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2012-13

Faculty/Staff

Awards


2012-13 Faculty/Staff Awards

President’s Message

Each year, Virginia Tech selects the very best faculty and staff members from a university community

that abounds with exceptional performers and recognizes their extraordinary contributions in a number

of categories, from advising students to making an impact on international outreach and research. The

various award selection committees recently completed their work, and this publication pays tribute to

our 2012-13 award recipients. On behalf of the university, I congratulate the winners and thank them for

the outstanding work that helps Virginia Tech to continue inventing the future.

Charles W. Steger

President, Virginia Tech


2012-13 Faculty/Staff Awards

About the awards

Alumni Award for Excellence in

Graduate Academic Advising

Established by the Virginia Tech Alumni Association, the Alumni Award for Excellence

in Graduate Academic Advising is presented annually by the Office of the

Provost to recognize Virginia Tech faculty who have been particularly dedicated to

and effective in the advising of graduate students. Recipients may be nominated by

university faculty or students, are selected by a committee of former award winners,

and are awarded a $2,000 cash prize.

Alumni Award for Excellence in

International Education

Sponsored by the Virginia Tech Alumni Association, the Alumni Award for Excellence

in International Education is presented annually to a Virginia Tech faculty or staff

member who has had a significant impact on international education at the university.

Selection is based upon contributions to the internationalization of Virginia Tech, the

impact on students, the impact on the campus and community, the significance of the

initiative, and the sustainability of the initiative. Recipients are awarded a $2,000 cash

prize.

Alumni Award for Excellence in

International Outreach and Research

Sponsored by the Virginia Tech Alumni Association, the Alumni Award for Excellence

in International Outreach and Research is presented annually to a faculty or staff

member who has had a significant impact on international outreach and research at

Virginia Tech. Selection is based on contributions to the internationalization of Virginia

Tech, global impact, significance of the project, and sustainability of the project.

Recipients are awarded a $2,000 cash prize.

Alumni Award for Excellence in

Undergraduate Academic Advising

Established by the Virginia Tech Alumni Association, the Alumni Award for Excellence

in Undergraduate Academic Advising is presented annually by the Office of the

Provost to recognize Virginia Tech faculty who have been particularly dedicated to

and effective in the advising of undergraduate students. Recipients may be nominated

by university faculty or students, are selected by a committee of former award winners,

and are awarded a $2,000 cash prize.

Alumni Award for Outreach Excellence

Established by the university’s Commission on Outreach and International Affairs with

the support of the Virginia Tech Alumni Association, the Alumni Award for Outreach

Excellence is presented annually to recognize outstanding contributions by Virginia

Tech faculty members who have extended the university’s outreach mission throughout

the commonwealth, the nation, and the world. Recipients are nominated by their peers,

are awarded a $2,000 cash prize, and are inducted into the university’s Academy of

Outreach Excellence.

Alumni Award for Excellence in

Extension

Sponsored by the Virginia Tech Alumni Association, the Alumni Award for Excellence

in Extension is presented annually to two Virginia Cooperative Extension staff members

who have made outstanding contributions outside the classroom. One award is

given to an Extension specialist and one is given to an Extension agent. Each recipient

is awarded a $2,000 cash prize.

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2012-13 Faculty/Staff Awards

Alumni Award for Excellence in Research

Sponsored by the Virginia Tech Alumni Association, the Alumni Award for Excellence

in Research is presented annually to as many as two Virginia Tech faculty members

who have made outstanding contributions in the area of research. Alumni, students,

faculty, and staff may nominate candidates for the award. Each recipient is awarded a

$2,000 cash prize.

Alumni Award for Excellence in Teaching

Established in 1982 by the Virginia Tech Alumni Association, the Alumni Award

for Excellence in Teaching is presented annually to honor two Virginia Tech faculty

members for teaching excellence. Award recipients are selected by the university’s

Academy of Teaching Excellence and are chosen from among those faculty members

who have received certificates of teaching excellence from their respective colleges

during the preceding three years. Each recipient is awarded a $2,000 cash prize and

is inducted into the Academy of Teaching Excellence.

Edward S. Diggs Teaching Scholars Award

Sponsored by the Virginia Tech Academy of Teaching Excellence, the Edward S.

Diggs Teaching Scholars Award was established in 1992 and is presented annually

to three Virginia Tech faculty members to recognize exceptional contributions

to the teaching program and learning environment. A cash award is given to each

recipient and his or her respective academic department. A year after receiving the

award, new Diggs Teaching Scholars are invited to lead the Diggs Roundtable, a

series of presentations and a discussion related to their innovative teaching.

The award is supported by an endowed fund established through an estate gift from

the late Edward S. and Hattie Wilson Diggs. Edward Diggs was a 1914 graduate of

Virginia Tech.

President’s Award for Excellence

The President’s Award for Excellence is presented annually to up to five Virginia Tech

staff members who have made extraordinary contributions by consistent excellence

in the performance of their job or a single incident, contribution, or heroic act. Each

recipient is awarded a $2,000 cash prize.

Provost’s Advising Award

The Provost’s Advising Award is given annually to recognize a Virginia Tech faculty

or staff member who serves undergraduate advisees in exemplary ways. Recipients are

awarded a $2,000 cash prize and are inducted into the university’s Academy of Advising

Excellence.

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2012-13 Faculty/Staff Awards

Sporn Award for Excellence in Teaching

Introductory Subjects

Sponsored by the Center for Excellence in Undergraduate Teaching and the Virginia

Tech Academy for Teaching Excellence, the Sporn Award for Teaching Introductory

Subjects is presented annually to a Virginia Tech faculty member to recognize excellence

in teaching introductory-level courses. Nominations are received from students.

Recipients are selected from a committee comprised of student representatives from

Omicron Delta Kappa and Golden Key honor society and a faculty advisor who was

the previous year’s award winner. Recipients are awarded $2,000 and are inducted into

the university’s Academy of Teaching Excellence.

The award was established in memory of Dr. and Mrs. Philip J. Sporn and is sponsored

by the Center for Instructional Development and Educational Research and

the Virginia Tech Academy for Teaching Excellence. Philip Sporn was a Virginia Tech

alumnus and president and chief executive officer of American Electric Power Co.

William E. Wine Award

Established to honor a former rector of the Virginia Tech Board of Visitors and

president of the Virginia Tech Alumni Association, the William E. Wine Award is

presented annually to three Virginia Tech faculty members to recognize “a history

of university teaching excellence.” Nominations by students, alumni, and faculty in

each college are reviewed by respective college selection committees. The colleges’

candidates are reviewed by a university-wide committee, which then selects the three

award winners. Each recipient is awarded a $2,000 cash prize and is inducted into the

university’s Academy of Teaching Excellence.

XCaliber Award

Established in 1996 by the Office of the Provost, the XCaliber Award (shorthand for

exceptional, high-caliber work) is presented annually by the Virginia Tech Center for

Innovation in Learning to recognize individual faculty members or teams of faculty

and staff who have made significant contributions toward integrating technology into

teaching and learning experiences. The award celebrates innovative approaches to

teaching with technology that illustrate student-centered learning activities. Recipients

receive a cash award and are called upon to demonstrate their award-winning

work to their colleagues.

Staff Career Achievement Award

Created in 2011 to recognize retiring staff members, the Staff Career Achievement

Award is presented annually to up to five individuals who have distinguished themselves

through exemplary performance and service during their university career. Each

recipient is awarded a $1,000 cash prize.

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Alumni Award for Excellence in Graduate Academic Advising

Subhash Sarin

Subhash Sarin, the Paul T. Norton Professor of Industrial and Systems Engineering in the College of Engineering at Virginia Tech, has received

the university’s 2013 Alumni Award for Excellence in Graduate Academic Advising.

Established by the Virginia Tech Alumni Association, the Alumni Award for Excellence in Graduate Academic Advising is presented annually by

the Office of the Provost to Virginia Tech faculty members who have been particularly dedicated and effective while advising graduate students.

Recipients, who may be nominated by university faculty members or students, are selected by a committee of former award winners, receive a

$2,000 prize, and are inducted into the university’s Academy of Advising Excellence.

A member of the Virginia Tech community since 1983, Sarin was named an endowed professor in 2002. He has advised 55 master’s and 23 doctoral

students to completion of their degree. In addition, he has served on more than 60 master’s and more than 80 Ph.D. committees. His passion

for guiding students extends to undergraduates as well. Sarin has guided 52 senior design teams, many of which have won awards.

“Subhash’s students strive to please him, and his standards are difficult to meet,” said G. Don Taylor Jr., Charles O. Gordon professor and department

head. “Even so, he guides them through their research, keeps them engaged, interested, and challenged so that the high level of required

achievement never becomes onerous.”

A number of Sarin’s students have won major national and international awards for the excellence of their research efforts, and at least a dozen have

taken tenure-track academic positions after graduation.

“It would be no exaggeration to say that Dr. Sarin has been the single largest influence on all my academic activities,” said Rajiv Srivastava, professor

of operations management at the Indian Institute of Management and former student. “He is certainly one of the most balanced academics I have

come across in the institutions I have been associated with.”

