of three cloned calves in March 2001 is well known on local, state, and national levels. Among dozens of other research projects are “Sustainable Waste Management: Utility of Rice Straw Compost,” “Effects of Growth Promotants on the Anti-carcinogen Content of Fed Beef,” Feasibility of In-Vessel Composting for Improved Air and Water Quality,” and “Effects of Stress on Early Embryonic Mortality.”
Daley involves students by mentoring undergraduate projects for two capstone courses in agricultural experimental research. Her mentor role includes guiding students in every phase of research, from experimental design through fieldwork, sampling, interpreting results, and editing reports. In most cases, the student work has been supported by research grants she obtained from competitive funding sources.
“Highly effective teaching is an art that combines cutting-edge information, enthusiasm, rigor, and the ability to effectively demonstrate how specific theory might be used in practice through real-world situations,” said Daley in a narrative describing her philosophy of integrating teaching and research. Beginning with freshmen in an introductory animal science course, Daley helps students learn the process of the scientific method through the design and implementation of collaborative research on animal growth.
More advanced students help Daley in sophisticated research projects such as a major embryo transfer project, in which students in her Reproductive Physiology of Domestic Livestock class gathered and shipped 267 embryos to Australia in the fall of 2001. Another major project involving students was the development of the first Bovine In-Vitro Fertilization Lab in Northern California.
Daley earned a B.S. in animal science from the University of Illinois in 1982. She came to California to pursue a M.S. from California State University, Fresno in 1986 and a Ph.D. in endocrinology from University of California, Davis in 1997.
She began teaching at CSU, Chico in 1993 as a lecturer and was hired as an assistant professor in 1998. In the first two years of her appointment, Daley received $1.15 million in grants. She also received a U.S. Department of Agriculture Challenge Grant to support integrating biotechnology throughout the agriculture curriculum.
The American Association of State Colleges of Agriculture and Renewable Resources named Daley recipient of their 2002 Outstanding Teacher Award for excellence in teaching. She has garnered many other awards, including a Teacher of Teachers Award by the California Agriculture Teachers in 2001 and a Professional Achievement Award from CSU, Chico in 2001. She was also named an Outstanding Project Director by the Office of Sponsored Projects.
Daley’s background is in cattle production. She was raised on a corn/cattle farm in north central Illinois and has been an owner/operator of a cattle ranch as full partner with her husband, Dave Daley, also an animal science professor, for four years.
Daley is held in esteem by her colleagues at CSU, Chico and at other institutions around the country. In a letter of support, Gary C. Smith, University Distinguished Professor and holder of the Monfort Chair in Meat Science at Colorado State University, describes her as “One of our nation’s finest young professors in the agricultural sciences.”