Na Zuo 2024 AAEA Distinguished Teaching Award

May 21, 2024


Dr. Na Zuo was nominated by AREC Department Head, Gary Thompson, for the AAEA Distinguished Teaching Award, Less Than Ten Years’ Experience. This award particularly identifies performance in undergraduate and graduate teaching in agricultural or applied economics, as defined by the AAEA vision statement. The evaluation for this award looks at the quality of teaching, academic advising and career support with students, curricular improvements, enhancing diversity and inclusions, professional development, and much more. AREC congratulates Dr. Na Zuo on this well-deserved recognition and award to continue her outstanding work at the University! 

Words from Alumni about Dr. Na Zuo: 

“Professor Zuo’s passion for teaching and commitment to furthering the education of her students was apparent from the first day I sat down in her class. She stresses the importance of understanding the material in her courses holistically, guiding students to engage with the same concept intuitively, graphically, and mathematically. In this way, Prof. Zuo not only teaches her students economics but also illustrates constructive ways to approach new ideas that are applicable to many fields of study. She does not shy away from being a challenging instructor, but she is also there every step of the way to provide students with the tools and support that they need to be successful in her classes. The door to her office was always open and I stopped in more than once to parse out the finer points of some tricky economic concept.”  

Brian McGreal, PhD Student, Quantitative Ecology and Resource Management, U. of Washington. AREC BSc and MSc alum. 

“As a mentor, Dr. Zuo provided personalized guidance to graduate students, including myself. Her role as a mentor went beyond academic matters, as she offered invaluable insights into navigating the challenges of academia. As I pursued my own career in academia, Dr. Zuo served as an inspiring role model, showcasing the profound impact a dedicated professor can have on students. Dr. Zuo's proactive approach to education involved the frequent integration of case studies tailored to the demographics of the class, ensuring the relevance of agricultural issues to all students. She consistently attended teaching workshops and seminars to refine her skills, illustrating her commitment to continuous improvement.”

Angela Jungbluth, Ph.D. Candidate, Agricultural Economics, Oklahoma State University. AREC MSc alumna. 

Nominating words by Gary Thompson, AREC Department Head: 

“Na has become a highly valued colleague, full of enthusiasm, that students greatly respect. Unprompted, they rave about her teaching. We have, indeed, been very fortunate to have hired and retained her. In recognition of her superlative teaching and commitment to students, we have the honor of nominating her.  

Turning to the measures of the quality of Na’s teaching, both quantitative and qualitative evaluations speak to the excellence of Dr. Zuo’s teaching. She is unquestionably a star teacher in every regard. In quantitative terms, Dr. Zuo’s teaching evaluations started very strong and have improved consistently to be among the highest in our department and college.”