Dr. Matt Raven honored with Distinguished Teacher Award

CSUS professor Matt Raven received the 2020 American Association for Agricultural Education Distinguished Teacher Award.

Portrait of Dr. Matt Raven

Matt Raven, professor in the Department of Community Sustainability, is the recipient of the 2020 American Association for Agricultural Education (AAAE) Distinguished Teacher Award. Since 2011, this national award is given to one individual AAAE member for their outstanding accomplishments as a teacher of agricultural education.

Dr. Raven became a teacher 39 years ago because he “had an ability to see how to organize concepts in a way that made it easier for people to learn.” He got his start teaching in non-formal programs, and was eventually recruited to become an agricultural educator.

“I enjoy working at the intersection of agriculture and food systems with educational systems,” says Raven. Designing and implementing educational programming that promotes change in the way we grow food and fiber and helps regenerate ecosystem processes is part of the reason why agricultural education is so important to him.

Aaron McKim, assistant professor and Michael Everett, professor of practice in the Department of Community Sustainability, co-nominated Raven for the AAAE award.

“We have seen Matt purchase books for students to spark their interest, stay late to counsel a student struggling with financing their education, open his home for a weekend workshop on tiny houses, sit in a farrowing barn at 5 a.m. with students, advocate for students with personal and academic challenges, and invite recent graduates and their parents to his home for congratulatory food and fellowship at the end of their MSU teaching internship experience,” wrote Drs. Everett and McKim in the nomination packet.

The AAAE Distinguished Teacher Award is highly regarded amongst agricultural educators. “It is a tremendous honor that illustrates a career-long commitment to quality teaching,” says McKim.

Raven says of the award, “Members of the American Association for Agricultural Education are first and foremost teachers. AAAE members are known for their teaching at their universities as well as other professional associations. To be selected as a Distinguished Teacher by an association compromised of excellent educators is an honor.”

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