The Department of Applied Sciences, Technology and Education (ASTE) is pleased to announce that lecturer Michelle Burrows has been named a recipient of the North American College and Teachers of Agriculture (NACTA) Graduate Student Teaching Award. Burrows, a recent graduate of ASTE’s graduate career and technical education Ph.D. program, feels honored to have received this award.
“I work hard to gain a variety of experiences to provide my students with the best educational experience I can and it’s nice to be recognized for that,” Burrows said. “Humbling, actually.”
The NACTA Graduate Student teaching award recognizes individuals who represent the very best in agriculture-related higher education. USU’s agricultural education degree program in the College of Agriculture and Applied Sciences prepares students to become teachers in secondary schools and with community organizations in a range of topics, including plant, animal and natural resource sciences, agribusiness, agricultural mechanization and agricultural economics. After compiling the materials required for the award application, Burrows feels that not only was it a great opportunity but great preparation for her future as an educator.
“My biggest motivation is my students,” Burrows said. “I want to provide them with the best possible learning experience I can. I want them to enjoy their classes and appreciate the work both on my end and theirs that goes into the learning process.”
As a high school agriculture teacher in Nevada, Burrows had an opportunity to attend a conference in Utah, where she met USU faculty members Tyson Sorensen and Becki Lawver, who introduced her to the new Ph.D. program in the ASTE department. Burrows always knew that pursuing a Ph.D. was something she wanted to do. As a first-generation college student, education is very important to her and she credits Sorensen, Professor Debra Spielmaker, and Lecturer Kenna Kesler for their willingness to offer advice and collaborate with her and values their influence on her teaching.
“My experience here at USU has been so much more than earning a degree,” Burrows said. “I was also able to gain experience in teaching undergraduate classes, supervising student teachers, mentoring undergraduate researchers and helping fellow graduate students.”
Learn more about USU’s agricultural education degree program and some of its alumni here.