ANSC’s Dr. VanKlompenberg Honored with a 2022 NACTA Educator Award for Teaching Excellence

Congratulations to Dr. VK for the recognition of her efforts

Dr. VanKlompenberg

Image Credit: Jonathan Stephanoff

July 7, 2022 Jonathan Stephanoff

Dr. Monica VanKlompenberg, or Dr. VK to many of her students, was honored this summer by the North American Colleges and Teacher of Agriculture (NACTA) with a 2022 Educator Award. One of the central purposes of NACTA is to recognize those individuals whose efforts represent the very best in agricultural higher education and Dr. VK’s students know that to be true.

Dr. VK started as a Lecturer at UMD in the fall of 2016 and was recently promoted to Senior Lecturer. She has developed or substantially revised ten different student-centered courses that provide students with “real-life” scenarios and applications of the material they are covering. In addition to her rigorous teaching schedule, she also manages ANSC’s internship program and has been a faculty advisor for numerous ANSC department and student programs.

Students who have taken a class with Dr. VK have experienced her array of teaching techniques, from engaging lectures to experiential learning, interactive media to boardgames, all of which are designed to facilitate active learning and critical analysis of classroom concepts.

As one student put it, “[Dr. VanKlompenberg] caters to many learning styles, student backgrounds, and college/career experiences. As a student, doing this means she is trying to see me among the mass of students as well as everyone else in our own individual paths.”

“Dr. VanKlompenberg is the best teacher I had in my time at University of Maryland. She finds a way to stand out amongst some other very talented professors. She is constantly adjusting the materials for her courses semester by semester to utilize what practices and methods show the most success and meet the needs of the students,” added another of her students.

NACTA held their 68th Annual Conference on June 20-24 that was to be hosted by The Ohio State University in Wooster, Ohio, but the region experienced severe weather and a possible tornado just days before, forcing the organizers to convert to an online program. During the conference, NACTA held their Awards Program which honored Dr. VK and other standout agricultural teachers and students.

The NACTA Educator Award requires a nomination and measures educators on their innovation and skills in teaching, and learning outcomes in students. Each nominee is evaluated on a number of materials including teaching philosophy statements, curriculum lists, and evaluations from students and fellow educators.

The department appreciates Dr. VanKlompenberg’s efforts and innovation and congratulates her on receiving this award.