A K-State professor who believes in providing extensive hands-on learning opportunities for her students is the recipient of the 2009 North Central Region Award for Excellence in College and University Teaching the Food and Agricultural Sciences.
Kim Williams, professor of greenhouse management in K-State's department of horticulture, forestry and recreation resources, is among six winners from regions around the U.S.
The awards program recognizes a select group of college and university teachers who excel at teaching, make a positive impact on student learning and influence other teachers by example. It is sponsored by the U.S. Department of Agriculture and its Higher Education Programs, Science and Education Resources Development and National Institute of Food and Agriculture. The honor comes with a $2,000 award.
Williams is K-State's seventh regional winner. K-State also has had three national winners.
Since joining K-State in 1997 as an assistant professor, Williams has been recognized several times for her teaching and advising. She received the K-State College of Agriculture's Outstanding Graduate Teaching Award in 2008; was named a Teacher Fellow of the North American Colleges and Teachers of Agriculture in 2007; earned the outstanding adviser award from K-State's chapter of Gamma Sigma Delta, the national agriculture honor society, for 2005-2006; was named the College of Agriculture's outstanding adviser for 2001-2002; and received a Teaching Award of Merit from the National Association of Colleges and Teachers of Agriculture in 2002. She was promoted to full professor in 2006.
Williams teaches courses in greenhouse operations management, plant nutrition and nutrient management, pre-internship in horticulture, floral crops production and handling, and herbaceous ornamental plant production. Her classes offer students hands-on production experience, including producing poinsettias as part of a national trial. Her students also produce annuals and perennials for the K-State campus and K-State Gardens.
In addition, Williams is adviser to 25-30 students specializing in the crop production disciplines. She has helped her students receive more than $100,000 in industry scholarships during the last decade. She also is faculty adviser to K-State's chapter of Pi Alpha Xi, the national honor society for horticulture.
An active researcher, Williams is currently studying the physiological disorder edema, organic versus conventional fertilization of greenhouse crops, and the use of clays in soilless root media for their water and nutrient retention attributes. The U.S. Department of Agriculture, National Science Foundation, various trade and industry groups and others have supported her work. She also is the author of more than 30 refereed publications and more than 40 trade journal articles.
Williams is a magna cum laude graduate of K-State who earned a bachelor's in horticulture. She earned her master's and doctorate in horticultural science from North Carolina State University.
Eric Shappee, associate professor of aviation at K-State at Salina, has renewed his Master Certificated Flight Instructor accreditation for a fifth time.
Shappee, who has held the professional accreditation continuously since 2001, is one of only 19 flight instructors worldwide to earn the credential five times. He also is one of only 21 master certified flight instructors in Kansas, six of whom teach at K-State at Salina.
The national accreditation is recognized by the Federal Aviation Administration. Fewer than 700 of the approximately 93,000 certified flight instructors in the nation have achieved the master distinction. The designation must be renewed biennially and surpasses the FAA's requirements for renewal of the candidate's flight instructor certificate.
Shappee is a member of the Society of Aviation Flight Educators and specializes in glider tow training and unmanned aerial vehicle systems at K-State Salina's aviation facilities. He also serves in the Civil Air Patrol's Kansas Wing and is a FAA Safety Team representative in its Wichita Flight Standards district office area.
A paper authored by David A. Dzewaltowski, K-State professor of kinesiology, and colleagues, has received the Lawrence W. Green Paper of the Year Award from the Society of Public Health Education's journal, Health Education and Behavior.
The paper was "Healthy Youth Places: A Randomized Controlled Trial to Determine the Effectiveness of Facilitating Adult and Youth Leaders to Promote Physical Activity and Fruit and Vegetable Consumption in Middle Schools."
The paper talked about the Healthy Youth Places intervention program, which targeted increased fruit and vegetable consumption and physical activity in the sixth through eighth grades. After intervention, schools that implemented the program did not change in fruit and vegetable consumption but did significantly change in physical activity compared to control schools. The research found that building the skills and efficacy of adults and youth to lead school environmental change may be an effective method to promote youth physical activity.