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NMSU Educator First to Bring Home National Honor

A New Mexico State University instructor has become the first faculty member to be selected among the best of the West in agriculture education.



Brenda S. Seevers, a professor at New Mexico State University's College of Agriculture and Home Economics, has received the Western Regional Outstanding Teacher Award from the North American Colleges and Teacher of Agriculture. (NMSU photo by Darren Phillips)

S. Seevers received the Western Regional Outstanding Teacher Award from the North American Colleges and Teachers of Agriculture. This is the first time since the awards were first handed out in 1978 that an NMSU instructor has been given the honor.


"It's a wonderful honor," said Seevers, who has worked at NMSU for almost 16 years, "but it's even more rewarding because it's something that I really love to do."

During her time in Las Cruces, she has taught 11 different courses and conducted several teaching-related workshops to faculty and others. She has also served as faculty adviser for the College of Agriculture and Home Economics' Student Ambassadors.

She is joined by her fellow instructor Thomas Dormody, head of the Agricultural and Extension Education Department, in receiving NACTA honors this year. He received a Teacher Fellow Award from the group.

Both awards are unique because they are awarded not only because of recommendations from peers, but also from positive reviews from current and former students.

"(Praise from students) is rarely instant. It's more of a delayed response after time has passed or until it's utilized in a personal or professional manner," she said.

"So to read the comments about my teaching gives me a certain sense of accomplishment. It's definitely a very good feeling."

Although she didn't grow up on a farm, Seevers said she grew up between two farms.

"We lived literally between my grandparents' farms. One set lived on one side, the others on the other side - and we were right in the middle," she said. "But it was that experience of growing up in a rural area that shaped me into what I am today."

Seevers has received several other awards in her career, including the USDA Excellence in College Teaching Award. To her, these honors serve as examples of living up to her teaching philosophy, which partially states:

"I believe the decision to become an educator should be made not only because an individual has knowledge and skills, but also because they have the desire and passion to help others to help themselves."

"I am helping to train other teachers, which is a huge responsibility," she said. "I must show them the tools to be more effective teachers, but I also have to show them how to use them."

Photo is available at http://ucommphoto.nmsu.edu/newsphoto/seevers_brenda.jpg.
CUTLINE: Brenda S. Seevers, a professor at New Mexico State University's College of Agriculture and Home Economics, has received the Western Regional Outstanding Teacher Award from the North American Colleges and Teacher of Agriculture. (NMSU photo by Darren Phillips)

Victor Venegas
July 11, 2006