O. Hayden Griffin, professor and head of the Department of Engineering Education in the College of Engineering at Virginia Tech, recently received the university's 2008 Alumni Award for Excellence in Teaching.

Established in 1982 by the Virginia Tech Alumni Association, the Alumni Award for Excellence in Teaching is presented annually to honor two Virginia Tech faculty members for teaching excellence. Award recipients are selected by the university’s Academy of Teaching Excellence and are chosen from among those faculty members who have received certificates of teaching excellence from their respective colleges during the preceding three years. Each recipient is awarded a $2,000 cash prize and is inducted into the Academy of Teaching Excellence.

A member of the Virginia Tech community since 1985, Griffin has served as department head for the past 11 years. In addition to his many administrative duties, Griffin continued to teach and advise students in a variety of ways.

From 1995 to 2001, Griffin was the faculty advisor to the Mini Baja Team, helping students use their theoretical knowledge of engineering to create a complex running vehicle that they design, fabricate, evaluate, refine, and conclude by taking the vehicle to a national competition to compete with more than 100 universities. And for many years, Griffin served as director of the Ware Advance Engineering Laboratory which is the design and fabrication home of many highly acclaimed and success student project teams.

Griffin taught the first graduate course in the Department of Engineering Education in 2004 and since that time, has focused the majority of his teaching at the graduate level. Leading the development of the graduate courses, the Graduate Certificate in Engineering Education and the Ph.D. in Engineering Education, he has significantly expanded the educational opportunities for graduate students who want to be better teachers and expand their understanding of the engineering educational process.

“Without Hayden, our first-year students would not be participating in one of the most creative and engaging engineering programs in the nation,” said Richard Goff, W.S. “Pete” White Chair for Innovation in Engineering Education. “He truly embodies the concept of life ling learning we so much want to instill in our students.

Griffin received his bachelor’s degree and master’s degree from Texas Tech University and a Ph.D. from Virginia Tech.

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