D. Michael Denbow, of Blacksburg, Va., professor of animal and poultry sciences in the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences at Virginia Tech, received the university's 2010 Alumni Award for Excellence in Undergraduate Academic Advising.

Established by the Virginia Tech Alumni Association, the Alumni Award for Excellence in Undergraduate Academic Advising is presented annually by the Office of the Provost to a Virginia Tech faculty member who has been particularly dedicated to and effective at advising undergraduate students. Recipients may be nominated by faculty members or students, are selected by a committee of former award winners, and receive a $2,000 prize.

Denbow has advised students for more than 25 years and currently serves as the coordinating counselor for the Department of Animal and Poultry Sciences.

Students and faculty consistently mention Denbow's extraordinary capacity for listening. "He readily avails his time to meet with potential students and their parents when visiting campus and during summer orientation. He listens to the concerns of students and their parents alike, honestly and empathetically describing the challenges of transition from high school into college," said Ron Lewis, professor of animal and poultry sciences.

Lindsay Vega, a current student wrote, "I deeply appreciate Dr. Denbow's willingness to listen and provide supportive feedback. … He has been very accessible throughout this time, and while soft spoken, his insights and wisdom have been invaluable in selecting courses, even more so in navigating my challenges."

"A fine listener, his advising is thoughtful and tailored to each individual. His standards are high, yet reasonable, with a nice mix of firmness and compassion. As a result, students are prepared for entering a range of work places, graduate study, and professional schools," said Paul Siegel, University Distinguished Professor Emeritus in Animal and Poultry Sciences.

Denbow teaches Principles of Biology, Anatomy and Physiology, Embryology, and Neurochemical Regulation. In addition, he offers two honors colloquia: Nutrition, Brain and Behavior, and Chinese Medicine. His research focuses on the neurochemical control of food intake, emphasizing how selection for body weight alters neurochemical mechanisms within the central nervous system. As an outcome of his teaching and research program, he has authored or co-authored more than 200 refereed papers, including a textbook titled "Anatomy and Physiology of Domestic Animals."

Denbow earned his bachelor's and master's degrees at the University of Maryland and his Ph.D. from North Carolina State University, all in physiology.