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OSU's Garey Fox earns national natoriety as educator

The Association of Public and Land-Grant Universities, the U.S. Department of Agriculture and the American Association of State College and Universities have named Oklahoma State University's Garey Fox as one of two national 2015 recipients of the Excellence in College and University Teaching Awards for Food and Agricultural Sciences.

The Association of Public and Land-grant Universities, the U.S. Department of Agriculture and the American Association of State Colleges and Universities have named Oklahoma State University’s Garey Fox as one of two national 2015 recipients of the Excellence in College and University Teaching Awards for Food and Agricultural Sciences.

The award, which honors university faculty for their use of innovative teaching methods and service to students, was presented during ceremonies at the APLU’s recent annual meeting in Indianapolis, Indiana.

“We congratulate Dr. Fox on this major milestone in his career as an educator,” said Thomas G. Coon, vice president, dean and director of OSU’s Division of Agricultural Sciences and Natural Resources. “To receive this award and to be honored at the APLU annual meeting represents one of the most noteworthy recognitions a professional in education can experience.”

Focused on increasing degree completion and academic success, advancing scientific research, and expanding engagement, APLU undertakes a wide array of projects and initiatives with its members while providing a forum for higher education leaders to work collaboratively to better meet the challenges and opportunities facing public universities. More than 1,400 leaders in public education attended the annual meeting, according to the APLU website.

“We couldn’t have wished for a better venue to honor Dr. Fox for his accomplishments and commitment to the ideals of OSU’s land-grant mission,” Coon said.

In recognition of Fox’s scholarship, the award includes a stipend of $5,000 to be used for improving his teaching activities at OSU.

Ian Maw, APLU vice president of food, agriculture and natural resources, said awardees such as Fox serve as an inspiration to fellow educators.

“Educating students and inspiring young minds is at the very heart of public universities’ mission,” Maw said.  “The impact educators have on their students can last a lifetime, helping them to realize their aspirations.”

The APLU cited Fox’s exemplary record in curriculum development and outcome assessment, student recruitment, retention, advising and mentoring students, noting that his teaching and research programs are intricately linked through conducting and publishing teaching-related research on curriculum and program assessment; organizing and hosting an annual, nationwide Student Water Conference; hosting a National Science Foundation Research Experience for Undergraduates; and advising undergraduate research scholars.

A DASNR faculty member since 2006, Fox excels both in and out of the classroom. He has been a researcher on more than 35 water-related grant projects totaling approximately $6.5 million, including serving as principal investigator on four national-level U.S. Department of Agriculture grants, two National Science Foundation grants and a United States Geological Survey grant.

Fox serves as the division’s Thomas E. Berry Endowed Professor and director of the Oklahoma Water Resources Center, providing leadership for what is the hub of water-related teaching, research and Oklahoma Cooperative Extension Service activities in the state.

“Water issues in Oklahoma, whether water quantity or quality issues, require multidisciplinary solutions,” Fox said. “DASNR water faculty – especially in collaboration with other water faculty at OSU, agricultural producers, public and private organizations and community leaders – possess the necessary knowledge and skills to reach optimal solutions to difficult water issues.”

Fox earned his Bachelor of Science and Master of Science degrees in agricultural engineering from Texas A&M University in 1998 and 2000, respectively. He earned his doctoral degree in civil engineering from Colorado State University in 2003.

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