Luke-Morgan receives teaching excellence award at ABAC

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May 29—TIFTON — Dr. Audrey Luke-Morgan has been selected as the 2021 recipient of the W. Bruce and Rosalyn Ray Donaldson Award for Teaching Excellence at Abraham Baldwin Agricultural College.

First awarded in 1965, the purpose of the prestigious award is to publicly recognize superior instruction and exemplary service to the college by honoring one faculty member each year, as chosen by a special representative committee of faculty and students.

The recipient is honored with a recognition plaque and a monetary award. To be eligible for consideration for the Donaldson Teaching Excellence Award, a faculty member must be a full-time instructor with five or more years of continuous service to the college.

An associate professor in the School of Agriculture and Natural Resources, Luke-Morgan has taught at ABAC since 2012. She received an associate's degree from ABAC, a bachelor of business administration degree in Accounting from the University of Georgia, a master of science degree in Agricultural Economics from UGA, and a Ph.D. in Public Administration from Valdosta State University.

To best meet the needs of her students, Luke-Morgan has each student complete a biography and self-assessment so that she can tailor each course to target skills such as public speaking or use of spreadsheet software.

"I believe that you must move out of your comfort zone to reach your full potential to learn and grow," Luke-Morgan said.

Several letters of support reference Luke-Morgan's passion and fire for her subject matter. Mark Kistler, dean of the School of Agriculture and Natural Resources, said, "She strives to kindle each student's curiosity for lifelong learning."

A peer recommendation states that Luke-Morgan piques the students' interest in introductory classes where they often struggle with terminology with "practical and everyday examples to demonstrate use and application. She then pushes her juniors and seniors to rise to a much higher bar of performance in her classes."

A former student wrote, "It is very easy to lecture about all of the things you know, but to translate that knowledge into a conversation that everyone can understand is a special gift that makes the best professors."

Luke-Morgan was the 1992 valedictorian at Fitzgerald High School. In 1994, she was selected as the top academic student at ABAC, receiving the J.G. Woodroof Scholar award with a 4.0 grade-point average.

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