The NACTA Nominating Committee, composed of Ann Marie VanDerZanden (Iowa State Univ), Audrey Luke-Morgan (Abraham Baldwin Agricultural College – Georgia), Kimberly Moore (Univ of Florida), Jeff Hattey (Ohio State Univ), and Foy Mills, Jr. (Lubbock Christian Univ), is pleased to present the slate of candidates approved by the NACTA Executive Committee for this year's election of NACTA officers. Candidate information is posted to our website in alphabetical order.

Members of NACTA are asked to review the candidates' qualifications listed on the NACTA website reached via the link below and to thoughtfully consider the course each candidate would take to achieve our NACTA goals as discussed in their respective personal statements. On March 16, 2021 the electronic ballot from Association Voting will be activated and voting instructions will be emailed to you.

President-Elect Candidates

Heather Bruce
University of Alberta

Heather BruceNACTA Involvement
Heather Bruce has been a member of NACTA since 2017, and served as Canadian regional director (first as director-elect and then director) on the NACTA Executive Committee since 2018. Heather was awarded a NACTA Educator Award in 2017, and as Canadian Regional Director, Dr. Bruce has engaged with NACTA representatives at Canadian post-secondary institutions with curricula related to agriculture to promote and encourage involvement and membership in NACTA. Dr. Bruce has reviewed NACTA conference abstracts, attended in-person and virtual NACTA conferences, and is an active participant in the Executive and the Regional Director committees. Heather is now looking to become more involved in NACTA and to continue to work closely with the NACTA Executive Committee.

How NACTA would benefit from Heather's Leadership
Heather Bruce brings to NACTA an inclusive, international perspective and a strong commitment to teaching agriculture. She brings to NACTA enthusiastic support for experiential learning, having established the Canadian Meat Education and Training Network in 2014, which matches university students in meat science with internships in the meat industry. Her years of leadership experience in the public and private sectors (CSIRO Australia and Maple Leaf Foods, respectively) have honed her abilities to work in teams with diverse memberships and to think strategically. As President-Elect, Heather will continue to work with the NACTA Executive Committee to focus on maintaining and expanding NACTA membership as outlined in the 2017 Strategic Visioning Plan, particularly by identifying ambassadors at Canadian institutions and working with these ambassadors to encourage NACTA membership and teaching award applications. Heather also has experience with organizational and Board governance, and is therefore positioned to contribute to the effectiveness of NACTA as a professional association. Heather identifies strongly with the values of NACTA and has a profound commitment to teaching excellence, having been recognized for such at the University of Alberta throughout her academic career, most recently with one of only five University of Alberta Rutherford Awards for Excellence in Undergraduate Teaching in 2020.

Todd Winters
University of Tennessee - Martin

Todd WintersNACTA Involvement
Dr. Todd Winters has been an collegiate educator of agriculture for over 25 years lecturing in Animal Science, Agricultural Biotechnology, and Student Success. He currently serves as the Dean of the College of Agriculture and Applied Sciences at the University of Tennessee - Martin, a long time institutional member of NACTA. Dean Winters has served as the Liaison for Non-Land-Grant Agricultural and Renewable Resources University (NARRU) on the NACTA Board of Directors since 2018. As NARRU Liaison, he attends monthly meetings, has been a voice in decision making and policy changes, reports on NARRU activities, and serves as NACTA liaison on the NARRU Board of Directors. He also serves on the NACTA Global Engagement Committee. Dr. Winters has been a presenter at the NACTA Conference in the areas of student success, high impact learning, and international agriculture education. He was also a panel member/facilitator for two recent NACTA Workshops: Promoting Yourself: How to Showcase Scholarship of Teaching and Learning in Your Promotion and Tenure Dossier (2018) and APLU Employability Skills Survey (2020). He always looks forward to attending the National Conference, and strongly believes in NACTA’s mission of promoting the scholarship of agricultural teaching and learning.

