Col. Dave Miller, deputy commandant for leader development for the Virginia Tech Corps of Cadets and director of the Maj. Gen. W. Thomas Rice Center for Leader Development in the Pamplin College of Business, received the university's 2015 Sporn Award for Teaching Introductory Subjects.

Sponsored by the Center for Instructional Development and Educational Research and the Virginia Tech Academy for Teaching Excellence, the Sporn Award for Teaching Introductory Subjects recognizes a Virginia Tech faculty member who teaches introductory-level courses. Nominated by students, award recipients are selected by a committee composed of student representatives from the Omicron Delta Kappa and Golden Key honor societies, as well as the faculty member who won the award the previous year. Award winners receive $2,000 and are inducted into the university's Academy of Teaching Excellence.

The award was established in memory of Dr. and Mrs. Philip J. Sporn. Philip Sporn was a Virginia Tech alumnus and president and chief executive officer of American Electric Power Co.

As the director of the Maj. Gen. W. Thomas Rice Center for Leader Development, Miller has helped thousands of undergraduate students become leaders through a comprehensive program of academic course work, real-world leadership experiences, ethics education, public lectures, and guest speakers. The center also fosters the growth of leadership-related programs and initiatives at the university.

Students who complete the program receive a minor in leadership studies.

In addition, Miller refined and supervises the Corps of Cadets’ Academic Success Program, which includes specific classes and assessment techniques to improve the academic performance of first-year cadets. The program provides tutors in several subjects; daily planners; the teaching of productivity methodology, success strategies, and time management; and an upper-class cadet mentoring system. The goal is for cadets in the program to have an overall grade point average of 3.0 on a 4.0 scale, and that goal has been met for five consecutive semesters.

Miller teaches nine courses each academic year and supervises 20 courses annually. In addition, he co-hosts the annual Virginia Tech Freshman Leadership Conference and supervises the Corps of Cadets' annual Invitational Leadership Conference.

He also collaborates with several campus organizations to improve the academic and experiential components of the leader development program. These groups include the Student Success Center, Writing Center, Women's Center, University Honors Program, Residential Learning Center, and other student organizations and alumni groups.

Miller served for more than 26 years in the U.S. Army, commanding at all levels through brigade, including a four-year tour as commander of the Data Systems Unit of the White House Communications Agency. His military education includes Armor Officer Basic, Field Artillery Officer Advanced Course, Command and General Staff Officer’s Course, and The Army War College.

Miller also received a master’s degree from Louisiana State University, a master’s degree from Webster University, and a Ph.D. from Virginia Tech. He is a graduate of the Harvard Graduate School of Business' Advanced Management Program.

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.

Share this story