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Standing left to right Cynda Clary, Shelly Legg and Thomas Coon. Legg is holding an award plaque.
Shelly Legg (center), professor in the OSU Department of Agricultural Education, Communications and Leadership, receives the Excellence in Teaching Award from Cynda Clary (left), associate dean of the Ferguson College of Agriculture, and Thomas Coon (right), vice president and dean of OSU Agriculture.

Legg’s service and legacy honored with Excellence in Teaching Award

Thursday, June 8, 2023

Media Contact: Kristin Knight | Agricultural Communications Services | 405-744-1130 |

Shelly Peper Legg, professor in the OSU Department of Agricultural Education, Communications and Leadership, recently received the Excellence in Teaching Award at the Ferguson College of Agriculture Scholarship and Awards Banquet.

Legg began her career with OSU in February 1992 as an instructor and academic advisor after a career in the communications industry.

As an OSU agricultural communications alumna, Legg’s contributions as a professor helped the program build on its strengths. 

Rob Terry, head of the agricultural education, communications and leadership department, said Legg has been instrumental in achieving the agricultural communications program’s success and national prestige.

“When Dr. Legg began her tenure, there was no need for an ‘AGCM’ course prefix due to how few students were enrolled,” Terry said. “Her tireless dedication, vision, innovative leadership, devotion to teaching and insistence on excellence have created an academic program admired by our peer institutions.”

Using the knowledge she gained from her industry experience, Legg revolutionized the agricultural communications curriculum – either developing or redesigning 10 of the 17 total courses she has taught, Terry said.

As Legg reflects on her career, she said she can’t help but feel proud.

“My students will be the first to tell you I expect excellence,” Legg said. “And I expect no less from myself.”

The culture of excellence Legg has worked to instill can be measured by OSU students amassing more than 500 awards from the National ACT Critique and Contest under her guidance.

Additionally, the Cowboy Journal, a biannual magazine produced by agricultural communications students, has earned 15 national best student publication awards from multiple collegiate and professional organizations since its inaugural issue in 1998.

Dwayne Cartmell, agricultural communications professor, believes this level of success was attainable because of Legg’s dedication to her students outside of the classroom.

“Shelly treats every student as if they were her own,” Cartmell said. “I have yet to meet a student who doesn’t value her unique combination of discipline, dedication and compassion.”

When it comes to her students and advisees, Legg takes a holistic approach. She said cultivating genuine relationships with her students is the key to seeing them thrive in all aspects of their lives.

“Learning by doing is more than a motto to Dr. Legg,” said Cynda Clary, associate dean of the Ferguson College of Agriculture. “It serves as the foundation for her teaching philosophy and motivates her to connect personally with her students.”

While Legg has been honored with more than 45 awards in her 31-year tenure, for her, receiving the Excellence in Teaching Award is the seal of a career well-spent.

“After three decades of being a faculty member in this college, I know that I’m getting close to where I’m ready to step into something else,” Legg said. “This is that last piece that says, ‘I made a difference.’”

By: Hunter Gibson

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