The longtime Texas Tech University professor joins several colleagues in being honored by NARRU.
A strong commitment to teaching has garnered a longtime Texas Tech University educator and expert in horticulture, viticulture and plant physiology the 2017 Distinguished Educator Award presented by the Non-Land-Grant Agricultural and Renewable Resources Universities (NARRU).
Thayne Montague, an associate professor of horticulture and Undergraduate Program leader within the Texas Tech Department of Plant & Soil Science, received the award at a special presentation earlier this month during a NARRU meeting in Morro Bay, California. Montague also holds a joint appointment with the Texas AgriLife Research and Extension Center.
"Teaching plant sciences can be a challenge," Montague said. "Many students enter college with an inadequate understanding of our limited natural resources and how ornamental plants, food and fiber are produced and benefit our lives. Teaching students helps me fulfill one of my fundamental responsibilities as a scientist, to use science-based research to gain knowledge and assist students to understand and apply scientific principles in their lives."
Montague earned his bachelor's degree from Brigham Young University and his master's degree from Auburn University. He holds a doctorate from Utah State University. Since joining the Texas Tech faculty in 1999, his research has focused on physiology, plant/microclimate interactions and drought tolerance of woody ornamental plants, grapevines and olives.
Other recent honors for Montague include the Southern Region American Society for Horticultural Science J. Creighton Miller Distinguished Educator Award (2017); the Texas Tech University President's Excellence in Advising Award (2015); being named a College of Agricultural Sciences & Natural Resources (CASNR) Advising Academy Member (2015); and the Texas Tech President's Excellence in Teaching Award (2013).
"We have great students at Texas Tech University, in our college and in the Department of Plant & Soil Science," Montague said. "It is a privilege to help educate our students and prepare them to make well-informed decisions about proper care and management of our limited natural resources."
CASNR has had tremendous recent success in the NARRU Award categories. Among those receiving honors were Courtney Meyers, an associate professor in the Department of Agricultural Education & Communications (2013); Ryan Rathmann, an associate professor in the Department of Animal & Food Sciences (2014); and Erica Irlbeck, an associate professor in the Department of Agricultural Education & Communications (2015).
Chance Brooks, a professor and associate chair of the Department of Animal & Food Sciences, previously won the Distinguished Educator Award in 2016, according to Steven Fraze, interim dean of CASNR.
According to program officials, the purpose of NARRU is to be a unifying force for all faculty, students, staff and administrators of agriculture, food and renewable resource programs at NARRU state-funded public colleges and universities. NARRU promotes excellence in science-based teaching with hands-on experience in conducting responsive, issue-based research and communicating findings to stakeholders and the general public.