Published on 03/06/15

Mark Harrison receives University of Georgia's Meigs Professorship

By Sharon Dowdy

University of Georgia food science professor Mark Harrison was among four UGA faculty recently named Josiah Meigs Distinguished Teaching Professors.

The Meigs award is the university’s highest recognition for excellence in instruction at the undergraduate and graduate levels. Meigs Professors receive a permanent salary increase of $6,000 and a one-year discretionary fund of $1,000. The UGA Office of the Senior Vice President for Academic Affairs and Provost sponsors the award.

Harrison’s colleagues describe him as an innovator in the classroom who incorporates laboratory and group discussion to apply knowledge and principles to solve real-world problems.

"Dr. Harrison is an amazing professor who inspires students. He is also an innovator in the classroom and takes a close personal interest in his students outside the classroom," said Rakesh Singh, head of the UGA Food Science and Technology Department.

Harrison's students agree. “Dr. Harrison’s course truly has a real-world approach to get students to actively think about and discuss major food safety issues. I know more than just facts about food microbiology. I can apply the facts,” said a student in a course evaluation.

In addition to several outstanding undergraduate faculty and graduate faculty of the year awards from the UGA Food Science Club, Harrison has been named a Lilly Teaching Fellow, a UGA Senior Teaching Fellow, a member of the UGA Teaching Academy and the 1997 recipient of the D.W. Brooks Award of Excellence for Teaching. A leader in his field, Harrison received the 2012 Elmer Marth Educator Award from the International Association for Food Protection and the 2013 William V. Cruess Award for excellence in teaching from the Institute of Food Technologists, North America’s most prestigious teaching award in the field of food science.

As a member of the UGA College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences faculty, Harrison also conducts research in the areas of food microbiology and toxicology, bacterial pathogens in processed food, pathogen detection and shelf life of processed foods.

He also advises the food science and technology department’s graduate students, honors students and members of the UGA Food Science Club.

Meigs Professors are nominated by their school or college and chosen by a committee consisting of 12 faculty members, two undergraduate students and one graduate student.

In addition to Harrison, the following faculty members were also named 2015 Meigs Professors: Malcolm Adams, a professor of mathematics and department head in the Franklin College of Arts and Sciences; Erica Hashimoto, the Allen Post Professor of Law in the School of Law; and Cynthia Ward, a professor of small animal internal medicine in the College of Veterinary Medicine.

Sharon Dowdy is a news editor with the University of Georgia College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences.

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