Christopher C. Gunter
Associate Professor and Extension Vegetable Production Specialist
Department of Horticultural Science
North Carolina State University
Raleigh, North Carolina, USA
ASHS member since 1993. BS 1994, Purdue University; MS 1996, University of Wisconsin–Madison; PhD 2001, University of Wisconsin–Madison.
Positions: Vegetable Production Specialist and Associate Professor, 2013–present, NC State University; Assistant Professor, 2007-–13, NC State University; Cropping Systems Specialist, 2000–07, Purdue University; Teaching Assistant, 1995–99, Survey of Horticulture and Environment of Horticultural Plants, University of Wisconsin–Madison.
ASHS Activities: Endowment Fund Committee, 2009–14, Chair 2012–14; Vegetable Crops Management Working Group (Member, Steering Committee Member, Secretary, Chair Elect, Chair), 2001–present; Plant Nutrient Management Working Grou (Secretary, Chair-elect, Chair), 2006–present; Produce Quality, Safety, and Health Properties (Secretary-elect, Chair), 2006–present); Certified Professional Horticulturist Board Member, 2006–present; Undergraduate Attendee Mentor at Annual Conference, 2009–present; Outstanding Vegetable Publication Awards Committee (Chair), 2005–07. Other Professional Society Membership and Service: Southern Region-ASHS Member, 2008–present; International Society of Horticultural Science (2008–present); Plant Growth Regulator Society of America (Secretary 2012–present); Crop Science Society of America, 2001–present; International Association of Food Protection, 2009–present (Carolina Affiliate of IAFP, 2009–present); SE Vegetable Extension Workers, 2007-present; NC Association of Cooperative Extension Specialists, 2007–present; Epsilon Sigma Phi, 2008–present; NCSU Food Safety Alliance Faculty (peer elected), 2009–present; Pi Alpha Xi, 2012–present.
Professional Service and Leadership Activities: North Carolina Governor’s Task Force on Food Safety and Defense, 2007-present, North Carolina Tomato Grower Association Board—Advisor, 2007–present; North Carolina Vegetable Growers Association Board—Advisor, 2007–present; North Carolina Greenhouse Vegetable Growers Association Board_Advisor, 2008–present; Collaborator, Produce Safety Alliance Working Group—Pre Harvest Food Safety, 2010–present; Southeast Vegetable Expo and Trade Show—Program Coordinator, 2009–present; Winter Vegetable Conference and Tradeshow—Educational Program Coordinator, 2009–present; Collaborator, Cornell National Good Agricultural Practices (GAPs) Program, 2007–present, Ad Hoc Reviewer for the following peer-reviewed journals: HortScience, HortTechnology, Journal of Agricultural Research, Journal of Pesticide Biochemistry and Physiology, and the International Journal of Vegetable Science; 2007–present.
Department, College, and Program Activities: Departmental Service—Advisory Committee (peer dlected), 2010–present; Seminar Committee (Co-Chair), 2010–present; Graduate Admissions Committee, 2009–11; Social Committee, 2008–10; Distance Education Committee, 2010–11; Awards Committee, 2008–09; Graduate Faculty—Associate Member, 2007–present; Undergraduate and Graduate External Review Presenter—Fresh Produce Safety Initiatives at NCSU, May 2010; Pi Alpha Xi, Faculty Co-Advisor (elected by students), 2012–present; NC Cooperative Extension Latino Advisory Council (CELAC), 2008–present; NC Association of Cooperative Extension Specialists, Advisory Board member, 2010–11; Crop Protection Committee—Horticultural Science Representative (Chair, Educational Program Development, 2011), 2008–present; NC Fresh Produce Safety Taskforce —Co-Chair, 2007–present.
Scholarship in Teaching: Taught semester-long courses and participated as a guest lecturer at three universities in horticulture and in related disciplines on topics including: introduction to horticulture, vegetable production, postharvest physiology, postharvest engineering, preharvest food safety, seminar techniques and technology, fruit development and postharvest physiology. Teach students at two- and four-year institutions and at the associate, baccalaureate, and graduate levels. Mentored and advised graduate and undergraduate students in Horticultural Science, Entomology, Food, Bioprocessing and Nutrition Sciences, Family and Consumer Sciences, and Plant Biology.
