James A Knight Student Engagement Center

James A. Knight
Student Engagement Center

Saguaro Hall, Room 217

About the James A Knight Student Engagement Center

The James A. Knight Student Engagement Center is a unique and student-centered space which invites AETI students to work and collaborate with their peers. The Student Engagement Center, located in Saguaro Hall room 217, offers amenities like large whiteboards where students complete coursework and leave interactive messages for their peers. The Student Engagement Center also has a large television and a variety of seating options which allow students to work independently or in groups. The Center’s name is inspired by Professor Emeritus, Dr. Knight, who is known by his students and collogues for his student-centered teaching practices and philosophy. 

Who is Dr. James A Knight? 

Dr. Knight was reared in Colorado where he attended public schools near his home in Last Chance, Colorado. He earned his Bachelor’s and Master’s degrees from Colorado State University and was a teacher in public schools in Holyoke and Golden, Colorado. He received his doctorate from The Ohio State University in 1977 and served as a full‑time professor until 1988. At that time he became an adjunct professor, moved to Tucson, Arizona, and started his own private consulting business. He resumed university work with the University of Arizona in 1996 and he was appointed full professor on July 1, 2000.  Then on July 1, 2001, he became the Department Head in Agricultural Education at the University of Arizona.  Effective July 1, 2005, he was named as a Faculty Associate for the College of Agriculture, Life and Environmental Sciences at the University to work with Faculty Development and student recruitment.  He retired from the UA on July 1, 2014.

As a classroom teacher and professor, Dr. Knight has received numerous awards and recognition for his teaching skills. He received the “Alumni Distinguished Teaching Award” at Ohio State in 1987, given annually to only eight persons out of 3500 faculty members. During 2005 he was recognized by the Western Region American Association for Agricultural Educators with the Distinguished Teaching Award.  The College of Agriculture, Life and Environmental Sciences at the UA inducted Dr. Knight as a “Fellow” in the Bart Cardon Academy for Teaching Excellence in 2010.  In 2013, he was recognized as the Faculty Member of the Year for the College by the Ag-100 Council and then was also recognized by the Arizona Student University Association as the Faculty Member of the Year in 2013.  Further, he was also named by the Senior Honorary “Bobcats” at the University of Arizona for the Outstanding Faculty Award and selected as an Honorary Member.  In addition, he has been recognized at local, state and national levels for his service to secondary and university students.

Traveling to all 50 states, Trinidad‑Tabago, Canada, Guam, England, Ireland, Australia, New Zealand, Germany, Indonesia, Afghanistan, and Africa, Dr. Knight has made literally thousands of presentations on such topics as School Climate, Motivation, Leadership, Educational Excellence, Teaching Effectiveness, Equity Issues, Educational Reform and many other related topics.