How NACTA would benefit from Todd's leadership

Dr. Todd Winters grew up on a dairy farm in Washington state, and his leadership skills began to develop with 4-H and FFA activities. He received degrees at Washington State, Purdue and Wisconsin-Madison, was an NIH postdoctoral fellow at the University of Virginia Medical School, and spent 19 years of his academic and administrative career at Southern Illinois University. As Dean at UT Martin (since 2013), his scholarship activities have concentrated on teaching & learning; leadership & entrepreneurship; and international agriculture. In a faculty exchange, he served as a Visiting Distinguished Professor of Agriculture at Hirosaki University (Japan, Fall 2015), and currently is involved in active projects in Italy and Kenya. Dean Winters is Past-President (2015-16) and current Legislative Affairs Chair of the Non-land-grant Agricultural and Renewable Resources Universities (NARRU). In that role, he is very active in the advocacy for federal funding of agriculture higher education, and caucuses with the Academic Programs Section of the APLU Board on Agricultural Assembly. He is a Fellow in the Food Systems Leadership Institute and Past-Board Chair and Program Chair of the LEAD21 National Leadership Program (2016-2018). In addition to NACTA, he serves on the Board of the Charles V. Riley Memorial Foundation, an advocacy organization for agriculture education and research. Dr. Winters is a proven leader and agriculture advocate. He can lead NACTA forward to have an impact on our campuses and even globally.

 Secretary/Treasurer Candidates

Chris Estepp
University of Arkansas

Chris Estepp

NACTA Involvement
I have been involved with NACTA since 2009 where I have contributed scholarship to the journal and research conferences. Additionally, I have served on the Journal Awards Committee, the Membership and PR Committee, and have served as a reviewer for NACTA Teaching Awards. I currently serve as the NACTA Campus Ambassador for the University of Arkansas, and served in this role to Sul Ross State University. I was part of the ad hoc committee appointed by the president to help with the NACTA constitution and bylaws revision. I received the NACTA Graduate Student Teaching Award, the NACTA Educator Award, the Jack Everly Journal Award, and the E.B. Knight Journal Award twice.

How NACTA would benefit from Chris' leadership

NACTA is an outstanding organization, which I am proud to have been part of for the past 12 years. This organization has given me so much, and I would like to give back by serving in a leadership role. We have been fortunate to have wonderful leaders in NACTA who have moved this organization forward, and if elected secretary/treasurer, I will provide leadership to further the NACTA mission of helping postsecondary agricultural educators improve their teaching and promoting excellence in agricultural education. I have a strong passion for teaching and learning, and I believe it is our role as current NACTA members to continue to grow the organization and help improve teaching and learning in colleges of agriculture.


Lee Wood
Southern Utah University

Lee G Wood

NACTA Involvement
My involvement in NACTA has had a profound impact on my professional career, contributing to my efforts to become an effective teacher. I have been a NACTA member for 14 years and am a Life Member of the organization. I have actively participated in the organization attending each annual conference. I present regularly, and have published in the NACTA Journal. I began attending the Educational Issues and Teaching Improvement Committee in 2009 during the annual conference at Oklahoma State University, and started taking an active role in the committee in 2010 at Penn State University. I was nominated to serve as the Western Regional Director in 2019. I have had the opportunity to serve on the Executive Board of NACTA as Secretary/Treasurer during the past two years. This has been an important time in the history of NACTA as we have transitioned to a new management organization, at the same time navigating the challenges of a world-wide pandemic. I would love to serve another term as the Secretary/Treasurer of this wonderful organization.

How NACTA would benefit from Lee's leadership

I have been a member of NACTA for most of my career as an educator, and this membership has had a dramatic impact on me. I have appreciated the leadership and example of those who have served NACTA during my years as a member, and would like to give something back. I have worked on the NACTA Executive Board as Secretary/Treasurer during the past two years, and would welcome the opportunity to continue that service. I am presently the Chair of the Department of Agriculture and Nutrition at Southern Utah University. During my tenure as chair, our department has undergone major changes and development, and I have been happy to help direct our faculty and staff through an exciting and challenging time. I look forward to helping keep NACTA financially viable and responsible. My management experience extends beyond the University, as my wife and I own and manage a small family beef cattle ranch in the mountains of southern Utah. It has provided a wonderful place to raise a family that we are very proud of. I appreciate being considered for this position.


The nominating committee recommended to the NACTA Executive Committee, and they consented, that the three sitting directors run unopposed for a new two-year term due to changes made in the NACTA bylaws in June 2020. There was no opposition from NACTA membership.

