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NACTA Slate of Officers for Voting NACTA 2017–2018



President - Elect Candidates, Foy Mills, Jr. & Ann Marie VanDer Zanden


Foy Mills Jr, Sam Houston State University

Foy Mills Jr. Sam Houston State UniversitySome of you who read this bio will remember Dr. Dale Weber, a long-time NACTA member, who served as president in 1988-89. I vividly recall Dale sitting beside me on a “yellow-dog” school bus at the NACTA conference hosted by the College of Southern Idaho in 1993. In Dale’s kind, gentle manner, he encouraged me to make an investment in NACTA. I believe I have done just that and I hope that I have encouraged some of you to do the same.

Though I have served NACTA in a number of capacities in the 26 years since I attended my first conference, I am humbled by those of you who have persistently encouraged me to consider the NACTA presidency. Due to other leadership roles and professional transitions, I have declined in the past. However, I now believe I am ready to serve in this capacity if elected. I wish to show my gratitude by serving those who have served me for so long.

For those of you who might not know me, I have spent most of my career serving undergraduates within the non-land grant and private university systems. I am currently a professor and program leader of Agribusiness at Sam Houston State University. I previously spent 23 years at Abilene Christian University, ten of those years as department chair.

I am passionate about teaching, and faculty and student mentorship. I have been recognized with the USDA-NIFA Food and Agriculture Sciences Excellence in Teaching Award for the Southern Region, the Non-Land-Grant Agriculture and Renewable Resources Universities’ Distinguished Educator Award and the NACTA Distinguished Educator Award, among other honors.

I earned my BS with honors from Lubbock Christian University, and my MS and PhD from Texas Tech University. I am also a certified Strengths-Based Educator.


Ann Marie VanDer Zanden, Iowa State University

Ann Marie VanDer Zanden Iowa State University

Dr. Ann Marie VanDerZanden is a Louis Thompson Distinguished Undergraduate Teacher, Director of the Center for Excellence in Learning and Teaching (CELT), and Professor of Horticulture at Iowa State University. In her role as CELT director, Ann Marie provides leadership for the center in meeting its mission to support, promote, and enhance teaching effectiveness and student learning at Iowa State. As a horticulture faculty member she has taught over 25 different courses, and she currently maintains an active teaching and mentoring role in the Department of Horticulture. She has received numerous university, regional, and national awards for her teaching effectiveness. Her research interests include many aspects of undergraduate education and she currently has the opportunity to explore these in both the horticulture context and across the university as director of the teaching center.

Ann Marie has been a NACTA member for 20 years and is a Life Member of the organization. She has been actively involved in NACTA and has served in a number of leadership positions including: Executive Committee, 2006-present (currently ex-officio as 2018 annual conference chair to be hosted at Iowa State University); Midwest Director, 2013-2015; Midwest Director elect, 2012-2013 and Educational Issues and Teaching Improvement Committee, Chair 2006-2012. Ann Marie has also organized and facilitated conference workshops on the scholarship of teaching and learning (SoTL) and on preparing graduate students for academic appointments.

Candidate Statement: I have been a NACTA member for almost my entire career. Over these 20 years I have found NACTA to be extremely beneficial professionally, and one of the most enjoyable organizations to be involved with personally. I believe the network of agriculture educators created by NACTA provides a wonderful space for graduate students, new, mid-career, and senior faculty to all engage in constructive conversations about teaching and learning. I would welcome the opportunity to serve the NACTA organization and members and to continue building on the positive direction I believe the organization is headed.


Eastern Region Director - Elect Candidates, Daniel Foster & Donna Westfall-Rudd


Daniel Foster, Penn State University

Daniel Foster Penn State UniversityHello! My name is Daniel Foster. I am an Agricultural Teacher Educator who is currently an Associate Professor of Agricultural and Extension Education in the Department of Agricultural Economics Sociology and Education at Penn State.

