Becoming students of teaching excellence

On August 16, the UF/IFAS College of Agricultural and Life Sciences hosted its 23rd annual Teaching Enhancement Symposium at the UF Hilton. The event, which showcases innovative pedagogy and fosters collaboration and networking, had more than 200 attendees and 20 presentation by UF faculty and staff.

Three women crowd around a chair, looking at the seat, where several cards are placed. Each card has the flag of a different nation.
Faculty engage in a hands-on activity during one of the concurrent sessions.

In addition to the presentations, a keynote address was delivered by Haley Oliver, a professor of food science at Purdue University. Oliver’s keynote informed faculty about successes and challenges in fostering Gen Z students’ interest in sustainability through the lens of food safety. In a follow-up workshop, Oliver had faculty bring their current syllabuses for a hands-on exercise in workshopping lecture topics and learning strategies to foster active engagement from Gen Z students in the field of sustainability. This workshop perfectly highlighted the theme of the symposium: collaborative pedagogy that empowers students to change the world.

Another presentation that embodied the theme was presented by Alexandria Ardissone, Jennifer Drew and Eric Triplett, with the department of microbiology and cell science, and Sebastian Galindo, from agricultural education and communication. They mentored nontraditional, pre-transfer undergraduate students from two-year colleges across Florida in scientific research. Over the course of the summer program, students gained valuable research and communication experience that will empower them to succeed in their university studies and beyond.

Two women stand together holding a plaque that details Natalie Coers as the UF/IFAS Early Career International Educator Award winner.
Natalie Coers receives the Early Career International Educator Award.

In addition to participating in and presenting workshops, several faculty members were recognized for their teaching achievements. Natalie Coers, agricultural education and communication lecturer, received the UF/IFAS Early Career International Educator Award. The UF/IFAS International Educator Award was awarded to Andy Ogram, a professor in the Soil, Water, and Ecosystem Sciences Department. Samuel Martins, an assistant professor in plant pathology, received the CALS Scholarship of Teaching and Learning Award.

Several individuals also won the CALS Innovation in Teaching Awards. These faculty, all of whom were nominated by students, included: Michael Andreau, associate professor, forest, fisheries, and geomatics sciences; Brad Daigneault, assistant professor, animal sciences; Beth Gankofskie, lecturer, food science and human nutrition; Melissa Jones, assistant professor, microbiology and cell science; Marcus Lashley, assistant professor, wildlife ecology and conservation; Conner Mullally, associate professor, food and resource economics; Kim Wiley, assistant professor, family, youth, and community sciences; and Chris Wilson, assistant professor, agronomy.

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Posted: September 6, 2022


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