Byron Brehm-Stecher

Early Achievement in Teaching
Established to recognize outstanding teaching performance unusually early in a faculty member's professional career.

Byron Brehm-Stecher Byron Brehm-Stecher
Assistant Professor
Food Science and Human Nutrition
Early Achievement in Teaching Award

Whether in the lab, the classroom, or an online course, Byron Brehm-Stecher strives to make food safety a relevant concept for both undergraduate and graduate students. Easier said than done, Brehm-Stecher draws on new approaches in his teaching to earn glowing teaching evaluations and student feedback.

Brehm-Stecher has dual-purposed his time in the lab by serving as an undergraduate mentor to two College of Human Sciences Rosenfeld interns, exposing them to the rigors of academic research while advancing the study of rapid microbial detection and control. His work with graduate students has resulted in four doctoral students successfully completing their coursework at Iowa State University and entering the food safety profession as an assistant professor, postdoctoral research scholar, and as industry leaders.

Mindful of the growing demand for online classes, Brehm-Stecher developed the course "Rapid Methods in Food Microbiology"  as part of the Great Plains Interactive Distance Education
Alliance's Food Safety and Defense Graduate Certificate Program. His contribution was key in the efforts of the Department of Food Science and Human Nutrition to expand course offerings to a more diverse set of students. This course also played a critical role in securing USDA National Needs funding, which supported a food science doctoral student's research and coursework.

Brehm-Stecher's teaching philosophy incorporates a fusion of both the academic and industrial sides of food safety. He writes, "I want to foster my students' abilities to think holistically and critically about the processes involved in bringing food to our tables, how the safety and wholesomeness of the final product might be affected along the way, and the vital role they will play in these processes as professional food microbiologists." 