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Ag Student Designs Her Way To Top Teaching Award

Aug. 1, 2011
SHSU Media Contact: Julia May

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Amy Wilson

When Amy Wilson was a high school student working in a flower shop in Centerville, she never gave much thought about her talent for designing floral arrangements. She considered it a relaxing hobby and something fun to do.

She certainly never dreamed it would pave a path for her to receive an international award.

“I didn’t pay attention to whether or not I had a special ability,” she said. “It’s always come easy to me, and I enjoy doing it.”

However, people began to notice her work and told her, “You really need to take up floral arranging and develop your talent.”

So when it came time to go to college, Wilson chose the school that not only offered a degree in the area in which she excelled, but one that was already a part of a family tradition.

“My dad (Mike Wilson) is a Bearkat, and I grew up listening to stories about when he and Dr. Bobby Lane, now an agriculture professor at SHSU, went to school,” she said.

“Both my brothers, Aaron and Asa, are Sam Houston grads, as well,” she said. “We all bleed orange, even my mom. She says she qualifies because of all the times she had to pull out her pocketbook to pay for us being at SHSU.”

As an undergraduate majoring in horticulture and crop science with a minor in secondary education, Wilson took advantage of numerous opportunities that came her way. She became a member of the Collegiate Future Farmers of America, Delta Tau Alpha honor society for agriculture student, the Horticulture Club, and the Ag Ambassadors.

She served on committees both at the department and university levels and was the committee chair for special events within the Department of Agricultural and Industrial Sciences.

In 2008, she was elected the national president of Delta Tau Alpha and served as the co-chair for the steering committee charged with planning the 2009 National Agriculture Ambassador Conference held at Sam Houston State University.

Following her graduation, with honors, she enrolled at SHSU as an agriculture graduate student.

She has spent part of her time as a teaching assistant, teaching classes in floral design, soil science and animal science.

Amy WilsonHer outstanding work as a teacher earned her a nomination for a North American Colleges and Teachers of Agriculture Graduate Student Teaching Award, which recognizes and rewards graduate students who excel as classroom teachers in the agricultural disciplines. Evaluation criteria included the graduate student’s teaching philosophy; statement of support from supervising faculty; evaluations submitted by students and an administrative officer; a self-evaluation; and involvement in teaching outside the classroom. The award is considered the highest honor a graduate student who teaches agriculture can be given.

During the organization’s conference, which was held in June at the University of Alberta in Canada, Wilson was recognized as one of nine graduate student teachers in North America, and the only one in Texas, to receive the prestigious award.

“It is such a wonderful honor for me to receive this award,” she said. “My experience as both an undergraduate and graduate student at Sam Houston has helped me attain many of my goals.”

Stanley Kelley, chair of the Department of Agricultural and Industrial Sciences, said that Wilson deserves the recognition she has received for her work.

“Needless to say, Amy has gained a lot of experience, but most importantly she has grown as a person,” he said. “Her experience in graduate school proved yet again to be a success being named the outstanding teaching assistant.

“She has gained the respect from professors as she has been placed in leadership roles with numerous tasks and research projects,” he said. “Her plans for the future are to graduate in August 2011, then acquire an agricultural sciences teaching position. Eventually, she plans to open her own business to include event planning and floral design. Regardless of the trail that her life takes her, her knowledge and skills will help make it a successful journey.”



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