I would love the opportunity to help advance engagement of excellent teaching and learning in agriculture while continuing my own personal professional development by serving as a member of the NACTA executive team. NACTA holds a special place in my heart as a warm welcoming organization where like-minded individuals congregate to explore how to help student success happen! I feel very fortunate to have a strong mentor in Dr. Susie Whittington from Ohio State as my PhD advisor who introduced me to NACTA as a graduate student. And my first department head, Dr. Tracy Hoover from Penn State, to continue to support and encourage my involvement as a new faculty member.

My past NACTA engagement includes starting as a graduate student member in 2007 and serving on the International Committee since 2011 including serving as a special editor for an internationally focused NACTA journal special issue. I loved being a part of the conference host committee in 2010 for Penn State and enjoyed past NACTA conferences in Illinois (2007); Oklahoma (2009); Wisconsin (2012); Virginia (2013); and Hawaii (2016). Past NACTA awards I have been honored to receive include: the Graduate Student Teaching Award (2009); Teaching Award of Merit (2012), EB Knight Journal Award (2012), and Agricultural Educator Award (2015).

A quick highlight of my engagement in our university mission includes:

Teaching - I love teaching the Methods of Teaching class for AEE majors and exploring innovative ways to help other agricultural graduate students embrace the scholarship of teaching and learning in their practice through a graduate teaching agriculture course.
Research - The project I am most excited this spring is about know is in my line of inquiry on global competency in agricultural education exploring the question of what impact does investment in agriculture teacher international professional development experience have on student global competency outcomes? Other lines of inquiry revolve around access to quality agricultural education through teacher quality as well as through harnessing innovative instructional technology.
Service - I love helping the National FFA with the Parliamentary Procedure Career Development Event. Helping young people secure (and be excited about) pragmatic skills to help them as engaged leaders in leading organizations as well as conducting effective meetings is fun!

I am also a horrible golfer, avid reader, and active Twitter user (@FosterDanielD) who loves Willie Nelson, College Basketball, and sharing cold beverages with good friends. Thank you in advance for your support and I look forward to seeing you at future NACTA events!


Donna Westfall-Rudd, Virginia Tech

Donna Westfall Rudd Virginia Tech

As an associate Professor in the Department of Agricultural, Leadership, and Community Education at Virginia Tech I am passionate about teaching others effective program planning and effective teaching for youth and adult learners in agricultural education contexts. As the Virginia Tech CALS Graduate Teaching Scholars (GTS) Program Director and Senior Scholar, I serve as a teaching mentor to the eighteen doctoral participants from departments within the college. As a part of the three-year GTS program each of the scholars is expected to complete the program’s three-course sequence, become an instructor of record for a course in their home department, and design and implement a small research project within their teaching practice. While this is a relatively new program, six alumni have received the NACTA Graduate Student Teaching Awards and two are applying for the award in 2017.

I encourage all of our ALCE and GTS graduate students to engage in the many opportunities NACTA has to offer. We regularly attend conferences were we have conducted presentations and enjoy sharing our ideas during poster sessions. I am very pleased with the success our students have had publishing in the NACTA Journal. I am eager to grow my NACTA engagement beyond my college campus. I believe the NACTA organization provides scholarship and professional opportunities that are critical for the continued improvement of postsecondary agricultural education. I value the expectation that regional directors take the time to communicate with colleagues at other campuses to ensure they understand the mission and opportunities offered through NACTA and would be honored to have the opportunity to represent the organization in this role.




Western Region Director - Elect Candidates, Edward Franklin & Dean Winward


Edward Franklin, University of Arizona

Edward Franklin University of Arizona

Edward Franklin is an Associate Professor at the University of Arizona, Tucson and instructs lecture and laboratory courses in agriculture technology management, and pre-service teacher education. He has been an active member of NACTA since 2011, serves on the NACTA Journal Editorial Review Board, and has reviewed numerous conference oral and poster presentation abstracts. He has submitted Teaching Tips, and received the Bob Gough Outstanding Teaching Tip Award (2011, 2015), and the NACTA Educator Award (2014). He has made both oral and poster presentations at NACTA conferences.

Dr. Franklin recently chaired a regional research conference for his department, chairs the department assessment committee, and has chaired numerous faculty search committees for his department. Franklin has served on the National FFA Agriculture Technology & Mechanical Systems Career Development Event (CDE) Committee since 2005. He conducts outreach presentations on solar photovoltaic (PV) energy applications for agriculture to middle school, high school, and university courses, as well as to teacher groups, cooperative extension agents, and farmer groups.






