Annie R. Pearce, associate professor for building construction in the College of Architecture and Urban Studies, has received the university’s 2016 Alumni Award for Outreach Excellence.

With support from the Virginia Tech Alumni Association, the Alumni Award for Outreach Excellence is presented annually to recognize outstanding contributions by Virginia Tech faculty members who have extended the university’s outreach mission throughout the commonwealth, the nation, and the world. Recipients are nominated by their peers, receive a $2,000 cash prize, and are inducted into the university’s Academy of Outreach Excellence.

Focused on building synergies between student learning and making meaningful contributions to society, Pearce relies on curriculum that engages her students with local communities. Their solutions have impacted low-income homeowners, special needs children, and homeless animals in the New River Valley and beyond.

Pearce uses creative learning experience designs to carry out Virginia Tech’s motto, Ut Prosim (That I May Serve), through projects such as Camp LiGHT, the UnBuild Project, the Radford Animal Shelter PantherHouse, and Habitat for Humanity ReStore.

Students in BC 3004: Construction Culture in spring 2013 developed proposals for green technologies that could be incorporated into Camp LiGHT, a camp for special needs children in Waynesboro, Virginia, while in spring 2015 students in BC 4334: Sustainable Building Performance Management and BC 5134: Sustainable Facility Systems designed and built a stand-alone adoption center for cats at the Radford Animal Shelter called the PantherHouse.

Through Pearce’s minds-on and hands-on courses, building construction students gain experience fundraising to meet design goals, educating the general public on the technical and sustainable principles involved in their design, the implications of outdated design and construction practices, and the necessity to compromise design ideals to remain with project constraints.

“Together with her students, Dr. Pearce exemplifies the unique assets our public university brings to the community as part of synergistic learning under our motto Ut Prosim,” wrote Georg Reichard, chair of the College of Architecture and Urban Studies Honorifics Committee, in a nomination letter.

Share this story