The following faculty and staff members in the College of Liberal Arts and Human Sciences were winners of 2017 University Faculty/Staff Awards. Additional details regarding these award winners can be found here.
Mark Barrow, the chair of the Department of History, received the Diggs Teaching Scholars Award. He has enhanced the curriculum by developing and teaching eight new courses in his own department as well as other academic units and has collaborated with colleagues to create online modules for U.S. history classes. He has fostered undergraduate research through co-creating of a senior research seminar around the construction of a class book and through mentoring individual students as they pursue research projects.
Glenn Bugh, an associate professor of history, garnered the William E. Wine Award for his teaching excellence. He was recognized for his encouragement and mentoring of students on the Blacksburg campus as well as his role in the development of Virginia Tech’s Center for European Studies and Architecture, now the Steger Center for International Scholarship, in Riva San Vitale, Switzerland, where he taught on numerous occasions. His hands-on approach is also reflected in the part he played in creating the American Research Center in Sofia, Bulgaria.
Allison Craft, Administrative Assistant to the Associate Dean for Undergraduate Academic Affairs in the Office of the Dean, was the recipient of the President’s Award for Excellence. She was recognized for her efforts in creating a transition from the Curriculum for Liberal Education to the Pathways curriculum, which has necessitated the revision of almost 200 courses. She also manages the revision of departmental checksheets for major and minors, working with each academic unit to assure accuracy and completeness.
Edward Gitre, an assistant professor of History, received the XCaliber Award, which recognizes integration of technology in teaching and learning, for his development of HIST 3544 World War II: A Global History. He provides hands-on instruction in the use of digital history, which allows each student to contribute to The American Solider, a digital history project dealing with handwritten survey responses of World War II soldiers. Through the course students increase their understanding of the war, engage in humanity-based research, and contribute to meaningful public work.
Robert Jacks, the coordinator of Advising in the Department of English, was the recipient of the Provost’s Award for Excellence in Advising. Having joined the department in 2015 and been appointed to his current position in 2016, Jacks already implemented initiatives such as advising procedure videos for faculty, online office hours for students, and peer mentoring to connect transfer students with upperclassmen. He serves as the co-instructor of the First-Year Experience course and leads the summer orientation sessions for the department.
Kathleen Jones, History, was recognized with the Alumni Award for Excellence in Graduate Academic Advising. She has been an active member of the Department of History Graduate Committee and served on committees of numerous students completing the master’s degree with the thesis and non-thesis option. She was instrumental in implementing reforms to the graduate program and introducing workshops to prepare students for post-graduation opportunities such as pursuit of a doctoral degree or a career in teaching.
Christine Labuski, an assistant professor in the Department of Sociology/Women’s and Gender Studies, received the Diggs Teaching Scholars Award. She has developed two gender studies courses at the undergraduate level and one at the graduate level. Her experiences as a registered nurse and nurse practitioner served as the basis for a set of guidelines she created to assist teachers in promoting inclusivity in the classroom. Her interaction with students in the classroom is supplemented by her role as Associate Faculty Principal of West Ambler Johnston Residential College.
Nyusya Milman-Miller, Department of Modern and Classical Languages and Literatures/Russian, was the recipient of the Alumni Award for Excellence in International Education. She worked to develop the Russian minor into a curriculum for majors and for many years organized and led a study abroad program in Moscow. The last four years she has directed Project Global Officer, a $1.5 million grant from the Department of Defense to support critical language training to Reserve Officer Training Corps students and to enhance language offerings in Arabic, Chinese, and Russian.
Janell Watson, Department of Modern and Classical Languages and Literatures/French, garnered the Alumni Award for Excellence in Research. Her scholarly focus is contemporary French theory and often features the ideas of intellectuals from a variety of traditions, such as gender theorist Judith Butler, philosopher Felix Guattari, and psychoanalyst Jacques Lacan. Her transdisciplinary books and articles span the humanities and the social sciences. A member of the editorial board of Deleuze Studies, she currently serves as editor of the minnesota review.