Harouna Maïga, Ph.D. Wins Horace T. Morse Award for Outstanding Contributions to Undergraduate Teaching – Crookston Times

University of Minnesota Crookston

Since 1965, the Horace T. Morse-Minnesota Alumni Association Award for Outstanding Contributions to Undergraduate Teaching has been awarded to a select group of teachers who reflect the University’s emphasis on the importance of high quality undergraduate education. Those who receive this award become members of the Academy of Distinguished Teachers (ADT). The title “Distinguished University Teaching Professor” or “Distinguished University Teacher” is conferred on recipients.

This year, Harouna Maiga, Ph.D., a professor in the Department of Agriculture and Natural Resources at the University of Minnesota Crookston, is one of the recipients of this prestigious university-wide award. Maiga’s expertise is in animal and equine science and agriculture education. During his more than two-decade career at the University of Minnesota Crookston, he taught generations of students at Crookston and in his home country of Mali. He is more interested in the personal and professional growth of a student.

In typical UMN Crookston fashion, Maiga provides experiential and hands-on learning for its students. His former students appreciate the opportunities he has given them. Samantha (Lukas) Adams, a 2003 animal industries management graduate, wrote that visiting a dairy farm with 10,000 cows as part of a North American Colleges and Teachers of Agriculture (NACTA) trip with Maiga allowed him to succeed in regulating feedlot operations. from a practical point of view. “Dr. Maiga is an innovative teacher and a strong advocate for undergraduate teaching and learning. He brings his wealth of international agricultural industry experience to the classroom,” said Anthony Kern, Ph. D., Head of Division for Agriculture, Natural Sciences and Technology.

“He (Maiga) is the driving force behind the internationalization of teaching and learning on the Crookston campus,” said Venugopal Mukku, Ph.D., associate professor in the Department of Mathematics, Science and Technology. Maiga was one of the first faculty members to offer study abroad opportunities to his students. “I had never traveled abroad and immediately became addicted to Dr. Maiga’s inspiration and taste for inquisition and adventure,” said 2021 graduate Eleora De-Muth.

Maiga describes her relationship with students: “I care deeply about students and their achievements. I am passionate about advising and mentoring students, as I believe that advising is the key to a student’s success in college and in their future career. It’s no wonder he received a steady stream of accolades. The following awards testify to the high regard that his students, colleagues and profession have for his teaching and scholarship.

A number of his alumni have shared how his mentorship has played a crucial role in their academic and professional careers. One of Maiga’s specialties is her ability to guide students beyond their comfort zone to reach their maximum potential and be exposed to the global world. Many of his former students remember how he motivated and encouraged them to pursue studies abroad, participate in undergraduate research, publish the results, and apply for admission to graduate schools.

Maiga’s personal story inspires his students, many of whom are first generation students like him. They relate well to his struggles and how he overcame them through a constant search for a better education. His roots in animal science and agriculture go back to his childhood in Mali. He grew up on his family’s cattle farm, where he herded cattle. Maiga describes her opportunities for higher education as an extreme challenge. Thus was born a passion for her. “It has become a driving force in my life to encourage and facilitate the education and learning of students who are facing challenges in their academic and personal lives,” says Maiga.

About Mark A. Tomlin

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