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USDA Honors UW-RF's Ferriss For Teaching Excellence

November 20, 1998

University of Wisconsin-River Falls horticulture Professor Terry Ferriss has been cited for excellence in teaching by the U.S. Department of Agriculture and the National Association of state Universities and Land-Grant Colleges.

The Hastings, Minn., resident was the recipient of the 1998 Excellence in College and University Teaching the Food and Agricultural Sciences Award for the North Central region. It was presented to Ferriss recently at the NASULGC convention in Atlanta.

Through her teaching in the College of Agriculture, Food & Environmental Sciences, Ferriss focuses on helping students become competent professionals who will shape the future of the profession. In recognition of Ferriss' significant professional accomplishments and exceptional teaching abilities, she has been honored in the past by UW-RF as a recipient of the American Society for Horticultural Science's Outstanding Undergraduate Educator Award, the college's Outstanding Teacher Award, the Bronze Award from the Wisconsin Garden Club Federation, and she has been named the UW-RF Distinguished Teacher, the highest award presented by the University.

Further, she is a four-time winner of the Woody Kalin Award from Pi Alpha Pi National, presented to the coach of the national championship in the National Intercollegiate Floral Crop Evaluation Contest.

Ferriss' courses range from introductory horticulture to senior seminars, employing innovative teaching materials and methods. Ferriss also has established and advised student organizations, assisted students competing for regional and national horticulture scholarships, and coordinates students participating in horticultural internships.

During her 19 years at UW-RF, Ferriss has actively participated in course design, initiating five new horticulture classes, including one taught through distance-learning interactive television. She has incorporated technology into her classes including computerized greenhouse environmental control and landscaping systems, and computerized production and cost analysis systems. Further, Ferriss for the past five years also has served as the college's assistant dean.

The USDA teaching award was authorized by the U.S. Congress in 1977 and amended in 1990. The program generates nominations from a large spectrum of departments in agriculture, natural resources, veterinary science and human sciences. Each year more than 50 faculty members are nominated and then evaluated on their abilities in the classroom, innovative teaching methodology, service to students and their profession, and scholarship.

NASULGC was founded in 1887 includes 201 public research universities, land-grant institutions and many state university systems. Its campuses enroll more than 3.1 million students.

The North Central region includes the states of Wisconsin, Minnesota, Michigan, Indiana, Illinois, Iowa, Ohio, Kansas, Nebraska and Missouri.

Ferriss holds a bachelor's degree in horticulture from Colorado State University and her master's and doctorate in horticulture from the University of Minnesota.

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