IFAS/CALS Faculty Earn Top Mentoring, Teaching Awards from UF
GAINESVILLE, Fla. – The University of Florida honored two Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences (IFAS) faculty with university-wide teaching and mentorship awards at a ceremony held April 11.
Shirley Baker, associate professor in the UF/IFAS School of Forest Resources and Conservation, was named Undergraduate Faculty Adviser/Mentor of the Year. Grady Roberts, professor in the agricultural education and communication department, was inducted into the UF Academy of Distinguished Teaching Scholars. Both faculty have teaching appointments within the College of Agricultural and Life Sciences (CALS).
“A hallmark of our college is the emphasis on advising, mentoring and teaching excellence,” said CALS Dean Elaine Turner. “Our students are fortunate to have guidance before, during and after their time at UF from outstanding teachers and mentors like Dr. Baker and Dr. Roberts.”
In addition to her teaching role, Baker serves as the undergraduate coordinator and a mentor for those studying in the interdisciplinary studies – marine sciences major. She is known for always making time for her students, as well as providing advising and facility tours to high school and transfer students. Baker’s strengths are found in her attentiveness and listening skills, according to students.
“No matter what concerns, questions or comments I had, she listened and gave me great feedback,” said one of Baker’s former students Will Santos. “It was [Shirley Baker] who helped me find employment with professors, which allowed me to see what it’s really like to conduct research and live the life of a marine scientist.”
With a strong desire to elevate the educational experiences of students at UF, Roberts coordinates the CALS Teaching Resource Center and helps direct the Global Education Lab with universities across nation. His research focuses on global education, experiential learning, and teaching and learning in university settings.
“Dr. Roberts is a true scholar,” said Brian Myers, chair of the UF/IFAS agricultural education and communication department. “He intentionally integrates the best in educational research into his courses and models this research. Dr. Roberts is an outstanding mentor to both students and early career faculty.”
In addition to UF’s teaching and mentorship honors, the following UF/IFAS faculty members were recognized as CALS’ teachers and advisers of the year:
- Gail Kauwell, professor in the food science and human nutrition department, received the Graduate Teacher/Adviser of the Year Award.
- Kristina Haselier, academic adviser for the UF/IFAS School of Forest Resources and Conservation, was named an Undergraduate Adviser of the Year.
- Shirley Baker, associate professor in the UF/IFAS School of Forest Resources and Conservation, was named an Undergraduate Adviser/Mentor of the Year.
- Steve Johnson, associate professor in the department of wildlife ecology and conservation, was named an Undergraduate Teacher of the Year.
- Christine Miller, associate professor in the department of entomology and nematology, was also named an Undergraduate Teacher of the Year.
The College of Agricultural and Life Sciences (CALS) administers the degree programs of the University of Florida’s Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences (UF/IFAS). The mission of the College of Agricultural and Life Sciences is to deliver unsurpassed educational programs that prepare students to address the world’s critical challenges related to agriculture, food systems, human wellbeing, natural resources and sustainable communities. The college has received more total (national and regional combined) USDA teaching awards than any other institution. Visit the CALS website at cals.ufl.edu, and follow CALS on social media platforms at @ufcals.