STILLWATER, Okla. – Oklahoma State University’s Edwin L. Miller has been named the 2012 recipient of the North American Colleges and Teachers of Agriculture Distinguished Educator Award.
The NACTA award recognized meritorious service to the organization and to higher education through teaching, educational research or administration.
“I think my most important contribution was being among those who have worked to stimulate change in agricultural and natural resource education nationwide,” Miller said. “As an example, look at the effect of globalization. Students today need to be more aware than ever about how concerns and issues across the world can affect their career choices and everybody’s quality of life.”
A professional forester and an OSU faculty member since 1986, Miller currently serves as director of international programs for the OSU Division of Agricultural Sciences and Natural Resources.
“Fifteen years ago, fewer than 10 percent of our students had an international experience; now, it’s approximately 40 percent of OSU agriculture and natural resources students who have had this valuable education,” he said. “The college may have provided the leadership, but our faculty members have done and continue to do most of the work in terms of actually taking students abroad. They are to be highly commended.”
Miller served as associate dean of the division’s College of Agricultural Sciences and Natural Resources (CASNR) from 1999-2011, providing academic leadership and administrative management for 16 majors and more than 50 study options.
Under his leadership, 20 CASNR students were selected as recipients of the highly competitive national Fulbright, Marshall, Truman or Udall scholarships, and five CASNR faculty members were recognized with national U.S. Department of Agriculture Excellence in College and University Teaching in the Food and Agricultural Sciences awards.
Prior to being named CASNR associate dean, Miller served as head of the OSU department of forestry from 1989-1999. He served as interim dean and director for the entire division from 2004-2005, and as interim head of the OSU department of biosystems and agricultural engineering in 2000.
Linda C. Martin, associate dean and director of academic programs for the College of Food, Agricultural and Environmental Sciences at The Ohio State University, feels fortunate to have observed firsthand what she cited as Miller’s “support for faculty, dedication to students and unfailing service to higher education” while she served as assistant dean of CASNR from 2002-2008.
“Dr. Miller has clearly earned the respect and deep admiration of students, faculty and colleagues,” she said. “I feel extraordinarily privileged to have worked alongside him. There is no other single person who has been more influential in shaping my academic career.”
NACTA is a professional society that focuses on promoting, recognizing and rewarding excellence in teaching agriculture and related areas at the post-secondary level. Members of NACTA are from two-year and four-year public and private colleges.
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