This story originally appeared on the website of the College of Food, Agricultural, and Environmental Sciences and was written by Kurt Knebusch.
Late last winter, Suzanne Gray, an assistant professor in the College of Food, Agricultural, and Environmental Sciences (CFAES), got a surprise visit in her classroom. A happy entourage including CFAES Dean Cathann A. Kress and Jeff Sharp, director of the School of Environment and Natural Resources (SENR), Gray’s home department, dropped in while she was teaching. The purpose? To tell her she’d won a 2018 Alumni Award for Distinguished Teaching from The Ohio State University, one of only 10 given university-wide. The award honors faculty for superior teaching. Ohio State has more than 2,800 regular tenure-track faculty.
Gray specializes in fish, especially freshwater fish, and how changes to the water they live in — turbidity and harmful algal blooms, for example — affect them. Her aquatic ecology and management courses, which include Taxonomy and Behavior of Fishes (ENR 5350.02), are a “draw for students who appreciate the opportunity to solve problems,” according to Ohio State’s website about the honorees.
Sharp, who leads a program that also has another reason to celebrate — SENR is marking its 50th anniversary — said Gray is “leading the way in creating experiential and hands-on learning experiences for students.” He said she makes tireless efforts to engage undergraduates in research, has an “exceptional commitment” to recruiting students from underrepresented groups and is providing “leadership to our efforts to better utilize Stone Lab as an instructional resource.”
Gray, a native of Canada who joined CFAES in 2013, spoke in mid-June from the lab, where she was co-teaching Ichthyology (EEOB 5930), an upper-level course offered through Ohio State’s College of Arts and Sciences, specifically its Department of Evolution, Ecology and Organismal Biology. Read the full Interview by Kurt Knebusch with the award winning professor here and find out what Gray likes/loves about teaching, her favorite places to study fish, her favorite fish species and much more.