SUU agriculture professor first Utah instructor to receive prestigious national teaching award

Composite image. Background photo of Cedar City Livestock Market, Feb. 9, 2017. Inset photo of Dean Winward, date and location not specified | Background photo by and courtesy of Jim Lillywhite. Inset photo courtesy of Southern Utah University, St. George News / Cedar City News

CEDAR CITY — Dean Winward, a long-standing professor of agriculture at Southern Utah University, was given the NACTA Teaching Scholar Award at the Annual Conference of the North American Colleges and Teachers of Agriculture.

According to a press release from SUU, Winward was recognized for this competitive award for outstanding teaching and scholarship in the profession. He is the first person from a Utah institution to receive this prestigious award.

Due to the competitive nature of the award, Winward said he was surprised and honored to receive it. When asked why he believed he was the selected nominee, Winward explained that besides classroom performance, the award considers other contributing factors, and he has been involved in many agriculture-related activities.

“It’s a big award, not just for me but for the institution as well,” Winward said in the press release. “I hope it’s a reflection of the kind of career I’ve had and shows that I enjoy doing what I do. I get to teach wonderful students and I work with great colleagues.”

In addition to teaching accomplishments, the award recognizes scholarly work and demonstrated teaching influence beyond a professor’s campus. Winward has made several presentations at NACTA and other meetings and has involved students in numerous research opportunities.

Dean Winward holds award certificate for outstanding teaching and scholarship from NACTA, date and location not specified | Photo courtesy of Southern Utah University, St. George News / Cedar City News

“One of the ways I learn is from hands-on experience,” Winward said. “I try to have those same hands-on learning experiences with my students.”

Winward also believes in the old adage: People don’t care how much you know until they know how much you care.

“I care about my students, my colleagues and the field of agriculture,” Winward said. “I want to see my students succeed. I try to approach learning as more than just getting a grade, but instead, getting an education, and giving students the tools they need to be successful, not just in academics, but in life as well.”

Winward believes teamwork is what has brought success in his field and is grateful to the University and the agriculture community for their support. Winward grew up in Roy, Utah, and is a graduate of Ricks College — now Brigham Young University of Idaho — and Utah State University. He taught at Fort Lewis College in Durango, Colorado, and has been a professor at SUU for 29 years. He and his wife, Wendy, are the parents of five children.

NACTA is an international organization that focuses on promoting and recognizing excellence in teaching agricultural within the setting of higher education. Members of NACTA are from two-year and four-year colleges, public and private, and have a common bond of teaching agriculture and related subjects.

To learn more about the Southern Utah University department of agriculture and nutrition science, click here.

Copyright St. George News, LLC, 2019, all rights reserved.

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