Jean Elliott, communications director for the College of Liberal Arts and Human Sciences at Virginia Tech, has received the university's 2014 Presidential Principles of Community Award.

The Presidential Principles of Community Award was established in 2014 by the Office of Diversity and Inclusion to recognize faculty and staff members who exemplify and promote a welcoming and inclusive environment, in accordance with the Principles of Community at Virginia Tech. One staff or faculty member is selected annually to receive this award. The award recipient is selected by the Commission on Equal Opportunity and Diversity and will receive a $2,000 cash prize.

A member of the Virginia Tech community since 1999, Elliott has been involved with a number multi-cultural and diversity related projects, committees, and task forces. She has contributed dozens of articles illustrating various aspects of diversity in university publications and served on the editorial boards of The Conductor and Path Forward, publications of the Office for Diversity and Inclusion.

She accompanied study abroad trips to Malawi in 2010, where she taught third graders; and to Spain in 2012, where she hiked 300 km of the El Camino de Santiago in 15 days. On both trips, she created blogs and coordinated student posts with her photography that have received tens of thousands of hits. In 2011, she was selected as a Global Scholar and traveled to Zambia with a team of her Virginia Tech colleagues to evaluate health and communications projects.

As co-leader of the LGBT faculty/staff caucus, Elliott founded Gay in Appalachia, an annual event that incorporates the arts to prompt discussion on diverse issues. She also helped to initiate the Lavender Commencement Ceremony that celebrates LGBTQ graduates.

Elliott recently earned the university’s Diversity Ally Certificate. In 2012, she was the first staff member to receive the College of Liberal Arts and Human Sciences’ Diversity Award. That same year, she also was named an OUTstanding Virginian by Equality Virginia, which specifically cited her abilities for “communicating and connecting.”

During her tenure at Virginia Tech, Elliott has also served as the public relations coordinator for the College of Human Resources and Education and the interim director of News and Information. Prior to coming to the university, she worked as the director of sports information and media relations for the College of William and Mary. She also has experience working as the director of sports information at Brown University.

Elliott is a member of the College Communicators Association and the American Council on Education - Office of Women in Higher Education. She also volunteers annually with the Montgomery County Christmas Store. 

Elliott received a bachelor’s degree from Western Maryland College, now known as McDaniel College, and a master’s degree from Salisbury 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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