2012 Outstanding Undergraduate Teacher
The Range Science Education Council and the Society for Range Management proudly present the 2012 Outstanding Undergraduate Teaching Award to Dr. Thomas L. Thurow of the Department of Renewable Resources at the University of Wyoming. The outstanding teaching award recognizes individuals who have demonstrated excellence in teaching, advising and mentoring over an extended period, often a career.
Dr. Thurow has excelled as a teacher, advisor, and mentor to undergraduate students for over 20 years. He began his teaching career in Africa, where he accepted the teaching component of a job there as “a necessary sideline” of the rangeland development and research position that he really wanted to pursue. Unexpectedly he discovered that he really enjoyed teaching and was good at it. He also realized the impact that a single teacher could have on the management of rangeland resources through his students.
Dr. Thurow has taught a wide variety of courses throughout his career, in Somalia, Texas, and, for the past 12 years, in Wyoming. He spent 5 ½ years as Head of the Department of Renewable Resources at the University of Wyoming advancing undergraduate range science education from an administrative position. However he missed teaching, with the daily interactions with students. So, in 2005 he returned to a teaching/research faculty position and hasn’t looked back. Dr. Thurow has co-authored 2 papers in Rangelands and a chapter in a book related to education, and has spoken in symposia on the subject.
Students describe Dr. Thurow as upbeat, professional, enthusiastic, and encouraging. They appreciate his ability to use his personal experiences to bridge the gap between theory and real-world application. His classes are rigorous and demanding, and yet students love his courses. He challenges and inspires students “to attain goals beyond their own anticipation”. Students described his availability, openness, involvement, dedication, and genuine interest in each student as characteristics that had a profound effect on them during and after their undergraduate programs.
For exemplary dedication to achieving excellence in teaching and advising, the Range Science Education Council and the Society for Range Management are pleased to present Dr. Thomas L. Thurow with the 2012 Outstanding Undergraduate Teaching Award.