Blinn College has named Agricultural Sciences Professor Doug Pierce its 2015 Minnie Stevens Piper Professor Award nominee.
Since 1958, the Minnie Stevens Piper Foundation has recognized outstanding professors from two- and four-year colleges and universities across Texas. Ten awards of $5,000 each are made annually to professors for superior teaching at the college level. Selection is made on the basis of nominations submitted by each college or university in the state. The winners will be announced on May 2, 2016.
“We try to teach these kids honesty, integrity and work ethic,” Pierce said. “The thing that brings me the greatest pleasure in the world is seeing our kids succeed, especially the students who don’t initially know whether they can succeed in college and then find out that they had what it takes all along.”
A member of Blinn’s faculty since 1993, Pierce founded the college’s livestock judging team, a program that has produced five national championships and 30 National Junior College Livestock Coaches Association Academic All-Americans. He has served as an advisor for the Agricultural Club since 1993, one of Blinn’s largest student organizations; he also founded the Blinn Wildlife Society and oversaw the expansion of the Agricultural Sciences Program to the Blinn-Bryan campus. He has been a member of the Texas Junior College Agriculture Association since 1997 and is former president of the Agriculture Consortium of Texas.
Pierce founded Blinn’s annual Intercollegiate Livestock Judging Contest and co-founded its Agricultural Mechanics Project Show. Each year, he has helped organize a wide variety of agricultural events on the Brenham campus, including FFA leadership development events, the Area III FFA Convention and the Mid-Winter Ag Teachers Conference. Pierce also worked with architects to help design the Brenham campus’s W.J. “Bill” Rankin Agricultural Complex, which includes an ag shop for courses in small engine repair, woodworking, welding and CAD drafting, and a 9,000-square foot building with classrooms, laboratories and a livestock show arena/pavilion.
“I can genuinely say that I have never encountered a teacher who has so much thriving passion for their work and so much hope for their students’ future,” student Kelsey White said in her nomination letter. “I have never been so eager to attend a class and so satisfied upon my exit.”
Pierce was named the Blinn-Brenham campus Teaching Excellence Award winner in 2002 and served as president of the Council of Division Chairs in 2011-12. Widely recognized as one of the state’s finest agricultural experts, he has been selected to serve as cattle judge for national livestock shows across North America, including twice judging the International Brahman Show at the Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo, the largest breeding cattle show in the United States, and national competitions in Mexico, Guatemala and Colombia. He has also volunteered as vice president, committee chair and judge for the Washington County Fair Association.
Pierce earned his bachelor’s and master’s degrees from Texas A&M University.
“Mr. Pierce is student-driven in every sense of the word,” said Bryn Behnke, assistant dean for the Division of Agricultural & Natural Sciences and Pierce’s former student. “I can say whole-heartedly that without Mr. Pierce I would not be in the place I am today.”