Sarin is also director of the Electronics Manufacturing Research Laboratory and associate director of the Center for High Performance Manufacturing.

Paul T. Norton Professor

College of Engineering

He earned his bachelor’s degree from the Delhi College of Engineering at the University of Delhi, a master’s from Kansas State, and his Ph.D.

from North Carolina State University.

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Alumni Award for Excellence in Undergraduate Academic Advising

Andrew Becker

Andrew Becker, associate professor of Latin and ancient Greek languages, literatures, and cultures, and associate chair in the Department of

Foreign Languages and Literatures in the College of Liberal Arts and Human Sciences, has received the 2013 Alumni Award for Excellence in

Undergraduate Academic Advising.

Established by the Virginia Tech Alumni Association, the Alumni Award for Excellence in Undergraduate Academic Advising is presented annually

by the Office of the Provost to a Virginia Tech faculty member who has been particularly dedicated to and effective at advising undergraduate students.

Recipients may be nominated by faculty members or students, are selected by a committee of former award winners, receive a $2,000 prize,

and are inducted into the university’s Academy of Academic Excellence.

A member of the Virginia Tech community since 1988, Becker works with more than 340 majors and 800 minors in the department, as well as

myriad students from across the university on issues of language study, the university’s language requirement, the curriculum for liberal arts education,

transfer credit, and education abroad. Becker runs orientation for all language majors and serves as the first advisor to all incoming freshmen

and transfer students majoring in Spanish, French, German, and Classical Studies. In addition, he is the advisor for 42 majors and 46 minors in

classical studies and Latin.

“Andy’s friendliness, open-door policy, and knowledge of all facets of advising causes many students to continue to seek his guidance throughout

their college careers,” said Liesl Allingham, assistant professor and member of the department’s scholarship and honors committee.

Becker’s teaching has been recognized with three Certificates of Teaching Excellence, the Diggs Award, the Wine Award, and the college’s Award

for Excellence in International Initiatives (co-winner), and he was invited to appear on a panel for the Advising Matters conference last year.

“To say Dr. Becker was my undergraduate advisor completely misses the mark; Dr. Becker was been one of the most influential and significant role

models and mentors of my adult life and for my chosen career path,” said Kendra Yount, an alumnus and former advisee.

Associate Professor and Associate Chair

College of Liberal Arts and Human Sciences

Becker earned his bachelor’s degree from the University of Michigan, a bachelor’s and master’s degree from Cambridge University, and a Ph.D.

from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.

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Alumni Award for Excellence in International Education

Glenn Bugh

Glenn Bugh, associate professor of history in the College of Liberal Arts and Human Sciences at Virginia Tech, has been named the 2013

recipient of the Alumni Award for Excellence in International Education.

Sponsored by the Virginia Tech Alumni Association, the Alumni Award for Excellence in International Education is presented annually to a

Virginia Tech faculty or staff member who has had a significant impact on international education at the university. Selection is based upon contributions

to the internationalization of Virginia Tech, the impact on students, the impact on the campus and community, the significance of the

initiative, and the sustainability of the initiative. Awardees receive $2,000.

Bugh joined the university in 1979 and was part of a small cohort of faculty members and administrators who helped establish the university’s

Center for European Studies and Architecture in Riva San Vitale, Switzerland. The center is home to a number of semester-long and summer

study-abroad programs for undergraduate and graduate students. In addition to providing input into the original structure of the program, Bugh

has spent significant time teaching courses there.

Bugh has also been involved in the prestigious American School of Classical Studies in Athens, a consortium of American colleges that provides

yearlong and summer graduate programs in Greece. Bugh secured the university’s membership in the group in 1987 and has served repeatedly on a

variety of committees that support the institution’s programming.

In addition, Bugh has been closely involved in creating the American Research Center in Sofia, the first such institution to be established in former

communist Bulgaria. Bugh participated in the inaugural summer program there in 2006, and in 2011-12, he helped remake its summer travel

program into an archaeology field school.

Bugh has led more than a dozen study-abroad tours for the Smithsonian Institution, work that he has subsequently incorporated into his classes

and has led him to create several new undergraduate courses and honors colloquia.

Associate Professor

College of Liberal Arts and Human Sciences

“Glenn’s scholarship, teaching, and outreach are all deeply interwoven in a burning desire to share his profound knowledge of the ancient world,”

said Mark Barrow, professor and chair of the Department of History. “He has untiring support for education abroad here at Virginia Tech.”

Bugh received a bachelor’s and master’s degree from Iowa State University and a Ph.D. from the University of Maryland.

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Alumni Award for Excellence in International Outreach

Kathleen Alexander

Kathleen Alexander, assistant professor of wildlife in the College of Natural Resources and Environment at Virginia Tech, has been honored

with the 2013 Alumni Award for Excellence in International Outreach.

Sponsored by the Virginia Tech Alumni Association, the Alumni Award for Excellence in International Outreach is presented annually to a faculty

or staff member who has had a significant impact on international outreach at Virginia Tech. Recipients are selected based on their contributions

to the internationalization of Virginia Tech and the global impact, significance, and sustainability of their work. Recipients are awarded $2,000.

A member of the Virginia Tech community since 2007, Alexander is recognized for “seamlessly connecting” her teaching and research programs to

her international outreach work in Africa, improving the lives of people in Botswana. Among her most notable work is her creation of the Center

for Conservation of African Resources: Animals, Communities, and Land Use (CARACAL) with her husband, Mark Vandewalle, an adjunct professor.

This non-governmental organization has made significant strides in bridging the gap between human and animal health and environmental

sustainability.

The center’s facility, located at the boundary of Africa’s famous Chobe National Park, houses the only molecular and microbiological lab in the

region as well as teaching facilities to support outreach activities. In a conservation education program developed by Alexander, local children get

hands-on exposure to wildlife, as well as various research opportunities. Children gain confidence and the beginnings of a skill set to pursue careers

in the natural resource and conservation sciences.

In addition, Alexander led an initiative to assist local impoverished female-headed households by creating a craft center on CARACAL land where

women receive training and support on product development and business planning. She also developed the Botswana Youth Council Research

Mentoring program, which provides training and mentoring for young unemployed citizens who serve as field research assistants in one of her

research programs.

Associate Professor

College of Natural Resources and Environment

Alexander and her research team have made a number of important findings in Botswana, including the discovery of a novel tuberculosis pathogen

related to human tuberculosis, the identification of the linkages between water quality and human health in the region, and of climate drivers

of diarrheal disease that signal increased community vulnerability to climate change. Her work focuses on understanding and addressing critical

threats to communities and the ecosystems on which they depend.

“Kathy is a brilliant scholar who successfully connects her many skills to people in Botswana,” said Paul Winistorfer, dean of the College of Natural

Resources and Environment. “She recognizes that her most important goal is to improve the lives and livelihood of these people, while respecting

the human-wildlife interaction that is coupled to environmental sustainability.”

Alexander received a bachelor’s degree, a doctorate of veterinary medicine, and a Ph.D. from the University of California Davis.

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Alumni Award for Excellence in International Research

Russell Green

Russell Green, associate professor of civil engineering in the College of Engineering at Virginia Tech, has received the university’s 2012 Alumni

Award for Excellence in International Research.

Sponsored by the Virginia Tech Alumni Association, the Alumni Award for Excellence in International Research is presented annually to a faculty

or staff member who has had a significant impact on international research at Virginia Tech. Selection is based on contributions to the internationalization

of Virginia Tech, global impact, significance of the project, and sustainability of the project. Recipients are awarded $2,000.

Since joining the Charles E. Via, Jr. Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering in 2008, Green has been heavily involved in international

research in the areas of engineering seismology and earthquake engineering with the objective of lowering the risk of damage from future

earthquakes worldwide. He and his students have performed collaborative work in New Zealand, Japan, Iceland, Haiti, China, and Dubai, among

others. The results of his research are currently being used in the rebuilding of Christchurch, New Zealand, and Port-au-Prince, Haiti, following

recent devastating earthquakes.

In 2011, Green worked with researchers from New Zealand gathering post-earthquake data. Of particular significance was his analysis of soil liquefaction

that was pervasive in the eastern suburbs of Christchurch, the results of which have direct implications on how the risk due to liquefaction

is evaluated in the US and worldwide.

In 2010, Green was a member of a National Science Foundation (NSF) sponsored team that performed a post-earthquake investigation in Haiti.

The research focused on collecting performance data on building foundations, bridges, levees, buried pipelines, natural slopes, and transportation

systems. He was part of a subsequent NSF study to develop seismic hazard maps for Port-au-Prince.

“More than any other project in which Russell has been involved, the development of the Port-au-Prince seismic hazard maps has the greatest

potential to save lives in future earthquakes,” said Sam Easterling, Montague-Betts Professor of Structural Steel Design and department head.

Associate Professor

College of Engineering

Green emphasizes the value of international research experience to his students, and has led a group of undergraduate and graduate students to Iceland

to establish a formal student exchange agreement between the college and the University of Iceland. He is the recipient of several prestigious

fellowships with international universities, all geared at increasing research collaborations.

Green received a bachelor’s degree from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, a master’s from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, and

Ph.D. from Virginia Tech.

