New leader takes helm of Agricultural Education & Communications
An associate professor and graduate studies coordinator with Texas Tech's Department of Agricultural Education and Communications has been selected as the new interim chairman of the award-winning academic unit. Scott Burris was installed in his new post effective today (Aug. 1).
"Dr. Burris has the work ethic and passion for Texas Tech necessary to succeed leading the Department of Agricultural Education and Communications," said Steven Fraze, Interim Dean of Tech's College of Agricultural Sciences and Natural Resources. He also noted that Burris will be promoted to professor, effective Sept. 1.
Burris, a specialist in agricultural education, joined the Tech faculty in 2005. In addition to his teaching and research activities, he previously served as the department's student teacher coordinator and advisor for the Texas Tech chapter of Collegiate FFA. He earned a bachelor's degree in interdisciplinary agriculture from Texas Tech, and master's and doctorate degrees in agricultural education from the University of Missouri.
"These are very exciting times for our university and particularly for CASNR," Burris said. "I'm happy to be able to contribute my part as interim department chair."
Recent honors for Burris include the Chancellor's Council Distinguished Teaching Award (2016); Texas Tech Office of the Provost-Integrated Scholar (2015); CASNR Student Advising Award (2015); Professing Excellence Award (2013); CASNR Teaching Award (2013); Spencer A. Wells Faculty Award for Creativity in Teaching (2012) and President's Excellence in Teaching Award (2010). In addition, Burris is active in service roles. He is associate chair for Tech's Institutional Review Board committee and is a member of the Texas FFA Board of Directors.
The Department of Agricultural Education and Communications offers several degree programs, including a Bachelor of Science in Interdisciplinary Agriculture (teaching or leadership options); Bachelor of Science in Agricultural Communications; Master of Science in Agricultural Education (on-campus and distance delivery); Master of Science in Agricultural Communications (on-campus and distance delivery); Doctor of Education in Agricultural Education (in conjunction with Texas A&M University); and Doctor of Philosophy in Agricultural Communications and Education.
The department, which has 14 faculty members and more than 350 students, is active in breaking new academic ground. Last year it launched a new agricultural communications master's level graduate program aimed for students at a distance. The online degree track provides cutting-edge development of professional communications skills for related careers in agribusiness, government service, education and extension from one of the nation's best agricultural communications programs.
In 2014, the department's agricultural communications undergraduate program was ranked as the best in the nation, according to a University of Arkansas study. Forty programs across the country were identified in the study, titled, "Characteristics of U.S. Agricultural Communications Undergraduate Program."
Written by Norman Martin
CONTACT: Steven Fraze, Interim Dean, College of Agricultural Sciences and Natural Resources, Texas Tech University at (806) 742-2808 or firstname.lastname@example.org
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