Irlbeck Named Distinguished Teaching Award Recipient

Dr. Erica Irlbeck (NAFB Allied Industry Council Member, Lubbock, Texas) is an associate professor of agricultural communications at Texas Tech University. She was one of seven top faculty members presented 2020 research and teaching awards by Texas Tech University Chancellor Dr. Tedd L. Mitchell. Recipients received a $5,000 stipend and an engraved medallion.

“It is a huge honor to be recognized by Texas Tech. I love being at this university, and one of the many reasons is that they place such a high emphasis on quality teaching, then they recognize us for our work,” Irlbeck said.

As part of the nation’s top undergraduate program for agricultural communications, Irlbeck teaches courses ranging from video production to strategic communications. She has focused on expanding her pedological base by participating in the design of the agricultural communications senior capstone experience, developing online courses, creating a resident course on agricultural advocacy, and continually refining the content quality of her courses. Her program’s undergraduate degree was rated first in the nation by an independent study in 2015.

Irlbeck’s research focuses on agriculture in television media, risk and crisis communications, and science communications. Through a grant from BASF, Irlbeck developed a program to train agricultural scientists in communications and advocacy. Now in its fourth year, Irlbeck plans to expand the program into a course for all graduate students in the College of Agricultural Sciences & Natural Resources at Texas Tech.

Irlbeck serves the industry at local, state, regional, and national levels. She is superintendent of the Texas FFA Agricultural Communications Career Development Event, vice president for the Western Region American Association for Agricultural Education, and a committee member for the National FFA Agricultural Communications Career Development Event. She also is a member of the Lubbock County Farm Bureau board of directors. Previously, Irlbeck worked in agricultural television news for AgDay Television and KLBK-TV, farm radio for Clear Channel Networks, public relations, and advertising.

Irlbeck received her Doctor of Education in agricultural education from Texas Tech in August 2009. She received her bachelor’s degree in agricultural communications from Oklahoma State University in 1998 and her master’s degree in agricultural communications from Texas Tech in 2007. Erica is married to Scott, who farms wheat and grain sorghum in the Texas Panhandle. They have one son, Jett.