NREM professor receives national award
Professor in the Department of Natural Resource Ecology and Management at Oklahoma State University, Tom Kuzmic, can hang another plaque on his wall.
Kuzmic was presented the North American Colleges and Teachers of Agriculture Southern Regional Outstanding Teacher Award at the annual conference recently. Cited for his "dedication to providing high quality, field-based, experiential learning opportunities for OSU students in forestry and natural resources for the past 30 years," Kuzmic gladly accepted the award.
"I love teaching and working with students, and sharing my passion for forestry and the bounty of opportunity that we receive from our natural resources," said Kuzmic.
He has served as the director of his department's forestry summer camp program since 1980, and led a short-term study abroad course in Honduras for the past 12 years.
As a member of the Society of American Foresters, International Society of Tropical Foresters and NACTA, Kuzmic is very involved with outdoor education and experiential learning.
"Tom is a dedicated and caring faculty member who has won numerous awards for his teaching and advising, and always receives excellent student evaluations," said Keith Owens, NREM department head. "This award is especially significant because it comes from a national organization focusing on undergraduate teaching."
This is not the first award he has received from NACTA. In 2005, Kuzmic was presented the Teacher Fellow Award, to go along with his Exemplary Faculty Award from the Ag Alumni Association at OSU. He has also been recognized by the SAF with the Carl Alwin Schenck Award for Teaching Excellence in 2004, and OSU presented Kuzmic with the International Education Faculty Excellence Award in 2005.
"I'm all about inciting students to learn by doing things in field settings and by interacting with people from all walks of life out on the landscape, rather than simply listening to classroom lectures and reading textbooks," Kuzmic said. "I integrate hands-on activities, service projects and fieldwork into the learning experience as much as I can. I nudge my students to take the responsibility for their own education, and to get fired up about it."