2018 D.W. Brooks Faculty Award for Excellence in Teaching
Associate Professor, Department of Animal & Dairy Science
Equine Specialist, UGA Cooperative Extension
Kari Turner has earned her reputation as one of the best teachers in the University of Georgia College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences by inspiring more questions than answers.
Her students say that she has the uncommon ability to inspire them to learn more after her class is over. Her goal is to make her students want to learn about the world around them and to give them the tools they need to become critical thinkers.
“Dedication to knowledge is admirable, but a truly special teacher fosters an unquenchable thirst to analyze the world around you,” said one of Turner’s former undergraduate students.
Turner realized her passion for teaching while pursuing her master’s degree at Virginia Tech. She earned her doctorate at Michigan State University with the express purpose of teaching at the college level after graduation.
Since joining the UGA faculty in 2005, Turner has excelled in and out of the classroom, teaching numerous workshops and short courses in her role as UGA Cooperative Extension’s equine specialist. Her balance of classroom and real-world experience has helped Turner to prepare her students for the transition from college to graduate school or the career world.
“Students do not view her class as simply a formality to graduate; she is the gateway through which students are able to learn skills that will guide them through life,” said one former student.
Turner teaches about 255 students among four to five courses each semester, focusing on a wide variety of topics ranging from elective classroom-based courses to required upper-level laboratory courses. These courses include
“Companion Animal Care,” “Horse Production and Management,” “Equine Science Seminar,” “Equine Exercise Physiology,” “Pleasure Horse Management,” and “A Focus on Horse Racing.”
Turner’s enthusiastic teaching style and connection with students have earned her numerous departmental, college, university-level and national teaching awards.