Radhakrishna named recipient of 2017 Graduate Faculty Teaching Award

UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. — Rama Radhakrishna, professor of agricultural and extension education in the College of Agricultural Sciences, has received the 2017 Graduate Faculty Teaching Award.

The award, established in 1992 by The Graduate School, is presented to faculty members in recognition of outstanding teaching performance and advising of graduate students.

Radhakrishna relies on a three-fold approach to teaching: learning the information, transferring the information to real-life situations, and reflecting on and refining the material.

“As a teacher it is very important for me to recognize and understand students to engage and to encourage a meaningful debate in the classroom, share respectful and honest exchanges of ideas and promote a nonthreatening learning environment,” said Radhakrishna.

Radhakrishna said his role is to arouse the curiosity of his students and to make them think critically about the material, rather than simply reciting facts.

“I try my best to provide the necessary examples, skills and experiences needed for students to think critically and to draw conclusions,” said Radhakrishna.

A student and nominator said Radhakrishna is able to explain complex information in ways that are engaging, memorable and often sprinkled with humor and stories.

“He is an open book, telling personal stories of his life and work in India, his experiences as a graduate student and a new professor, all the way to the work he does as assistant dean today,” said the student, adding this transparency makes him relatable to students.

Recently, Radhakrishna was selected as a mentor for OMEGA II, a nine-month program for recently graduated students and newly hired faculty members in the agricultural and extension education field, which is sponsored by the American Association for Agricultural Education.

Radhakrishna was responsible for overseeing the professional growth and leadership development of five young scholars from across the nation. Program objectives for the scholars are to: be a leader in the profession, collaborate effectively and be a scholar in education, outreach and research.

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Last Updated April 04, 2017