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Texas A&M-Kingsville Professor to receive Darwin B. Nelson Distinguished Research Award

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Dr. Steven Lukefahr, Professor in the Department of Animal Science and Technology in the Dick and Mary Lewis Kleberg College of Agriculture and Natural Resources at Texas A&M University-Kingsville has been selected to receive the 2020 Darwin B. Nelson Distinguished Research Award from the Transformative Emotional Intelligence Foundation (TEIF).


Lukefahr will receive a $2,500 research award at the Seventeenth Annual Institute for Emotional Intelligence in Corpus Christi on February 28 and 29.. Lukefahr is the first faculty researcher to receive this award from the TEIF.


The TEIF is a Texas non-profit organization developed to recognize excellent research, encourage new research, and provide awards to individuals and students advancing the philosophy, theory and practice of the life work of Drs. Darwin Nelson and Gary Low.


Former colleagues of Lukefahr, Drs. Nelson and Dr. Low, both served as professors for educational leadership and counseling at Texas A&M-Kingsville andare pioneers in the field of emotional intelligence.


Lukefahr’s research and work in developing countries to help families and communities enhance and sustain their physical and economic lives with rabbit food production were especially noted in his selection.


“While I have participated in research studies in developing countries, most of my work has involved developing rabbit projects directed at poor rural families. For example, this included performing rabbit training courses and project evaluations, and giving presentations at international conferences,” Lukefahr said.


He has been able to work in nearly 30 developing countries over 40 years through rabbit projects.


“When I was a university student, I became more fully aware of the problem of world hunger. I had raised rabbits as a youngster. I decided to put “two and two together” by pursuing a career as a rabbit specialist to help solve world hunger. In retrospect, over my career I can say that my greatest reward has been to witness poor families be literally rescued by raising rabbits after first receiving training. The benefits were more nutritious meals, increased income to pay tuition costs so that their children could go to school, etc.,” he said.


Lukefahr currently teaches several Animal Science courses, all which have global content added, largely based on his own experiences.


“I know that students value this. They need to be well prepared for careers that will invariably involve many global considerations, such as global diseases, markets, sustainability, and the environment,” he said.


For his students, his advice is to have a clear goal, but mostly to find their passion.


“It doesn’t matter whether you work abroad are have a job in the States or even in your hometown. Later, don’t just go to work, live your passion - so that it doesn’t seem like work at all! To make this happen, find your passion but also actively prepare to take advantage of golden opportunities as they come along. Much success in life is the result of this. But mostly – help others along the way. This will be your greatest reward!”


Lukefahr says he is deeply honored to receive this recognition and thanks his family for their support and sacrifices so that he could have a successful career.


Category: General Univ , Ag/Env & Wildlife Sci

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