Davis prof. gets big prize doing what he loves

March 11, 2009 7:55:59 PM PDT
When the university chancellor crashes your classroom, some might think it means trouble, but for one University of California, Davis professor, it was all about honors.

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UC Davis Chancellor Larry Vanderhoef interrupted a class Wednesday, rolling in a cow inspired cake to salute animal science Professor Ed DePeters.

"Ed DePeters has won the UC Davis prize for scholarly effort in undergraduate instruction," Vanderhoef said.

The annual award, funded by donors, comes with a $40,000 check.

"I'm so pleased to get an award for something I love to do," DePeters said.

Dr. D, as they call him, has been part of the UC Davis faculty for more than 30 years. His research on cow's diet and milk composition has been published in more than 120 science journals.

"I'm still nervous, (it's) the same excitement today when I come to class now as I did the first year I came to UC Davis to lecture," DePeters said.

He takes pictures of his classes and learns everyone's name, a move inspired by a professor when he was in school.

"He's really inspired me; I want to go to grad school and he's really helped me," students Devan Paulus said.

"Dr. D is really sincere about what he said, so I'm just really proud of him," Candace Morris said.

DePeters' wife Sue was there to help him celebrate.

"I personally see him teaching until he's 100 if he makes it that far," Sue said.

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