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Diggs Teaching Scholar Awards to be presented

Spectrum Volume 17 Issue 28 - April 13, 1995

The Diggs Teaching Scholar Awards and Roundtable is scheduled today at 3 p.m. in 341-45 Squires. This year's awardees will be recognized by Peggy Meszaros, provost and senior vice president.

Meszaros will present a talk and discussion on teaching/research at Virginia Tech, and the 1995 Diggs Teaching Scholar Award recipients will lead a public discussion devoted to pedagogical issues. Edward Weisband, Diggs endowed professor of political science, will be guest respondent.

The three recipients of the Diggs Awards are Elizabeth Bounds, Arthur L. Buikema Jr., and Terry Wildman. The Diggs Awards, initiated in 1992, recognize outstanding contributions to the teaching program of the university by faculty members at all levels of professional development.

These are teachers who have not only excelled in the classroom, but also made significant and lasting contributions to the teaching philosophy or the curriculum of their department, program, or college.

Bounds is an assistant professor in the Religious Studies Program. Since joining the Virginia Tech faculty in 1991, Bounds has made numerous contributions to Religious Studies, Women's Studies, Humanities, the University Honors Programs, and the new Service Learning Program. Bounds is credited with always seeking new ways to facilitate and enrich the learning process. She values offering education for citizenship, or how to counter individualism, relativism, and absolutism. It is her conviction that one of the primary purposes of a four-year university education is to expose students to different perspectives, while encouraging them to understand and develop their own.

Buikema is a professor of biology. According to one of his colleagues, Arthur's philosophy of teaching is simple: "If you believe the students can do the work they will meet your expectations." Buikema has spent several years developing new approaches to teaching introductory life-science courses at Virginia Tech and other institutions. He strives to increase scientific literacy to enable informed citizens to actively participate in developing and implementing public policies. Buikema has received numerous awards including the Sporn Award from Virginia Tech and national recognition by the Society of Environmental Toxicology and Chemistry.

Wildman is a professor in the Department of Curriculum and Instruction in the College of Education. Wildman has been involved in studying and improving teaching in the public schools in the state and at Virginia Tech for more than 20 years. Wildman is known as an excellent discussion leader and, as a colleague observed, can change "the way people teach in our university and, more importantly perhaps, the way they think about their teaching." Wildman has also helped to develop mentoring programs in more than 50 school divisions in Virginia.

Each of the three Diggs Teaching Scholar Award winners will offer a roundtable discussion on their individual teaching contributions.

The event is open to the public and refreshments will be served following the roundtable discussion. The event is cosponsored by the Center for Excellence in Undergraduate Teaching, the Academy of Teaching Excellence, the Office of the Provost, and the Diggs Scholar Program.