Agricultural lawyer Terence Centner’s focus on current issues and his cultivation of thoughtful debate have made him a favorite instructor at the University of Georgia College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences. This fall, his engaging teaching style won him national recognition. The Association of Public and Land-grant Universities (APLU), the U.S. Department of Agriculture and the American Association of State Colleges and Universities recognized Centner with a National Excellence in College and University Teaching Award for Food and Agricultural Sciences. Centner received the award at the 128th APLU Annual Meeting, held Nov. 15-17, 2015, in Indianapolis, Indiana. The Excellence in College and University Teaching Awards for Food and Agricultural Sciences recognize faculty members who maintain outstanding scholarship, exemplary pedagogy and dedication to instruction. Only two national awards were given this year. The other award went to Garey A. Fox, professor and Buchanan Endowed Chair in Biosystems and Agricultural Engineering at Oklahoma State University. “To be recognized as one of the top teachers out of all the American colleges of food, agriculture, natural resources, human sciences and related fields is a tremendous honor,” said Josef Broder, interim dean and director for CAES. “Dr. Centner’s dedication to teaching excellence and his personal commitment to student success are most appreciated by the college and university.” Since joining the faculty of UGA in 1982, Centner has won several accolades for his teaching, including a 2004 UGA Gamma Sigma Delta Senior Faculty Award, a 2007 UGA Student Government Teaching Award, a 2014 CAES D.W. Brooks Award for Excellence in Teaching and membership in the UGA Teaching Academy. Centner is also the recipient of an Alexander von Humboldt Stiftung Research Fellowship, the 2014 American Agricultural Law Association Distinguished Service Award and the 2007 CAES D.W. Brooks Award for Excellence in Research. He served as Fulbright Fellow at the University of Mannheim in Germany from 2002 to 2003 and as Fulbright Visiting Professor at the University of Aberdeen in Scotland this year. Centner’s teaching focuses on engaging students through rigorous reading assignments, discussion and exercises. He employs the Socratic method in his agricultural and environmental law classes, which require students to learn how to formulate responses to questions, observe how others handle challenging inquiries and prepare themselves for their future careers. A leader in curriculum development, Centner proposed and helped to develop three majors, three minors and one certificate, as well as accelerated bachelor’s and master’s degree programs. He has presented seminars at 27 foreign universities. Centner is a founding member of a planning subcommittee that developed an online agricultural and environmental law certificate program for AG*IDEA, a national consortium offering online programs. He is a national expert in agricultural and environmental law. The trademark protection for Georgia’s Vidalia onions resulted from his research efforts. He earned a bachelor’s degree from Cornell University, Juris Doctor degree from State University of New York at Buffalo and a Master of Laws degree from the University of Arkansas. “Educating students and inspiring young minds is at the very heart of the public universities’ mission,” said Ian Maw, vice president of food, agriculture and natural resources at APLU. “The impact that educators have on their students can last a lifetime, and these awardees have helped their students realize their aspirations and serve as an inspiration to fellow educators.” (The Association of Public and Land-grant Universities contributed to this release.)
In the aftermath of World War I, with a nationwide food shortage raging, the doors of the University of Georgia were opened to women.Ultimately, the demand for technically trained female teachers and home demonstration agents dissolved the resistance to women enrolling at UGA.A bachelor’s degree for women was approved within the Division of Home Economics, part of the UGA College of Agriculture, in February 1918, and the first 12 female students enrolled that September.Championed by College of Agriculture President Andrew Soule, the Division of Home Economics eventually became the College of Family and Consumer Sciences (FACS).The college now has an alumni base of almost 20,000 and is celebrating its centennial throughout 2018.“Those women who went before us were driven to learn and understand more, to do more with their education and to contribute more to improving the lives of others,” FACS Dean Linda Kirk Fox said.One of the key features of the centennial celebration is the launch of a special website, www.fcs.uga.edu/centennial, that includes timelines, oral histories, and photos and biographies of the “FACS 100 Centennial Honorees,” people who brought strength and commitment to the ideals of the profession.They were nominated and selected by a committee of faculty, staff, alumni and students.The Centennial Honorees, along with members of the Honor Hall of Recognition, the highest honor given by the college, will be celebrated at the “FACS 100 Gala: A Centennial Celebration,” on Saturday, Feb. 24, 2018, at The Classic Center in Athens, Georgia.“I am proud to join with others in recognizing these individuals who have embraced and influenced the ideals to which our college aspires, including student-centered education, research to improve the human condition, generosity and a spirit of public service,” Fox said. “All of the Centennial Honorees and the members of the Honor Hall of Recognition are to be applauded for their contributions to our success.”Several of the honorees have long ties to UGA Cooperative Extension, including current faculty members Elizabeth Andress and Judy Harrison and former 4-H and Morgan County Extension Coordinator Carolyn Ainslie.Honorees even hail from the same family. Ava Rodgers, former housing specialist and U.S. Department of Agriculture deputy administrator for home economics and human nutrition, was selected along with her nephew, Tom Rodgers, former director of Georgia 4-H and UGA Extension director of county operations.You can review the bios of the honorees at www.fcs.uga.edu/centennial/facs_100_honorees.The honorees also will be recognized in the 140-page pictorial history book, “Enriching Lives: Family and Consumer Sciences at UGA,” which will be published this summer.“The partnership between the College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences and the College of Family and Consumer Sciences to engage the university with the people of Georgia is unique,” said Don Bower, a retired Extension human development specialist and one of the Centennial Honorees. “State and local faculty from both colleges work together closely to discern local needs and to deliver practical, research-based information to improve the lives of individuals, families and communities. This partnership has proven successful for the last 100 years and continues today with Georgia as a national leader in Cooperative Extension engagement.”
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