Karen-Beth Goldberg Scholthof is an associate professor in the Department of Plant Pathology and Microbiology at Texas A&M University, where she teaches graduate-level courses and trains postdocs, graduate students, and undergraduates. Her extraordinary contributions as a teacher truly surface in “Pathogens, the Environment, and Society,” an undergraduate course she developed for the bioenvironmental sciences program.
The overall objective of Karen-Beth’s courses is for students to acquire critical thinking skills in areas that bridge disciplines. In her undergraduate course she achieves this goal by having students read a mix of contemporary popular scientific books and articles, poems, and novels, on topics that include diseases of plants, animals, and humans. Her students are expected to prepare topic folders and summaries on contemporary issues in public health, write critiques on assigned books and movies, and critique published case studies during in-class writing assignments. Her class often quickly adapts to newly arising topical events. This means that she herself has to keep up with current events, but this task is facilitated through her voracious appetite for reading.
Karen-Beth’s teaching extends into other venues related to the history of agriculture, plant pathology, and virology. She also has a very productive and well-funded research program and is an active member of APS, serving on committees and as a senior editor and associate editor of APS Press and APS journals.
Karen-Beth is a scholar of exemplary breadth whose impact is often noted far beyond commonly observed academic boundaries.