OSU's Karen Hickman adds to list of accomplishments
The list of accomplishments for Karen Hickman, associate professor in Oklahoma State University's department of natural resource ecology and management, continues to grow.
"As I look back over the years of my career and focus on the teaching activities in which I have been involved, I am happy to say that I have come close to the professional goals I set forth," Hickman said.
Hickman, who graduated from OSU with a bachelor's degree in biological science in 1985, was most recently selected as the Outstanding Undergraduate Teacher by the Range Science Education Council and Society for Range Management. The award was established to encourage and recognize individual excellence in teaching that has extended over the course of many years.
"I was extremely honored and thrilled to be selected, especially given that former and current students of mine wrote letters of recommendation used in selecting this year's winner," Hickman said. "It makes it even more special coming from the students."
An Alva native and current Enid resident who drives to Stillwater daily, Hickman has always held students close to her heart. She is a past recipient of the OSU College of Agricultural Sciences and Natural Resources' Outstanding Advisor Award.
"I strongly believe successful teaching and advising of undergraduate students requires constant revision, something for which I have devoted a large amount of time and energy," she said. "My philosophical approach to advising has been to focus on the growth and development of the student rather than focus on the mechanics of enrollment."
Since joining OSU in 2004, Hickman has had a profound effect on the OSU Division of Agricultural Sciences and Natural Resources, which includes the college and two state agencies: the Oklahoma Agricultural Experiment Station system and Oklahoma Cooperative Extension Service.
"Dr. Hickman is an outstanding faculty member who is clearly dedicated to her profession and her students," said Keith Owens, NREM department head. "She involves students in her research, in professional meetings activities and in her daily life. She is truly an exemplary teacher and mentor."
Since the beginning of her teaching career, Hickman has posted a saying from Henry Ward Beecher in every office she has worked, a reminder of the standards she wants to maintain in her teaching career.
"Hold yourself responsible for a higher standard than anybody else expects of you," the saying reads.
"Although some people may view this saying as trite, it actually motivates me to constantly strive to improve," Hickman said. "More importantly, I've had students comment that they were motivated by this message, as well."