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Horticulture and Natural Resources

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Ted Cable named park and recreation 'Legend'

Cathie Lavis (Photo) Credit: Nickolas Oatley, The Manhattan MercuryThe American Academy for Park and Recreation Administration has named Ted Cable, professor emeritus of park management and conservation a "Legend" in the field of parks and recreation. The Legend Award recognizes distinguished practitioners and scholars who have made significant contributions to the advancement of the park and recreation field.

The academy's Legends Program is the only visual history of individuals involved in parks, recreation and conservation efforts in the United States. Through one-on-one interviews, these Legends share stories about their contributions to the profession as well as their professional insights, advice and philosophical beliefs.

Over his long career, Cable authored 15 books and more than 250 articles, and he received numerous awards for teaching, advising, mentorship and scholarly activities. In naming Cable as a Legend, the academy noted "his humble and caring approach to education and research that strives for benefit of others over his own personal reward" and his "passion, enthusiasm, deep wealth of knowledge, and perhaps most importantly, his jovial and fun-loving approach to education which has made a profound impact on our profession."

Dr. Cathie Lavis featured in Manhattan Mercury

Cathie Lavis (Photo) Credit: Nickolas Oatley, The Manhattan MercuryFrom the Mercury feature: "Lavis, a horticulture professor at K-State, spends much of her time working with plants in the great outdoors, and her students get hands on lessons in caring for nature...."

See: https://themercury.com/features/horticulture-professor-spreads-word-about-importance-of-trees-nature/article_181a6011-3351-5ba2-8739-daf1dea48b48.html

Brunson Receives NACTA Graduate Student Teaching Award

Michael Brunson (Photo)Michael Brunson, PhD candidate in Park Management and Conservation was recently recognized by the North American Colleges and Teachers of Agriculture (NACTA) with a graduate student teaching award.

NACTA recently held its annual conference, virtually for the first time, due to COVID19. A major mission of NACTA is to provide opportunities for post-secondary teachers of agriculture a forum for discussion of questions and issues related to the professional advancement of agricultural education. In addition, NACTA works to encourage, promote, and recognize individuals whose efforts represent excellence in agricultural higher education.

The award is given to graduate students who are active in classroom instruction and demonstrate excellence as teaching assistants in agriculture disciplines. Nominees are reviewed by a committee of NACTA members and are evaluated based on the graduate student's teaching philosophy, their involvement in teaching outside the classroom, self-evaluation, support letters from supervising faculty, administrator, and student recommendations.

Michael has been very active as a TA in our department, assisting with many courses including PMC 489 Outdoor Recreation Program and Event Development and PMC 710 Natural Resource Based Tourism. He has also been the instructor for several courses, including PMC 201 Introduction to Outdoor Recreation, PMC 475 Natural History for Park Professionals, PMC 580 Park Operations and Maintenance Management, and PMC 690 Parks and Recreation Administration.

Congratulations, Michael! Well deserved!

Schneck Receives NACTA Graduate Student Teaching Award

Karen Schneck (Photo)Karen Schenck, M.S. student in Horticulture, recently received a North American Colleges and Teachers of Agriculture (NACTA) graduate student teaching award.

NACTA recently held its annual conference, virtually for the first time, due to COVID19. A major mission of NACTA is to provide opportunities for post-secondary teachers of agriculture a forum for discussion of questions and issues related to the professional advancement of agricultural education. In addition, NACTA works to encourage, promote, and recognize individuals whose efforts represent excellence in agricultural higher education.

This award is given to graduate students who are active in classroom instruction and demonstrate excellence as teaching assistants in agriculture disciplines. Nominees are reviewed by a committee of NACTA members and are evaluated based on the graduate student's teaching philosophy, their involvement in teaching outside the classroom, self-evaluation, support letters from supervising faculty, administrator, and student recommendations.

Karen has been a TA multiple times for HORT 350 Plant Propagation and HORT 570 Greenhouse Operations Management. In addition, Karen has conducted several outreach activities and workshops for the community.

Great job, Karen!

Ahlers Recognized with NACTA Educator Award

Adam Ahlers (Photo)Adam Ahlers, associate professor of Wildlife and Outdoor Enterprise Management (WOEM) and undergraduate program director in Horticulture and Natural Resources was recently recognized with North American Colleges and Teachers of Agriculture (NACTA) Educator Award. The award is a criterion-based award, reviewed by a committee that evaluates the nominee based on criteria such as teaching philosophy, student evaluation summary, nominee’s teaching activities, and supporting letters from peers and administrator.

