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Department of Agricultural, Environmental, and Development Economics


AEDE PhD Students Awarded the Bernie Erven Graduate Teaching Award for 2023

Oct. 31, 2023
Distinguished retired professor Bernie Erven presented PhD student Karan Shakya with his award.

Two AEDE PhD students were awarded the Bernie Erven Graduate Teaching Award for 2023.

Qi Jiang, a sixth-year student, and Karan Shakya, a fourth-year student, both performed so well in the classroom that the Graduate Studies Committee chose to award both of them instead of choosing a single winner. This award is presented annually by the Graduate Studies Committee to the graduate student(s) who best exemplifies the tradition of teaching excellence that Bernie Erven achieved throughout his distinguished career as a professor in the Department of Agricultural, Environmental, and Development Economics.

Qi Jiang was nominated by Dr. Anna Parkman and Dr. Wuyang Hu for her outstanding teaching of AEDECON 3000 in the spring 2023 semester. Her dedication to her students was evident in her efforts to arrive to class at least twenty minutes early and her willingness to work with students outside of class. As a first-time instructor, she earned SEI scores well above the department and college average, and her students appreciated her for it.

On their SEIs, students said of Qi, “Professor is always willing to help!” and “I really enjoyed this class and loved how you used real-life experience as examples; that was very helpful.” Furthermore, she managed to achieve this level of teaching in the same semester that she passed her candidacy exam and submitted two manuscripts for review and two conference proposals. Qi is a model student, community member, and instructor, and AEDE appreciates her dedication to the department.

Department Chair Amy Ando presents PhD student Qi Jiang with the Bernie Erven Graduate Teaching Award

Karan Shakya was nominated by Dr. Leah Bevis for his superior work as a TA for AEDECON 6130. Karan led the lab sessions for this course, which included helping master’s students learn how to use R, a data analysis software. In this lab, he creatively reviewed the week’s lectures, demonstrated the coding necessary for the lesson, and helped groups of students work through practice problems. Outside of class, he answered students’ questions and graded their problem sets in a quick manner, which resulted in students calling him a “fantastic TA” who was “always available and extremely helpful” and earning a 4.9/5 on his SEIs.

Dr. Bevis called Karan “the best TA I have ever had.” He went above and beyond for his students while he was completing his own coursework in his PhD program. Karan is an exemplary member of the AEDE department and community, and we appreciate all of his hard work.


Congratulations to both Qi and Karan! They are both wonderful instructors worthy of the Bernie Erven Award.