URBANA – Erica Thieman has been selected to join the agricultural education program at the University of Illinois in the College of Agricultural, Consumer and Environmental Sciences (ACES) effective Aug. 16. As an assistant professor, Thieman will teach courses in the Agricultural Science Education (ASE) concentration and conduct research related to the training of agricultural educators.
After working as a high-school agriculture educator for five years in rural and urban communities, Thieman has spent the last four years of her professional career pursuing her Ph.D. at the University of Missouri. She has also served as a community educator for Rolla Technical Institute where she taught courses in agricultural mechanics and horticulture and worked on the family farm, Thieman’s Polled Shorthorns, a nationally recognized livestock operation in the beef industry. She will earn her Ph.D. this May in agricultural education from the University of Missouri. She has a bachelor of science degree from the University of Missouri-Columbia and a master’s degree from the University of Missouri.
In addition to teaching agricultural education courses at the University of Missouri, Thieman has experience with writing and obtaining grants. She has served as a field experience coordinator and student teacher supervisor for undergraduate students.
"I am excited to be joining the Illinois ag ed family and to call Illinois my new home!” Thieman said. “I am really looking forward to meeting the undergraduates who will be the future teachers and to begin working with the in-service teachers who are working on their master's degree. I am also very anxious to get out and meet the agriscience teachers and their students across the state."
Thieman’s research interests include studies on the resiliency of agricultural educators as it relates to stress levels, comparative analyses of stress-related experiences as they apply to male and female educators, and the role of mentors for novice educators. She earned the Distinguished Manuscript award at the North Central Research Conference for the American Association of Agricultural Education in 2012.