CALS Welcomes New Ag Ed Leadership

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

CALS welcomed incoming Agricultural Education Department Head Bobby Torres in June. Torres earned his bachelor and master's degrees from New Mexico State University and a Doctor of Philosophy from Ohio State University. Torres served as the agriculture teacher at Willcox High School and was an agricultural education professor at New Mexico State University. Prior to becoming a Wildcat, Torres directed undergraduate and graduate studies at the University of Missouri-Columbia. He has been recognized with numerous teaching and research honors.  Torres is a very deserving recipient of the Neely Family Endowed Professorship for Excellence in Agriculture and Life Sciences.

"Our children and grandchildren need highly motivated and qualified agriculture teachers to prepare them for careers in and related to agriculture as well as managerial professions," said Torres.  "I bring my personal commitment to continuing UA's quality programming for a better Arizona."

Students enrolled in high school agricultural education courses are exposed to diverse subject areas ranging from agribusiness to biotechnology. Through CALS-hosted FFA events on campus, students are also introduced to critical skills such as public speaking, leadership, and project management.

High school FFA programs in Arizona serve thousands of students. However, these programs are threatened by a lack of highly qualified agriculture teachers. CALS Agricultural Education department works hard to see that high school agriculture programs prosper and continue to educate and involve youth in agriculture.

The UA's Agricultural Education department is successful because of the dedicated professionals who make up the team.  This fall, Dr. Torres will be joined by new faculty members Ryan Foor and Phil Callahan. Ryan Foor received his Ph.D. in Agricultural Education from Ohio State University. He previously served as the Agricultural Education instructor and FFA advisor at Glenwood Community High School in Iowa before becoming a graduate teaching assistant at Ohio State University. He joins the Department as an assistant professor.  Phil Callahan received his Ph.D. from the University of Arizona in Educational Psychology.  He has held positions at the UA Arizona Health Sciences Center, UA South and at the University Teaching Center.  Callahan has also served as both a paramedic and a firefighter.  Callahan is an associate professor.

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