2008 Outstanding Undergraduate Teacher
The Range Science Education Council and the Society for Range Management proudly present the 2008 Outstanding Undergraduate Teaching Award to a faculty member that has taught undergraduate range management classes since the early 1980’s. This year’s award winner serves as an advisor to over 100 undergraduates, the Range Club and is the coach of the Range Plant Identification Team at his university. In fact, his students consider him a role model to both students and other faculty.
This year’s recipient is well known among his students as a faculty member dedicated to getting to know them and helping with their education and future professional life. One of his former students stated that “his dedication to his job and the people he works with is quite extraordinary. His student mentoring is inspiring. His professionalism and enthusiasm made a positive difference in my life, as well as many other students.” Not only has this year’s Outstanding Teacher developed a website to be used by students as a resource, he also serves as a “resource person to every undergraduate and graduate student in his department”. The guidance he provides students ranges from the normal scheduling of courses to individual mentoring, and incorporates his philosophy that all students have the ability to succeed and his job is to help them set and reach their goals. He advises students to become involved with organizations at the campus and national levels—helping them develop professionally and teaching them to network for their future career. His success in coaching the Range Plant ID team is illustrated by their winning 3 first place Range Plant Team Awards and winning all of the collegiate contests in the state.
This year’s recipient is Dr. Robert Knight of the Texas A & M University’s Department of Rangeland Ecology and Management. Dr. Knight is considered a highly effective educator both in and out of the classroom. It is no wonder that he has received awards at Texas A & M for teaching, advising and mentoring and is now being recognized by the Range Science Education Council and the Society for Range Management as the Outstanding Undergraduate Teacher for 2008.