Faculty and graduate students of the College of Agriculture, Food and Natural Resources recently attended the American Association for Agricultural Education North Central Region Research Conference in Morgantown, W.V. Several educators were recognized, including Tracy Kitchel, associate professor and director of graduate studies for the department of agricultural education and leadership, who received the Distinguished Researcher Award for the region.
“I was grateful to be nominated by some great colleagues in my department. It’s nice to feel valued for your scholarship by your colleagues in your department and in your profession,” Kitchel said. “My department chair, Anna Ball, won this award a few years ago, so it’s nice to know I’m contributing to that reputation of the department.”
Kitchel has taught several courses during his time at MU, such as teaching methods, quantitative research methods, analysis and interpretation, and leadership. He has an extensive list of achievements, including being awarded the USDA Excellence in College and University Teaching in the Food and Agriculture Sciences Award for New Faculty in 2012; and later that year he was also inducted into the MU CAFNR Teaching Academy.
Kitchel’s research focuses on secondary and post-secondary agriculture educators, and how they move from being novice to expert teachers, with an emphasis on the novice teacher. Along with his teaching and research achievements, he is also a co-editor and a chapter co-author of “Preparing and Advancing Teachers in Agricultural Education.”
“[Receiving this award] is just like icing on the cake on what’s already been a great four and a half years here at Mizzou. It was probably more important to me that my graduate students were proud. I think it further substantiates their decision to come here and develop as scholars and researchers with our department,” Kitchel said.
Kitchel received a Bachelor of Science and a Master of Science in Agricultural Education from Ohio State University. After three years of teaching, he attended the University of Missouri, where he received his Ph.D. in Agricultural Education.
The American Association for Agricultural Education is a professional organization that serves as an advocate for the improvement of teaching and learning in agriculture. The Distinguished Researcher Award is given to a member who has exceptional research in agricultural education.