Edgar Receives Third National Teaching Award

Leslie Edgar honored for innovative teaching

Tuesday, November 26, 2013
From left, Catherine Woteki,a research scientist with the U.S. Department of Agriculture, Leslie Edgar, and Bumpers College Associate Dean Lona Robertson.

From left, Catherine Woteki,a research scientist with the U.S. Department of Agriculture, Leslie Edgar, and Bumpers College Associate Dean Lona Robertson.

FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. – Leslie Edgar, an associate professor of agriculture communications in the Dale Bumpers College of Agricultural, Food and Life Sciences at the University of Arkansas, has added to her list of national awards for the year. She earned a National College and University Teaching Award for new teachers in Food and Agricultural Sciences from the United States Department of Agriculture and the Association of Public and Land-Grant Universities.

Edgar, who teaches in the agricultural education, communications and technology department, is one of only two national recipients of the USDA-APLU new teacher award and only the fifth Bumpers College faculty membered to be honored by this organization.

“I am blessed to receive a USDA-APLU Excellence in College and University Teaching Award,” said Edgar. “My Bumpers colleagues Don M. Johnson and George Wardlow received these awards in the past, and they are two of the people who have shaped me as a teacher. I am grateful for their insight and mentorship. I am also grateful for our undergraduate and graduate students. I believe we truly have the best students. I want to thank my students, colleagues and the administration for nominating me. It is a pleasure to work at an institution which values teaching.”

The award was presented at the 126th Association of Public and Land-Grant Universities Annual Meeting in Washington, D.C., and honors university faculty for the use of innovative teaching methods and service to students. The award includes a $2,000 stipend to be used for improving teaching.

“These awards are extremely rare,” said George Wardlow, department head and a 2008 recipient of the Southern Regional Award. “This is truly an honor and Leslie is very well-deserving.”

In June, Edgar was recognized as the winner of the Teacher Fellow Award by the North American Colleges and Teachers of Agriculture organization and as the recipient of the Association for Communication Excellence in Agriculture, Natural Resources, and Life and Human Sciences Award of Excellence for Research.

Edgar, who was recognized for contributing to curriculum improvement, has earned 21 awards for scholarly activities, and her research has had an impact regionally, nationally and internationally. She has authored or co-authored 27 research articles with 20 focused on teaching or teaching innovations.

She has 103 peer-reviewed conference proceedings and poster presentations to her credit. Edgar has published six non-refereed publications and has presented several local, regional, national and international professional development seminars. In 2008, a seminar focused on strategies and techniques for strengthening research in the agricultural education and communications disciplines, and was attended by more than 70 faculty researchers.

An ACE member since 2006, she has served as chair of ACE’s International special interest group and provided leadership in its mission to expand the international scope and impact of the organization. She is the current vice-chair elect for the ACE research SIG and serves on the editorial board of the Journal of Applied Communications.

Edgar received her bachelor’s degree in animal science in 2000 and her master’s degree in agriculture systems, technology and education in 2002 from Utah State University. She earned her doctoral degree in agricultural leadership, education and communications from Texas A&M University in 2007.

She has served as co-adviser to the Bumpers College branch of the Agricultural Communicators of Tomorrow since 2007, served on the university’s Academic Advising Council, chaired the Bumpers College Curriculum Committee and is director of the college’s office of international programs.

“When alumni recall their college days, they often think of teachers who had the biggest impact on them,” said Ian Maw, vice president of Food, Agriculture and Natural Resources at APLU. “The teachers presented with these awards will be fondly remembered for their service to students, to the teaching profession, and to their chosen disciplines. The value of these teachers to their universities cannot be overstated.”

The USDA-APLU program reviews nominations from departments in agriculture, natural resources, veterinary science and human science. In addition to six regional awards, the selection committee chooses two national recipients and two new teacher awards. Nominees are evaluated on their ability as classroom teachers, use of innovative teaching methodology, service to students and their profession, and scholarships.

The Association of Public and Land-Grant Universities is a research, policy and advocacy organization representing 223 public research universities, land-grant institutions, state university systems and related organizations. Founded in 1887, it is the nation's oldest higher education association.


Leslie Edgar, associate professor
Agricultural and Extension Education Department
479-575-6770, ledgar@uark.edu

Robby Edwards, director of communication
Bumpers College
479-575-4625, robbye@uark.edu

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