 Eastern Region Director Candidate

Elizabeth Karcher
Purdue University

Elizabeth KarcherNACTA Involvements

I joined NACTA in 2014 and attended my first conference that same year at Montana State University. Through my participation in the annual conferences, I’ve enjoyed networking and building friendships with those that share a similar passion for education. My graduate students and I routinely present abstracts at the annual conferences. In fact, for the last four years, I’ve volunteered to review meeting abstracts as well as submitted manuscripts. I served on the Educational Issues and Teaching Improvement Committee from 2014 to 2017 and I am currently serving on the Global Engagement Committee. In 2017, Purdue University was fortunate to host the 63rd annual NACTA meeting. I served on the Program Planning Committee for this event and as a session moderator and host during the meeting. In 2019, I was elected to the NACTA Executive Committee as the Eastern Region Director-elect and transitioned to the Eastern Region Director role in 2020. In this role, I worked with members of the Educational Issues and Teaching Improvement Committee and Regional Directors in Fall 2020 to host a teaching session titled, “Creating Engaging Online Learning When Everyone Wants to Be Present”. I currently serve on the NACTA Journal Ad Hoc Committee. Looking to the future, I am excited to continue my active roles in NACTA at both the national and regional level.

How NACTA would benefit from Elizabeth's leadership
I recently reflected on the leaders that had the most influence and impact on me, both personally and professionally. They all had three main things in common: 1) the ability to think ahead and strategically anticipate future needs; 2) demonstrated a level of self-awareness, integrity, and empathy; and 3) focused on developing the skills of others through deliberate delegation of the workload. My approach to leadership is to emulate these traits in my daily decisions and interactions with my colleagues. If given the opportunity to continue serving on the NACTA Executive Board, I will continue to look for opportunities to engage our membership. Within the Eastern Region, I hope to strengthen relationships between NACTA members within our region’s institutions by providing opportunities for networking and engagement. I will work with other Regional Directors to identify activities and discussions that provide all members a voice within the organization. One example of how this might be accomplished is to continue offering teaching sessions once a semester to provide a space for members to share their classroom experiences. My goal is to work with NACTA members to continue moving our organization forward.

 Southern Region Director Candidate

Wendy Warner
North Carolina State Universtiy

warner headshotNACTA Involvement

Dr. Wendy Warner is an associate professor in the Department of Agricultural and Human Sciences at NC State University. Wendy teaches undergraduate and graduate courses both on-campus and via distance in the areas of agriculture teacher preparation, educational technology, and youth program management. Her research interests focus on technology integration, the influence of performance assessments on the student teaching experience, and the scholarship of teaching and learning.

In 2009, Wendy attended her first NACTA Conference in Stillwater, Oklahoma. Since then, she has attended ten conferences, been a lead author or co-author on 23 oral presentations and numerous poster presentations. Wendy was recognized as a NACTA Teacher Fellow in 2013 and has been on the Teacher Recognition Committee since 2010. She served as the chair of that committee from 2015 – 2019 and was elected to begin serving as Southern Region Director-Elect in 2019.

How NACTA would benefit from Wendy's leadership
Wendy’s involvement in NACTA has encouraged her collaboration on SoTL research and teaching innovations with other faculty members at NC State and from other institutions around the country. She appreciates and promotes NACTA’s commitment to encourage and recognize instructional excellence and scholarly efforts specific to teaching and learning. Over the last year, Wendy has been energized by the work of the regional directors and looks forward to continuing these efforts in promoting opportunities and encouraging involvement in NACTA.

 Western Region Director Candidate

Shannon Arnold
Montana State University

Shannon ArnoldNACTA Involvement

Dr. Shannon Arnold is a Professor in Agricultural Education at Montana State University where she holds a 75% teaching appointment. Her teaching focuses on extension and non-formal education for youth and adults, outreach education for agricultural professionals, program development and evaluation, and equine guided education. As a member of NACTA for 11 years, I have had the opportunity to be involved with the organization in many ways. I have presented several posters and papers at NACTA conferences, serve as a NACTA journal and awards reviewer, published in the NACTA journal, and served on the 2014 NACTA conference planning committee. Highlights of my credentials include the NACTA Teaching Award of Merit and Teacher Fellow Awards.

How NACTA would benefit from Shannon's leadership

I have truly enjoyed serving as the NACTA Western Region Director-elect and would like to continue to contribute to the growth of this exceptional organization. As a regional director, my goals are to provide representation for our region at meetings and conferences; increase recruitment of new faculty and student members; expand conference involvement and attendance; encourage members to apply for organizational awards; and become more involved in committees, including the Membership and Public Relations Committee. Mostly, I would just like to give back to NACTA as it has provided me with years of professional development skills and opportunities.