CAHNR’s Kristen Govoni Recognized for Excellence in Food and Agricultural Education by APLU, USDA

A three-time UConn alum, Govoni is being honored for scholarship, exemplary pedagogy, and dedication to instruction

Kristen Govoni on Aug. 25, 2021. (Peter Morenus/UConn Photo)

Recognizing excellence in agricultural sciences teaching and student engagement, the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) National Institute of Food and Agriculture (NIFA) and the Association of Public and Land-grant Universities (APLU) recently announced the 2023 awards.

Among the recipients was Kristen Govoni, associate dean of Academic Programs and the Ratcliffe Hicks School of Agriculture within UConn’s College of Agriculture, Health and Natural Resources. Govoni is also a professor in the Department of Animal Science. Govoni received the 2023 Northeast Region award for Excellence in College and University Teaching Award in Food and Agricultural Sciences.

“Dr. Govoni is a committed educator and administrator whose leadership continues to help CAHNR innovate and meet our students’ needs,” says Dean Indrajeet Chaubey. “I am grateful that esteemed organizations like the APLU and USDA have recognized Dr. Govoni’s contribution and impact at the national level.”

Man gives woman an award
Kristen Govoni receives 2023 Excellence in College and University Teaching Awards for Food and Agricultural Sciences for the Northeast region from the APLU. (Contributed photo)

In recognition of their scholarship, exemplary pedagogy, and dedication to instruction, the awards include stipends to be used for improving teaching at their respective universities. The awards, which celebrate university faculty for their quality of teaching, service to students, the teaching profession, and scholarship of teaching and learning, were presented as part of the 136th APLU Annual Meeting.

“We applaud the 2023 winners of the Excellence in College and University Teaching Awards for Food and Agricultural Sciences,” says Wendy Fink, executive director of the Academic Programs Section at APLU. “Through their dedicated and focused passion in mentoring and instruction, they serve as inspirational leaders for their students and other faculty striving to serve their students better.”

Govoni, a Connecticut native, came to UConn in 1995 as an undergraduate student of animal science. After completing her master’s and doctoral work in the Department of Animal Science, Govoni conducted postdoctoral research at the Musculoskeletal Disease Center at the Jerry L. Pettis VA Medical Center in Loma Linda, California. She returned to her home state and alma mater in 2008.

In addition to teaching in CAHNR, Govoni was also the director of the WiMSE Learning Community, which provides academic and social support for female students in the STEM disciplines. In this role, Govoni developed a comprehensive two-year academic program and student leadership and mentoring team. She also taught First Year Experience (FYE) classes, served as an M1 Presidential Mentor to support underrepresented students and faculty in the biosciences, served on the University Senate JEDI Committee, and was the director of the Northeast Section of the American Society of Animal Science/American Dairy Science Association.

Govoni also maintains a federally funded research program in the field of fetal programming where she mentors undergraduate and graduate students in all components of scientific research.

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