Daniel Thorp, associate professor of history in the College of Liberal Arts and Human Sciences at Virginia Tech, and has been named the university’s director of Curriculum for Liberal Education in the Division of Undergraduate Education.

In this newly created position, Thorp will provide oversight for the university’s Curriculum for Liberal Education, which provides students with a broad base of knowledge and transferable skills through exposure to multiple disciplines and ways of knowing. Completion of this curriculum is required for every undergraduate student and makes up about 30 percent of a student’s credits toward graduation.

“The Curriculum for Liberal Education is an integral part of every undergraduate students experience at Virginia Tech, and as such, it is essential for the university to further invest in this endeavor,” said Daniel Wubah, vice president and dean for undergraduate education. “Professor Thorp will help us engage more faculty as the Curriculum for Liberal Education grows and encourage innovative programming and course development.”

"Undergraduate education has always been the most rewarding part of my job, said Thorp, “and I am very excited by the opportunity to play a more active role in shaping it through the Curriculum for Liberal Education."

Thorp first joined the Virginia Tech community in 1981. Following a three year absence beginning in 1983, he returned to the Department of History in 1986.

Thorp’s research interest has been the process by which European explorers and colonizers interacted with new peoples and new environments. He is the author of numerous articles on a range of topics in 18th and 19th-century American history and two books, The Moravian Community in Colonial North Carolina and Lewis & Clark: An American Journey.

Trained as a colonial historian, Thorp often teaches introductory surveys of the history of the United States. For several years he has been working with colleagues at Virginia Tech to make these large survey classes a better learning environment for their students through the use of computers. These efforts have been supported by grants from the university and from the National Endowment for the Humanities and contributed to the completion of the Digital History Reader, which received the Virginia Tech’s XCaliber Award for technology-assisted teaching and learning in 2007.

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

Dedicated to its motto, Ut Prosim (That I May Serve), Virginia Tech takes a hands-on, engaging approach to education, preparing scholars to be leaders in their fields and communities. As the commonwealth’s most comprehensive university and its leading research institution, Virginia Tech offers 240 undergraduate and graduate degree programs to more than 31,000 students and manages a research portfolio of $513 million. The university fulfills its land-grant mission of transforming knowledge to practice through technological leadership and by fueling economic growth and job creation locally, regionally, and across Virginia.

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