University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
College of ACES
ACES Animal Sciences
Give to Animal Sciences

Lee Denzer

I love seeing my students have success. It is what drives me.
Major: Animal Sciences
Hometown: Kewanee, Illinois

A professor at Black Hawk Community College – East Campus, said some people consider teaching a job, but the last job he had was working for his dad on their farm.

“Quite easily, the interaction with students is the best part of my career. I thoroughly enjoy getting to know the students personally,” said Denzer, a University of Illinois animal sciences graduate.

He works primarily with students in agricultural production and business. He teaches swine management, animal nutrition, technical math, sales and meat animal evaluation. For 15 years, he also coached the livestock judging team and remains an active part of the team to this day.

Denzer said community colleges are student-oriented, relieving the pressure to conduct research. However, there are still opportunities to contribute to research efforts.

“Even though I am not directly involved in research, I am able to gather information that contributes to university research. I find that really satisfying,” he said.

Denzer enjoys the new challenges that teaching presents every day and likes that each year is a fresh slate with new students. He believes that being a people person and seeing the best in others has helped him excel as a professor.

The most rewarding aspect of teaching is building confidence in struggling or disinterested students, he said.

“I love seeing my students have success,” he said. “It is what drives me.”