• Ph.D., Agricultural Education (2004): Texas A&M University, College Station, Texas;
  • BS/MS equivalent: Agricultural Engineering (1992): Universitat Politècnica de Catalunya, Lleida, Spain.


Dr. Maria Navarro completed an undergraduate degree in agricultural engineering, then worked for six years in the International Center for Advanced Mediterranean Agronomic Studies (CIHEAM - IAMZ), in international agricultural development, training of professionals, research, and networking activities. In 2004, she completed a Ph.D. in Agricultural Education (Texas A&M University), and since 2005 has been on the faculty of the University of Georgia. She teaches undergraduate and graduate classes in international agriculture, development, and technology change. One of her main research focus is on professional development of higher education faculty (teaching and extension), nationally and internationally. She has worked in the U.S., Europe, Latin America, Africa, the Middle East, and Western Asia.

Teaching Activities

Dr. Navarro is involved with the undergraduate and graduate programs of the Department of Agricultural Leadership, Education and Communication (ALEC), the Certificate of International Agriculture (Office of Global Programs), and collaborates with the Institutes of Latin American and Caribbean Studies (LACSI), and African Studies (ASI).

Currently, she teaches the following courses (both face-to-face and distance learning):

  • AESC 3150 Topics in International Agriculture;
  • ALDR 3820H Reflections on Fighting Hunger
  • ALDR(AFST)(LACS) 4710/6710 International Agricultural Development;
  • ALDR 8030 Diffusion of Innovations;
  • ALDR 7000, ALDR 7100, ALDR 7110, and ALDR 7300.

Dr. Navarro advises undergraduate students in the honors program (Interdisciplinary Honors Studies Major) and graduate students in the Master of Agricultural and Environmental Education (MAEE). She also advises Sigma Alpha, a professional agricultural sorority for the advancement of women in agriculture, and works with student organizations focusing on the elimination of worldwide hunger and poverty.

Research and Professional Foci

  • Issues in Higher Education: Transforming higher education for a more global, socially conscious, and effective curriculum: 1) Professional development of faculty; 2) Student learning; and 3) Curriculum change.
  • International cooperation and agricultural development: Education, communication, and extension issues affecting agricultural and human development in different areas of the world.

In addition, Dr. Navarro is PI or co-PI of several active federal grants focusing on the professional development of faculty. Some examples are:

  • Teaching locally, engaging globally: Enhancing the undergraduate curriculum (USDA, $459,770);
  • Empowering Faculty to Deliver Graduate Distance Education Courses (USDA, $138,099);
  • Integrating humanistic studies into engineering education (USDA, $98,500).

Career Highlights

  • 2010-Present: Associate Professor, Department of Agricultural Leadership, Education, and Communication, University of Georgia (ALEC-UGA);
  • 2005-2010: Assistant Professor, ALEC-UGA;
  • 2004: Intern, Peace Programs, The Carter Center, Atlanta, Georgia;
  • 1999-2004: Part-time Instructor, ALEC-UGA;
  • 1997-1999: Teaching and Research Assistant, Texas A&M University;
  • 1991-1997: Coordinator, Plant Production Area, International Center for Advanced Mediterranean Agronomic Studies (CIHEAM - IAMZ).


  • 2014 Russell Award, University of Georiga Teaching Excellence in Undergraduate Teaching.
  • 2008: National Agriculture Advocate Award Winner (Sigma Alpha National Sorority);
  • 2008 D.W. Brooks Diversity Award (Faculty);
  • 2007: President’s Fulfilling the Dream Award (UGA);
  • 2007: Gamma Sigma Delta (Honor Society of Agriculture) Junior Achievement in teaching award;
  • 2006: Outstanding Early Achievement Award of the Association for International Agricultural and Extension Education (AIAEE);
  • 2006: Sigma Alpha National Advisor of the Year Award;
  • 2006-2008: University of Georgia Lilly Teaching Fellow;
  • 2005-2010: Associate Editor, Journal of International Agricultural and Extension Education(all volumes).

Recent Refereed Journal Articles

Foutz, T., Navarro, M., Hill, R., Thompson, S., Miller, K., & Riddleberger, D. (2010). Using the discipline of agricultural engineering to integrate math and science. Journal of STEM Education: Innovations and Research.

Dooley, K. E., Roberts, G., Navarro, M., Harder, A. Murphrey, T., Ricketts, J., & Lindner, J. (2010). Teaching locally, engaging globally to enhance the undergraduate curriculum: A social science research and evaluation perspective. Journal of Agricultural Science and Technology.

Navarro, M. (2009). Transforming the curriculum: Using hunger issues to enhance teaching and learning. NACTA Journal, 53 (2), 9 pages.

Rich, J., Duncan, D., Navarro, M., & Ricketts, J. (2009). Examining differences in middle school student achievement on a criterion-referenced competency test (CRCT) in science. Journal of Agricultural Education, 50 (4).

Shinn, G. C., Briers, G. E., Navarro, M., Peake, J., Parr, B. Ter-Mkrtchyan, A., & Duncan, D. (2009). Through student eyes: Perceptions and aspirations of students from the Armenian State Agrarian University and selected European universities. Journal of Agricultural Education and Extension, 15(3), 235-245.

Navarro, M. (2009). Learning from our experience in the field: Using participatory development methods in the higher education classroom. Journal of International Agricultural and Extension Education, 16(1), 7-15.

Rohs, F. R. & Navarro, M. (2008). Soft Systems methodology: An intervention strategy. Journal of International Agricultural and Extension Education, 15(3), 95-98.

Navarro, M. & Edwards, M. C. (2008). Priorities for undergraduate education and the inclusion of internationalized curriculum in colleges of agriculture: Interpreting the “comparison dilemma.” Journal of Agricultural Education, 49(4), 72-82.

Shinn, G., Briers, G., Navarro, M., Peake, J., Duncan, D., Parr, B., & Galoyan, I. (2008). Armenian agrarian students' perceptions and educational aspirations during curriculum reforms: Bologna to Yerevan. Journal of International Agricultural and Extension Education, 15(2), 33-45.

Navarro, M. (2008). On the path to sustainable agricultural development: Enhancing extension agents’ contribution. Journal of Environmental, Cultural, Economic & Social Sustainability, 4(3), 71-78.

Navarro, M. (2006). How can agricultural and extension educators contribute to a successful new Green Revolution. Journal of Agricultural Education and Extension, 12(2), 83-96.