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DeSilva honored with Award for Excellence in Undergraduate Advising and Mentoring

STILLWATER, Okla. – Udaya DeSilva, associate professor in the animal science department at Oklahoma State University, was recognized with the Award for Excellence in Undergraduate Advising and Mentoring at the College of Agricultural Sciences and Natural Resources Scholarships and Awards Banquet on March 29.
DeSilva honored with Award for Excellence in Undergraduate Advising and Mentoring

Udaya DeSilva, associate professor in the animal science department at OSU, was recognized with the Award for Excellence in Undergraduate Advising and Mentoring at the CASNR Scholarships and Awards Banquet on March 29.

STILLWATER, Okla. – Udaya DeSilva, associate professor in the animal science department at Oklahoma State University, was recognized with the Award for Excellence in Undergraduate Advising and Mentoring at the College of Agricultural Sciences and Natural Resources Scholarships and Awards Banquet on March 29.

The award recognizes and promotes exceptional undergraduate advising and mentoring.

“Dr. DeSilva sincerely cares for and is committed to his students both in and out of the classroom,” said Cynda Clary, CASNR associate dean of academic programs. “But, what makes him a great advisor is that students trust him—his knowledge, guidance, and honesty—not only relative to their coursework, but also with their career plans and future.”

DeSilva joined the department in 2001 and currently advises approximately 70 undergraduate students, one master’s student and one doctoral student.

He has served as the faculty advisor for the Sri Lankan student association and currently serves as the advisor for the Pre-Vet club, which has more than 300 members.

“When students sense sincerity, they are motivated to learn,” said Clint Rusk, animal science department head. “He sincerely cares for students and is committed to both their personal and professional growth.”

DeSilva has won numerous awards for teaching and advising, including the 2010 and 2015 Alpha Zeta Outstanding Teacher Awards and the 2015 Regent’s Distinguished Teaching Award at OSU.

“I believe my aim in mentoring should be to facilitate my mentees to become well-rounded, independent, purposeful individuals,” DeSilva said.

DeSilva has helped colleagues in the animal science department understand the current generation of students and has introduced new strategies to help students learn, Rusk said.

“He is more than just a professor and mentor,” a current student said. “He is one of my biggest role models, and I hope someday to positively impact people’s lives the way he has mine.”

CASNR believes in the value of hands-on education and the importance of having a well-rounded student experience. The award-winning faculty members are dedicated to developing students and are passionate about adding value to the total educational experience. With 16 majors, a variety of study options, plus more than 60 student organizations, the college is committed to expanding minds and inspiring purpose. Learn more at casnr.okstate.edu.