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Alumni Award for Outreach Excellence: Individual

Shannon Jarrott

Shannon Jarrott, director of research for Adult Day Services, director of intergenerational programs, and associate professor of human development

in the College of Liberal Arts and Human Sciences, has received Virginia Tech’s 2013 Alumni Award for Outreach Excellence.

Established by the university’s Commission on Outreach and International Affairs with the support of the Virginia Tech Alumni Association, the

Alumni Award for Outreach Excellence is presented annually to recognize outstanding contributions by Virginia Tech faculty members who have

extended the university’s outreach mission throughout the commonwealth, the nation, and the world. Recipients are nominated by their peers,

receive a $2,000 cash prize, and are inducted into the university’s Academy of Outreach Excellence.

A member of the Virginia Tech community since 1999, Jarrott led the initiative to create the award-winning Neighbors Growing Together intergenerational

program, which brings together preschool children who attend the Child Development Center for Learning and Research and elders

in the university’s Adult Day Services program. As a university-based, shared-site initiative, the program is the only one of its kind in the country.

Jarrott has earned an international reputation for her initiatives to use intergenerational strategies to meet community needs. She researches and

disseminates evidence-based practices to enhance client services, student learning, and community-based programs. Jarrott’s research focuses on

intergenerational community building, which she has supported locally, nationally, and globally through her instruction and scholarship.

Jarrott’s most recent grant from the National Institute of Food and Agriculture will enable her to study the feasibility of extending the benefits of

intergenerational relationships to children beyond their time at the program sites. By collaborating with Extension and 4-H representatives, the

study will enhance the sustainability of intergenerational programming in several locations.

Jarrott is widely viewed as an expert in intergenerational programming and has led workshops and webinars for practitioners around the world.

She readily gives of her time to professional organizations that serve older adults, such as Generations United, the Alzheimer’s Foundation of

America, and the National Adult Day Services organization. She is a current or recent member on community advisory boards for groups that

provide long-term care.

Associate Professor/ Director of Research ADS/

Director of Intergenerational Programs

College of Liberal Arts and Human Sciences

“Shannon is a distinguished scholar who has been devoted to research and direct evidence-based programming that brings elderly people together

with younger people to benefit the elderly, youth, and society,” said Anisa Zvonkovic, professor and department head in human development. “I

can think of no more widespread issue. Her work has a clear impact on individual and societal improvement.”

Jarrott earned her bachelor’s degree from the University of California and her master’s and Ph.D. from Penn State.

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Alumni Award for Outreach Excellence: Team

A group of agents from Virginia Cooperative Extension and the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences has received the university’s

2013 Alumni Award for Outreach Excellence for team achievement.

Established by the university’s Commission on Outreach and International Affairs with the support of the Virginia Tech Alumni Association,

the Alumni Award for Outreach Excellence is presented annually to recognize outstanding contributions by Virginia Tech faculty

members who have extended the university’s outreach mission throughout the commonwealth, the nation, and the world. Recipients are

nominated by their peers, share a $2,000 cash prize, and are inducted into the university’s Academy of Outreach Excellence.

From left: Jeremy Johnson, Jocelyn Dailey, John

Blankenship, Tonya Price, Robert Meadows, Glenda

Snyder, and Brain Hairston

The team members are:

John Blankenship, Extension agent, agriculture and natural resources, Tazewell County Office;

Jocelyn Dailey, Extension agent, 4-H youth development, Goochland County Office;

Brian Hairston, Extension agent, 4-H youth development, Henry County/Martinsville Office;

Jeremy Johnson, Extension agent, 4-H youth development, James City County;

Robert Meadows, state 4-H director emeritus;

Glenda Snyder, senior Extension agent emerita; and

Tonya Price, associate specialist for 4-H youth development.

Since 1994, Virginia 4-H has provided CHARACTER COUNTS! training and support for schools and communities statewide and other

in states. The character education program was developed by the Josephson Institute of Ethics and incorporates six pillars of character into

positive decision making.

In 2004, Snyder was invited to Joinville, Santa Catarina, Brazil, by the Partners of the Americas to train school personnel to implement

the program. According to a study in 2005, the violence index in Brazilian schools was very high and had been growing at an uncontrollable

rate. Snyder and a principal trained 80 school and community representatives, and CHARACTER COUNTS! was implemented as a

pilot program in local schools. Officials reported positive results such as improved student behavior, a decrease in violence, more respectful

behavior, and an increase in the number of parents volunteering.

For the past eight years, in-depth training sessions have been conducted by Snyder and members of the Extension team for more than

1,000 teachers, principals, and community leaders, impacting 70,000 students annually.

The work has expanded to include a Brazil-Virginia Teachers’ Exchange, trainings in additional locations in Brazil, and an agreement with

Virginia Tech and the University of Santa Catarina for a student-faculty exchange for academics, extension, and research. Through the work

of the Joinville and Virginia Rotary clubs, a $42,000 international matching grant was received to support the efforts.

Virginia 4-H faculty have developed sustained, highly effective partnerships in Brazil which have enabled them to train teachers and other

community leaders working with youth, positively impacting the character education of thousands,” said Cathy Sutphin, associate director

of 4-H youth development. “Partners on each side have a deeper cultural understanding and through continued interaction have expanded

programming to include a teacher exchange, and an exchange between judicial judges in each country. Our faculty members describe their

work in Brazil as life changing.”

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Alumni Award for Excellence in Extension (Individual Specialist)

Jennifer Gagnon

Jennifer Gagnon, project associate in Virginia Tech’s College of Natural Resources and Environment, has received the university’s 2013 Alumni

Award for Excellence in Extension.

Sponsored by the Virginia Tech Alumni Association, the Alumni Award for Excellence in Extension is presented annually to two Virginia Cooperative

Extension faculty members who have made outstanding contributions to the land-grant mission of the university. One award goes to an

Extension specialist and the other is given to an Extension agent. Each award winner receives $2,000.

As statewide coordinator of the Virginia Forest Landowner Education Program, Gagnon provides the state’s 365,000 landowners with timely, scientifically

based information about forest management and related topics. Since joining the university in 2005, Gagnon has developed three new

courses in the program, and 42 short courses were offered to 1,600 landowners.

In addition, Gagnon is the lead instructor for the online short course Woodland Options for Landowners. The course includes a hands-on field

trip on tree identification and using forestry equipment. Gagnon has offered the course seven times to 650 landowners from across the country.

She also leads forestry and wildlife field tours for forest landowners every fall, demonstrating innovative management practices on public and

private land.

“Jennifer has distinguished herself as a leader in Virginia Cooperative Extension,” said Janaki Alavalapati, professor and head of the Department of

Forest Resources and Environmental Conservation. “The impacts of her programs are significant and pervasive.”

One of her newest programs, Real Forestry for Real Estate, is designed to educate real estate professionals about forest management. To date,

more than 450 real estate professionals have participated in the program. In 2012, the Association of Natural Resources Extension Professionals

recognized the program with a Silver Award. Gagnon has also received the Young Forester Leadership Award from both the Virginia and Appalachian

chapters of the Society of American Foresters. She has been recognized with an Early Career Leadership Award by the Association of Natural

Resource Extension Professionals.

Project Associate/Coordinator of the Virginia

Forest Landowner Education Program

College of Natural Resources and Environment

“Jennifer is a remarkable Extension professional with an impressive list of achievements,” said John Munsell, forest management Extension specialist

and associate professor “She elevates the relevance and reach of both the department and the college. Jennifer is a tireless professional, a pleasure to

work with, and a constant inspiration.”

Gagnon received her bachelor’s and master’s degrees from the University of Florida.

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Alumni Award for Excellence in Research

Jeffrey Walters

Jeffrey Walters, Harold H. Bailey Professor of Biological Sciences in the College of Science at Virginia Tech, has received the 2013 Alumni Award

for Excellence in Research.

Sponsored by the Virginia Tech Alumni Association, the Alumni Award for Excellence in Research is presented annually to as many as two

Virginia Tech faculty members who have made outstanding research contributions. Alumni, students, faculty, and staff may nominate candidates.

Each recipient is awarded $2,000.

A member of the Virginia Tech community since 1994, Walters has investigated the behavior, ecology, population biology, and conservation of

numerous animal species all over the world, including Africa, South America, Australia, and the Pacific Islands.

He is best known for his work with the endangered red-cockaded woodpecker in the longleaf pine ecosystems of the southeastern United States.

The preservation of this species has been one of the largest conservation issues in the Southeast over the past 30 years due to the fact that its

protection affects millions of acres of public and private land. Based on his research, Walters derived a new management strategy that resulted in

sustained recovery of the species, while at the same time reduced conflict with such land uses as military training and timber harvest.

In recognition of his work with the red-ockaded woodpecker, Walters received the American Ornithologists’ Union’s highest research honor, the

Elliott Coues Award, in 2002. The award citation stated, “To no small extent, whatever success is achieved in the conservation of this remarkable

species will be due to Walters’ insightful and wide-ranging work.”

“Jeff’s unique contribution to life science is his ability to discover, evaluate, and apply basic scientific knowledge to solve complex problems in conservation

biology,” said Brenda Winkel, head of the Department of Biological Sciences.

