Dr. Martinez has been actively engaged in teaching, advising, and mentoring undergraduate students at Antonio Narro University for 27 years. Throughout his career, he has developed and taught a wide variety of courses in Range Plant Identification, Plant Taxonomy, Forage and Bioenergy Crop Production, Genetically Modified Organisms, Research Methodology, Cybergenetics and Plant Breeding. His students and his colleagues consistently describe Dr. Martinez as a dedicated educator who empowers students to simultaneously develop strong character and intellectual ability. It is clear in letters of support that Dr. Martinez leads by example in his efforts to achieve this important goal.
Dr. Martinez developed his philosophy in undergraduate teaching on the idea that students will retain more knowledge and understanding if he motivates them to teach themselves. He does this by teaching students how to formulate questions rather than answers. A key component of his approach is to “create a learning environment of respect and mutual confidence that encourages intellectual diversity”. Students and colleagues hold Dr. Martinez in high esteem as evidenced by their comments:
“…the teachings of Dr. Martinez were the cornerstone for my professional and personal development.”
“Dr. Martinez is committed to education, not only academically, but also in our training as people; teaching values such as honesty, responsibility and a commitment to excellence.”
“For me, he was a model and an inspiration…”
“I thank you for all the lessons of life, for your unconditional support…”
“Teach me to learn…not just what to learn; teach me to think…not what I should think; develop my intelligence…not only my memory. These were lessons I learned from Dr. Martinez…”
“I deeply admire him for his integrity, commitment and contribution to the academic and personal development of the many students who have had the honor of knowing him.”
“Dr. Martinez…has managed to awaken in each of his students a desire for personal improvement and a huge commitment to the sustainable management of natural resources.”
“What I most admire about Dr. Martinez is his remarkable ability to stimulate students; they can feel the energy and optimism radiate from his teaching.”
“Whatever Juan does as an instructor has certainly produced results; the Antonio Narro Plant Identification Team has won first place in 16 of the last 19 competitions…”
For his exemplary dedication to achieving excellence in teaching, advising, and mentoring, the Range Science Education Council and the Society for Range Management are delighted to present Dr. Juan Martinez with the 2020 Outstanding Undergraduate Teaching Award.