Club Advising: Pi Alpha Xi–Iota Chapter, Faculty Co-Advisor, 2013–present
Honors and Awards: Henry M. Covington Extension Award, SR-ASHS. Blue Ribbon Extension Communication Award.SR-ASHS. Opal Mann Green Engagement and Scholarship Award, NC Fresh Produce Safety Task Force. Extension, Engagement and Economic Development, North Carolina State University. Epsilon Sigma Phi, Distinguished Team Winners for the Southern Region (NC Fresh Produce Safety Task Force). Epsilon Sigma Phi, Team Award for the Xi Chapter for 2011 (NC Fresh Produce Safety Task Force). ASHS Extension Materials Award - Book Category.
Statement: I teach a diverse group of 21st century learners about vegetable production, and I strive to use a blended learning environment to provide traditional face-to-face instruction, experiential learning through practical in-field production of vegetable crops, and site visits to production farms of different sizes with diverse market channels. I also integrate modern technology tools to enhance learning when applicable. My goal is to broaden students’ professional networks and opportunities to learn as a direct and tangible way to fulfill the land-grant mission of North Carolina State University.
An example of this is the integration of a virtual field trip, via a collaborative online learning environment, by which my students were able to interact in real time with a Lettuce Production Specialist standing in an outdoor field environment. Kurt Nolte, Agriculture Agent and Regional Vegetable Production Specialist at the University of Arizona, was able to show my students lettuce production from seed through harvest on a production scale that they would not have been able to experience on a field trip to a leafy greens producer in North Carolina.
In the future, this type of distance learning experiences will continue to expand. With the ability to reach out to almost any location on the globe, students will demand the ability to access courses based on the quality of the instructor and the course content. The use of online instruction through networks of universities will allow students to pick the skills and knowledge they desire, rather than emphasize specific courses or pre-determined sequences. It will be targeted content that draws students to particular classes or offerings. They will choose not only how and when their instruction comes to them, but from whom they would like to learn. We, as 21st century instructors, can embrace this opportunity to offer more specialized course content and to engage students in a much more meaningful and thought-provoking way through discussion and hands-on learning. Students will actively seek out opportunities to participate in small group learning environments with highly specialized course content and topics, after they have covered more basic background learning delivered via distance education models. Further, students will demand courses that open the world to them, figuratively and literally. They will actively seek out course content that allows them to interact with their peers and instructors in a global context, including study abroad and international peer to peer networking and learning, in order to connect those experiences locally to improve the communities in which they live.
While these changes will force the current educational system to change, we as instructors should look at this fresh new approach with optimism. At a time when the value of collegiate education in general and a degree in horticulture specifically is being questioned by potential students, parents, and school counselors, we have the chance to seize an opportunity. We can show that not only is a degree in horticulture valuable to a student’s future earning potential, but to society as a whole. Our role, as leaders in the field, is to showcase our passion for the career we love! We demonstrate through knowledge, enthusiasm, achievement and recognition the value of horticulture to our own society members and also to society as a whole. Teaching and outreach are the best ways to do this.
It is an honor to be nominated for the ASHS Education Division Vice President position. I have always valued lifelong learning and the opportunity to teach has and continues to be a powerful motivating force in my own professional development. As ASHS moves forward, I firmly believe horticulture is the hub, which allows meaningful connections between government, industry, and higher education. The training of students to meet this need to be able to seamlessly transition through these sectors and work within them is critical. I am excited to be a part of this endeavor and look forward to serving as the Education Division Vice President to help move ASHS toward the future!
Cynthia B. McKenney
Rockwell Professor of Horticulture and Associate Chair
Department of Plant and Soil Science
Texas Tech University
Lubbock, Texas, USA
ASHS Member since 1985. BS in Ornamental Horticulture 1979; MS in Horticulture 1986; EdD in Higher Education Administration 2000, Texas Tech University.
Positions: Instructor Undergraduate Program Coordinator and Greenhouse Administrator, Texas Tech University 1984–99; Assistant Professor of Horticulture and Regional Distance Education Coordinator, Texas Tech University 2000–04; Assistant Professor of Urban Horticulture and Extension Specialist, Texas A&M University, 2000–04 (Joint Appointment); Associate Professor of Horticulture and Regional Distance Education Coordinator, Texas Tech University, 2004–10; Associate Professor of Urban Horticulture and Extension Specialist, Texas A&M University, 2004–06 (Joint Appointment); Rockwell Endowed Professor of Horticulture and Associate Chair, Texas Tech University, 2010–present.
