The award is given annually by the Pork Board and Pork Checkoff program to an individual that “demonstrates outstanding innovation that benefits the pork industry” in the area of education.
Whitaker was recognized and honored at the Midwest American Society of Animal Science meeting earlier this month.
Whitaker also has accepted a three-month research fellowship in Japan, where he will work with scientists there studying gene activation, signaling and regulation in early pig embryos. Whitaker will be in Japan from May to August.
Some of the courses Whitaker teaches at the University include introduction to animal sciences, physiology of reproduction, and swine production and management.
In addition to teaching courses, Whitaker is the Block and Bridle Club faculty advisor and the Academic Quadrathlon advisor. Whitaker runs a research laboratory in the area of reproductive cell biology. His research lab is organized to determine the mechanisms underlying the success and failure of in vitro fertilization in pigs through undergraduate student directed research.