Four Virginia Tech faculty have been recognized for outstanding leadership and service with induction into the Academy of Faculty Leadership and Academy of Faculty Service.

Through the Office of the Executive Vice President and Provost, the academies honor the exemplary contributions of faculty members of all classifications in formal service roles or in areas of leadership.

Mike Ellerbrock, professor and undergraduate program director for agricultural and applied economics in the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences, and James Hawdon, professor and interim chair of sociology in the College of Liberal Arts and Human Sciences and director of the Center for Peace Studies and Violence Prevention, have earned membership in the Academy of Faculty Service. Holly Matusovich, assistant department head for undergraduate programs for engineering education in the College of Engineering, and Brenda Winkel, professor of biological sciences in the College of Science, have been inducted into the Academy of Faculty Leadership.

“The commitment of our faculty community to leadership and service is critical to the success of Virginia Tech’s Beyond Boundaries vision and achieving our strategic goals," said Cyril Clarke, executive vice president and provost. "These new members of the Academy of Faculty Leadership and Academy of Faculty Service exemplify this commitment. I congratulate each of them on this accomplishment and thank them for the high standards they continue to set for our faculty and students.”

Ellerbrock was nominated for induction into the Academy of Faculty Service through his demonstrable efforts influencing the university, college, and his department as well as the local community with his many op-ed columns on public and social issues. His work also assisted the local public school system with developing a curriculum to meet Standards of Learning requirements and changing how K-12 teachers are teaching. Ellerbrock’s service portfolio includes election and appointment to leadership and membership in university-level governance and committees, a commitment to inclusion and diversity, and an exemplary model of a culture of collaborative leadership.

Hawdon was nominated as a result of his expansive service record and impacts across the community, university, and the field of sociology. His contributions include service on Faculty Senate, where he currently serves as president-elect, and leads several initiatives as a member of the Faculty Senate Cabinet. Hawdon joined the Commission on Faculty Affairs and was invited in fall 2019 to be a member of the ad hoc President’s Committee on Governance as a representative from Faculty Senate. His leadership role and work with peace studies and with the Center for Peace Studies and Violence Prevention has changed the culture of the community by promoting dialogue on peace, violence, and human rights issues.

Matusovich’s nomination to the Academy of Faculty Leadership was earned based on her role as assistant department head for Undergraduate Programs and former role as assistant department head for Graduate Programs as well as her leadership in such initiatives such as the Dissertation Institute and the Educational and Research Method Division of the American Society for Engineering Education. In these various roles, she systematized and improved decision-making processes and established a practice and expectation of quality in mentoring students. Through Matusovich’s leadership, the Engineering Education program now closely collaborates with other departments and colleges and has seen notable growth.

Winkel’s nomination was the result of her strong leadership success in founding and directing a new graduate program in molecular plant sciences (now translational plant sciences), which bridged research programs across seven departments in three different colleges. She was awarded a Virginia Tech Interdisciplinary Graduate Education Program grant in 2010 (renewed in 2014) while also receiving ongoing support from the Fralin Life Sciences Institute. She instituted a rotating directorship model in translational plant sciences, facilitating the preparation and growth of the next generation of university leaders. She also contributes expertise and mentorship in the recruitment and retention of new faculty.

Faculty nominated for membership in the Academy of Faculty Leadership must have shown exemplary leadership in formal or informal roles within the university and through activities and approaches that significantly advance a culture of collaborative leadership. They must also have promoted faculty, staff, and/or student development; advanced program or curricular transformation; and made a notable and demonstrable positive impact within the university community.

Academy of Faculty Service nominees must have successfully completed an elected or appointed term of office in university governance, completed the assignment or set of responsibilities associated with a university-level project, or made commendable service contributions at the university level outside of usual responsibilities and ongoing formal governance roles. They must also have made a notable and demonstrable positive impact on the university as evidenced by the academy nomination statement and letters of support.

The Academy of Faculty Leadership and the Academy of Faculty Service are structured to parallel the academies of Teaching Excellence and Outreach Excellence; members are called upon for representative service to university committees.

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