Walters has authored or co-authored more than 125 publications and has generated more than $17 million in outside funding for his research

from a wide variety of sources, such as the National Science Foundation, the Department of Defense, and the United States Forest Service. He is

sought after by government agencies and nonprofit conservation groups to provide expertise to high-profile conservation issues.

Harold Bailey Professor

College of Science

Walters received a bachelor’s degree from West Virginia University and a Ph.D. from the University of Chicago.

12


Alumni Award for Excellence in Research

Joseph Pitt

Professor

College of Liberal Arts and Human Sciences

Joseph Pitt, professor of philosophy in the College of Liberal Arts and Human Sciences at Virginia Tech, has received the 2013 Alumni Award for

Excellence in Research.

Sponsored by the Virginia Tech Alumni Association, the Alumni Award for Excellence in Research is presented annually to as many as two

Virginia Tech faculty members who have made outstanding research contributions. Alumni, students, faculty, and staff may nominate candidates.

Each recipient is awarded $2,000.

A member of the Virginia Tech community since 1971, Pitt has pursued an academic career centered on the history and philosophy of science and

technology. After identifying specific philosophical research questions associated with engineering design, Pitt made a concerted effort to integrate

his view of philosophy and technology into mainstream discussion. In 1978, he developed the Humanities, Science, and Technology program in

the Center for Programs in the Humanities. He directed the program for 10 years.

In 1980, Pitt became founding director of the Center for the Study of Science in Society and participated in the development of the graduate

program in science and technology studies. He served a total of 13 years as head of the Department of Philosophy and currently serves as director

of undergraduate studies for the department.

Pitt has authored four books, edited a dozen, and published more than 50 articles and book reviews. A past president of the Society for Philosophy

and Technology, he is the current editor-in-chief of “Techne,’ Research in Philosophy and Technology,” the official journal of the society. He was

also founding editor of the journal, “Perspectives on Science: Historical, Philosophical, Social”

Pitt has received several teaching awards and is a member of Virginia Tech’s Academy of Teaching Excellence. He helped develop the graduate program,

Alliance for Social, Political, Ethical, and Cultural Thought and is a Senior Fellow at the University of Pittsburgh Center for the Philosophy

of Science.

Pitt received a bachelor’s degree from the College of William and Mary and a master’s and Ph.D. from the University of Western Ontario.

13


Alumni Award for Excellence in Teaching

Lisa Tucker

Lisa Tucker, associate professor in the School of Architecture + Design in Virginia Tech’s College of Architecture and Urban Studies, has

received the university’s 2013 Alumni Award for Excellence in Teaching.

Created in 1982 by the Virginia Tech Alumni Association, the Alumni Award for Excellence in Teaching is presented to two Virginia Tech

faculty members each year. Recipients are selected by the university’s Academy of Teaching Excellence from among those faculty members who

have received Certificates of Teaching Excellence from their respective colleges in the preceding three years. Each recipient is awarded $2,000

and is inducted into the Academy of Teaching Excellence.

A member of the Virginia Tech community since 2007, Tucker was recognized for her dedication to teaching and service to the school and the

profession.

Tucker’s teaching evaluations are always among the highest in the school.

“Her range as a teacher and a scholar allows her to expertly cover knowledge of highly technical subjects related to the interior design profession,

such as building technology and sustainability,” said William Galloway, associate professor and director of the school.

Tucker has served as a graduate thesis advisor and undergraduate capstone project advisor for dozens of interior design students. Since 2009,

more than 20 of her students have received awards in national and international design competitions.

“I think her ability to relate to me as a student, designer, and just as a person has really built up my confidence and strengthened my dedication

to this program,” one student wrote. “Under Dr. Tucker’s leadership, I feel really respected and cared for as a student and not judged.”

While maintaining a high teaching load, Tucker also chairs the Interior Design Program, serving as the primary academic advisor for all of the

program’s students. She is also active in national academic and professional organizations, serving as the current president of the Interior Design

Educators Council.

Associate Professor

College of Architecture and Urban Studies

Her numerous teaching awards include the New Faculty Teaching Award from the school in 2008, the Teaching Excellence Award from the

college in 2009, a Certificate of Teaching Excellence in 2011. In 2010, Tucker was named by the Design Futures Council as one of the most

admired and respected educators in the fields of architecture, landscape architecture, industrial design, and interior design in the United States

and Canada.

Virginia Tech’s Interior Design Program consistently ranks in the top 10 in the nation.

Tucker earned her bachelor’s and master’s degrees as well as a certificate of historic preservation from the University of Virginia and her Ph.D.

from the University of Missouri.

14


Alumni Award for Excellence in Teaching

Marlene Preston

Marlene Preston, associate professor of communication in the College of Liberal Arts and Human Sciences, has received the university’s 2013

Alumni Award for Excellence in Teaching.

Created in 1982 by the Virginia Tech Alumni Association, the Alumni Award for Excellence in Teaching is presented to two Virginia Tech faculty members

each year. Recipients are selected by the university’s Academy of Teaching Excellence from among those faculty members who have received Certificates

of Teaching Excellence from their respective colleges in the preceding three years. Each recipient is awarded $2,000 and is inducted into the Academy of

Teaching Excellence.

A member of the Virginia Tech community since 1993, Preston was recognized for her leadership in curriculum development, mentoring to faculty and

graduate students, and scholarship on pedagogy. She serves as assistant head of the Department of Communication and director of undergraduate programs.

Preston has established a national reputation in curriculum development, basic course and public speaking instruction, and the creation and direction of

communication labs. She has created numerous award-winning and innovative courses, including the department’s Communication Skills course that led

to an Exemplary Department Award in 2006.

“Marlene’s personal teaching and advising are exemplary,” said Robert Denton, professor and department head. “At the end of the day, her door is always

open to any lost, troubled, or joyous student who wants to chat with her—one of her own students or any one of our 700 majors.”

Preston designed and directs CommLab, a speaking center for students across disciplines housed in Newman Library. Among the many courses she has

designed and implemented are Public Speaking, Interpersonal Communication, and International Perspectives on Communication. In addition, Preston

created procedures for the department’s Center for Advising Support, designed a training program for graduate teaching assistants, and implemented

numerous faculty development programs.

“Dr. Preston is very connected with every student,” said one course evaluator. “She wants us to succeed and shows us how to.”

Associate Professor/Assistant Department Head/

Director of Undergraduate Programs

College of Liberal Arts and Human Sciences

Recently, the department received the Program of Excellence Award from the Basic Courses Division of the National Communication Association, based

on the implementation of two courses and one program that Preston designed.

Preston’s impact on teaching extends across the university. She has worked with the Center for Excellence in Undergraduate Teaching and the University

Writing Program, sharing knowledge for the enhancement of teaching and learning.

Among Preston’s numerous teaching awards are two Certificates of Teaching Excellence, an Exemplary Department Award, an XCaliber Certificate of Excellence,

a Commendation for Exceptional Leadership, as well as many awards from outside the university.

Preston earned both a bachelor’s and master’s degree from Bowling Green State University and a doctoral degree from Virginia Tech.

15


EDWARD S. DIGGS TEACHING SCHOLARS AWARD

Alan Abrahams

Alan Abrahams, assistant professor of business information technology in the Pamplin College of Business at Virginia Tech, has received the

university’s 2013 Edward S. Diggs Teaching Scholars Award.

Sponsored by the Diggs Endowed Professorship Fund and the Center for Instructional Development and Educational Research, the Diggs Teaching

Scholars Award was established in 1992 and is presented annually to three Virginia Tech faculty members to recognize exceptional contributions

to the teaching program and learning environment. A cash award is given to each recipient and their academic department. Diggs Teaching

Scholars are invited to lead the Diggs Roundtable–a series of presentations and a discussion of their innovative teaching–a year after receiving the

award.

The award is supported by an endowed fund from an estate gift by the late Edward S. and Hattie Wilson Diggs. Edward Diggs was a 1914 graduate

of Virginia Tech.

Abrahams developed the Online Business Guidebook as a unique learning initiative for his Business Analysis Seminar in Information Technology

course, a senior capstone class that focuses on developing and using decision support systems as managerial tools in e-commerce. The book was a

100-page, hard-copy guide that aimed to be a one-stop manual for students and other fledgling e-business entrepreneurs.

The students established a not-for-profit organization to publish the book as a class project. The project gave them opportunities to do research,

apply what they learned in class, and gain business experience. Since the book was published in 2009, there have been more than 60,000 website

downloads and 40,000 hard copies printed. It has garnered more than $40,000 in cash and in-kind gifts to support the students’ efforts. In addition,

an excerpt from the guide was published by the United States Small Business Administration on its website.

“Alan’s innovative concept actively engages students in learning and sharing their knowledge of e-business technology with the local and national

business community,” said Bernard Taylor, R.B. Pamplin Professor and head of the Department of Business Information Technology. “He has

achieved a truly outstanding record as one of the finest and most dedicated classroom teachers in the university.”

Assistant Professor

Pamplin College of Business

Among many accolades, Abrahams received the Pamplin College of Business Certificate of Teaching Excellence, a University Award for Teaching

Excellence, and the Decision Sciences Institute’s Instructional Innovation Award.

