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Teaching with Passion: Grad Student Wins NACTA Teaching Award

Matthew Warren with his NACTA award certificate
Photo by NACTA under CC BY 4.0 license and resized.

When Kimberly Livingston nominated Matthew Warren for a Graduate Student Teaching Recognition award from the North American Colleges and Teachers of Agriculture (NACTA) she wrote about Matthew’s “passion for students and teaching.”

Passion is a good word for this dynamic, engaging student and instructor who always brings energy and enthusiasm, both inside and outside the classroom.

The NACTA Graduate Student Teaching Recognition award “recognizes and rewards graduate students who excel as teachers in the agricultural disciplines,” according to the organization’s website. “The award is for NACTA graduate student members who have been involved in classroom instruction for a minimum of one year.”

Warren has a wide range of graduate teaching assistant experience, including his work at NC State and at Auburn University in Alabama. In the Prestage Department of Poultry Science, he was a graduate teaching assistant for Comparative Nutrition in spring 2019, as well as for Vitamin Metabolism and for Avian Anatomy and Physiology. He also tutored a range of subjects at West Hill College-Lemoore in California.

“Teaching is fluid,” Warren said, “and happens in many shapes and forms.”

Teaching is fluid…and fun!

He encourages both undergrads and grads to teach, because “they will learn more about themselves.” His own teaching philosophy centers interdisciplinary perspectives, enthusiasm and subject knowledge, and engaging a diverse student body with empathy.

“Teaching is fun,” he added with a grin.

Warren calls his teaching journey – and receiving this award – “a team effort.” He thanked Marilyn Mayer for assistance with the nomination package, along with the nominating faculty member and letter writers.

Warren traveled to Twin Falls, Idaho for the 2019 NACTA conference, where he was recognized as part of the conference awards ceremony. Warren highly recommends the conference for anyone wanting to explore innovative teaching techniques and add “a new dimension” their education.

Asked what’s next for him, Warren said, “I am working to finish my Ph.D. in 2020.” While he hopes to eventually be a tenure-track faculty member, with post-doc work in between, he says he’s excited to see where he goes next!

landscape image of Idaho scenery including a river, bridge and rocky formations
The horizon in Idaho (photo by Matthew Warren)