Congratulations to Dr. David Barker on receiving the 2022-2023 CFAES Distinguished Teacher Award! Dr. Barker is a Professor and Associate Chair here in the Department of Horticulture and Crop Science (HCS). He received his BS and MS from Massey University, New Zealand, and PhD from University of Nebraska.
Currently he teaches both undergraduate and graduate courses focused on plant science. He also serves as an adviser to our Sustainable Plant Systems - Agronomy students and advises two student clubs: Mountaineers + Crops and Soils Club. Additionally, Dr. Barker conducts research focused on grassland ecology (specializing in grazing management) and serves on the HCS Academic Affairs Committee.
Dr. Barker shared how meaningful this achievement has been as well as a bit about his approach to teaching:
What were your feelings on winning this award?
Dr. Barker: Really, I was very surprised. There are some amazing teachers in CFAES so to be selected for the award was very much an honor.
Could you tell us a bit about your approach to teaching?
Dr. Barker: My goal in teaching is to make the curriculum as relevant as possible to student needs. Whether students will be going to the farm or industry and using the information directly in their career, or, are non-farmers, and using the information to understand the world they see, I aim to give relevant and factual information. Education goes beyond delivering information, and our obligation as teachers is to apply that information within a relevant context. Many of our students are experiential learners, so include hands-on activities as much as possible.
Learn more about all the 2023 CFAES Award Winners!