UArizona Department of Agricultural and Resource Economics professor of practice Na Zuo says her goal as a teacher is “to use authenticity in the classroom.”
To achieve that, she approaches each course by looking for ways to help students relate to the material and care what they are learning about. For example, in one of her classes she asks students to develop a real-world business plan based on their own interests.
Zuo’s classroom excellence was recognized in spring 2022, when she was one of five UA professors to receive the Gerald J. Swanson Prize for Teaching Excellence.
“I think it’s the students—that’s the whole why I do this and that’s my motivation,” Zuo said.
Zuo spoke with Shane Burgess, Vice President for Agriculture, Life and Veterinary Sciences, and Cooperative Extension and Charles-Sander Dean of the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences to discuss her passion for teaching and the importance of agricultural and resource economics as a study of how food, water, and energy are delivered to the world.
The conversation is the second in a UArizona Life & Science interview series that will highlight the remarkably broad range of work being done by faculty, staff, and Extension specialists in ALVSCE—while learning about the people themselves.