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Northwest Missouri State University


Alumni Spotlight

    Feb. 17, 2016

    Northwest alumnus, agriculture educator honored for teaching

    Dr. Tom Paulsen
    Dr. Tom Paulsen (Photo by Christopher Gannon/Iowa State University)

    Northwest Missouri State University alumnus Dr. Tom Paulsen was awarded the Early Achievement in Teaching Award by the Iowa State University College of Agriculture and Life Sciences on Feb. 3.

    Paulsen, a 1987 Northwest graduate, is an assistant professor in agricultural education and studies at Iowa State.

    Paulsen coordinates the Agriculture and Life Sciences Education Program for Iowa State, where he works closely with student teachers, cooperating teachers and members of the School of Education. Paulsen’s research focus is the collegiate agriculture capstone experience and the supervision of instruction in agricultural education.

    Since joining the Iowa State faculty in 2008, Paulsen has mentored more than 130 students who went on to become high school agriculture teachers. He also has oversight of the Iowa State Ag 450 Farm.

    In 2011, he received the North American Colleges and Teachers of Agriculture Graduate Student Teaching Award, recognizing him at an international level for his commitment to and excellence in college teaching and the scholarship of teaching and learning.

    Paulsen is described as a teacher of teachers and taught high school agriculture education classes for 21 years before moving to Iowa State. He began his career as an agriculture instructor at Lynnville-Sully High School in 1987 and grew the agriculture education program from 29 students to 105 students in five years.

    In 1992, Paulsen and his family moved to Carroll, where he launched a shared agricultural education program involving Carroll Public High School and Kuemper Catholic High School. Under Paulsen’s leadership, the Carroll Agricultural Education grew from 40 students to more than 150 students per year between 1992 and 2008.

    While at Carroll, Paulsen completed his master’s and Ph.D. degrees in agricultural education at Iowa State. He also completed an educational administration license from Iowa State. In 2000, he was named the Iowa Teacher of the Year.

    “Northwest provided me with a solid foundation for being a successful teacher,” Paulsen said. “Under the mentorship of Dr. Marvin Hoskey (Northwest agriculture faculty member from 1978 to 2003), I saw firsthand what it meant to have a passion for teaching – something I have continued to strive toward in my professional teaching career.”


    For more information, please contact:

    Mark Hornickel, Communication Manager
    mhorn@nwmissouri.edu | 660.562.1704 | Fax: 660.562.1900

    Northwest Missouri State University
    215 Administration Building | 800 University Drive | Maryville, MO 64468