Dean Winward, Southern Utah University

Dean Winward Southern Utah University 2

Dean Winward grew up on a family farm in northern Utah and Southern Idaho. He received an A.A. degree in agriculture from Ricks College (Now BYU-Idaho) and B.S. and M.S. degrees in Soil Science (Agronomy) from Utah State University. Dean was an Instructor and Assistant Professor of Agriculture and Range Management at Fort Lewis College in Durango, Colorado for nine years. He is an Associate Professor of Agriculture at Southern Utah University and has been there for 26 years teaching courses in agronomy. His research interests have been in invasive species control (mainly cheatgrass and rabbitbrush); nitrogen management in corn; seeding rates, fertility requirements and varietal trials in alfalfa; and windbreak studies. He has worked as a Research Technician and Assistant Farm Manager for Utah Power & Light; as a Research Associate at the San Juan Basin Research Center for Colorado State University in Hesperus, Colorado; and as a Range Technician for the U.S. Forest Service in Cedar City, Utah. Dean has served on the NACTA Teacher Recognition Committee for the past 8 years and received the NACTA Teacher Fellow Award in 2010.





Southern Region Director - Elect Candidates, Kim Moore & Nick Fuhrman

Kim Moore, University of Florida

Kim Moore University of Florida

Dr. Kimberly A. Moore is Professor of Environmental Horticulture at the University of Florida. She is located at the Fort Lauderdale Research and Education Center, where she maintains a 70% teaching and 30% research appointment. Dr. Moore received her PhD and MS degrees in Horticulture from Iowa State University and her BS degree in Environmental Science and Botany, with a minor in Chemistry from Eastern Illinois University. Her impressive teaching schedule has included developing both undergraduate and graduate level courses in greenhouse production, plant nutrition, and organic chemistry. Moore’s dedication to excellence has resulted in a consistent record of outstanding teaching evaluations from both her peers and her students.

In addition to developing a high-quality teaching program, which was followed by the successful transition to an online teaching format, Dr. Moore has maintained a productive research program with an excellent record of publication in peer-reviewed journals. Her research focus is on developing nutritional management strategies for greenhouse crops, specifically the use of alternative growing substrates and the impacts of wastewater and salt water on containerized ornamental plant growth.

In recognition of Dr. Moore’s exceptional contributions to teaching, she was awarded the North America College and Teachers of Agriculture (NACTA) Fellow in 2011; the NACTA Southern Regional Outstanding Teacher Award in 2014; the American Society of Horticulture Science (ASHS) Outstanding Graduate Educator Award in 2014; and the University of Florida Academy of Distinguished Teaching Scholars in 2014. In 2015, Dr. Moore was elected to the ASHS Board of Directors where she currently serves as the Member-at-Large representative. In 2016, Dr. Moore also was inducted as a Fellow of the ASHS.

Within NACTA, Dr. Moore has served as the chair of the Educational Issues and Teaching Improvement committee (EITI). She is a Life member of NACTA.


Nick Fuhrman, University of Georgia

Nick Fuhrman University of Georgia

Dr. Fuhrman received his B.S. and M.S. degrees in forestry from Virginia Tech and his Ph.D. in agricultural education and communication, with a focus in environmental education program evaluation, from the University of Florida. Prior to entering graduate school, he was a naturalist with the Maryland Department of Natural Resources for seven years where he used injured, non-releasable birds of prey and reptiles as teaching tools in public presentations. These presentations gave him opportunities to teach before large audiences and on television.

Also known as “Ranger Nick,” he teaches graduate courses in educational program development, program evaluation, and data analysis, and undergraduate courses in environmental education and teaching methods. His passion is in teaching and he often can be seen using live animals (such as snakes, turtles, and owls) in the classroom and on his monthly television series, “Ranger Nick,” on the RFD-TV network. He has been involved with NACTA for 11 years, serving as Chair of the Teacher Recognition Committee for four years.



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