Each fall, The Association of Former Students honors outstanding faculty members for their dedication to teaching. Since the program’s inception in 1982, recipients are recognized for their talent, expertise, and devotion in conveying knowledge to students.
2014 Award Recipients
Dr. Clinton Allred
Associate Professor and Associate Head of Academic Programs, Department of Nutrition and Food Science
Dr. Allred joined the department as a faculty member after earning his doctorate at the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign. His motivating and caring demeanor brings out the best in his students as he helps them develop analytical skills and the critical-thinking process. He also brings real-world scenarios to the classroom and exposes students to the most current industry developments. A national leader in nutritional and cancer research, he focuses on the ability of diet to influence the development and progression of several forms of cancer. He has received many awards, including the International Life Sciences Institute Future Leaders Award and the American Society for Nutrition E. L. R. Stokstad Award. In one of many testaments to his skills as an educator, Dr. Allred was awarded his department’s Mentoring Award for Excellence.
Dr. Sandun D. Fernando
Associate Professor, Department of Biological and Agricultural Engineering
Dr. Fernando earned his doctorate from the University of Nebraska, Lincoln, before joining the Texas A&M University faculty in 2008. Since then, he has earned numerous awards and honors for research, service, and teaching, including the Student-Led Award for Excellence in Teaching from The Texas A&M University System. He has a talent for connecting with students and has successfully recruited underrepresented students to the department’s doctoral program in bioenergy. Dr. Fernando is an exceptional mentor of graduate and undergraduate students, has impressive command of complex engineering courses, and devotes a great deal of personal attention to the academic needs of students. His evaluations consistently reflect an extraordinary level of student satisfaction. His expertise, kindness, and passion for teaching leave a lasting impression on his students.
Dr. Kerri B. Gehring
Associate Professor, Department of Animal Science
Dr. Gehring joined the Texas A&M University faculty in 2006; she earned her bachelor’s, master’s, and doctorate at Texas A&M University. Today, she is recognized nationally as a leading food safety expert, and her students are some of the most highly recruited in her field. One of Dr. Gehring’s many awards and honors is the North American Meat Processor’s Association Harry L. Rudnick Educator of the Year Award, which she received in 2005. Dr. Gehring has obtained more than $3 million in extramural support, built a very strong graduate program, and attracts outstanding students. She has an exceptional ability to effectively communicate and connect with each student. She continually improves her teaching methods. Her classroom approach encourages students to not only understand the subject matter, but to apply it to real-world situations.
2013 Award Recipients
Dr. Jennifer Williams
After returning to Texas A&M just four years ago, Dr. Jen (as her students refer to her) has made an immediate impact in the Department of Agricultural Leadership, Education, and Communications. Known for her contagious enthusiasm in the classroom, Dr. Jen’s “passion for teaching and student learning is evident” as noted by her nominators.Dr. Jen has an innate ability to relate to students and inspires students to become better leaders. Not only is she an excellent teacher, her research centers on effective teaching strategies, thus improving student learning. Dr. Jen also dedicates much of her time as an advisor to Dr. Joe’s Leadership Fellow Program, where she is both a mentor and role model.
Dr. Nova Silvy
In his 39 years at Texas A&M, Dr. Silvy has not only distinguished himself as an exceptional teacher and researcher, but has also made substantial contributions to the wildlife profession through his undergraduate and graduate mentoring, service, and leadership. Known for his special gift for working with graduate students, Dr. Silvy treats each of his students as a professional colleague from the beginning of their work with him.
Dr. Silvy has mentored 104 graduate students, authored over 270 referred publications, presented 70 invited papers, and secured over $13 million in funding. Outside of the classroom, Dr. Silvy has served as advisor to A&M’s Student Chapter of The Wildlife Society for more than 25 years and as a mentor of the Student Chapter’s Wildlife Bowl for more than 17 years.
Dr. Urs Kreuter
In his 14 years at Texas A&M University, Dr. Kreuter has made many highly significant contributions to the Department of Ecosystem Science and Management. His teaching contributions span the range from introductory, capstone, and study abroad courses at the undergraduate level, a trans-disciplinary graduate course offered to students across campus, and to exemplary graduate student mentoring.
Dr. Kreuter combines elements of lecture, group discussion, intensive writing, teamwork and hands-on learning. One student says “watching Dr. Kreuter teach, you can feel his love for what he teaches.” Dr. Kreuter has also created a popular South African study abroad course that is a culturally and intellectually enriching experience. Dr. Kreuter is joined today by his wife Carmina Montiel-Soto and friend Jim Buck, class of ’63, who actually traveled to South Africa with Dr. Kreuter on a study abroad trip in 2002.
2012 Award Recipients
Dr. Richard T. Woodward
Dr. Woodward is noted by one of his colleagues as being “one of the most diligent, enthusiastic, and serious teachers at Texas A&M.” During his 15 years working for the Department of Agricultural Economics, this professor goes above and beyond the norms expected in teaching.
Professor Woodward puts a substantial amount of time and energy into his “high quality teaching.” Although he demands a huge amount from his students, “his innovative teaching achieves the fullest possible student engagement and learning.”
“Dr. Woodward is responding to and shaping (a) new world of learning” by implementing different teaching methods using a technique called “Team Based Learning.”
One of his students stated that Dr. Woodward “introduces subjects that at first glance may seem mundane or difficult and presents them in a light that makes them easy to understand, and very interesting to learn.”
Dr. David Scott
In the last 18 years working in the Department of Recreation, Park and Tourism Sciences at Texas A&M University, Dr. Scott has become known as a “respected leader” and an “extraordinary role model for everyone.” His teaching methods are unique in that he “encourages students to speak up and make a claim for their beliefs.”
Dr. Scott has graduated a total of 23 graduate students and been a member of 40 other committees. His “ability to take the time needed to be an excellent teacher is even more impressive when you consider the countless other roles that he has played for (the) department,” a nominator notes.
A former undergraduate student sums it up well stating, “Dr. Scott rose to the challenge of holding the attention of, informing, and even inspiring an afternoon class of sleepy college students.”
Mr. Max D. Menzies
Mr. Menzies has taught more than 1,500 students during his decade at Texas A&M University. Mr. Menzies, or Dusty as he is also known, exhibits the ability to teach difficult subject matter to students from many different backgrounds. “He makes a point of getting to know his students and will routinely know every student’s name by the second week of classes,” said a nominator.
“Students tell me that he is enormously helpful and patient,” a colleague noted, “(and) I can tell by visiting with the students that they have a great deal of respect for Dusty, both as a teacher and as a mentor.”
Aside from teaching, Mr. Menzies is completing his PhD. He also serves as an advisor to the Agricultural Economics Aggie REPS and assists with the Department’s Academic Quiz Bowl Team.
Students have also recognized Mr. Menzies through the SLATE award, which is an award based on student evaluations.