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Dr. Shannon Cunningham, assistant vice president of academic affairs at Northeastern Oklahoma A&M College (NEO), was recently selected to receive the Honorary American FFA Degree. This award is given to those who advance agricultural education and FFA through outstanding personal commitment. The Honorary American FFA Degree is an opportunity to recognize those who have gone beyond valuable daily contributions to make an extraordinary long-term difference in the lives of students, inspiring confidence in a new generation of agriculturists.

Cunningham will receive the award at the 2014 National FFA Convention and Expo Oct. 29-Nov. 1 in Louisville, Ky. Cunningham has been at NEO for 11 years.  She earned an associate’s degree from NEO in 2000. She worked toward her bachelor’s degree in animal science at Oklahoma State University and graduated from OSU in 2002.  In 2006, Cunningham received a master’s degree from the University of Arkansas, and she earned her Ph. D. in agriculture education at OSU.  Her professional achievements include acting as presenter at Rural Community College Association Conference on undergraduate research at NEO A&M College.

Cunningham’s professional and community affiliations include serving as a director for the National Horse Judging Team Coaches’ Association; the National Horse Judging Team Coaches’ Association – Academic All American Coordinator; Oklahoma Agriculture Leadership Program, Class XV, Member; Oklahoma Women in Higher Education – Executive Board member; and Miami Arvest Bank – board member.  The National FFA Organization is a National youth organization that strives for success in various areas. The FFA mission is to make a positive difference in the lives of students by developing their potential for premier leadership, personal growth and career success through agriculture education.  The organization operates under a federal charter granted by the 81st United States Congress and is an integral part of public instruction in agriculture. The blue and gold jackets, a signature part of the organization that continually is a reminder of the “blue jackets gold standards” that this organization displays.

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