Abit receives the Ferguson College of Agriculture Excellence in Teaching Award
Tuesday, September 7, 2021
Media Contact: Jami Mattox | Agricultural Communications Services | 405-744-8061 | email@example.com
Sergio Abit, an associate professor in the Oklahoma State University Department of Plant and Soil Sciences, is a recipient of the 2021 Ferguson College of Agriculture Award for Excellence in Teaching.
Abit’s favorite aspect of teaching is his interaction with students. He believes no one is born a teacher; rather, good teachers are made.
“This award is for the people who work with me, showed me the way and how to teach soil science,” Abit said. “I have a team who has worked with me for the last 19 semesters at OSU, and I couldn’t do this without them.”
Cynda Clary, associate dean of academic programs for the Ferguson College of Agriculture, said Abit has an impact on nearly every student in and beyond his classroom.
“Dr. Abit’s passion for students extends beyond the classroom,“ Clary said. “He treats his students with respect, holds them to a high standard, and helps them achieve success in and out of the classroom. He teaches them the valuable life lessons they need to be able to succeed as professionals beyond graduation.”
Jeff Edwards, head of the Department of Plant and Soil Sciences, said Abit’s passion for teaching often comes through in the form of innovative approaches to student engagement.
“Most recently, Dr. Abit’s innovative nature led him to change the way our student interns share the details of their internships with others,” Edwards said. “Previously, undergraduate students spent an afternoon providing oral presentations, and attendance by faculty at these presentations did not match the amount of work students had put into their presentations or the pride they felt in their internship program. Seeing the need to allow our students to shine, Dr. Abit organized an internship poster session on the first floor of Ag Hall.”
Abit was not satisfied with the status quo and wanted to make sure students had a better experience. As a result, the poster session welcomed a hallway filled with energetic students, faculty and administrators learning about the students’ internship experiences, Edwards said.
“The greatest testament to his dedication to the undergraduate program has been his willingness to fill in wherever and whenever needed,” Edwards said.
Anna Zander, a graduate research assistant, said she would not be pursuing her doctorate in crop science if it were not for Abit’s influence on her academic experience, and he has impacted her life tremendously through his time as her academic advisor, professor and friend.
“Dr. Abit was the first professor I met in plant and soil sciences,” Zander said. “As a nervous high school graduate, I could not have asked for a better introduction into this new life I was stepping into.”
His concern for students’ well-being and success throughout their college career and beyond is apparent to all who have the privilege of interacting with him, Zander added.
“Dr. Abit is not satisfied with the status quo, and he wants to make sure students have a great experience instead of just a good one,” she said.
Abit says he is fortunate to be able to impart his knowledge of plant and soil science to his students.
“I hope that my students know that I’m really passionate about the things that I teach, and I hope that it shows when I teach to them,” he said. “Not only that, I hope they know that I care, and that I only succeed if they succeed.”
The Ferguson College of Agriculture emphasizes hands-on learning and a well-rounded student experience. The college’s award-winning faculty members are dedicated to developing students and are passionate about adding value to the total educational experience. With a diverse set of majors and study options, plus more than 60 student organizations, the college is committed to expanding minds and inspiring purpose. Learn more at agriculture.okstate.edu.
Story By: Tanna Frizzell | firstname.lastname@example.org