A major mission of NACTA is to provide opportunities for post-secondary teachers of agriculture a forum for discussion of questions and issues related to the professional advancement of agricultural education. In addition, NACTA works to encourage, promote, and recognize individuals whose efforts represent excellence in agricultural higher education. Horticulture and Natural Resources faculty and graduate students were recently recognized for their teaching efforts at the conference.

Since he arrived at K-State, Dr. Ahlers has worked to refine the WOEM program. He has developed and taught many courses including WOEM 203 Bowhunting Equipment and Skills, WOEM 250 Introduction to Wildlife and Outdoor Enterprise Management, WOEM 561 Waterfowl and Wetlands Management, WOEM 555 Big Game Management, and WOEM 560 Upland Gamebird Management. In addition to his teaching and research, he advises many students in the WOEM program.

Horticulture Senior Recognized with National Intern of the Year Award

Renata Goosen, National Intern of the Year (Photo)Renata Goossen's reporting on her 4-month fall internship at Green Circle Growers has resulted in national recognition as Paul Thomas Intern of the Year. Read more...

Horticulture and Natural Resources Faculty Honored with Teaching Award

Dr. Drew RickettsGamma Sigma Delta, an international honorary society of agriculture, is dedicated to excellence in scholarship, research, and service. Gamma Sigma Delta’s mission encourages high standards of scholarship, character, and proficiency in all branches of agricultural science and education and a high degree of excellence in the practice of agricultural pursuits.

Each year, the K-State Eta Chapter awards student and faculty awards to recognize individuals throughout the college who strive to support this mission. This year, Dr. Drew Ricketts, assistant professor in Wildlife and Outdoor Enterprise Management received the Outstanding Teaching Award.

Gamma Sigma Delta Outstanding Teaching Award

Dr. Ricketts, an assistant professor of Wildlife and Outdoor Enterprise Management (WOEM) in the Horticulture and Natural Resources Department joined the department in 2016. He has a significant teaching appointment, teaching several courses in WOEM, including Advanced Wildlife Habitat Management and a new course, Fauna and Flora of the Great Plains. One aspect of Dr. Ricketts’ teaching philosophy is to provide students with opportunities to experience practical applications and see the results of management actions, despite the necessary and often difficult planning required, often more than in typical laboratory situations.

And the students appreciate this effort. Students noted the appreciation for his efforts in detailed and hands-on experiences such as driving small tractors and skid loaders, using chainsaws, and other equipment for real world application. Students appreciate the hard work and effort by Dr. Ricketts to connect and assist his students.

Graduate Student in Horticulture and Natural Resources Wins Teaching Award

Karen SchneckGamma Sigma Delta, an international honorary society of agriculture, is dedicated to excellence in scholarship, research, and service. Gamma Sigma Delta’s mission encourages high standards of scholarship, character, and proficiency in all branches of agricultural science and education and a high degree of excellence in the practice of agricultural pursuits.

The K-State Eta Chapter awards student and faculty awards each year to recognize individuals throughout the college who strive to support this mission. Karen Schneck, a Master’s student was selected to receive the Gamma Sigma Delta M.S Graduate Student Teaching Award.

Karen is a second year Master’s student in the Horticulture and Natural Resources Department. She has been a TA for two different courses in the department, including Plant Propagation and Greenhouse Operations Management. She has also been very active in providing extension-type horticulture presentations for the general public. Karen has excelled in the TA role and loves to teach and help others learn about horticulture. She is genuinely concerned about student learning and engagement. One student noted that “she would continually strive to make the class material easy and fun to learn.” Karen noted that in her teaching philosophy that she “believes lessons can be enhanced with adding humor and honest enthusiasm. When topics may be particularly boring for students, she says “I try to spice it up by trying to make them laugh.”

Horticulture and Natural Resources Graduate Student Receives Teaching Award

Tej Man TamangGamma Sigma Delta, an international honorary society of agriculture, is dedicated to excellence in scholarship, research, and service. Gamma Sigma Delta’s mission encourages high standards of scholarship, character, and proficiency in all branches of agricultural science and education and a high degree of excellence in the practice of agricultural pursuits.

Each year, the K-State Eta Chapter recognizes student and faculty with awards throughout the college, who strive to support this mission. Ph.D. student, Tej Man Tamang, was selected to receive the Gamma Sigma Delta Ph. D. Graduate Student Teaching Award.

Tej is a 4th year PhD student in the Horticulture and Natural Resources Department. He has been a TA for the Introductory Horticulture course in the department for three years, and serving as the lead TA this past year. Dr. Keeley nominated Tej for the award noting that he was confidently able to completely turn over the lab section to this last fall and Tej did a very professional job. One student noted that over the semester, Tej regularly “walked around the lab room observing and communicating with students, providing help and assistance as needed.” Tej says “his teaching philosophy is very simple. I try to put myself in the shoes of my students and see how students want to learn. I always want my students to come with an enthusiasm to learn something new.”