Abrahams earned his bachelor’s degree from the University of Cape Town and his Ph.D. from Cambridge University.

16


EDWARD S. DIGGS TEACHING SCHOLARS AWARD

Susanna Rinehart

Susanna Rinehart, associate professor in the Department of Theatre and Cinema in the College of Liberal Arts and Human Sciences at Virginia

Tech, has received the university’s 2013 Edward S. Diggs Teaching Scholars Award.

Sponsored by the Diggs Endowed Professorship Fund and the Center for Instructional Development and Educational Research, the Diggs Teaching

Scholars Award was established in 1992 and is presented annually to three Virginia Tech faculty members to recognize exceptional contributions

to the teaching program and learning environment. A cash award is given to each recipient and their academic department. Diggs Teaching

Scholars are invited to lead the Diggs Roundtable–a series of presentations and a discussion of their innovative teaching–a year after receiving the

award.

The award is supported by an endowed fund from an estate gift by the late Edward S. and Hattie Wilson Diggs. Edward Diggs was a 1914 graduate

of Virginia Tech.

Rinehart has taught introductory theater classes of 400-500 students every semester since she joined the Virginia Tech faculty in 1999, and she

consistently receives teaching evaluations ranging from 3.8 to 4.0 on a four point scale.

“To receive overall student evaluations this high on a regular basis in any class would be a remarkable achievement for most teachers,” said Patty

Raun, professor, department head, and director of the School of Performing Arts and Cinema. “To receive such evaluations in an elective course

from classes of over 500 students with a wide range of majors, as Susanna does, is nothing short of amazing.”

Rinehart has proposed a Teaching Enhancement Project to demonstrate the ways in which teachers can use the direct application of acting technique

and methodology for more connected, effective, and engaged teaching, especially teaching in large classes.

“There is an element of performance in teaching a large class or any class,” Rinehart said. “However in good teaching, that does not mean lack of

authenticity. It is quite the opposite—a deeper, more energized, and conscious authenticity.”

Associate Professor

College of Liberal Arts and Human Sciences

Among her most recent stage accolades, Rinehart directed Neil LaBute’s “The Shape of Things,” which ran in February at Squires Haymarket

Theater. Last October, she directed a staged reading of Dustin Lance Black’s “8” at the Lyric and was stage director for “Sheer Good Fortune: A

Celebration of Toni Morrison” at Burruss Hall.

Rinehart has received teaching awards from the university’s Alumni Association, the Office of Residence Life and Student Programs, and the Panhellenic

Council. She is active in the Faculty Senate and the University Council.

Rinehart received both a bachelor’s and a master’s of fine arts degree from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.

17


EDWARD S. DIGGS TEACHING SCHOLARS AWARD

Shelli Fowler

Shelli Fowler, executive director of graduate programs and new pedagogies in Learning Technologies and associate professor of English in the

College of Liberal Arts and Human Sciences at Virginia Tech, has received the university’s 2013 Edward S. Diggs Teaching Scholars Award.

Sponsored by the Diggs Endowed Professorship Fund and the Center for Instructional Development and Educational Research, the Diggs Teaching

Scholars Award was established in 1992 and is presented annually to three Virginia Tech faculty members to recognize exceptional contributions

to the teaching program and learning environment. A cash award is given to each recipient and their academic department. Diggs Teaching

Scholars are invited to lead the Diggs Roundtable–a series of presentations and a discussion of their innovative teaching–a year after receiving the

award.

The award is supported by an endowed fund from an estate gift by the late Edward S. and Hattie Wilson Diggs. Edward Diggs was a 1914 graduate

of Virginia Tech.

As one of two tenured faculty members with a primary appointment in Learning Technologies, a division of Information Technology, Fowler has

extensive experience teaching both undergraduate and graduate students and working with faculty in her expertise of teaching and learning. Since

joining the Virginia Tech community in 2003, she has taught 40 to 50 graduate students every semester. She developed the Graduate Education

Development Institute and routinely receives outstanding feedback from students in the institute’s classes.

Fowler has developed a teaching enhancement project called, “Digital Citizenship and Civic Engagement for a Networked World” that will develop

a peer-to-peer mentoring program that encourages undergraduates to explore the significance of, think critically about, and decide how best

to use web 2.0 tools as active contributors within the context of civic engagement.

“Shelli’s project brings together her expertise in pedagogy, diversity and social justice issues, digital engagement, and social media,” said Anne

Moore, associate vice president for learning technologies. “Her commitment to refining effective pedagogies for contemporary learners is important

work for Virginia Tech.”

Executive Director, Learning Technologies; Associate

Professor, Department of English

College of Liberal Arts and Human Sciences

Among many accolades, Fowler has been recognized nationally for her work in transforming teaching and learning and for providing leadership

in the field of educational technologies. She has served as an invited faculty member and co-director for the EDUCAUSE Learning Technology

Leadership Institute and has been the co-creator and leader of two EDUCAUSE leadership seminars.

Fowler earned her bachelor’s degree from San Jose State University and her master’s and Ph.D. from The University of Texas at Austin

18


President’s Award for Excellence

Dianne Bourne

Dianne Bourne, lab and research specialist for the Department of Food Science and Technology in the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences

at Virginia Tech, has received the university’s 2013 President’s Award for Excellence.

The President’s Award for Excellence is presented annually to up to five Virginia Tech staff employees who have made extraordinary contributions

by consistent excellence in the performance of their job or a single incident, contribution, or heroic act. Each recipient is awarded a $2,000 cash

prize.

Bourne has worked as a laboratory staff member at the university since 1966, first in poultry science, then in the anaerobe lab, and finally in food

science since 1996. During that time, her colleagues say her work has been rigorous and thorough.

“Dianne has made many significant contributions that are not customary for laboratory personnel,” said George Flick, University Distinguished

Professor of Food Science and Technology. Flick said her leadership in the past four years has resulted in a potential new industry for Southside

Virginia, an improved method for cooling clams, and prevention of a million dollar product loss for a lobster company.

Bourne has shown herself to be an excellent leader. In the years that she has supervised the lab, none of the reports, manuscripts, or presentations

has been questioned or received negative critique. She is frequently consulted on research design, methods, and interpretation of results not only

by members of the seafood and aquaculture research group, but also by faculty, staff, and students within the department and across campus.

Bourne has identified potential projects for external funding, and several have been funded with her as a co-principal investigator. She had

provided valuable input on grant proposals and significant effort into creating research presentations. Due to her close mentorship of numerous

graduate students and her continuing research work, Bourne has been a co-author of numerous publications.

“As a result of Dianne’s lab work, food safety has been increased as well as firm profitability and new enterprises developed,” Flick said. “The impact

of her lab work is remarkable, and the professionalism with which she carries it out is exceptional.”

Lab and Research Specialist

College of Agriculture and Life Sciences

19


President’s Award for Excellence

Leisa Osborne

Leisa Osborne, undergraduate coordinator for the Department of Philosophy in the College of Liberal Arts and Human Sciences at Virginia

Tech, has received the university’s 2013 President’s Award for Excellence.

The President’s Award for Excellence is presented annually to up to five Virginia Tech staff employees who have made extraordinary contributions

by consistent excellence in the performance of their job or a single incident, contribution, or heroic act. Each recipient is awarded a $2,000 cash

prize.

Osborne has worked at the university for 23 years and currently manages undergraduates and serves as advisor to approximately 60 minors in the

philosophy department.

“Leisa is meticulous in maintaining the records of our students,” said Joe Pitt, professor and director of undergraduate studies. “She cares deeply

about these students, and they know it. I am constantly being told by students both in and outside our department how helpful she is.”

Osborne is responsible for the department instituting two advising sessions per semester open to any student to attend, not just philosophy majors

and minors. She also assists in the organization of the department graduation ceremony each year. In addition to her administrative work, Osborne

is actively involved with the Mu Chapter of Phi Beta Kappa and currently serves as treasurer of the group.

In addition, Osborne works with Literacy Volunteers of the New River Valley, involving students and the department in support of fundraising

efforts, such as a yearly Scrabble tournament and book sale.

“Leisa represents the best qualities of a caring Virginia Tech family member and exemplifies the university motto, Ut Prosim (That I May Serve),”

Pitt said. “She makes Virginia Tech a better place for everyone.”

Office Services Specialist

College of Liberal Arts and Human Sciences

20


President’s Award for Excellence

Alex Parrish

Alex Parrish, media and promotions manager for the Institute for Critical Technology and Applied Science at Virginia Tech, has received the

university’s 2013 President’s Award for Excellence.

The President’s Award for Excellence is presented annually to up to five Virginia Tech staff employees who have made extraordinary contributions

by consistent excellence in the performance of their job or a single incident, contribution, or heroic act. Each recipient is awarded a $2,000 cash

prize.

Parrish has worked for the institute for four years as a graphic designer, Web designer, video producer, writer, editor, and visual artist.

“As a result of Alex’s efforts, ICTAS has developed a media campaign that brings extremely positive attention to the university,” said Jon Greene,

associate director of strategic planning. “He has demonstrated energy and creativity through his unique interpretation and implementation of

university templates and style standards for our Web redesign.”

