Bush Excellence Awards 2010 All three of the recipients for 2010 Bush Excellence Awards for international teaching, international research and public service come from the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences - a first in the history of the award. Clyde L. Munster, Glen C. Shinn and Peter Witt received the awards from Dr. Roman Popadiuk, Executive Director of the Bush Presidential Library Foundation, on March 4. Dr. Clyde L. Munster, professor of Biological and Agricultural Engineering, is the 2010 recipient for the Bush Excellence Award for Faculty in International Teaching. He has consistently contributed to internationalizing the Pictured left to right: Shinn, Munster, Witt education of Texas A&M students through his teaching and his study abroad classes. The success of his program is indicated by a 400-percent increase in enrollment. Inspired by his own study abroad as a Fulbright Research Fellowship at Katholieke University and his collaboration with faculty members in the Institute for Land and Water Management, Agricultural and Applied Biological Sciences, he pioneered the Biological and Agricultural Engineering Study Abroad Program at Katholieke University of Leuven, in Leuven, Belgium, in the summer of 2005. The four courses offered in the summer program are open to engineering and non-engineering students, providing 6 hours of credit to satisfy the university’s international and cultural diversity requirement. His course work includes classes at Katholieke and field trips to sites in Belgium, Germany and The Netherlands while students experience total immersion in Belgian culture. Munster is obtaining corporate funding support to provide scholarship for students and keep the cost low so that more students can study abroad. Providing leadership in the college’s study abroad program is just one area in which Muster contributes. His nominators say his efforts to promote diversity have been rewarded with several USDA awards, which enable him to recruit scholars from under-represented groups to pursue Ph.D. degrees. Dr. Glen C. Shinn, professor of Agricultural Leadership, Education and Communications, is the 2010 recipient of the Bush Excellence Award for Faculty in International Research. In 2008, Shinn served as deputy team leader for the 12-member Team Borlaug-Iraqi Agricultural Development Project conducted in four provinces of south-central Iraq. Serving as chief of party and resident advisor for the Armenian State Agrarian University project in 2007 to secure the adoption and dissemination of the EU higher education standards recognized in the Bologna Convention which will impact the quality of prospective students who wish to be admitted to American universities. As a result of sabbatical studies in Mexico, The Netherlands, Greece and Australia, he examined alternative business models for programs for distance education, developed delivery strategies and collected alternative instructional designs for use in courses that can be offered at Texas A&M. Shinn’s nominators say he has demonstrated an extraordinary personal and professional commitment to Texas A&M University’s College of Agriculture and Life Sciences’ goal of expanding students’ global perspectives. Using the most current international research, lessons learned from his recent international assignment, and 16 years experience in research at Texas A&M, he is reconstituting three courses that will serve as part of the College’s International Certificate Program. Dr. Peter A. Witt, professor and Bradberry Chair in Recreation, Park and Tourism Sciences, is the recipient of the 2010 Bush Excellence Award for Faculty in Public Service Award. He was chosen on the basis of his devotion over a 40-year career to the service of first the disabled, then youth populations -- particularly youth from high-risk communities. Witt began by persuading city councils in Texas to make substantial investments in youth programs, then he worked to
scientifically document the impact of programs on educational performance and risky behaviors. His accomplishments have moved the field of study beyond simply counting the number of participants and collecting testimonials and anecdotal information to effectively measuring the impact of programs on youth development through research designs, methodologies and instruments. His tireless and inspirational dissemination of results through more than 238 presentations to others has had a far-reaching impact on communities across America. Witt has also contributed personally to bettering the lives of young people through prize moneys and personal contributions of more than $244,000, and pledges and an additional $160,000 to youth development endowments. In addition to his professional public service, Witt also gives to his community in many ways, including donating funds to support the construction of four Habitat for Humanity houses and supporting the funding efforts of a number of other non-profit organizations. The Bush Excellence Awards were established through the vision and support of President and Mrs. George H.W. Bush, with financial assistance from the George Bush Presidential Library Foundation. All three 2010 Award recipients spent time with and had photos taken with President Bush.