Martha Mamo, University of Nebraska–Lincoln Weaver Professor of Agronomy and Horticulture and interim associate department head, has earned the Soil Science Society of America’s 2017 Soil Science Education and Extension Award. The award recognizes the educational achievements and outstanding educational contributions of soil scientists through activities such as resident, extension or industrial education. The SSSA will recognize Mamo at an awards ceremony Oct. 24 during its annual meeting at the Tampa Marriott Waterside Hotel.
Mamo has made significant contributions to the profession through her creative work in teaching, including funded projects, deliverables, outputs and mentoring. She has been recognized as an outstanding educator and mentor to her students, with a significant impact on and off campus. Her scholarship of teaching and learning has generated several publications including peer-reviewed learning objects and over $500,000 in grant funding. In addition, she has a strong record of collaboration across disciplines to advance education.
In 2015, she earned the University of Nebraska’s Outstanding Teaching and Instructional Creativity Award and was further recognized by the university in 2016 with the John E. Weaver distinguished professorship.
According to her award nominator, Humberto Blanco, professor of agronomy and horticulture, Mamo builds strong relationships with her students while enhancing their learning experience and intellectual growth.
“Martha’s creativity and innovative teaching strategies are contagious,” said Blanco. “She has an extraordinary ability to teach and develop students’ critical thinking skills to become better learners — fostering the next generation of scientists and leaders.”
Mamo currently teaches two core soil science courses — Soil Resources 153 with more than 150 students a year and Soil Nutrient Relationships 366 with more than 50 students a year. She has made substantial modifications to both courses such as incorporation of field and laboratory exercises including data generation and interpretations; peer teaching; project-based learning; integration of online lessons; and embedding metacognitive activities. Mamo is actively engaged in professional development activities to improve student learning.
“She is most deserving of this national award in recognition of her diligence, innovative teaching approach and dedication to students,” said Blanco.