His former supervisor, Ann Craig, said, “Alex is a connoisseur of the creative arts who innately telegraphs the university motto, Ut Prosim (That I

May Serve), through every action and at every opportunity.”

This year, Parrish worked with a student assistant on a mobile site application for the website and created videos for screen displays located

throughout the institute’s buildings. Greene said Parrish’s development of proposal graphics has been critical to the institute developing new

research opportunities.

“Often Alex is asked to interpret verbal ideas or concepts to create a cohesive graphic representation, and he has responded positively to both the

creative challenge and the compressed time schedule,” Greene said.

“Perhaps what I value most about Alex is his enthusiasm and positive attitude,” said Roop Mahajan, director of the institute. “He approaches all

that he does with tremendous energy and radiates the “can do” attitude that I’m looking to impress upon all ICTAS employees.”

Media and Promotions Manager

Institute for Critical Technology and Applied Science

21


President’s Award for Excellence

Diane Walker-Green

Diane Walker-Green, undergraduate program coordinator for the Department of Physics in the College of Science at Virginia Tech, has

received the university’s 2013 President’s Award for Excellence.

The President’s Award for Excellence is presented annually to up to five Virginia Tech staff employees who have made extraordinary contributions

by consistent excellence in the performance of their job or a single incident, contribution, or heroic act. Each recipient is awarded a $2,000 cash

prize.

For more than 12 years, Walker-Green has been the support structure for undergraduate physics majors and for faculty in their teaching and daily

interactions with students. Affectionately known as the undergraduate mom, Walker-Green is the direct contact for all physics majors.

“By design, Diane’s office is directly across from the Society of Physics Students meeting room, where many majors gather daily,” said John

Simonetti, professor and associate department chair. “In addition, she frequently sees students passing by her office and calls them in if she hasn’t

seen them recently. Indeed, the students often come to her office to discuss personal problems, particularly if these problems are impacting their

academic careers.”

Of particular note is Walker-Green’s work with a blind physics major, now in her third year. She has been heavily involved in not only recruiting

the student, but also monitoring and enabling her progress. Walker-Green has been in continual communication with all parties involved in the

education of the student, including faculty members, Services for Students with Disabilities, and the Office of Assistive Technologies.

Walker-Green spends many weeks each year on the road meeting with high school students and teachers and recruiting physics majors to Virginia

Tech. The department’s number of majors has increased significantly in recent years, so much so that it needs to find larger classrooms outside of

its home base in Robeson Hall.

Undergraduate Program Coordinator

College of Science

“Diane’s presence in our department has made my work and the work of our faculty much more effective,” Simonetti said. “Students dramatically

testify to Diane’s efforts on their part, and routinely tell the us how vital she has been to their success at Virginia Tech. I consider her as an indispensable

colleague.”

22


President’s Award for Excellence

Kelly Woodward

Kelly Woodward, coordinator of alternate text and note taking in the office of Services for Students with Disabilities at Virginia Tech, has

received the university’s 2013 President’s Award for Excellence.

The President’s Award for Excellence is presented annually to up to five Virginia Tech staff employees who have made extraordinary contributions

by consistent excellence in the performance of their job or a single incident, contribution, or heroic act. Each recipient is awarded a $2,000 cash

prize.

Woodward is credited with the recent tremendous success of the university’s note-taking program. The number of students with disabilities who

use a note taker in class has increased more than 70 percent in the past three years. Woodward ensures that each of the more than 350 students

requesting a note taker receives one.

“Kelly recruited enough volunteers and changed the procedures so that now there is an all-student volunteer note-taking force,” said Robyn Hudson,

assistant director of the program. “Virginia Tech’s program continues to grow because of the values of Ut Prosim (That I May Serve) that Kelly

taps into.”

Last year, 357 volunteer note takers provided more than 8,000 hours of service, which is an estimated cost savings of $64,000 annually to the

university for not having to hire note takers. Woodward also developed an accessible Scholar site with unique features that ensure timely uploading

and delivery of notes in a confidential and convenient manner. This system resulted in a more streamlined process, a reduction in the use of paper,

and a reduced workload on program staff.

Woodward also coordinates Braille services.

“Kelly’s work allows Virginia Tech to provide cutting-edge services that are virtually unprecedented among other universities,” Hudson said.

Coordinator of Alternative Text Format

Services for Students with Disabilities

Susan Angle, director of the program, said, “Kelly has brought the level of service provision for students with disabilities into a whole new dimension,

and in the process, she has educated the university about diversity issues and the importance of access for all.”

23


Provost Award for Excellence in Advising

Elaine Matuszek

Elaine Matuszek, associate director of the University Academic Advising Center, has received Virginia Tech’s 2013 Provost Award for Excellence

in Advising.

The Provost’s Award for Excellence in Advising is given annually to a Virginia Tech faculty or staff member who serves undergraduate advisees in

exemplary ways. Awardees receive a $2,000 prize and are inducted into the university’s Academy of Advising Excellence.

Matuszek has more than 23 years of experience advising undeclared majors at the university. In addition to serving in an administrative capacity at

the center, she is academic advisor to approximately 150 students each semester.

“I consider Elaine to be among the most knowledgeable and experienced academic advisors on campus,” said Kimberly Smith, director of University

Studies and Undergraduate Advising. “She is a consistent university-wide collaborator with the goal of ensuring key processes perform well and

run smoothly for students.”

Matuszek manages the summer orientation program for university studies majors, which often includes more than 1,400 students each summer.

The program consistently has a near perfect satisfaction rating by parents and students. She also serves as an instructor for the first-year experience

course Hokie Horizons, again with very positive feedback regarding her work with students.

“My goal as an advisor is to have students become independent, life-long learners,” Matuszek said. “I want them to advocate for their own education,

and know—at least in a general way—how to navigate through the maze of a large university.”

Matuszek earned a bachelor’s and master’s degree from Indiana University.

Associate Director for Academic Advising and

Orientation

University Academic Advising Center

24


Sporn Award for Excellence in Teaching Introductory Subjects

Kee Jeong Kim

Kee Jeong Kim, associate professor of human development in the College of Liberal Arts and Human Sciences at Virginia Tech, has received

the 2013 Sporn Award for Excellence in Teaching Introductory Subjects.

The annual award recognizes a Virginia Tech faculty member who teaches introductory-level courses. Students submit the nominations. Award

recipients are selected by a committee composed of student representatives from the Omicron Delta Kappa and Golden Key honor societies, as

well as the faculty member who won the award the previous year. Award winners receive $2,000 and are inducted into the university’s Academy of

Teaching Excellence.

The award was established in memory of Dr. and Mrs. Philip J. Sporn and is sponsored by the Center for Instructional Development and Educational

Research and the Virginia Tech Academy for Teaching Excellence. Mr. Sporn was a Virginia Tech alumnus and president and chief executive

officer of American Electric Power Co.

A member of the Virginia Tech faculty since 2004, Kim has established herself as an extremely popular and highly effective teacher, particularly

in Human Development from Conception to Adolescence, a large introductory course that brings together majors and non-majors along with

students from all class levels. In fall 2012 alone, 51 out of 190 students declared a primary or secondary major in human development during or

after taking Kim’s class.

“This is very compelling evidence of Dr. Kim’s effectiveness in this introductory course,” said Rosemary Blieszner, Alumni Distinguished Professor

of Human Development. “Her passion motivates her students to attend class regularly. She is always upbeat and cares deeply about the course

content.”

In 2009, Kim was a finalist in the National Society of Collegiate Scholars’ Inspire Integrity Awards. This is the only national student-nominated

faculty awards program. Six of her students anonymously nominated her for the award.

Student evaluations of Kim’s introductory course recently averaged 3.9 out of a possible 4.0.

Associate Professor

College of Liberal Arts and Human Sciences

One student wrote, “I enjoy her class even though it’s at 8 a.m. Dr. Kim is super enthusiastic, lively, and passionate about the subject, which she

makes interesting. She cares about her students and remembers them individually, which surprised me in a lecture class.”

Kim received a bachelor’s degree from Hanyang University in Seoul, South Korea and a master’s and Ph.D. from Iowa State.

25


William E. Wine Award

Anthony Cobb

Anthony T. “Terry” Cobb, associate professor of management in the Pamplin College of Business at Virginia Tech, has received the university’s

2013 William E. Wine Award.

The William E. Wine Achievement Awards were established in 1957 by the Virginia Tech Alumni Association in memory of William E. Wine,

Class of 1904, who was a former rector of the board of visitors and alumni association president. Following a college-level selection process of

candidates nominated by students, faculty, and alumni, each college may put forth one nominee. Three faculty members are selected to receive this

teaching award by a committee representing all eight colleges at the university. Each Wine Award winner receives $2,000 and automatic induction

into the Academy of Teaching Excellence.

Cobb has taught undergraduate, master’s, and doctoral courses at the university for more than 30 years. He has a record of teaching excellence

that has been recognized across all levels. He has received the department’s Doctoral Teaching Award, the M.B.A. program’s Service Award, college

teaching awards, Warren L. Holtzman Outstanding Educator awards, the Alumni Association’s Certificate of Teaching Excellence, the Diggs Teaching

Scholar Award, and the Chi Omega Society’s Teacher of the Year Award.

