Lincoln, Neb. —University of Nebraska-Lincoln alum Deb VanOverbeke has been selected as the university’s next Animal Science Department head. She will begin in the position on July 31.
VanOverbeke comes to UNL from Oklahoma State University, where she currently serves as assistant dean for academic programs in the Ferguson College of Agriculture and as a professor of animal and food sciences.
VanOverbeke received her bachelor’s degree in animal science and a minor in agricultural leadership from UNL. During her time on campus, she was active in many student organizations, including Block and Bridle. After graduation, she worked for the Nebraska Cattlemen, where she expanded and coordinated the Beef Quality Assurance (BQA) Program. She enrolled in Colorado State University where she earned her master’s and doctoral degrees in animal science with a focus on meat science. After completing her doctoral degree, she joined the animal science faculty at the University of Minnesota prior to making the move to Oklahoma State.
“We are thrilled to welcome Dr. VanOverbeke home to Nebraska,” said Mike Boehm, NU vice president and Harlan Vice Chancellor for UNL’s Institute of Agriculture and Natural Resources. “Deb is a gifted scholar who brings a deep understanding and passion for animal agriculture to the position, as well as a demonstrated focus on designing student opportunities that improve their success both in the classroom and beyond. I am excited to see the department soar under her leadership.”
VanOverbeke said the UNL Animal Science Department’s long-standing reputation as a national research powerhouse; the support of Nebraska’s livestock, dairy, and poultry producers and processors; and the strength of department’s faculty, staff, and students were the driving factors that drew her to the position.
“When I look at UNL’s Animal Science Department, I see an unprecedented commitment to Extension, world-class research, and passionate, hard-working students,” she said, “I’m looking forward to building on the department’s firm foundation and working with colleagues and partners to take the department to the next level.
VanOverbeke succeeds Clint Krehbiel, who led the department from 2017 until December 2022. UNL Animal Science Professor Tom Burkey led the department in the interim. For more information on UNL’s Department of Animal Science, visit animalscience.unl.edu.