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Dan Stein is an associate professor in the Oklahoma State University Department of Animal and Food Sciences. (Photo by Todd Johnson, OSU Agricultural Communications Services)

Stein receives the Ferguson College of Agriculture Award for Excellence in Undergraduate Student Advising and Mentoring

Wednesday, September 8, 2021

Media Contact: Jami Mattox | Agricultural Communications Services | 405-744-8061 |

Dan Stein, an associate professor in the Oklahoma State University Department of Animal and Food Sciences, is a recipient of the 2021 Ferguson College of Agriculture Award for Excellence in Undergraduate Student Advising and Mentoring.

With a passion and determination to help students, Stein encourages them to do their best in class — and in life.

“Everybody gets a chance in life,” Stein said. “I make that very clear. As old as I was coming back to school, somebody had to give me a chance, so I believe in giving students a chance to prove themselves and what they can do.”

Stein’s desire to return to education later in life to earn his doctorate in animal science and to teach was driven by his belief that he could make a difference in the lives of students.

“As I see students I have mentored go on to succeed with their careers, it means a lot to me,” Stein said. “Just when I think I’m having a bad semester, a bad month, a bad day, I receive a note from a past student saying, ‘Thanks for what you’ve done.’ This gets me over the hill and back up and running again.”

Cynda Clary, associate dean of academic programs for the Ferguson College of Agriculture, said she is impressed with Stein’s ability to connect with students on a deeper level.

“Dr. Stein’s passion for his students is apparent in everything he does,” Clary said. “You can tell when someone truly loves what they do, and this helps him connect with students by being passionate about his position.”

Clink Rusk, head of the OSU Department of Animal and Food Sciences, said Stein has a plaque hanging in his office that was given to him by one of his students that reads, “The Heart of Mentoring.”

“The inscription on the plaque says, ‘Getting the most out of life isn’t about how much you keep for yourself, but how much you pour into others,’” Rusk said. “Because of his impeccable record for advising students, a reputation for an open-door policy and a true passion for mentoring students, it is clear he is deserving of this award.”

Cathy Mapes, an advisee and student of Stein’s, said although he has only been her advisor for a few years, she has known him since 2014 when he also advised and mentored her older sister.

“My time at OSU has included several transitions and decisions for my future,” Mapes said. “The support and encouragement I have gained from him have never gone unnoticed. His diligent work ethic as a professor and advisor is exceptional, and he always goes above and beyond what is asked of him.”

Mapes said she is consistently amazed by Stein’s devotion to the department, students, fellow faculty and the university.

“Earning the trust and respect of my students is of the utmost importance for me in order to be a successful advisor and mentor,” Stein said. “I believe the integrity, consideration and geniality exhibited will influence students in their willingness and desire to learn and succeed.”

The Ferguson College of Agriculture emphasizes hands-on learning and a well-rounded student experience. The college’s award-winning faculty members are dedicated to developing students and are passionate about adding value to the total educational experience. With a diverse set of majors and study options, plus more than 60 student organizations, the college is committed to expanding minds and inspiring purpose. Learn more at

Story By: Tanna Frizzell |

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