Texas Tech University

Scott Burris

Associate Professor
Graduate Studies Coordinator
Department of Agricultural Education and Communications
College of Agricultural Sciences and Natural Resources

burris portrait in office

What are your research objectives and interests?

My discipline is agricultural education, specifically with a focus on teacher preparation. As a result, I have been able to focus my research in that context. My main research objectives have been exploring teaching methods and approaches and exploring the process of induction, acclimation, and attrition within the profession.

How do you feel your research impacts the globe?

During the early part of my career, I would have questioned the global impact of my work. Teacher preparation and accompanying certification is generally a very context specific endeavor, given that each state typically has very specific standards and expectations. However, over the last several years, I have seen the impact of agricultural education on a global level. First through study abroad programs and now through collaborative development work with international partners, I have seen the value of exchanging cultural experiences, both for domestic students and for our international partners. I am preparing to lead a group to Nicaragua this summer and work specifically within their schools to foster agricultural youth leadership program development.

What types of service projects have you been involved with?

As a former secondary teacher and current teacher-educator, I have remained closely connected to stakeholder groups in agricultural education. In addition to working with youth programs on a local and regional level, I have been fortunate to be able to serve in some influential capacities. I have served as a member of the Board of Directors for the Vocational Ag Teachers Association of Texas, the state professional organization for high school agriculture teachers. I have served as a stakeholder representative to the National FFA Board of Directors. Currently, I am the teacher education representative as a member of the Board of Directors for the Texas FFA Association.

I have also been privileged to serve the university. One example of that service is my work in the Human Research Protection Program. I have served as a reviewer and IRB Committee member for four years. In June, I began service as the associate chair of that committee.

What are you currently working on?

In addition to maintaining my research agenda, working with graduate students, and continuing my service roles, I have accepted some new responsibilities. I am currently serving as the graduate studies coordinator for our department.

burris working with students

Where do you find your inspiration?

The students of Texas Tech University are amazing. I have always been most inspired by my interactions with them. I am continually amazed at the talents and skills they have and the potential that awaits them. I take seriously the responsibility placed on the faculty to ensure they are molded in a way to maximize that potential. One of things that brings me the most joy is when I run into a former student who has done well. I am so proud of what they are able to accomplish and grateful that I get to participate in the process.

What advice do you have for new faculty members about
balancing the components of Integrated Scholarship—
teaching, research, and service—in their careers?

I consider myself lucky to have a research agenda that overlaps so thoroughly with my teaching roles. Both of those support my service activities. For me, because they are all so closely related, I see them as all part of the same role. I enjoy my job. I look forward to coming to work. I have tremendous respect for my colleagues.

More about Scott Burris

I am an associate professor in the Department of Agricultural Education and Communications and currently serve as the Graduate Studies Coordinator for the department. I joined the faculty in 2005 after earning my Ph.D. from the University of Missouri. Prior to my graduate work, I taught secondary agricultural science for ten years. My experiences as a practicing secondary teacher have shaped and molded my interests in post-secondary education. My research focus is in teaching and learning, specifically in delivery methods of instruction and in teacher development. I received my Bachelors of Science degree in Interdisciplinary Agriculture, with an emphasis in teacher certification, from Texas Tech University in May of 1992. Guns up!