UTIA Animal Science professor named fellow by Poultry Science Association
KNOXVILLE, Tenn. – Michael O. Smith, a professor in the University of Tennessee Institute of Agriculture Department of Animal Science, has been elected a Fellow in the Poultry Science Association (PSA). The award was presented at the 2018 annual meeting of the organization in San Antonio, Texas, on July 26, 2018.
The status of Fellow is one of the highest distinctions a PSA member can achieve. It recognizes members of the Poultry Science Association for professional distinction and contributions to the field of poultry science without concern to longevity. No more than five members may be elected as Fellows at any one annual meeting. PSA is a professional organization consisting of approximately 1,800 educators, scientists, extension specialists, industry researchers, administrators, producers and college students who are committed to advancing the poultry industry.
In reaction to being elected a Fellow of the PSA, Smith said, "The fact that my peers think enough of me to nominate me, the Committee of Fellows voted for me and the Board of Directors endorsed me to be named a Fellow of the Poultry Science Association, the pre-eminent poultry science organization in the world, is indeed a singular honor."
Smith, who specializes in poultry production, was born in Jamaica and holds a Diploma in Agriculture from the Jamaica School of Agriculture (JSA). He earned his bachelor's degree in agriculture, a master's in animal science and a Ph.D. in animal nutrition from Oklahoma State University. In Jamaica, his professional career included working as an agricultural science teacher at St. Elizabeth Technical High School, Munro College and Elim Agricultural School as well as service as an agricultural extension officer with the Ministry of Agriculture. He has been a member of the PSA since 1986 and served as its president during 2013-2014. Smith began his UTIA career as an assistant professor in 1988 and rose to the rank of professor in 2003. He served as acting assistant dean in the College of Agricultural Sciences and Natural Resources for two years during 1999-2000.
At UTIA, Smith teaches courses in poultry production, serves as the scholarship coordinator for the Herbert College of Agriculture and also holds an appointment with UT AgResearch conducting poultry management studies under heat stress conditions. He regularly advises 60-80 students annually as well as serves as faculty advisor to the UT Poultry Science Club. Over the years, he has mentored 15 doctoral students, master's students and visiting scholars as well as served on the graduate committees of 30 others.
Smith's research focuses the on examination of physiological and nutritional factors involved with the growth and survival of heat stressed poultry and examination of the interaction between nutrients, other additives and the environment in this type of bird population. Using these findings, he attempts to develop management and nutrition-based tools to augment poultry production during heat stress. He has published more than 100 scientific articles, including 42 papers in referred journals, 45 abstracts from national and international presentations, 20 technical articles, and 11 proceedings. He has also given 16 invited presentations.
At the national level, Smith received the Minority Access Incorporated National Role Model Faculty Mentor Award for Exemplary Achievements in Motivating, Counseling and Guiding Others, the NACTA Teaching Award of Merit Certificate from the North American Colleges & Teachers of Agriculture and was twice nominated for the PSA Purina Mills Teaching Award. He has received numerous awards from the University of Tennessee, including being a two-time recipient of the Chancellor's Citation for Extraordinary Service. He is also a two-time recipient of the W. S. Overton Faculty Merit Award presented in recognition of outstanding contributions to student development and the W. F. & Golda Moss Outstanding Teaching Award from the College of Agricultural Science and Natural Resources and was also twice named as the Outstanding Faculty Advisor in the College. In addition, he is the recipient of the E. R. "Prof" Lidvall Outstanding Teaching Award from the University of Tennessee Institute of Agriculture and the Buford E. Ellington Distinguished Faculty Award from the Department of Animal Science. He is an active member of the Gamma Sigma Delta National Honor Society of Agriculture as well as the Honor Society of Phi Kappa Phi.
Smith and his wife Dr. Delores Smith, also a native of Jamaica and an Associate Professor in the Department of Child and Family Studies at the University of Tennessee, are the proud parents of three adult sons and grandparents to one granddaughter.
Since 1908, the Poultry Science Association has maintained a level of prestige that ranks it among the top professional organizations in the field. PSA's member scientists have contributed through their research to the growth of the poultry industry and the development of safer and more nutritious food products for the consumer. Throughout this period, PSA has served – and it continues to serve – as the premier clearinghouse and publisher of basic and applied poultry research in the world.
The application of research findings published in PSA's journals has been and remains a major contributor to the rapid growth and maturation of the meat and egg industries. In addition, poultry-related research has made substantial contributions to the overall understanding of human health and nutrition.
Smith considers his Fellowship in PSA to be one of the top highlights of his career, "When I think of all the great folks who have been named Fellows in the past, for me, a poor lad, born and raised in rural Jamaica, to join that illustrious group is truly humbling and I thank all the persons involved from the bottom of my heart," he said.
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