CASNR faculty honored for excellence in teaching, research at Convocation
By: Norman Martin
Several faculty members from Texas Tech's College of Agricultural Sciences and Natural Resources received awards for their quality teaching and research during the university's annual Faculty Honors Convocation on Wednesday (Apr. 18) in the university's Student Union Building.
Convocation is a way to recognize faculty members who have demonstrated distinction in teaching, research and service, said William Brown, dean of Tech's College of Agricultural Sciences and Natural Resources. Among the CASNR award winners this year are:
• Texas Tech Alumni Association New Faculty Award (CASNR). Brendan Kelly is an assistant professor of cotton fiber phenomics in Texas Tech's Department of Plant and Soil Science with a joint appointment with Texas A&M AgriLife Research. Kelly, who's research is based out of the cotton phenomics laboratory at Tech's Fiber and Biopolymer Research, utilizes large cotton fiber phenomics data sets generated by modern cotton fiber quality evaluation instruments. One of his goals here is to work with the research community and industry partners to improve the utilization and understanding of cotton fiber quality in research. The Midland native received his bachelor's degree in mathematics and his doctorate in plant and soil science from Texas Tech.
• Texas Tech Parents Association Barnie E. Rushing Jr. Faculty Outstanding Researcher Award (CASNR). Richard Stevens is associate professor of biodiversity and conservation biology in Tech's Department of Natural Resources Management. His interests lie at the intersection of community ecology, macroecology, and biogeography. Part of his work examines the basic community ecology of bats and rodents in Paraguay, California and Texas, in particular the effects of species environment interactions, dispersal, seasonality and competition on the structure of communities. Stevens received his bachelor's, master's and doctorate degrees in biology from Texas Tech.
• President's Excellence in Teaching Award (CASNR). Erica Irlbeck is an associate professor in Tech's Department of Agricultural Education & Communications. Since joining the Tech's faculty in 2009, Irlbeck has led students in video production in agriculture, agricultural communications campaigns and professional development. Her research interests include risk and crisis communications, agriculture in television media and agricultural communications campaigns. She received her bachelor's degree in agricultural communications from Oklahoma State University and her master's and doctorate degrees in agricultural communications from Texas Tech.
During the ceremony an Emeritus Faculty Certificate was presented to longtime Department of Plant and Soil Science research professor Terry McLendon. He also served as research professor of ecosystem modeling & large-scale watershed dynamics within the Department of Natural Resources Management. Emeritus appointments are honorary and are given at retirement and are intended to recognize long and faithful service, or distinguished service to the university.
Separately, two faculty members with CASNR were recognized for receiving Chancellor's Council Distinguished Faculty Awards, the highest faculty honor in the university system. They were Courtney Meyers, an associate professor and graduate studies coordinator with the Department of Agricultural Education and Communications, and Venugopal Mendu, an assistant professor in the Department of Plant and Soil Science.
Irlbeck, Meyers and Robert Cox, an associate professor in Tech's Department of Natural Resources Management, were honored for receiving President's Excellence in Teaching Professorships, while NRM's Stevens was honored for his President's Excellence in Research Professorship. In addition, Michael Farmer, an associate professor in both Tech's Department of Natural Resources Management and Department of Agricultural and Applied Economics, was recognized for receiving a 2017 Global Vision Award – Faculty international Scholarship Award
Tech convocation officials also recognized the university's Paul Whitfield Horn Professors, which include Eric Hequet, an internationally-recognized leader in cotton fiber research and the current chairman of the university's Department of Plant and Soil Science, and Texas Tech Provost Michael Galyean, who formerly served as CASNR Dean. Horn professorships are the highest honor a faculty member can receive from the university. The award is named for Texas Tech's first president, Paul Whitfield Horn. Of the more than 80 members recognized as Horn Professors, 39 are still on the faculty.
CONTACT: William Brown, Dean, College of Agricultural Sciences and Natural Resources, Texas Tech University at (806) 742-2808 or firstname.lastname@example.org
0418NM18 / PHOTOS (top to bottom) Brendan Kelly, Richard Stevens and Erica Irlbeck
- Agricultural & Applied Economics
- Agricultural Education & Communications
- Animal & Food Sciences
- Landscape Architecture
- Natural Resources Management
- Plant & Soil Science
- Veterinary Science
Editor: Norman Martin
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