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Faculty Focus: Moore talks Chautauqua, ag and outhouses

Award-winning Professor Gary Moore has given in-depth talks at prestigious institutions around the country, on subjects ranging from the legacy of Booker T. Washington to how agriculture has changed to feed a hungry planet.

But he’s quick to tell you one of his most requested lecture topics: The History and Evolution of the Outhouse.

Moore’s down-to-earth sense of humor, along with his friendly demeanor and classroom innovation, is part of what makes him popular with students and lecture audiences alike.

Before he flies off to present a paper at the prestigious Chautauqua Institution on July 5, or at the oldest agriculture society in America (the Philadelphia Society for Promoting Agriculture – Benjamin Franklin was a member) on June 2, we managed to catch up with one of CALS’ most in-demand professors for a quick Q&A about his 27 years at NC State University.

Why did you come to work at CALS?

Well, I started at Purdue University in Indiana, but it was too cold. So I moved to LSU, but it was too hot. NC State is just right. [laughs] But the real answer is, the schools were better here for my children, and…NC State had an excellent reputation.

What are you working on right now?

Our department is very active in distance education…I’ve been doing research on how to do distance education better. In the last three years, I’ve been studying the importance of student-to-student interaction in distance education classes.

With Extension, I go out and do workshops for county agents, typically having to do with balancing work and family. We do a great job preparing people technically to be Extension agents, but we need to also teach them how to balance all these responsibilities with the rest of their life.

What stands out about CALS students?

They are top quality. Whenever we take a group of undergraduates to some conference or convention, other universities are envious of the quality of our students. They’re smart, they’re ambitious, they work hard – they’re good people.

The best advice I ever received was…

…to realize that universities exist to teach students. If there are no students, there is no university. Students are what a university should be all about.