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K-State Today

September 23, 2014

Horticulture faculty awarded inaugural innovative teaching award grants

Submitted by Chad Miller


Two of the nine nationally available Innovative Teaching Award Grants from the Association of Public and Land-grant Universities, were awarded to K-State faculty in the horticulture, forestry and recreation resources department. The focus of the awards is threefold.

First, is the goal to enhance faculty scholarship of teaching and learning through innovative teaching and learning experiences for students. A second goal is to build and develop collaborative faculty relationships across institutions in the food, agriculture and natural sciences, using the innovative teaching and learning approaches. And lastly, these awards may serve as base or pilot studies for future grant proposals.

Chad Miller, assistant professor of horticulture, in collaboration with Iowa State faculty members Chris Currey, assistant professor of horticulture, and Anne Marie Vanderzanden, professor of horticulture and director of Center for Excellence in Learning and Teaching, will develop course and lab curriculum to increase the knowledge and understanding of plant propagation and subsequent greenhouse plant production practices of native prairie plant species. In their project, students will be involved in identifying and implementing in-lab research projects related to the native species. Information gained will be collected and disseminated through presentations publications to cooperating students in the respective courses at K-State and Iowa State, industry professionals and through further integration into course curriculum.

Kim Williams, professor of horticulture, is collaborating with Bruce Dunn, associate professor of horticulture at Oklahoma State University, to develop an in-depth, multi-week course experience in their graduate-level flowering physiology courses with a focus on crop production in high tunnels. Their project will involve student interaction from across the U.S., in teams across universities, both within and between AG*IDEA and ACCEPtS distance learning consortiums, to ultimately produce a review article that integrates the environmental domains that affect the flowering process. The project includes evaluation of the effectiveness of such an inter-institutional collaborative learning project in distance courses.