Texas Tech University

Agricultural Researcher Receives 2021 Australia-based Fulbright Scholar Award

Norman Martin

July 7, 2020


Beginning in 2021, Courtney Meyers will conduct research based at Charles Sturt University in Wagga Wagga, Australia.

Courtney Meyers, a professor and graduate studies coordinator in the Department of Agricultural Education and Communications in Texas Tech University's College of Agricultural Sciences & Natural Resources (CASNR), recently received a Fulbright Scholar Award funded by the Australia-based Regional Universities Network (RUN) and the Australian-American Fulbright Commission.

Meyers' project, "Exploring Agricultural Communications in Australia," will be based at Charles Sturt University in Wagga Wagga, Australia, starting in January 2021. As a Fulbright Scholar, Meyers will research how agricultural issues are being communicated in Australia.

Insights gained from her research will be used to create teaching case studies to help students develop critical thinking and communication skills. She also will collaborate with colleagues at Charles Sturt University to facilitate the curriculum development process for agricultural communications.

"I am honored to have this opportunity to share my expertise with colleagues at Charles Sturt University, learn more about another culture and explore the potential to develop agricultural communications as a disciplinary focus in Australia," Meyers said. "My goal is to conduct the research necessary to build a framework for this curricular area that will serve to strengthen regional communities and the Australian agriculture industry."

Meyers is one of two recipients for this inaugural Fulbright award.

"This is the first opportunity of its kind in our 70-year history, enabling U.S. experts to work with a diverse range of institutions from Far North Queensland to inland Victoria," said Thomas Dougherty, Fulbright Australia Executive Director. "The RUN Fulbright Scholar Award's focus on regional issues has clear potential to improve the lives and livelihoods of Australians and Americans alike."

The partnership between the Australian universities and the Fulbright organization was the first globally to focus research on regional issues, added Helen Bartlett, chairperson of RUN and vice-chancellor and president of the Federation University Australia in Victoria, Australia.

"Each year for four years, RUN will fund two academics from the U.S. to come to Australia and undertake research relevant to rural and regional Australia," she said.

RUN Fulbright Scholar Award recipients focus their work on one of RUN's three collaborative research themes, which includes crops and food for the future; health and wellbeing in the regions; and new industries.

"The scholars will be based at one of the network's seven universities," Bartlett said. "They also will spend time at other RUN universities to deepen the collaboration and inspire RUN academics to become Fulbright Scholars."

Recognized in May as a 2020 American Association for Agricultural Education (AAAE) Fellow, Meyers is a member of Texas Tech's Teaching Academy and has received a number of teaching awards at the college, university and national levels. The AAAE award was presented in recognition of exceptional and sustained contributions to the profession throughout her career.

Among her honors are the Non-land-grant Agriculture and Renewable Resources Universities' Distinguished Young Educator Award (2013), Texas Tech President's Excellence in Teaching Award (2014), U.S. Department of Agriculture's New Teacher Award (2015), Western Region AAAE Outstanding Researcher Award (2015), CASNR Student Advising Award (2018), Texas Tech Integrated Scholar (2018) and Texas Tech's Chancellor's Council Distinguished Teaching Award (2018).

Meyers has co-authored award-winning research papers and posters including the outstanding research article in the Journal of Applied Communications, the Association for Communication Excellence outstanding paper, the SAAS Agricultural Communications outstanding paper and the AAAE distinguished manuscript. She currently is serving a three-year term as the past participant representative on the LEAD21 Board of Directors and a two-year term as the American Association for Agricultural Education Vice President for Communications.

Meyers, who joined the Texas Tech faculty in 2008, earned her bachelor's degree in agricultural communication and journalism from Kansas State University. She earned master's degree in agricultural and extension education from the University of Arkansas and her doctorate in agricultural education and communication from the University of Florida.