Athens, Ga. – Agricultural lawyer Terence Centner’s focus on current issues and his cultivation of thoughtful debate have made him a favorite instructor in the University of Georgia College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences.
This fall his engaging teaching style also won him national recognition. The Association of Public and Land-grant Universities, the U.S. Department of Agriculture and the American Association of State Colleges and Universities recognized Centner with its national award for excellence in college and university teaching for food and agricultural sciences.
Centner received the award at the 128th APLU Annual Meeting in Indianapolis, Indiana.
The award recognizes faculty members with outstanding scholarship, exemplary pedagogy and dedication to instruction. Only two national awards were given this year. The other went to Garey A. Fox, a professor of biosystems and agricultural engineering at Oklahoma State University.
“To be recognized as one of the top teachers in all American colleges of food, agriculture, natural resources, human sciences and related fields is a tremendous honor,” said Josef Broder, interim dean and director for the College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences. “Dr. Centner’s dedication to teaching excellence and his personal commitment to student success are most appreciated by the college and university.”
Since joining the UGA faculty in 1982, Centner’s teaching has focused on engaging students through rigorous reading assignments, discussion and assignments.
He employs the Socratic method in his agricultural and environmental law classes, which require students to learn how to formulate responses to questions, observe how others handle challenging inquiries and prepare themselves for their future careers.
A leader in curriculum development, Centner proposed and helped develop three majors, three minors, one certificate and an accelerated bachelor’s and master’s program. He has presented seminars at 27 foreign universities.
Centner is a founding member of a planning subcommittee that developed an online agricultural and environmental law certificate program for AG*IDEA, a national consortium offering online programs. He is a national expert in agricultural and environmental law. The trademark protection for Georgia’s Vidalia onions resulted from his research efforts.
His accolades for his teaching include a 2004 UGA Sigma Delta Senior Faculty Award, 2007 UGA Student Government Teaching Award, 2014 CAES D.W. Brooks Award for Excellence in Teaching and membership in the UGA Teaching Academy.
Centner is also the recipient of an Alexander von Humboldt Stiftung Research Fellowship, the 2014 American Agricultural Law Association Distinguished Service Award and the 2007 CAES D.W. Brooks Award for Excellence in Research. He served as Fulbright Fellow at the University of Mannheim in Germany from 2002-2003 and as Fulbright Visiting Professor at the University of Aberdeen in Scotland this year.
He earned a bachelor’s degree from Cornell University, a Juris Doctor from SUNY at Buffalo and a Master of Laws from the University of Arkansas.
“Educating students and inspiring young minds is at the very heart of public universities’ mission,” said Ian Maw, vice president of food, agriculture and natural resources at APLU, in a press release. “The impact that educators have on their students can last a lifetime, and these awardees have helped their students realize their aspirations and serve as an inspirations to fellow educators.”