Kitchel honored with APLU’s New Teacher Award

Tracy KitchelTracy Kitchel, associate professor and director of graduate studies, Department of Agricultural Education, has been awarded a national 2011 New Teacher Award from the Association of Public and Land-grant Universities (APLU).

Kitchel joined MU in 2010 and teaches courses in personal leadership development, teaching methods, research methods, data analysis/interpretation and teacher education. Prior to 2010, Kitchel spent five years on the University of Kentucky faculty, where he served as founding director of the UK College of Agriculture Center for Excellence in Teaching and Learning.

The APLU New Teacher Award recognizes two outstanding faculty members on their ability as classroom teachers, use of innovative teaching methods, service to students and their profession, and scholarship. The award includes a $2,000 stipend.

“I cannot think of another faculty member in our profession more deserving of this award,” said Anna Henry, associate professor and department chair, Agricultural Education, Division of Applied Social Sciences. “Tracy is innovative in his approach, engaging with students and masterful at conceptualizing learning experiences for all audiences, from freshmen to advanced graduate students to practitioners in the field. He has made a strong contribution to both the academic and scholarly efforts in our department in just two short years, and we are lucky to have him on our faculty.”

In his courses, Kitchel strives to push and empower his students, equipping them to solve complex problems as they go out into the real world. His research focuses on understanding how secondary and post-secondary agriculture educators move from being novice to expert teachers. Kitchel has published 17 articles in seven different journals and brought in nearly $230,000 in grants. He co-edited and was a chapter co-author for the book “Preparing and Advancing Teaching in Agricultural Education,” published in 2010.

Kitchel serves as treasurer for the American Association of Agricultural Education. He has received outstanding journal article awards for publications in both NACTA Journal and the Career and Technical Education Research journal. Kitchel was awarded the University of Kentucky’s College of Agriculture Outstanding Advisor Award and the Provost Teaching Award for Non-tenured Faculty.

He earned B.S. and M.S. degrees from The Ohio State University and a Ph.D. from the University of Missouri. While in the doctoral program at MU, he received the university’s Donald K. Anderson Outstanding Graduate Teaching Assistant Award.

Kitchel’s award was presented at the annual APLU meeting Nov. 13 in San Francisco. Founded in 1887, the Association of Public and Land-grant Universities is an association of public research universities, land-grant institutions, and many state public university systems. Its 218 members enroll more than 4.7 million students and award nearly one million degrees annually.  As the nation’s oldest higher education association, APLU is dedicated to excellence in learning, discovery and engagement. For more information visit