UACES Facebook Nayga tapped for SEC Faculty Achievement Award
skip to main content

Nayga tapped for SEC Faculty Achievement Award

By Dave Edmark

U of A System Division of Agriculture  

Fast facts: 

  • Nayga noted for research on food policy programs
  • Has explored effects on health outcomes
  • SEC award honors a professor on each conference campus

(605 words)
(Newsrooms: with art) 
FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. – Rodolfo M. Nayga Jr., whose research on poverty, nutrition, obesity and novel food technologies has won worldwide recognition, has been honored with the Southeastern Conference Faculty Achievement Award at the University of Arkansas. Nayga is a professor who holds the Tyson Endowed Chair in Food Policy Economics in the Department of Agricultural Economics and Agribusiness at the University of Arkansas and the U of A System Division of Agriculture. 

Rudy Nayga
Dr. Rudy Nayga has been recognized for his research into public policy, food and health. (U of A System Division of Agriculture photo)

Every year each SEC university selects a faculty member with an outstanding record in teaching and scholarship as its award recipient. The award winner at each institution is automatically the university’s nominee for the SEC Professor of the Year. The winner of that honor will be announced in April.

SEC Faculty Achievement Award winners each receive a $5,000 honorarium. The award was established in 2012 by the conference’s presidents and chancellors to be administered by campus provosts in recognition of faculty accomplishments, scholarly contributions and discoveries.

“I am very pleased that Rodolfo Nayga has been recognized for his world-class research and teaching,” said Provost Ashok Saxena. “The University of Arkansas has been represented by several fine faculty members since the SEC Faculty Achievement Award was started in 2012, and Dr. Nayga is every bit as deserving of the recognition as the past recipients. His research and his teaching both are focused on improving people’s lives, a particular goal of the Bumpers College and the U of A System Division of Agriculture.”

“Dr. Nayga is an internationally recognized food policy scholar whose research on consumer behavior and food access are helping drive the conversation on how we as a nation address food security and health issues,” said Mark Cochran, vice president-agriculture and head of the University of Arkansas System Division of Agriculture. “His work in the field of food security exemplifies the efforts the Division of Agriculture is making to help improve lives not only in Arkansas, but also across the globe.”

“I am honored to be chosen for this award but also humbled since there are a lot of excellent professors that have great research and teaching programs at the University of Arkansas,” Nayga said. 

Nayga’s research has focused on the economics of food consumption, policy and health. He has examined how people comprehend and use food and nutritional labels and how these would influence health-related outcomes such as diet quality and obesity. His analysis of the effects of federal food programs – such as the National School Lunch Program, Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program and the Fresh Fruit and Vegetable Program – has provided crucial information about their effects on health outcomes for various segments of the population, including children and the historically disadvantaged. Findings from his more recent work with colleagues at U of A on the effect of food deserts and school food programs on childhood obesity have garnered national media attention.

Nayga has also served on the faculty at Texas A&M University, Rutgers University and Massey University in New Zealand. He has been a visiting professor and Fulbright Senior Scholar at Wageningen University in The Netherlands and a Taiwan National Science Council Fellow at National Taiwan University. He is currently an adjunct professor at Korea University, the Norwegian Institute for Bioeconomy Research and Kasetsart University in Thailand.

Nayga has published more than 225 refereed articles in academic journals and has been cited at least 5,700 times by other researchers. He has served on the editorial boards of 15 scholarly journals. He has received more than $16 million in research grants from numerous agencies and has delivered about 400 invited talks and lectures around the world.

For more information about Nayga’s work visit

The University of Arkansas System Division of Agriculture offers all its Extension and Research programs and services without regard to race, color, sex, gender identity, sexual orientation, national origin, religion, age, disability, marital or veteran status, genetic information, or any other legally protected status, and is an Affirmative Action/Equal Opportunity Employer.

Media Contact: Dave Edmark
U of A Division of Agriculture
(479) 575-6940

Related Links