The UF/IFAS College of Agricultural and Life Sciences (CALS) creates a world of possibilities for students. The student-centric approach to preparing students for careers in agriculture, natural resources and related life sciences echoes throughout each department, but some of the best advocates and supporters of students are the teachers and advisors in CALS.
During the week of March 5-10, CALS partnered with Alpha Gamma Rho and Sigma Alpha, the professional agricultural fraternity and sorority on campus, to celebrate CALS Teacher and Advisor Appreciation Week. The celebrations included thank you notes, surprise classroom visits, paper plate awards and a lunch to celebrate the people who make the CALS student experience so impactful.
“The teachers and advisors in CALS are the best at UF,” said Alpha Gamma Rho brother Blake Beltz. “They spend a lot of time in and out of class making sure we will find successful jobs when we graduate, and I don’t think they get told ‘thank you’ enough.”
Prior to Teacher and Advisor Appreciation Week, CALS students had the opportunity to nominate their teachers and advisors for a paper plate award or a surprise classroom visit. Paper plate awards ranged from “Most likely to bring Girl Scout cookies to class,” won by Dr. Sarah Bush; to “Most recognizable mustache,” won by Dr. Joel McQuagge, to “Most likely to respond to an email at 1 a.m.,” won by Mr. Mike Sisk. The paper plate award winners were recognized as a celebratory luncheon, hosted at the new Alpha Gamma Rho house.
Throughout the week, several teachers received a surprise visit from the CALS Dean’s Office and members of Alpha Gamma Rho and Sigma Alpha. Complete with confetti and celebratory music, teachers were surprised mid-lecture to be celebrated by their students. Each student nominating a teacher provided an explanation of why they felt their teacher was especially deserving, which was shared during the surprise.
“Our college couldn’t function without the commitment to student success from our teachers and advisors,” said CALS Dean Elaine Turner. “Across all of our departments, in Gainesville and at our statewide locations, CALS teachers and advisors deserve special recognition. We hope that this one week, taking some extra time to say thanks, helps our teachers and advisors know how much they are appreciated.”