Posted: April 11, 2017

Brian A. Egan, instructor of equine science in the Department of Animal Science, was recognized for outstanding advising, mentoring and encouraging students to achieve their best.

Brian A. Egan, instructor of equine science in Penn State's Department of Animal Science in the College of Agricultural Sciences, has been selected to receive the 2017 Penn State Excellence in Advising Award, along with Devon Thomas, academic adviser in the College of Health and Human Development.

Dr. Terry Etherton, Head of the Department of Animal Science, said, "Brian is an outstanding adviser and I congratulate him on receiving this prestigious University recognition. He is deeply committed to helping our students achieve success both in the classroom and in their other activities, and is an exceptional mentor."

Egan says he relies on his experiences attending Penn State in the 1980s after coming from a small school system. "There were several faculty members that I relied on to help me through the process," said Egan. "One was my academic adviser and another was Dr. Harold Harpster, the adviser of the Block and Bridle Club of which I was a member. Their total commitment to the success of undergraduate students has remained with me to this day."

Egan sees students inside the classroom, in the advising office and outside of the classroom in activities such as the Collegiate Horseman's Association at Penn State, where he is co-adviser, and the University's Intercollegiate Horse Judging Team, which he coaches. This allows him to be an adviser on many different levels and helps to ensure that students not only achieve success at Penn State but are properly prepared to take the next step after graduation.

An adviser's job is to instill in students a thought process that will help them shape their futures and a course of study aimed at reaching their goals, said Egan, adding that it's important to inspire students to stretch their boundaries and branch out within the animal science major to become more marketable graduates.

"I want all students to understand that they must take advantage of every opportunity provided to them not only to gain experience but to network with industry professionals at a variety of levels," said Egan.

"My ultimate goal as an adviser is being available to students in whatever way I can to help them have a positive and productive experience while on college," said Egan. "For some, this simply means helping them schedule classes once per semester. For others, this means being a professional mentor and a source for career opportunities. For still others, this means helping them through personal strife, which might otherwise cause them to struggle through school or to leave college. Whatever the case may be, I always try to help in whatever way possible."

Egan earned his B.S. in animal production at Penn State and his M.S. in animal science at Penn State. He also serves as coordinator for the Penn State Horse Farm, responsible for the coordination of breeding and management of Penn State's registered Quarter Horse herd.

He was named an honorary brother at Delta Theta Sigma Fraternity in 2002 and was Outstanding Staff Member in the former Department of Dairy and Animal Science in 2000. He was the 2000 Little International Livestock Exposition Dedicatee and received the 2000 Stockmen's Club Booster Award.

The Penn State Excellence in Advising Award, established by the former Undergraduate Student Government's Academic Assembly and sponsored by each college, annually honors one full-time professional adviser and one full-time faculty member from any Penn State location who have at least two years of advising experience. Selection criteria are based on excellence in general advising, academic and career guidance, enthusiasm and assistance in decision making, and goal setting.

Adapted from Penn State News.