Dennis Banks received his B.S. at Middle Tennessee State, M.S. at the University of Tennessee, and a Ph.D. at Michigan State University. He joined Michigan State University as an assistant professor in the Department of Animal Science in 1986.
Dr. Banks' scientific focus is the genetic estimation and analysis of important traits of cattle. Through his 28 years of teaching, research, and advising students in the Institute of Agriculture and Technology and the Department, he was an exemplar of the scholarship of teaching and learning and the mentoring of students. A dynamic teacher with outstanding pedagogical skills, he set high standards for excellence. Numerous students developed publishable senior theses under his watch well before the trend of engaging undergraduates in research. During a sabbatical leave he studied quantitative trait loci in cattle while developing animal breeding and genetics curriculum with colleagues at the Danish Institute of Agricultural Science in Denmark. Science and teaching are his passion.
Dr. Banks earned local and national awards, including the prestigious American Society of Animal Science Outstanding Young Teacher Award. He was an advisor to the MSU Block and Bridle Club and Alpha Gamma Rho, coached judging and academic quadrathalon teams, and served 4-H and Future Farmers of America youth activities. Dr. Banks provided outstanding leadership to the Department of Animal Science, College of Agriculture and Natural Science, and the University, including curriculum committees, advisory councils, and notably the University Academic Policy and Curriculum Committees.
In retirement, Dennis will spend warm winters in Tennessee and cruise the sparkling waters of Lake Charlevoix during the summer with his wife, Donna.
Dennis is the son of WT Melton and the late Bobby Banks.