A panel of Texas A&M faculty selected Edward Tarlton, an urban and regional science doctoral student who teaches landscape architecture and urban planning, as recipient of the The Association of Former Students’ Excellence in Teaching award.
Tarlton, who headed a landscape architecture firm for 15 years, earned a Master of Science in Land Development degree at Texas A&M in 2008.
“His professional experience allows him to bridge the academic-professional practice gap, maximizing his ability to inspire students, inform scholars and significantly impact the communities he serves,” said the award review panel.
Tarlton also excels in mentoring students, a critical part of teaching, said Shannon Van Zandt, coordinator of the Master of Urban Planning program, in a letter recommending Tarlton for the award.
Mentoring is not something that is expected of doctoral students, and it is something few even consider doing, said Van Zandt. “He understands that students need role models and explicit guidance to be successful in college.”
His mentoring efforts have been incredibly successful, said Van Zandt. “His protégés are being accepted at top research universities in the South and beyond.”
In addition to teaching and learning, Tarlton uses his own funds to travel throughout the southern United States, visiting high schools and universities to encourage students to pursue higher education.
“He has made it his vocation to help minority and underrepresented students prepare for undergraduate and graduate programs at top universities,” said Van Zandt. “He speaks to students and parents about how to prepare applications, how to speak to professors, how to get involved in research, and essentially, how to make their educational dreams come true,” said Van Zandt.
Some of those students are choosing to attend Texas A&M.
“The number of applications from minority students in the program I direct has nearly doubled, and the quality has increased noticeably as well,” said Van Zandt.