Dr. B.B. Singh, a visiting professor in the Soil and Crop Sciences Department at Texas A&M University, recently received a Lifetime Achievement Award as a Distinguished Mentor from the Pantnagar Clan, a global network of alumni from Govind Ballabh Pant University of Agriculture and Technology in Pantnagar, India.
G.B. Pant University was the first college in India to be patterned after the United States land grant system. Dr. Singh was a member of the first batch of students to graduate from that university, earning his B.Sc. degree in 1960. In 1968 he returned to G.B. Pant as a member of the faculty working as a soybean breeder and Associate Professor. He taught Introductory Genetics and Introductory Plant Breeding at the undergraduate level, as well as graduate courses in plant genetics and the principles of plant breeding until 1978 when he became a researcher at the International Institute of Tropical Agriculture in Nigeria.
“All of my students have become very successful in their professional and personal lives,” Dr. Sing said with admiration. “They give major credit for their success to the excellent teaching and mentoring they received while they were at G.B. Pant University.”
According to Singh, the Pantnagar Clan selected ten different teachers in different subjects to honor during the Foundation Day Celebration. Because Singh was unable to attend to ceremony last fall, the group gathered again in July to make his presentation.
“For my students go to that much effort, with this kind of feeling, it really meant a lot to me,” Singh stated. “And the plate they gave me is most heartwarming because all the national landmarks in India are on it and in the middle is my name.”
Dr. Singh came to A&M in 2006 to work on cowpea and cropping systems with Dr. Bill Payne. He continues to do research, teaches SCSC 645 – World Agriculture and International Plant Breeding, and has a Friday lunch seminar with the students.
He still returns to G.B. Pant University for three months each year to present lectures to new batches of students there.
“Teaching is my passion,” stated Dr. Singh. “I am so happy my students recognized that. They have touched my heart.”