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Source: Kim Williams, 785-532-1434,
Photo available. Contact or 785-532-6415.
News release prepared by: Beth Bohn, 785-532-6415,

Tuesday, Feb. 9, 2010


MANHATTAN -- A Kansas State University 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. of the $2,000 award. The awards program 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 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.

Williams is K-State's seventh regional winner in the awards program. K-State also has had three national winners.

I am very pleased that Dr. Kim Williams has been recognized by the USDA for the energy, expertise and scholarship she brings to the classroom," said Don Boggs, associate dean of K-State's College of Agriculture. "She is the type of caring, innovative and professional faculty member who helps make K-State special."

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 trialing program. 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 crop production disciplines and has helped her students receive more than $100,000 in industry scholarships in the last 10 years. 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 articles for trade journals.

Williams is a magna cum laude graduate of K-State, earning a bachelor's in horticulture. She earned her master's and doctorate in horticultural science from North Carolina State University.