AEC’s Rayfield tapped for national NARRU Distinguished Educator Award
By: Norman Martin
A commitment to teaching has garnered a veteran Texas Tech educator the Non-Land-Grant Agricultural & Renewable Resources Universities' 2022 Distinguished Educator Award. John Rayfield, a professor within Department of Agricultural Education & Communications, received the national honor at a special presentation on Tuesday (Oct. 4) during a NARRU meeting in St. Louis, Missouri.
“Our department is so very fortunate to have wonderful teachers like Dr. Rayfield,” said Scott Burris, professor and chair of Tech's Department of Agricultural Education & Communications. “His commitment to teaching and to students in our program is a direct reflection of our departmental values. Dr. Rayfield is so deserving of this award and I am extremely proud to see him receive this prestigious distinction.”
Rayfield's teaching and research interests are in the field of experiential learning where he teaches undergraduate and graduate classes on experiential learning practice and theory. He has authored or co-authored more than 50 refereed journal articles in lead journals in career and technical education and agricultural education.
Recent honors for Rayfield include selection as the 2022 Western Region AAAE Outstanding Teacher, 2021 Outstanding Alumni of the Auburn University College of Education and 2021 Texas Tech Integrated Scholar. In 2019, Rayfield received the ‘Outstanding Journal Article for 2019' by the American Association for Agricultural Education's Journal of Agricultural Education. The study examined the effects of sequencing instruction on STEM knowledge in high school agricultural education courses.
He also received the Southern Region American Association for Agricultural Education's Distinguished Research Award (2016); TAMU Association of Formers Students Distinguished Teaching Award (2015); Southern Region American Association for Agricultural Education's Outstanding Young Agricultural Educator (2013); Honorary American FFA Degree (2013); and Texas Junior Livestock Association Honorary Lifetime Member (2011).
Prior to joining Davis College in 2016, Rayfield served as an assistant and associate professor with Texas A&M University's Department of Agricultural Leadership, Education & Communications. The Alabama native received his bachelor's degree in agricultural education from Auburn University, and his master's degree in agricultural education from the University of Georgia-Athens. His doctorate in agricultural education is from Texas Tech.
Texas Tech has had significant success in previous NARRU award categories. Among those recently receiving honors are:
- Cindy Akers, interim dean, Davis College, President (2019)
- Heidi Brady, Professor, Department of Animal & Food Sciences, Distinguished Educator Award (2018)
- Thayne Montague, professor, Department of Plant & Soil Science; Distinguished Educator Award (2017)
- Chance Brooks, professor, Department of Animal & Food Sciences; Distinguished Educator Award (2016)
- Erica Irlbeck, professor, Department of Agricultural Education & Communications; Distinguished Young Educator Award (2015)
- Ryan Rathmann, associate professor, Department of Animal & Food Sciences; Distinguished Young Educator Award (2014)
- Courtney Meyers, professor, Department of Agricultural Education & Communications; Distinguished Young Educator Award (2013)
According to NARRU officials, the purpose of the organization is to be a unifying force for all faculty, students, staff, and administrators of agriculture, food, and renewable resource programs at NARRU state-funded public colleges and universities. The group promotes excellence in science-based teaching with hands-on experience in conducting responsive, issue-based research and communicating findings to stakeholders and the general public.
Non-land-grant universities have a history of educating and preparing professionals in agriculture, food, and renewable resources and many related fields. Forty-five percent of the baccalaureate degrees awarded each year in agriculture, food, and renewable resource related majors are from non-land grant institutions in the 13 primary states served by these institutions.
CONTACT: Scott Burris, Chair, Department of Agricultural Education & Communications, Texas Tech University at (806) 834-8689 or email@example.com
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