Students frequently comment that Cobb’s class is one of the most demanding, and at the same time, rewarding class they ever had. His average

class evaluation is 4.5 on a scale of 5.0 for upper-level courses.

One student wrote, “Best class and best professor of my entire college career. This man is amazing, and every student at Tech should have to take a

course with him.”

Cobb is praised for his innovative teaching style. He often uses self-managed student teams to address and solve complex projects. This experience

gives students real-world training and helps build their confidence as leaders. He is now leading an effort to integrate this model throughout the

undergraduate management curriculum.

Associate Professor

Pamplin College of Business

In order to address funding constraints, Cobb coordinated a faculty subcommittee to help redesign the department’s Ph.D. program. He has

served on many dissertation committees and chaired a number of them. He works closely with his students to help move their work to publication

in respected peer-reviewed journals.

“These kinds of efforts and outcomes are invaluable to our students and the reputation of our program,” said Anju Seth, professor and head of the

management department.

Cobb received a bachelor’s degree from California State University at Northridge, a master’s degree from Wayne State University, and a Ph.D. from

the University of California at Irvine.

26


William E. Wine Award

Joseph Merola

Joseph Merola, professor of chemistry in the College of Science at Virginia Tech, has received the university’s 2013 William E. Wine Award.

The William E. Wine Achievement Awards were established in 1957 by the Virginia Tech Alumni Association in memory of William E. Wine,

Class of 1904, who was a former rector of the board of visitors and alumni association president. Following a college-level selection process of

candidates nominated by students, faculty, and alumni, each college may put forth one nominee. Three faculty members are selected to receive this

teaching award by a committee representing all eight colleges at the university. Each Wine Award winner receives $2,000 and automatic induction

into the Academy of Teaching Excellence.

A member of the university community since 1987, Merola has taught more than 4,000 students, most of them freshmen. He has an overall

teaching evaluation score of 3.7 out of a possible 4.0 across all courses he has taught. His teaching accolades include three college Certificates of

Teaching Excellence and the Alumni Award for Teaching Excellence. He is a member of the university’s Academy of Teaching Excellence.

“Joe is known as a phenomenal teacher but has also earned a reputation for rigor,” said James Tanko, professor and chair of the Department of

Chemistry.

One student wrote, “Dr. Merola tried to make the class a learning environment and not just a lecture. He had weekly review sessions that helped

when I did not understand a concept.”

Throughout his career, Merola has brought innovation to the classroom. His scholarship in teaching pedagogy has ranged from a paper published

by Microsoft in CD-ROM format to a number of invited presentations. He has been active in the university’s Multicultural Academic Opportunities

Program, both by serving as a mentor to students from underrepresented groups and by serving on the advisory board for the Virginia-North

Carolina Alliance for Minority Participation.

Merola has mentored students in undergraduate research, being known for having more interest in a student’s focus and motivation than in his or

her raw intellectual talent or experience.

Professor

College of Science

“By motivating students engaged with him in research, he has also helped students who were marginally successful in classwork achieve new levels

of performance,” Tanko said.

Merola received a bachelor’s degree from Carnegie-Mellon University and a Ph.D. from MIT.

27


William E. Wine Award

Daniel Thorp

Daniel Thorp, associate professor of history in the College of Liberal Arts and Human Sciences at Virginia Tech, has received the university’s

2013 William E. Wine Award.

The William E. Wine Achievement Awards were established in 1957 by the Virginia Tech Alumni Association in memory of William E. Wine,

Class of 1904, who was a former rector of the board of visitors and alumni association president. Following a college-level selection process of

candidates nominated by students, faculty, and alumni, each college may put forth one nominee. Three faculty members are selected to receive this

teaching award by a committee representing all eight colleges at the university. Each Wine Award winner receives $2,000 and automatic induction

into the Academy of Teaching Excellence.

A member of the university community since 1981, Thorp has maintained an average teaching evaluation rating of 3.7 out of a possible 4.0 and

has earned three University Certificates of Teaching Excellence, an Alumni Award for Excellence in Academic Advising, an XCaliber Award for

Excellence in Technology-assisted Teaching and Learning, and a Faculty Excellence Award, among many other accolades.

“Dan’s students consistently respond quite favorably not only to the knowledge, passion, and dedication he brings to the classroom, but also the

strong rapport he cultivates with them,” said Mark Barrow, professor and chair of the Department of History.

One student wrote, “Dr. Thorp has been and continues to be one of the most formative influences in my academic career. His passion for history

is immense, but it does not compare to the enthusiasm he has to see his students succeed.”

Thorp has developed 10 new graduate and undergraduate history courses and is a campus leader in curriculum development, most recently serving

as director of the university’s Curriculum for Liberal Education. He has done pioneering work in digital learning and new media, including the

development of The Digital History Reader, which involved a team of nine faculty members and a grant for $180,000 from the National Endowment

for the Humanities.

He has been a mentor not only to students but also to his colleagues, having served as chair of the history department, a member of the departmental

teaching evaluation committee, and one of the primary faculty advisors for a mentoring and support group for early career teachers in the

department.

Associate Professor and Director of Curriculum for

Liberal Education

College of Liberal Arts and Human Sciences

Thorp received a bachelor’s degree from Davidson College and a master’s and Ph.D. from The Johns Hopkins University.

28


XCaliber Award: Individual

excellence as an individual involved in teaching with technology

John Taylor

John E. Taylor, associate professor in the Vecellio Construction Engineering and Management Program in the College of Engineering, has

received the university’s 2013 XCaliber Award for excellence as an individual involved in teaching with technology.

Established in 1996 by Office of the Provost, the XCaliber Award (shorthand for exceptional, high-caliber work) is presented annually by the

Virginia Tech Center for Innovation in Learning to recognize individual faculty members or teams of faculty and staff who integrate technology in

teaching and learning. The award celebrates innovative, student-centered approaches to learning activities.

As part of the course, the CyberGRID virtual learning environment allowed students to interact directly with international scholars whose

academic journal papers they were reading for the course. They used real-world case studies and participated in a semester-long team project that

involved collaboration with student teams from India, the Netherlands, and the United States via CyberGRID.

Even though the project used advanced modeling and simulation software, the main purpose was to give students an opportunity to increase their

understanding of a global project and in particular, global virtual project execution. The overall project focused on identifying critical bottlenecks

before they occurred and addressing them through interventions. At the end of the course, teams prepared a presentation, which they delivered as

a globally distributed team in the CyberGRID with industry representatives present.

“CyberGRID does well to teach students to work in a global virtual environment,” said former student Milad Memarzadeh. “Collaboration and

teamwork eased conflicts and issues that often arise when working in a distributed network and prepared us to be future leaders.”

Taylor’s citation states, “Professor Taylor has created a learning environment that replicates the skills and competencies engineers need in the 21st

century. His CyberGRID provides students with an environment for developing collaborative and innovative strategies to address distributed

design problem-solving in a global context.”

Associate Professor

College of Engineering

“The CyberGRID has been a highly productive and integrated teaching and research endeavor that would not have been possible without funding

from the National Science Foundation and the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation or my colleagues here at Virginia Tech, the University of Washington

Seattle, the Helsinki University of Technology, and the Indian Institute of Technology,” Taylor said.

A member of the Virginia Tech community since 2011, Taylor is also director of the Civil Engineering Network Dynamics Lab.

He received a bachelor’s and master’s degree from Tulane University, a second master’s from the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology, and his

Ph.D. from Stanford.

29


XCaliber Award: Group

excellence as a group involved with technology-assisted teaching

A three-member, interdisciplinary team has received the 2013 XCaliber Award for excellence as a group involved with technologyassisted

teaching.

Members of the award-winning team include

Eric Gilmore, assistant director, systems integration and Web development, Institute for Distance and Distributed Learning;

Oddbjørn Hestnes, web application developer, Institute for Distance and Distributed Learning; and

Ron Lewis, professor of animal and poultry sciences, College of Agriculture and Life Sciences.

Established in 1996 by Office of the Provost, the XCaliber Award (shorthand for exceptional, high-caliber work) is presented annually by

the Virginia Tech Center for Innovation in Learning to recognize individual faculty members or teams of faculty and staff who integrate

technology in teaching and learning. The award celebrates innovative, student-centered approaches to learning activities.

From left: Eric Gilmore, Ron Lewis, and Oddbjoern

Hestnes.

The team was recognized for the development of CyberSheep, a Web-based, genetic simulation game that provides students experience applying

principles in quantitative genetics to a virtual sheep breeding cooperative. Undergraduate and graduate students from 25 universities

have played the game, in many cases simultaneously, balancing decision-making within their own flock with that of the overall cooperative.

In playing CyberSheep, students engage in hands-on, experiential learning and are challenged to achieve one of two goals: improve market

weight while alleviating a genetic disease, or, increase the market value of their flock. The game challenges both genetic and economic

principles.

“Reaction to the CyberSheep game, from both faculty and students alike, has been overwhelming,” said Barbara Lockee, professor and

associate director for research and outreach in the School of Education, who works with Lewis under a USDA-funded project focused on

an online graduate curriculum in animal breeding and genetics. “CyberSheep is a noteworthy example of how technology can be used to

create innovations in learning that are effective and engaging, and that impact learning beyond the geographic boundaries of our campus.”

