Dr. Jessica Leatherwood, assistant professor of equine science in the Department of Animal Science, has been selected by the Center for Teaching Excellence (CTE) as a 2019 Montague-CTE Scholar. She was presented this honor on Tuesday, Nov. 5, 2019.
The Montague-CTE Scholar award is named in honor of Kenneth Montague ’37, a distinguished alumnus and outstanding trustee of Texas A&M University Development Foundation, who had a long and storied career in the Texas oil industry. Ken and Judy Montague endowed a generous gift in 1991 to benefit the future “Ken Montagues,” Aggies who are life-long learners and contributors to their communities. The Center is deeply grateful to his son, Jim, and wife, Vicki, for their generous and continued support that recognizes excellence in teaching and learning at Texas A&M University.
The award is given annually to one tenure-track assistant professor from each College, based on their early success in and passion for teaching undergraduate students. Awardees receive a $6,500 grant to encourage further development of teaching excellence. This award has been granted to more than 260 faculty.
Dr. Leatherwood joined the Department of Animal Science at Texas A&M University in the fall of 2016 as an Assistant Professor. She has quickly established a reputation as an active instructor, teaching multiple undergraduate and graduate courses including ANSC 211 Equine Industry and Career Preparation, ANSC 411 Equine Nutrition and Health, ANSC 423 Issues in the Equine Industry, ANSC 611 Equine Nutrition, and ANSC 621 Issues in the Equine Industry. In addition to her teaching assignments, she teaches the equine nutrition and management section in the ANSC 318 Feeds and Feeding and ANSC 625 Precision Diet Formulation during the fall/spring/summer semesters. Dr. Leatherwood also advises undergraduate students in ANSC 485 Directed Studies and ANSC 291/491 Undergraduate Research (approximately 20 per year). These courses provide students with knowledge of equine research techniques, and students gain hands-on experience with horse handling, sample collection and laboratory analysis. They also gain an understanding of sampling techniques used in equine research, and the ability to summarize data.
Dr. Leatherwood plans utilize this grant to continue her efforts in providing undergraduate students with an overseas experiential learning opportunity. Funding would be used to foster collaborations with international university faculty and equine industry professionals that lends to future study abroad programs in the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences. By providing more collaboration among institutions, this would include an additional step to ensure sustainability of the program. Additionally, this initial investment will assist in fostering international collaborations as well as identifying new international equine organizations, such as Unbridled China Ranch in Beijing, to mobilize resources that lends to sharing of travel expenses in future programs. Students’ perspectives of the world and of teaching are deeply broadened through educational opportunities in unfamiliar cultures.
In preparation for such an endeavor, students spend a considerable amount of time training with Dr. Leatherwood to become effective teachers and learners in different cultures. They are skilled on developing achievable learning objectives, meaningful teaching strategies, and assessments to prepare a beneficial teaching environment that addresses and facilitates learning. This approach will be shared with other faculty through peer-reviewed journal publications, presentations, and teaching workshops, in order to bring attention to how knowledge may be applied and how it is presented.
Additional Montague-CTE Scholars from the Department of Animal Science include Drs. Chris Skaggs, Shawn Ramsey, and Kathrin Dunlap.
For more information regarding news from the Department of Animal Science, College of Agriculture and Life Sciences, Texas A&M University, please contact Kaitlyn Arnold at firstname.lastname@example.org or (979) 845-1542.