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UW Agricultural Economics Professor Receives Vanvig Distinguished Faculty Award

December 23, 2019
head portrait of a man
Chris Bastian

A University of Wyoming faculty member whose career exemplifies research, outreach, teaching and service is this year’s recipient of the Andrew Vanvig Lifetime Distinguished Faculty Award in the College of Agriculture and Natural Resources.

Chris Bastian, a professor in UW’s Department of Agricultural and Applied Economics, has performed outreach, research, teaching, mentoring, service and student advising at a high level, says Dale Menkhaus, professor emeritus in the department and a previous Vanvig award recipient.

“To be able to carry out these responsibilities in a conscientious and exceptional manner, as Chris has done, is rare and characterizes a distinguished faculty member,” Menkhaus says.

Bastian began his time at UW in 1990, first as a lecturer. He later advanced to research associate and then assistant, associate and senior UW Extension educator. He returned to UW as an assistant professor in 2005 after receiving his Ph.D. in agricultural and resource economics from Colorado State University. He attained full professor in 2017.

Vanvig served as head of the Department of Agricultural Economics for 25 years and was a faculty member for 35. He created the award in 2010 to honor a senior faculty member in the college for lifetime accomplishments in teaching, scholarship/creative activity and service. Professors in the college with a minimum of 15 years of service are eligible.

Bastian is the epitome of what a senior faculty member should be, his nominators say.

“He has not only made a significant impact on our discipline through scholarship contributions, but he is continually recognized as an outstanding educator by students and peers and has gone above and beyond to serve our department, college, university and regional associations,” say Ben Rashford, department head and associate professor; Chian Jones Ritten, an assistant professor; and Amy Nagler, a research associate.

Bastian has mentored 270 undergraduates and supervised 53 graduate degrees. He has written or co-written 79 refereed journal articles, 88 reviewed extension publications, 130 presentations and received over $3.5 million in grants.

Bastian embodies the land-grant mission of teaching, research and extension, says Chris McIntosh, a professor and head of the Department of Agricultural Economics and Rural Sociology at the University of Idaho.

He cites Bastian’s service to the university and profession, and serving on the executive board (Bastian is now president) of the Western Agricultural Economics Association.

“His reputation as an excellent teacher is well known throughout the agricultural economics profession,” McIntosh says. “It also is obvious when you see him present his work at professional conferences.”

Tex Taylor, another previous Vanvig award recipient, offers high praise for Bastian.

“Chris has been a pillar in our department for as long as I can remember due to his leadership and expertise in a wide variety of subject matter area,” says Taylor, a professor emeritus and member of the Department of Agricultural and Applied Economics, and a 43-year UW employee.

“He has been a model of consistency, excelling in all aspects of the profession,” Taylor continues. “He also has been a valuable mentor to many of us in the department whose counsel is widely respected.”

Rashford says Bastian sets the example of the true all-around faculty member; has sustained his efforts at the highest level for decades; and is a model for others to emulate.

“He has excelled in the classroom, as an adviser and in mentoring graduate students,” Rashford says. “His research is nationally recognized; he has been consistently published in top journals; and has generated millions in competitive funding. And he readily uses his expertise and research to help solve timely issues for stakeholders around the state and region.”

Contact Us

Institutional Communications

Bureau of Mines Building, Room 137

Laramie

Laramie, WY 82071

Phone: (307) 766-2929

Email: cbaldwin@uwyo.edu

Find us on Facebook (Link opens a new window) Find us on Twitter (Link opens a new window)

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