Gilmore received a bachelor’s degree and is pursuing a master’s degree from Virginia Tech. Hestnes received two bachelor’s degrees from Virginia

Tech and a Philosophy diploma from the University of Stavanger – Hogskolen. Lewis earned a bachelor’s degree from the University

of California Davis, a master’s from Texas A & M, and a Ph.D. from Virginia Tech.

30


Staff career achievement

Susan Stewart

Susan Stewart, retired executive secretary in Enterprise Systems, a unit in the Division of Information Technology at Virginia Tech, has received

the 2013 Staff Career Achievement Award. Stewart retired in 2012 after 12 years of service.

Created in 2011 to recognize retiring staff members, the Staff Career Achievement Award is presented annually to up to five individuals who have

distinguished themselves through exemplary performance and service during their university career. Nominees must have served a minimum of 10

years at Virginia Tech. Each recipient is awarded a $1,000 cash prize.

Susan

Stewart

As executive secretary, Stewart planned and facilitated events to promote departmental communications. She processed travel and organized

departmental calendars, scheduling, and inventory. One of her primary responsibilities was to facilitate meetings and relationships between

Enterprise Systems with other areas of the division and university departments. Her interactions included coordinating meetings, planning and

supervising events, and facilitating vendor relationships.

“Sue’s courtesy and helpfulness to others was noted many times by other offices on campus and brought many words of thanks to the unit,” said

Scott Midkiff, vice president for information technology. “She was instrumental in the success of various events and in promoting a positive campus

image presented to hundreds of guests from other institutions.”

Stewart was an active member of several staff and administration professional development groups. She was a dedicated supporter of the Commonwealth

of Virginia Campaign at Virginia Tech and provided leadership for the division’s participation for many years.

“The most significant talent that made Sue so successful was her innate ability to navigate unique events and circumstances,” Midkiff said. “She was

always able to tackle unpredictable day-to-day activities and find ways to meet everyone’s needs with grace, humility, and creativity.”

Retired Executive Secretary

Division of Information Technology

31


Staff career achievement

Philip Spellerberg

Philip Spellerberg of Manassas, Va. (20108), retired laboratory specialist in the Charles E. Via Jr. Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering

in the College of Engineering at Virginia Tech, has received the 2013 Staff Career Achievement Award. Spellerberg retired in 2012 after 30

years of service.

Created in 2011 to recognize retiring staff members, the Staff Career Achievement Award is presented annually to up to five individuals who have

distinguished themselves through exemplary performance and service during their university career. Nominees must have served a minimum of 10

years at Virginia Tech. Each recipient is awarded a $1,000 cash prize.

Philip

Spellerberg

Spellerberg spent the duration of his career at the Occoquan Watershed Laboratory, the university’s first continuously operated research lab in the

National Capital Region. He contributed to projects addressing the fundamental understanding of watershed processes, the management of water

quality, and efforts to restore the Chesapeake Bay.

“Phil has worked on dozens of projects over the years and has always served with his customary unstinting best effort, good humor, and commitment

to being a reliable member of a team doing the least glamorous part of watershed research,” said Tom Grizzard, professor and director of the

laboratory.

In addition to his research duties, Spellerberg trained staff, supported graduate students in their research, and participated in outreach efforts to

primary and secondary education and local communities. He was an integral part of the lab’s efforts to adopt and integrate new technologies into

research operations.

“Phil’s long-term commitment has contributed materially to applied research that has advanced knowledge in ways to lighten the footprint of human

activity on the urban landscape,” Grizzard said. “He clearly crafted a career that embodies the university motto Ut Prosim (That I May Serve).”

Retired Laboratory Specialist

College of Engineering

32


Staff career achievement

Darrell Sheppard

Darrell Sheppard, retired police sergeant in the Virginia Tech Police Department, has received the 2013 Staff Career Achievement Award.

Sheppard retired in 2012 after 28 years of service.

Created in 2011 to recognize retiring staff members, the Staff Career Achievement Award is presented annually to up to five individuals who have

distinguished themselves through exemplary performance and service during their university career. Nominees must have served a minimum of 10

years at Virginia Tech. Each recipient is awarded a $1,000 cash prize.

Sheppard joined the university community in 1984 as part of the facilities’ grounds crew. He became a grounds crew supervisor in 1996 and held

that position until he was hired by the university’s police department in May 2000.

“Darrell applied the knowledge he gained from his previous police science classes at New River Community College and his supervisory experience

working in the grounds crew,” said Wendell Flinchum, chief of police for Virginia Tech.

Sheppard became a field training officer for new academy graduate and was certified as a bicycle officer. In 2008, Sheppard received a department

commendation for his outstanding work in leading and improving the bicycle unit. In 2009, he was promoted to sergeant and supervised a patrol

shift until his retirement.

Sheppard received many letters of appreciation from parents, the department, and the public for his work.

“Darrell exemplified the type of employee that makes Virginia Tech the special place it is,” Sherwood Wilson, vice president for administrative

services.

Retired Police Sergeant

Virginia Tech Police Department

33


Staff career achievement

Terry Lawrence

Terry Lawrence, retired graphic designer and medical illustrator for the Virginia-Maryland Regional College of Veterinary Medicine at Virginia

Tech, has received the 2013 Staff Career Achievement Award. Lawrence retired in 2012 after 26 years of service.

Created in 2011 to recognize retiring staff members, the Staff Career Achievement Award is presented annually to up to five individuals who have

distinguished themselves through exemplary performance and service during their university career. Nominees must have served a minimum of 10

years at Virginia Tech. Each recipient is awarded a $1,000 cash prize.

Among Lawrence’s many achievements were designing the college’s logo, providing the original concept drawing and design of the “Running

Together” statue that greets visitors when they enter the college complex, and designing and producing the college’s VM Magazine, internal newsletters,

countless brochures, floor displays, and banners.

In addition, Lawrence designed and assisted in production of the college’s 25th anniversary history book and created illustrations that were published

in medical journals and books. Lawrence received numerous awards during his tenure, including the Dean’s Service Recognition Award, the

university’s Academy for Leadership Excellence Outstanding Leader Award, and the Friend of the Virginia Veterinary Medical Association Award.

“Terry always approached his job with a keen attention to detail, dedication to producing quality results, and focus on serving others,” said Gerhardt

Schurig, dean of the college. “He was highly regarded by peers for his integrity, positive attitude, and above-and-beyond work ethic.”

In addition to his myriad of responsibilities, Lawrence also held leadership positions in the college’s staff association. He was a staff senator and

represented the Staff Senate on the University Council. In addition, he was the founder of the college’s annual “Adopt-a-Family” program, which

raises funds and responds to the needs of underprivileged families during the holiday season.

Retired Graphic Designer and Medical Illustrator

Virginia-Maryland Regional College of Veterinary

Medicine

34


Staff career achievement

Linda Bland

Linda Bland, retired grants specialist in the Department of Geosciences in the College of Science, has received the 2013 Staff Career Achievement

Award. Bland retired in 2012 after 36 years of service.

Created in 2011 to recognize retiring staff members, the Staff Career Achievement Award is presented annually to up to five individuals who have

distinguished themselves through exemplary performance and service during their university career. Nominees must have served a minimum of 10

years at Virginia Tech. Each recipient is awarded a $1,000 cash prize.

As the department’s full-time financial officer, Bland’s primary duties consisted of monitoring and reconciling budgets for all departmental

accounts. In addition, she was responsible for submission of all proposals to federal agencies and worked closely with the Office of Sponsored Programs.

She also handled all visa and green card applications, processed terms of faculty officers, planned the department’s annual spring banquet

for graduates, and published its weekly in-house newsletter.

“Linda was able to multi-task all of these jobs at once, always with a smile and never with a complaint,” said Nancy Ross, professor and department

head.

Colleagues emphasized Bland’s dedication, contributions, support, guidance, and friendship that she brought to her position.

“Linda was a great source of information for students and faculty alike,” Ross said. “She warmly welcomed off-campus guests to the department,

and immediately made them feel at home with her smile and genuine interest in their visit.”

Bland was an active member of the college’s staff association, serving as vice president from 2006 to 2008 and was named a university Staff Employee

of the Week in 2007.

Retired Grants Specialist

College of Science

35


2012-13 Faculty/Staff Awards

Message from Alumni Relations

Since the 1950s, when the Alumni Association created the first faculty excellence awards, Virginia

Tech alumni have proudly helped to recognize faculty and staff members whose exceptional performance

enhances and contributes to the university’s three-part mission of learning, discovery, and engagement.

I join with our 220,000 living alumni in commending these notable awardees for their hard work and

achievements.

Congratulations to our 2012-13

faculty and staff award winners.

Thomas C. Tillar Jr.

Vice President for Alumni Relations

Virginia Tech does not discriminate against employees, students, or applicants on the basis of age, color, disability, gender, national origin, political affiliation, race, religion, sexual orientation,

or veteran status. Anyone having questions concerning discrimination or accessibility should contact the Office for Equity and Access.

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