ASHS Activities: Education Division Advisory Committee 1996–98; Teaching Methods Working Group 1985–present, Chair 1996–-98, 2004–05; Undergraduate Education Oral Section Moderator 2000–01, 2003; Manuscript reviewer for HortScience and HortTechnology 1997–present; Environmental Stress Physiology Working Group, 1985–present; Ornamentals/Landscape and Turf Working Group, 1985–present; Outstanding Undergraduate Educator Award Selection Committee, 2001–04, Chair 2003–04; Outstanding Education Publication Award Selection Committee, 2011–14. Southern Region-ASHS Society Service: Education Vice President 2005, Executive Board Member 2007–11, president 2011; SR-ASHS Distinguished Educator Awards Committee 2011–present, chair 2011; Graduate Paper Selections Committee 2007, Undergraduate Paper Selections Committee 2009; Outstanding ACB Club Selection Committee 2007–09.
Leadership Initiatives: LEAD21 National Internship Program 2006–07; Nebraska Rewarding Teaching Program 1995–98; Sabbatical University of Arizona 2011; Study Abroad Courses 2006–present including France, Belgium, Luxembourg, England, Scotland, Italy, Spain, and China.
University, College, and Departmental Activities: Texas Tech University: Teaching Academy; Online Course Design Support Committee, Distance Learning Executive Committee, Wiki Product technical publications, Assessment Committee, Online Platform Selection Committee, Quality Matters Coordinator, Special Committee of Distributed Learning; TEACH Program, Graduate Program Reviews for AAEC and RHIM, Phi Kappa Phi Executive Board and Chapter President; College of Agricultural Sciences and Natural Resources: Distance Education Advisory Board, Dual Enrollment Facilitator, Masters @ Distance Task Force, Ag*Idea Coordinator for Horticulture, Strategic Planning Committee; Department of Plant and Soil Science: Scholarship Committee, Curriculum Committee, Search Committees, Website Development Committee, Mentoring Committees, Club sponsor and Associate Chair.
Program Activities: Instrumental in developing three distributed learning degrees and four graduate certificate programs available online, 8 germplasm released, 2 plant patents, $3,150,000 in research funds, two books, 42 refereed publications, 39 technical articles, 128 abstracts and proceedings, 186 presentations, 32 workshops, chaired four PhD and 32 MS candidates, and served on 23 graduate committees.
Scholarship of Teaching: Fourteen undergraduate courses and five graduate courses; six undergraduate and four graduate courses online; 14 educational grants yielding $350,000; authored or co-authored 4 educational papers, 25 electronic media resources, three electronic databases, 29 educational abstracts, and numerous educational presentations.
Honors and Awards: Texas Tech University Teaching Academy Charter Member (1997); CASNR Excellence in Teaching Award, TTU (1993); President’s Excellence in Teaching Award, TTU (1994); Excellence in Extension Blue Ribbon Award, SR-ASHS (1999); ASHS Outstanding Education Publication Award, ASHS (2010); J.C. Miller Distinguished Educator Award, SR-ASHS (2010); Honorary Lifetime Membership Award, TNLA (2013), Fellow of ASHS, 2014.
Statement: It is a great honor to be nominated for the Education Division Vice President-elect of ASHS. Over the past 30 years of membership in this organization, it has been exciting to watch this division take on a more robust roll in the society. At this same time, the rate of change in academia is without parallel. New technology, program consolidation, competing journals, aging of the professorate, enrollment trends, and limited budgets are accelerating this change even more. This is both an exciting time and a daunting time to teach. When I began my career as an educator using a spirit master to run off exams, it did not occur to me that one day I would have more students at a distance than face to face in the classroom, but that day has arrived. Similarly, the sheer volume of technological advances that provides an increasingly wide array of pedagogical opportunities is staggering. Our society needs to continue to be on the forefront of these changes providing resources and opportunities to enhance our teaching and keep our society vital and relevant to our current and future students.