Agriculture professor Kristen Benedict earns George Fridell Excellence in Teaching Award
(This article is the second in a two-part series on the 2014 George Fridell Excellence in Teaching Award winners.)
By Guy Harrison, Media & Marketing Specialist
PINAL COUNTY, Ariz. - Kristen Benedict, professor of agriculture at Central Arizona College has been named one of two recipients of the college's George Fridell Excellence in Teaching Award.
Formerly known as the President's Award, the George Fridell Excellence in Teaching Award is presented annually in memory of Fridell, who passed away several years ago.
Benedict joins Derrick Span, professor of sociology as the 2014 recipients.
"It is a humbling experience to be selected for this is tremendous honor," Benedict said. "As a college student I was lucky enough to know and work with George Fridell. His love of teaching and his impact upon his students is still felt to this day. I am truly excited to be added to the list of honorees, with their excellent track records and dedication to quality education, which reveals the true significance of this award."
Winners are chosen based upon their willingness to further their own knowledge; engage and support students and student knowledge; use a variety of new concepts and teaching methods; and participate in the college's community activities. Recipients must meet the following criteria:
• Demonstrate excellence in the teaching/learning process
• Be actively involved in student learning (inside and outside the classroom)
• Demonstrate use of a variety of teaching methods
• Actively and successfully integrate technology in the classroom
• Actively demonstrate innovation, which facilitates student learning
• Incorporate into the classroom the concept that students have different learning styles
• Be active in institutional, campus and division activities
A 1997 graduate of CAC, Benedict has been employed with the college since 2003, when she began serving the college as an adjunct instructor, a role she held until 2012. While she taught classes part-time at the college during that span, Benedict filled other roles for the college. For three years, she was the coordinator of the college's STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics) program and was a biofuels preceptor for one year.
Prior to joining CAC, Benedict enjoyed a six year career in the agriculture industry that included a stint as a biotechnology research technician for Stoneville Pedigree Seeds, a subsidiary of Bayer Crop Sciences.
During her time at CAC, Benedict has given back to the community in a variety of service roles, including board president of Casa Grande Valley Cotton and Agriculture Women, community club leader of Pinal County 4-H, and is a member of the North American Colleges and Teachers of Agriculture.
Benedict was recently honored for her contributions to the agriculture industry and in the community when she was inducted into CAC's Wall of Success in November.
In addition to an associate of applied science degree from CAC, Benedict has earned a bachelor's degree in animal science from the University of Arizona and a master's degree in agriculture business from Arizona State University.