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Michael Maw Transitions from ABAC Student to ABAC Faculty Member

TIFTON— For Dr. Michael Maw, the Circle of Life has become a reality at Abraham Baldwin Agricultural College. The journey he began when he was accepted as a student to ABAC in 2003 has now led him back to the campus as a faculty member in 2018.

“I hope to push students into a new depth of exploring the world around them,” Maw, a 2003 graduate of Tift County High School, said. “Make connections with others and get outside your bubble. Don’t limit yourself.”

During his three years as an ABAC student, Maw was active in extracurricular activities including service as an ABAC Ambassador. As a part of that responsibility, he conducted tours for prospective students and their parents.

“It was an awesome experience that let me learn the ins and outs of college.” Maw, the son of Bryan Maw and Jeanne Tyson Moore, said.

In addition to being involved in extracurricular activities on campus, Maw excelled academically. In 2006 he received the George P. Donaldson Award as the top ABAC graduate. He was also selected as the J.G. Woodroof Scholar at Honors Day, a recognition presented each year to the top academic student at ABAC.

After graduating from ABAC with his associate degree in agriculture and journalism in 2006, Maw transferred to the University of Georgia (UGA) where he double-majored in Water and Soil Resources and Agricultural Communication. He found his agriculture classes compelling but was simultaneously drawn to communication and journalism.

After receiving his UGA bachelor’s degree, he knew he wanted to continue his education but was unsure where, so he began emailing different graduate schools trying to find the perfect fit.

At the University of Missouri, all the pieces for Maw’s extended higher education pursuits fell into place. He said the institution placed a strong emphasis on research and with agriculture being research-based, he decided to take the leap.

Maw received his master’s degree in Plant, Insect, and Microbial Sciences at Missouri but continued to pursue his education. His efforts paid off in December of 2016 when he walked across the stage to receive his Ph.D. in Plant Science, with an emphasis in Crop Management.

ABAC left an impression on Maw during his student days so with his doctorate degree in hand he kept an eye on the website for job listings in his field. He applied to a few jobs with various companies and was even offered a research job in Australia about two weeks before being contacted by Dr. Jerry Baker, Provost and Vice President of Academic Affairs at ABAC. After the interview, he was sure returning to ABAC and Tifton was the right choice.

“It is amazing how far ABAC has come,” Maw said. “I want to be a part of the growth occurring at my alma mater.”

As an ABAC faculty member, Maw’s goal is to provide realistic views of the world and agriculture industry so that students can apply what they learn from the textbook to the job they take after graduation. He teaches courses this semester in Fruit and Vegetable Production and Weed Management.

“One of the most valuable memories I recall about attending ABAC was the personal connection between students and professors,” Maw said. “It was the feeling of being a name rather than a number that helped me grow intellectually. I hope to use that same personal touch in the classroom.”

Always brimming with enthusiasm and passionate about his interests during his time as an ABAC student, Maw carries that same kind of vibrancy into the classroom.

“Throughout my college career, I could tell which professors were actively engaged in the subjects they taught,” Maw said. “I want ABAC students to remember their time in my classroom just like that.”

His teaching philosophy is simple, “create a story that students can follow, remember, and use in the future for the advancement of the agriculture industry.”


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