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Applied Economics Professor to Receive Professional Organization Award

Thursday, Jul. 17, 2014

USU faculty member Kynda Curtis

Kynda Curtis, a faculty member since 2010, will be receiving the President's Award from the Agricultural and Applied Economics Association for her service to the organization.

Utah State University associate professor Kynda Curtis will be presented the President’s Award from the Agricultural and Applied Economics Association (AAEA) on July 28.

The president of AAEA presents the award to members who have provided outstanding service to the association. Curtis and her colleague, University of Wyoming’s Mariah Ehmke, will be given the honor for their work cultivating a professional mentorship program for AAEA members. AAEA is an organization that brings together applied economics professionals, and Curtis’ work focused on pairing those new to the field with those who have years of experience.

“They have a chance to ask questions and seek advice or information from more advanced faculty members,” Curtis said. “They help them on a variety of subjects. It could be something more traditional like teaching or time management … or it could be more specific things like work/life balance or how to deal with an offer of a new position at a different university.”

Curtis started the program three years ago with 14 mentoring partnerships. Today, there are more than 60 mentees involved and Curtis said she expects the program to keep growing as development programs take hold in the professional community.

“The culture of trying to make our new faculty successful and provide people the opportunity throughout their career to do professional development, that new culture is coming in and that’s a good thing,” Curtis said.

The transition from being a graduate student to working at a university, consulting firm or government agency can be a difficult one, but Curtis said she thinks the mentoring program helps smooth the move by not making new professionals “recreate the wheel.”

Curtis will not be able to accept the award in Minneapolis, Minn., in person due to previous research commitments, but she said she’s happy to be recognized for her hard work, including mentoring two new professionals herself this year.

Related links:

USU Applied Economics Department

USU College of Agriculture and Applied Sciences

Contact: Kynda Curtis, 435-797-0444,

Writer: Elaine Taylor Elaine, 435-797-2189,

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