Michael Sykuta, associate professor of agricultural and applied economics in the Division of Applied Social Sciences (DASS), received the Outstanding Senior Teaching Award during CAFNR’s 2020 virtual Celebration of Excellence awards celebration.
Sykuta received his bachelor’s degree from the University of Missouri-St. Louis, and his master’s degree and PhD from Washington University, with all three degrees coming in economics. He joined the University of Missouri in 1998 as an assistant professor before becoming an associate professor in 2005. Sykuta has served as graduate faculty since 1998 and doctoral faculty since 1999. He is the director of undergraduate studies in agribusiness management and program coordinator for graduate studies in the agribusiness and organizational economics emphasis area of the agricultural and applied economics degree programs.
Sykuta’s research is related to the organization, structure, strategic management, and regulation of firms and markets. He is the author of more than two dozen peer-reviewed journal articles and a handful of book chapters.
Sykuta’s teaching philosophy is focused on stimulating and encouraging students to become active, self-motivated learners who can effectively communicate their ideas. He provides his students with first-hand, active roles in applying knowledge, concepts and skills in a way that each student finds meaningful and relevant. Sykuta puts a focus on written assignments and group discussion, and both play an important role in each of the courses he teaches.
“As both a scholar and teacher I feel he is a valuable and versatile contributor to its academic mission,” said Joe Parcell, director of the Division of Applied Social Sciences. “Dr. Sykuta is involved in both the undergraduate and graduate programs of agribusiness management, and agricultural and applied economics, teaching core courses in both programs. He advises 20-30 undergraduate students per semester, and an additional 1-2 master’s and doctoral candidates as well. He frequently publishes with his PhD students, forging pathways to research productivity and professional achievement for the next generation of scholars.
“Dr. Sykuta is a fixture in this division, whose influence is felt across all disciplines.”