UIdaho Horticulture Prof Tripepi, Ag Ed Grad Student Masser Honored by National Teaching Group

Monday, July 28 2014

MOSCOW, Idaho – July 28, 2014 – University of Idaho horticulture professor Bob Tripepi, a 30-year teaching veteran, and Douglas Masser, an agricultural education graduate student, were honored recently by the North American Colleges and Teachers of Agriculture.

The group at its 60th annual awards ceremony honored Tripepi as a NACTA teacher fellow for his commitment to student success in his classes, which include nursery management, plant tissue culture, principles of horticulture, landscape maintenance and plant propagation.

The association honored Masser for his teaching as a graduate student. A native of central Pennsylvania, Masser earned a bachelor’s degree from Penn State in 2012. He received a research assistantship to complete a master’s degree in agricultural education at UIdaho. He will begin teaching this fall.

As advisor to the UI Plant Science Club, Tripepi helps students grow plants for sale to raise money for a scholarship endowment, local charities, field trips and activities. Earlier this year club members helped maintain The Nature Conservancy’s Garden Creek Preserve near Hells Canyon and took a field trip to western Washington to view public gardens.

An advocate of an open-door policy for students, Tripepi advised more than 40 horticulture majors this year. Tripepi emphasizes hands-on experience and provides students with clear learning goals.

“My ultimate goal is to prepare students to think through difficult situations that may be presented to them in their professional careers. Of the utmost importance to me is to show students how I would go about solving a difficult problem based on the basic concepts presented in the course,” he said.

Tripepi earned his bachelor’s degree in horticulture from The Ohio State University, his master’s from Penn State and his doctorate in plant physiology from Purdue. A native of northeastern Ohio, he joined the UI faculty in 1984 and serves as horticulture division chair for the College of Agricultural and Life Sciences.

In 2013, philanthropists Tom Alberg and Judith Beck honored Tripepi with a $100,000 gift to the College of Agricultural and Life Sciences for the endowment of a faculty excellence fund. The fund supports faculty work in horticulture, nursery management and plant propagation, and the Plant Science Club in the Plant, Soil and Entomological Sciences Department.

The North American Colleges and Teachers of Agriculture (NACTA) is a professional society that focuses on promoting, recognizing and rewarding excellence in teaching agriculture and related areas at the post-secondary level in North America.