AAEC’s Stephen Devadoss receives national AAEA DE&I Mentoring Award
By: Norman Martin
Stephen Devadoss, the Emabeth Thompson Endowed Professor within Texas Tech University's Department of Agricultural & Applied Economics, has been presented the Diversity, Equity & Inclusion Mentoring Award from the Committee on Women in Agricultural Economics (CWAE) of the Agricultural & Applied Economics Association (AAEA). The prestigious honor was presented at the organization's annual meeting in August in Anaheim, California.
As part of the selection process, nominators drawn from current graduate students and faculty at two universities noted that Devadoss has dedicated his career to helping graduate students with diverse backgrounds (women, first-generation, students with disability, and minority students) and having a sustained positive impact on their career, as well as advocating for hiring minorities, mentoring junior faculty, and being a role model while promoting diversity, equity, and inclusion in his department, university and economics profession.
Recently, Devadoss presented on the topic of “The Importance of Educating Girls in India” as part of a Texas Tech's Department of Geoscience program to shed light on the discrimination, abuse, and lack of opportunities that girls endure in India. In India the literacy rate for girls is only 60 percent, but for boys it is 80 percent.
Devadoss indicated that he firmly believes unless girls are educated and employment opportunities are available for women, a country can never become a developed country. In addition, he presented various approaches to improve education and employment opportunities for girls, including informing the parents about the importance of educating girls, need for building more K-12 schools in rural areas, and starting small business opportunities for women.
One of Devadoss' most effective aspects of his mentoring of graduate students is the number of quality journal articles that are published from class projects, master's theses, and doctoral dissertations. Devadoss has mentored his master's students to publish more than 50 articles through advice, commitment to students' needs, and working closely with them on each and every step of the research process.
That devotion to his students is exemplified by Western Agricultural Economics Associationthesis (WAEA) and AAEA Ph.D. dissertation award winner and former student Jeff Luckstead, who currently serves as an associate professor within Washington State University's School of Economic Sciences.
“Dr. Devadoss has been the perfect mentor; thanks to his guidance, hard work, encouragement and general care for my academic well-being, I have achieved academic goals that I never thought were possible,” Luckstead said. “He has had an enormous influence on my academic growth, achievements and goals. I aspire to influence students as I was by him.”
Separately, Devadoss has helped his students to publish journal articles regularly and to receive a total of 69 awards, including more than a dozen AAEA, WAEA, and SAEA thesis and dissertation awards, outstanding journal articles, and emerging scholar awards.
“He has high expectations for his mentees, but is absolutely devoted to their success and never leaves them floundering,” said Elijah Kosse, an instructor within South Dakota State University's Ness School of Management & Economics. “I model my teaching after many aspects of Dr. Devadoss, including a devotion to my students, a willingness to work hard for anyone that wants help.”
Devadoss has received numerous honors during his long academic career. He currently serves as president of the Western Agricultural Economics Association, a group of professional economists working in academic institutions and government agencies and departments primarily located in the Western United States and Canada. Most recently, he was received the 2022 Graduate Mentoring Award from the Agricultural & Applied Economics Association.
Other honors include WAEA Fellow (2010), SAEA Lifetime Achievement Award (2019), AAEA Outstanding Graduate (2011) and Undergraduate (2012) Teacher Awards, and an Outstanding Journal Article Award from the Journal of Agricultural & Applied Economics (2010). He has helped his mentees to receive a total of 69 awards, including 14 outstanding thesis and dissertation awards from professional associations.
Devadoss received his bachelor's degree in agriculture from Tamil Nadu Agricultural University in Coimbatore, India, and his master's degree in agricultural economics from Indian Agricultural Research Institute in New Delhi, India. His doctorate in economics is from Iowa State University-Ames.
CONTACT: Phillip Johnson, chairman & director of the university's Thornton Agricultural Finance Institute, Department of Agricultural and Applied Economics, Texas Tech University at (806) 834-0474 or firstname.lastname@example.org