Song, Reed, and Rhinesmith-Carranza receive Vice Chancellor’s Awards in Excellence

Congratulations to Hojun Song, Ph.D., Mary Reed and Jennifer Rhinesmith-Carranza who received Vice Chancellor Awards in Excellence this year. These awards recognize the commitment and outstanding contributions displayed by faculty, students and staff members across Texas A&M AgriLife.

Teaching Awards

The Teaching Award was presented to Hojun Song, Ph.D., associate professor, Department of Entomology. Song is a dedicated and creative instructor who integrates his research expertise in insect systematics and locust biology into his classes. Recognizing the need for an undergraduate field entomology course, Song began a hands-on study-abroad course in tropical field entomology in Costa Rica. On this study abroad, a group of his students discovered a new species of king cricket. Song guided them through describing this species, leading to a published paper with the students as authors. When an online teaching format was necessary during the COVID-19 pandemic, a graduate student said Song offered clear and interesting lectures with practical exercises and activities that made the course fun and dynamic. The student continued, “The teaching strategies Dr. Song used improved my learning and made this class my favorite graduate-level course.”

The Graduate Student Teaching Award was presented to Jennifer Rhinesmith-Carranza, academic advisor and assistant lecturer and doctoral candidate, Department of Entomology. Although employed full-time as an advisor with the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences, she also serves as a teaching assistant and assistant lecturer for a wide range of forensic science and entomology courses. In 2019, she was recognized by the department as the Forensic Science Teaching Assistant of the Year. An outstanding mentor, she helps students apply for internships with the FBI, reviews resumes and cover letters for graduates and helps students prepare for national certification exams. In addition, she is one of six certified technicians on the American Board of Forensic Entomology and organizes workshops to teach law enforcement how to process entomological samples associated with crime scenes.

A full list of awards was announced in AgriLife Today.

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