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Davis, California

Thursday, May 23, 2024

Professor Anita Oberbauer wins prestigious university prize

Oberbauer will receive $50,000 with her award

Dr. Anita Oberbauer, an animal science professor at UC Davis, recently received the UC Davis Prize for Undergraduate Teaching and Scholarly Achievement. Oberbauer joined the UC Davis faculty in 1989 and is especially commended for her research on companion and captive animals such as dogs, cats, fish, reptiles and birds.

On the afternoon of Mar. 4, Chancellor May and several other administrators delivered the prize to Oberbauer while she was teaching a class in Introductory Companion Animal Biology. The prize amount is $50,000, thanks to the philanthropic efforts at UC Davis.

Oberbauer graduated from UC Davis with a Bachelor of Science in Zoology in 1980, a degree which she obtained with highest honors. She later pursued a Ph.D. in Animal Science from Cornell University. She completed postdoctoral fellowships at Loma Linda University and UCLA before joining the UC Davis faculty.

According to Chancellor May, glowing student evaluations played a role in selecting Oberbauer.

“[They] are a large part of determining the winner of this prize,”  May said to UC Davis Dateline. “We didn’t have to crunch the numbers too long to see that students truly love her classes.”

Oberbauer reflected on all of the people who helped her receive this award.

“In short, I can say that I am thrilled, deeply honored, and humbled to be recognized with this amazing award,” Oberbauer said via email. “I am indebted to the instructors who taught me, the students who constantly inspire me to grow in how I teach, and my colleagues who support and value teaching.”

“I am fortunate to be a faculty member here at UC Davis which recognizes and appreciates that teaching can really come alive when it blends with our scholarly activities,” she said. “And even though teaching makes me a better scientist and communicator, seeing students engage and learn, well there just isn’t anything better than that.”

To receive this award, someone had to nominate Oberbauer. That person was Helene Dillard, the Dean of the College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences.

“Prior to Professor Oberbauer’s hiring, the ANS major curriculum had little emphasis on the biology of companion animals,” Dillard said in her nomination, according to UC Davis Dateline. “However, the student population increasingly expressed keen interest in courses and career paths associated with companion animals.”

May commented on the specific qualities that Oberbauer brings to UC Davis that made her deserving of this honor.

“I am pleased to commend Anita Oberbauer for the passion, mentorship and expertise she has brought to our teaching and research mission in her 30 years at UC Davis,” May said via email. “I can think of no one more deserving of the UC Davis Prize for Undergraduate Teaching and Scholarly Achievement.”

Written by: Rebecca Bihn-Wallace — campus@theaggie.org


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