C.R. Rom to direct Bumpers College Honors Program

Aug. 31, 2011
Contact Information:

Curt R. Rom, Professor, Department of Horticulture
479-575-7434, crom@uark.edu

Howell Medders, Communications, University of Arkansas Division of Agriculture
479-575-5647, hmedders@uark.edu

Kendall Curlee, Director of Communications, University of Arkansas Honors College
479-575-2024, kcurlee@uark.edu

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curt rom

Curt R. Rom, Professor, Department of Horticulture, Dale Bumpers College of Agricultural, Food and Life Sciences
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FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. — Horticulture professor Curt R. Rom has been named director of the Dale Bumpers College of Agricultural, Food and Life Sciences Honors Program. Bumpers College Dean Michael E. Vayda said Rom’s appointment is effective Sept. 1.

Duane Wolf, University Professor of crop, soil, and environmental sciences, has directed the program since it was launched in 2001. It became affiliated with the university’s Honors College in 2002.

“Dr. Rom has been engaged in the Honors Program as a mentor, advisor and instructor and a member of the program committee,” Vayda said. “I am extremely pleased that he has agreed to lead this excellent program. We are indebted to Dr. Wolf for growing the program to its current level of more than 120 students and leading a group of dedicated faculty members who provide our students with wonderful opportunities to enrich their academic experience.”

Bob McMath, dean of the Honors College, said, “Curt Rom is a campus leader who has long been active in honors studies, and we look forward to working with him as we continue to develop research, study abroad and service learning opportunities for the exceptional honors students and faculty in Bumpers College. We are also grateful to Duane Wolf for building a firm foundation for honors studies in agricultural, food and life sciences.”

Rom said, “I am deeply honored to serve as the college’s Honors Program director. I look forward to working with my faculty colleagues to enhance the learning opportunities for our students beyond the traditional classroom experience and add value to their education. As a group, we are dedicated to helping students excel as they prepare for exciting careers in the agricultural, food and life sciences.”

In addition to horticulture courses, Rom has taught honors courses in scientific reasoning and methods and in international agriculture. His current research areas are specialty crop physiology, with emphasis on fruit crops, sustainable and organic production systems for specialty crops, and local food systems focusing on farm production for local markets. He is associated with the university-wide interdisciplinary sustainability initiative.

Rom has provided students with international course experiences and study tours to Scotland, Great Britain, Italy and China as well as academic tours within the United States. He has received the college’s John W. White Outstanding Teaching Award and the American Society for Horticultural Science Outstanding Educator award.

Rom had a Fulbright Fellowship to teach at the University of Padova in Italy. He has served as chair of the Campus Faculty, Faculty Senate and Campus Council and president of the UA Teaching Academy.

A Fayetteville native, Rom has a B.S.A. degree in horticulture from the University of Arkansas and M.S. and Ph.D. degrees from The Ohio State University. He was a faculty member at Washington State University from 1984 to 1989 when he joined the university’s horticulture faculty.

Wolf was instrumental in launching the college’s undergraduate student journal, Discovery, in 2000 for publication of research results by honors students and other students who conduct a research project with a faculty mentor. He provided leadership for establishing the environmental, soil and water science curriculum in Bumpers College and teaches several courses in that major as well as the honors orientation course.