CORVALLIS - Sujaya Rao, an assistant professor in the Crop and Soil Sciences Department at Oregon State University, is the winner of the 2004 Distinguished Achievement Award in Teaching from the Entomological Society of America, Pacific Branch.
The award is especially noteworthy given that the major portion of Sujaya's appointment is to conduct research, according to W.P. Stephen, professor emeritus of entomology at OSU.
Rao has done extensive research on insect pest management, including the development of a molecular marker for identification of larval crane fly species and a pheromone lure for monitoring cereal leaf beetles. But this award recognizes Rao's course on insect pest management and her innovative work with the Rural Science Education Program.
Rao designed the program as a partnership between Oregon State University and local rural K-12.
schools in Alsea, Dallas, Falls City and Halsey. She works with graduate and undergraduate fellows to develop simple and innovative experiments to integrate advances in biotechnology and ecology.
The classroom lessons encourage critical thinking about the impacts of agriculture on the environment, and the implications of advanced scientific research on human lives.