The Division of Undergraduate Education held its first awards program to honor its exemplary members.

Members of the division submitted individuals for nominations in three categories – distinguished leader, distinguished colleague, and unsung hero/heroine.

Distinguished Leader

Ray Van Dyke, director of the Office of Assessment and Evaluation, received the Distinguished Leader award.

Van Dyke became the director of the Office of Academic Assessment six years ago. Since that time, the office’s role has expanded to include the assessment and evaluation of a large number of academic and administrative units across campus. This growth led to the creation of a culture of assessment on campus that provides a more integrative approach. Now called the Office of Assessment and Evaluation, Van Dyke and his staff provide services that facilitate the use of meaningful data to ensure the university is undergoing continuous improvement.

“During the most recent accreditation process of Virginia Tech by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges, Ray’s office played an instrumental role in addressing the standards that relate to assessment,” said Daniel A. Wubah, vice president and dean for undergraduate education. “Under his leadership, Virginia Tech has developed the Academic Quality Improvement and Administrative Quality Improvement systems to assess the academic and non-academic constituents of our campus.”

The division awarded Van Dyke a trophy and $1,000 prize. Van Dyke received a bachelor's degree, master's degree, and Ed.D. from Virginia Tech.

Distinguished Colleague

C. Edward Watson, associate director of the Center for Instructional Development and Educational Research, received the Distinguished Colleague award.

Watson has served as managing editor of the International Journal of Teaching and Learning in Higher Education for two years. As editor, he recruited 20 Virginia Tech faculty members as associate editors, cutting the review of manuscript submissions from 150 to 30 days.

In 2010, Watson led the creation of the International Journal of ePortfolio, in partnership with experts from Virginia Tech, Stanford University, Clemson University, and Florida State University. It is the first journal dedicated to ePortfolio in educational settings.

Watson was also pivotal in bringing TED (technology, entertainment, design) presentations to Virginia Tech. He developed an executive committee of administrators, faculty, and undergraduate students, which organized the simulcast TEDxVirginiaTechLive event in February 2012. Virginia Tech will host its own TEDxVirginiaTech in November.

“Eddie has a natural tendency toward team building as he develops projects,” said Peter Doolittle, director of the Center for Instructional Development and Educational Research. “His collegiality as a team leader and a team member is an essential element in the achievement of these collaborative projects.”

The division awarded Watson a trophy and $500 prize. Watson received a two bachelor's degrees, a master's degree, and Ph.D. from Virginia Tech.

Unsung Hero/Heroine

Pamela Burrell, office services specialist for the Office of the University Registrar, earned the Unsung Heroine award.

Burrell has worked in the office since September 2007. She assists and receives all visitors to the office, whether student, faculty member, staff member, alumni, or parents.

“Our service can affect the successful application to a graduate school, to achieving a graduation goal, or to obtaining employment,” said Wanda Hankins Dean, assistant vice president for enrollment and degree management and university registrar. “Pam demonstrates each day that she treats every student and issue as unique and special.”

The division awarded Burrell with a trophy and $500 prize. Burrell received an associate's degree from Allegany College of Maryland in Cumberland, Md.

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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