Susan B. Asselin, professor of special education in the College of Liberal Arts and Human Sciences, and Vinod K. Lohani, professor of engineering education in the College of Engineering, each received the university's 2013 Scholarship of Teaching and Learning Award.

The Center for Instructional Development and Educational Research presents the award each year to one or two faculty members who demonstrate dedication to the pursuit of scholarship addressing the realm of higher education teaching and learning.

Susan Asselin

Asselin, who focuses on special education within the School of Education, has taught at Virginia Tech for 31 years.

Her most recent research focuses on universal design for learning and instruction, which creates an inclusive environment that meets the needs of a wide range of students, as well as use of assistive technologies for students with disabilities.

"My work in promoting universal design for instruction was fueled by a realization that college students with disabilities were encountering faculty who lacked understanding of learning needs and effective instructional strategies," Asselin said. "In addition to course design, assistive technology offers students with disabilities access to content that is flexible with multiple means of representation of content, expression of knowledge, and opportunities to actively engage in learning."

Asselin received her bachelor's and master's degrees from Florida State University and her doctorate degree from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln.

Vinod Lohani

Lohani, who specializes in engineering education and hydrology and water resources, has taught at Virginia Tech for 17 years.

He has focused his research and professional experiences on collaboration with education experts for engineering instruction; creation of technology-enabled interactive learning environments in the classroom; and authentic and contemporary engineering learning experiences to excite students about the engineering profession.

One learning experience Lohani created is the LabVIEW Enabled Watershed Assessment System, a real-time water and weather-monitoring lab with an outdoor site at Stroubles Creek. "This is a unique 'research to practice' lab on our campus and is intended to motivate student learning about water sustainability through hands-on experiences," Lohani said. Around 4,000 engineering first-year students have used the lab since it opened in 2009. In addition, students in civil and environmental engineering and geosciences at Virginia Tech and Virginia Western Community College have used this lab for water sustainability instruction.

Lohani received his bachelor's degree from Govind Ballabh Pant University of Agriculture and Technology in Pantnagar, India; master's degree from Asian Institute of Technology in Bangkok, Thailand; and doctoral degree from Virginia Tech.

To learn more about the Scholarship of Teaching and Learning Award, contact the Center for Instructional Development and Educational Research.

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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