Lester Griel Receives 1999 Excellence In Academic Advising Award

UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. -- Lester Griel, professor of veterinary science, has received the 1999 College of Agricultural Sciences Alumni Society's Excellence in Academic Advising Award. The award recognizes faculty with outstanding skills in academic advising, career planning and personal counseling. Advisers in the college are nominated by alumni, faculty, students and administrators.

Griel serves as program coordinator for the college's animal bioscience major, overseeing the academic advising of more than 300 students. Administrators and faculty of the three departments participating in the program, as well as current and former students, supported the nomination.

"Dr. Griel has set an example in which academic advising is a privilege, not a duty," says A. Catharine Ross, professor and department head of veterinary science. "In addition to personally advising 70 to 80 students every semester, he also coordinates instruction and training for all faculty advising within the animal bioscience major. Dr. Griel's advisory role begins well before students enroll. He is never too busy to talk with students and their families. He also has an outstanding knowledge of the university, which he communicates easily to students and parents."

"Dr. Griel is a fixture, a confidant, a taskmaster, a practical joker, a paternal figure, and on occasion, a shoulder to cry on," says colleague David Wolfgang, senior research associate in veterinary science. "He has the uncanny ability to remember names, hometowns, and where a student stands in his or her college career. Students eagerly seek his advice."

"Dr. Griel played an instrumental role in my academic success," says an alumnus. "He showed me the courses I needed to continue on to graduate school, while instilling in me the courage I needed to accomplish my academic goals. His guidance has made the difference in my life, as I graduated from Penn State in three years, and now attend the University of Pennsylvania School of Veterinary Medicine."

"His meticulous approach ensures no student will slip through the cracks, creating a small-college experience on a very large campus," says an advisee.

Griel's research focuses on the reproductive diseases of cattle, as well as bovine reproductive physiology.

He joined Penn State in 1965 as an instructor in the department of veterinary science. He was promoted to assistant professor in 1971, became associate professor in 1975, and was named professor of veterinary science in 1990. From 1978 to 1994, he served as university veterinarian and as adjunct associate professor of medicine at the University of Pennsylvania's School of Veterinary Medicine.

He earned a bachelor's degree in dairy science from Penn State in 1961. He received a doctor of veterinary medicine degree from the University of Pennsylvania in 1965, and earned a master's degree in dairy science at Penn State in 1969.

He serves as co-adviser of the Pre-Veterinary Club.

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Last Updated March 19, 2009