Two outstanding faculty members with Texas Tech’s College of Agricultural Sciences and Natural Resources have been named Texas Tech Integrated Scholars by the university’s Office of the Provost. Scott Burris, an Associate Professor and Graduate Studies Coordinator with Tech’s Department of Agricultural Education and Communications and Cynthia McKenney, Associate Chair and Rockwell Endowed Professor of Horticulture with Tech’s Department of Plant and Soil Science, were recognized through the annual selection process.
“An Integrated Scholar at Texas Tech University is a faculty member who demonstrates significant accomplishments and effective synergy among the major professorial functions of teaching, research, and service,” said Lawrence Schovanec, Texas Tech Provost and Senior Vice President. “Each of these faculty members has infused the results of their scholarship and creative activity into the learning experiences they provide to students, and their service and engagement activities.”
This year, 40 applications or nominations for Integrated Scholars were received, and it was no easy task to narrow the field to this group of 11 finalists due to the overall quality of the applications, he said. Current CASNR faculty members who are Integrated Scholars include Peter Dotray, CASNR’s Leidigh Professor of Weed Science with a joint appointment at Texas A&M Agrilife Research and Extension Service; Cindy Akers, CASNR’s Associate Dean for Academic and Student Programs; Guy Loneragan, a Texas Tech veterinary epidemiologist and professor of food safety and public health; and Mindy Brashears, director of Texas Tech’s International Center for Food Industry Excellence.
McKenney is a nationally recognized professor of ornamental horticulture. Over the years her research efforts have focused on development and release of native plant varieties included in the Raider Wildflower Collection and water conserving landscape research. In the past, she has held a number of academic leadership positions, including serving as an undergraduate program coordinator, and greenhouse administrator at Tech. In 2010, she was named a professor of horticulture and distance education leader at Tech.
McKenney received her bachelor’s degree in ornamental horticulture and her Texas provisional secondary teaching certificate in broad field science from Tech. Her master’s degree in horticulture and doctorate in higher education administration are from Tech. Recent honors for McKenney include the CASNR Service/Outreach Award (2014); Lifetime Member Award from the Texas Nursery Landscape Association (2013); and the J.C. Miller Distinguished Educator Award, Southern Region-American Society for Horticulture Science (2010). She was inducted as a Fellow in the American Society of Horticultural Science (ASHS) and currently is the Vice President of the Education Division for ASHS.
Separately, Burris, a specialist in agricultural education, joined the Tech faculty in 2005 and currently serves as the department’s Student Teacher Coordinator. He earned a bachelor’s degree in interdisciplinary agriculture from Texas Tech, and master’s and doctorate degrees in agricultural education from the University of Missouri. He is known for his effective teaching at Tech and has received the Outstanding Faculty Member of the Semester Award from the college.
In addition, Burris is active in service roles. He is associate chair for Tech’s Institutional Review Board committee and is a member of the Texas FFA Board of directors. Awards for Burris include CASNR Teaching Award (2013); Professing Excellence Award (2013); President’s Excellence in Teaching Award; and Spencer A. Wells Faculty Award for Creativity in Teaching.
Written by Norman Martin