Soil science professor honoured for teaching in diploma program
Don Flaten, professor in the Department of Soil Science, was recently honoured with the Excellence Award for Teaching from the Canadian Association of Diploma in Agriculture Programs (CADAP).
The presentation was made at the CADAP annual general meeting and conference on June 10, hosted this year in Winnipeg by the School of Agriculture. The award is presented to an honouree at the host institution each year.
His award citation, as shared by CADAP President and Director of the School of Agriculture Michele Rogalsky, follows:
Dr. Don Flaten, Professor in the Department of Soil Science in the Faculty of Agricultural and Food Sciences, specializes in crop nutrition and nutrient management teaching and research, and currently teaches two agriculture diploma courses: Soil Fertility and Soil Conservation and Management. He also taught Field Studies and Communication and Learning Skills courses when he served as Director of the School of Agriculture from 1987 to 1999.
Don has a passion for teaching but an even greater dedication to student learning. His teaching philosophy states, “inspired and well-educated graduates are our greatest legacy”. His steadfast dedication to that goal is itself inspiring. Don’s classes are known to be “tough”. He not only challenges students to meet high standards, develop critical thinking ability and interpersonal skills but also to supports them in achieving those goals.
He has received numerous awards for his excellent teaching record at the University of Manitoba:
- University of Manitoba Students’ Recognized Teacher 2013 and 2017 for the School of Agriculture
- University of Manitoba Students’ Recognized Teacher 2005 and 2007 for teaching in the undergraduate degree
- Faculty of Agricultural and Food Sciences Professor of the Year 2008 and 2011for teaching in undergraduate degree)
- Agriculture Diploma Second Year Teacher of the Year 2011 and 2017
- National Association of Colleges & Teachers of Agriculture Teaching Award of Merit for the Faculty of Agricultural and Food Sciences 2011
Don has shaped the lives of his students and their on-going professional development. His many students have made positive contributions to the development and dissemination of agronomic knowledge in this province for decades. As life-long learners, agronomists and farmers, Don’s students participate in and often lead agricultural extension programs. His former students conduct applied research in soil fertility and agronomy and many of his research plots are and have been situated on their own farms. Many of Don’s students serve as directors on the organizations that collaborate with and financially support the Faculty’s research programs.
Don served as the Director of the University of Manitoba’s School of Agriculture from 1987 to 1999. As Director he made significant contributions to the program leading two curriculum reviews. The revised programs resulted a greater degree of specialization and a shift in the program’s emphasis from technical training to a broader education in the scientific principles that underpin modern farm production and management practices. Don was very active in the curriculum review process that has resulted in the new curriculum that the School introduced this fall.