AMES, Iowa — Iowa State University horticulture Professor Gail Nonnecke has been selected Iowa Professor of the Year by the Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching and the Council for the Advancement and Support of Education.
"I am honored to be selected to receive the Iowa Professor the Year Award," Nonnecke said. "Undergraduate education is paramount for training our future professionals to help not only our nation but global communities. Faculty and student collaboration is highly valued at Iowa State University and I have tried to embrace that value in my courses. I have appreciated the tremendous support I received from Iowa State's Center for Excellence in Learning and Teaching, the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences and the Department of Horticulture."
The award was presented today at a luncheon in Washington, D.C. There are winners in 40 states and the District of Columbia, who were chosen from more than 300 nominees.
"Rarely do I encounter an individual who is so engaged and committed to such a variety of roles related to serving students," said Corly Brooke, director of Iowa State's Center for Excellence in Learning and Teaching, who nominated Nonnecke for the award.
Brooke noted Nonnecke's work with the horticulture learning community, which groups students with similar interests to help acclimate them to the university; mentoring professors; and her study abroad experiences. The last two summers, Nonnecke led a team of students that helped develop a school garden for teaching agriculture in rural Uganda.
Nonnecke is a Pennsylvania native who has been at Iowa State for 24 years. She earned a bachelor's degree in general agriculture and a master's degree in horticulture from The Pennsylvania State University in 1975 and 1977, and a doctorate from The Ohio State University in horticulture in 1980. Her area of research interest is small fruit or berry crops with an emphasis on applied systems to raise the crops sustainably.
The award is part of the U.S. Professors of the Year program, which salutes the most outstanding undergraduate instructors in the country. It is the only national program to recognize excellence in undergraduate teaching and mentoring.
All undergraduate teachers in the United States, of any academic rank at any type of undergraduate institution, are eligible for the award. Entries are judged by top U.S. educators and other active participants in education. The Council for the Advancement and Support of Education administers the program. More information on the program: http://www.usprofessorsoftheyear.org