Miller Awarded the University Presidential Faculty Award for Excellence in Undergraduate Teaching

Chad Miller TeachingDr. Chad Miller, associate professor in the Horticulture and Natural Resources Department was recently awarded the Presidential Faculty Award for Excellence in Undergraduate Teaching. Award nominations are solicited from students, faculty and administrators and made at the college level. All faculty in undergraduate programs eligible for the award and nominees are submitted by department heads to the dean of the college in which the teacher is appointed. Each dean may submit one nominee from their college.

Dr. Miller teaches several courses in the department, including landscape plants identification courses, plant propagation, co-teaches the department orientation course, along with international study abroad experiences. In addition, he advises undergraduate students, co-advises the department Horticulture Club, and Pi Alpha Xi, an honorary horticulture society.

When asked what he enjoys about teaching, Miller noted that he has always liked learning and assisting others with their learning pursuits, especially about plants and horticulture! He said teaching is also very rewarding as he gets to know the students and is able to observe their progress over the course of a semester and their time at K-State, especially since he has the opportunity to interact with the students in multiple courses and as advisees. Dr. Miller works to continually improve his teaching through trying new techniques or ways of teaching concepts in the classroom. Those ideas and techniques come from attending conferences, workshops, seminars, webinars, reading other published teaching work, etc. There are a lot of great teachers in the College of Agriculture and at K-State and he has learned a lot from them. He truly appreciates the support and importance put on teaching here at K-State. Read more...

Tommy King Receives Prestigous Scholarship

Trans-Mississippi Golf AssociationFor more than 50 years, the Trans-Mississippi Golf Association has supported the turf industry through scholarships and internship grants. Tommy King, a senior at Kansas State University from Kansas City, Kan., was one of the three scholarship recipients who received the maximum amount of $7,500.

“This scholarship motivates me about my future and the decisions I make as I build a career for myself,” King said. “I am truly thankful for the financial and emotional support this scholarship provides.”King’s passion for turf management began when he was 16 years old. The rising high school junior took a summer job at Shadow Glen Golf Club in Olathe, Kan. At first, raking bunkers and filling divots didn’t move the needle; however, King quickly saw the value in golf course management. “I stuck with it,” King said. “When you work on a golf course you see the fruits of your labor every single day and I really enjoy that.”

King will graduate in May of 2020 and aspires to become an assistant in training at a golf course in Kansas City with the hopes of one day becoming a golf course superintendent. “I’ve been told the challenge is managing people,” King said. “I haven’t really struggled with the education part of turf management. The challenge for me is people management and personal growth. I want a chance at that challenge.” Read more...

Horticulture Club Hosted Rose Sale

FlowersThe club hosts a variety of other events throughout the year, including some opportunities for students to network.

“It’s just a really good opportunity for different people in the club the meet people that are of different specializations kind of figure out like what opportunities there are,” Barnhart said.

Horticulture specialities include production, science, landscape and golf course and sports turf operations. Barnhart said the club functions on its own, with a little help from professors.

“It’s really student-led,” Barnhart said. “The professors that are involved are really amazing and supportive and give a lot of really good direction, but a lot of it is student-led — we have officer meetings every other every other Tuesday.” Read more...

From Drones to Data at Little Jerusalem

Little JerusalemKristen Sikorsky remembers the first time she saw Little Jerusalem. “It was like looking at a mini-Grand Canyon,” said Sikorsky, a Kansas State University graduate research assistant in the Park Management and Conservation Departments of Horticulture and Natural Resources. A native of Rhode Island, she was used to seeing the ocean. And, although her K-State advisor, Ryan Sharp, had warned her, she was “blown away” by Little Jerusalem’s magnificence. Read more...

Kansas Nursery & Landscape Association Scholarship Awarded

Boyer Giving Award To JordanJordan Robinson (center), a senior undergraduate student majoring in Horticulture Production was recently selected as the Kansas Nursery and Landscape Association Scholarship. Jordan was recognized at the annual Western Nursery and Landscape Association conference and trade show in Kansas City on January 16th. Dr. Cheryl Boyer (left), associate professor in the HNR Department and Scott Howe (right), KNLA Board Member, made the presentation. Congratulations, Jordan!

Little Jerusalem Badlands State Park

The Nature Conservancy 2019 Annual Report“Little Jerusalem offers us a unique opportunity for our students to understand visitor impacts on a place that virtually doesn’t have any to start with,” said Ryan Sharp, Associate Professor of Park Management & Conservation at Kansas State University Read more...