Marian Mollin Honored with Dr. Carroll B. Shannon Excellence in Teaching Award

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The 2016 Dr. Carroll B. Shannon Excellence in Teaching Award recipients include, from left, Gordon Yee, Marian Mollin, Michel Pleimling, and Anne Ryan Driscoll.
Four Virginia Tech faculty members, all from the College of Liberal Arts and Human Sciences or the College of Science, received the 2016 Dr. Carroll B. Shannon Excellence in Teaching Award. They are, from left, Gordon Yee, Marian Mollin, Michel Pleimling, and Anne Ryan Driscoll.

Marian Mollin, an associate professor of history in the College of Liberal Arts and Human Sciences, was one of four Virginia Tech faculty members to receive the 2016 Dr. Carroll B. Shannon Excellence in Teaching Award.

The award also went to Anne Ryan Driscoll, an assistant professor of practice in the Department of Statistics; Michel Pleimling, a professor with the Department of Physics and director of the Academy of Integrated Science; and Gordon Yee, an associate professor with the Department of Chemistry, all in the College of Science.

The award is made possible by an endowment established by Peter and Carroll Shannon, of Wilmington, Delaware, and is given annually to College of Science and College of Liberal Arts and Human Sciences faculty members who demonstrate outstanding teaching skills, innovative methods, and dedication to learning. The colleges once formed the College of Arts and Sciences, which split in 2002.

“Virginia Tech gave me the opportunity to become someone who I would never have become if it had not been for the university,” said Peter Shannon, who graduated from Virginia Tech in 1969 with a general science degree and who named the award in honor of his wife, Carroll, an educator for her entire career.

“Outstanding teachers have the opportunity to be change agents in the lives of students. They inspire a love of learning, encourage students to reach their potential and discover their career path,” said Carroll Shannon, who worked in education for the state of Delaware. “Most importantly, they guide students in becoming contributing members of society who will impact positively the lives of others.”

Also a recipient of the university’s 2016 Alumni Award for Excellence in Teaching, Mollin is known for versatility in teaching. Guiding her approach is an instinct for engagement — and a highly tuned boredom barometer. “If I’m not interested in the material, why would my students be?” she asks.

Department of History member faculty since 2000, Mollin is known for her dedication to fostering a sense of belonging among students and her encouragement of peer mentoring. Mollin’s students often win annual departmental awards and scholarships, secure research grants, and present papers at local and regional undergraduate research conferences.

In addition to three teaching awards this spring, Mollin is a past recipient of Virginia Tech’s Excellence in Undergraduate Research Mentoring Award, the Edward S. Diggs Teaching Scholars Award, and the XCalber Award. She teaches courses in women’s history, gender history, and the history of sexuality, along with more general courses in 20th-century U.S. history. She has published widely on the U.S. suffrage, labor, civil rights, and antiwar movements.

Mollin received her bachelor’s degree from Cornell University and her master’s degree and doctorate from the University of Massachusetts Amherst.