Center for Instructional Development and Educational Research

University Exemplary Department or Program Award

The University Exemplary Department or Program Award recognizes the work of departments and/or programs that maintain exemplary teaching and learning environments for students and faculty. With this award, the university publicly honors the collaborative efforts and successes of a group of dedicated colleagues - actively performing work that is essential for sustaining a truly excellent academic environment. The University Exemplary Department or Program Awards are given in recognition that the academic excellence of individuals is achieved within distinctive working and learning environments to which many individuals contribute in essential ways. A total of $40,000 will be available for awards to the department(s) and/or program(s) as to be determined by the selection committee drawn from the university community.

The awards program was established as a part of the university's Faculty Rewards Project, a project which seeks to clarify the expectations of faculty and define appropriate rewards for accomplishments.

Award Theme

Each year, the Exemplary Department or Program Award focuses on a different theme. This year, departments and/or programs will be recognized for effectively engaging students in hands on, minds on instructional environments.

Nomination Materials

Nominations are invited from students, faculty, or others who have benefited from the work of the nominated department(s) or program(s). Nomination packets must include

  1. A nomination letter addressing three questions:
    1. Generally, how has your department/program demonstrated exemplary teaching and learning environments for students and faculty?
    2. Specifically, how has your department/program effectively engaged students in hands on, minds on instructional environments?
    3. How will your department/program maintain its dedication to effectively engaging students in hands on, minds on instructional environments?
  2. Letters of support from current and former faculty, students, administrators, agencies, and other beneficiaries, focused on the achievements of the department/program relative to this year's theme.

Nomination packets must be uploaded online as a single PDF file, not to exceed 20 pages, and be formatted in 12 point Arial font with 1" borders. If you have questions, please contact Tiffany Shoop.


Nomination materials are due on Thursday, October 12, 2017 at 5 p.m.


Future Award Themes

Year Theme
2018 Working beyond department/program boundaries to collaboratively achieve student learning goals.
2019 TBA

Previous Recipients

Year Theme and Recipients
2016 Developing and sustaining effective large class instruction.
  • Department of Biological Sciences
  • Department of Chemistry
  • Department of Physics
2015 Effectively linking research and scholarship with teaching, with particular concentration on innovative programs.
  • Department of Aerospace and Ocean Engineering
  • Department of Chemistry
  • Department of History
2014 Developing and sustaining innovative and effective approaches to fostering Ut Prosim (That I May Serve) at the undergraduate or graduate level.
  • Department of Chemistry
  • Department of Psychology
  • Department of Urban Affairs and Planning
  • VT Engage
2013 Effectively implementing and assessing programs for first-year students that incorporate problem soving, inquiry, and/or integraton of learning skills.
  • Foundation Program (Department of Architecture + Design)
  • First-year Writing Program (Department of English)
  • Invent the Sustainable Future Program (College of Natural Resources and Environment)
2012 Effectively integrating ePortfolios to improve student learning.
  • Arts and Humanity Program (Department of Teaching and Learning)
  • Department of English
  • Higher Education Program (Department of Educational Leadership and Policy Studies)
2011 Effectively linking assessment with instruction to improve student learning.
  • Grado Department of Industrial and Systems Engineering
  • Department of English
  • Dietetics program (Department of Human Nutrition, Foods and Exercis)
2010 Developing and sustaining innovative and effective approaches that foster international awareness and education.
  • Department of Mechanical Engineering
  • Department of Entomology
  • Department of Chemical Engineering
2009 Effectively linking research and scholarship with teaching, with particular concentration on innovative undergraduate programs.
  • Department of Chemistry
  • Earth Sustainability Program
2008 Working collaboratively across departmental boundaries to fulfill common or complementary goals.
  • College of Liberal Arts and Human Sciences
  • Computer Science
  • History
  • School of Architecture + Design
  • Teaching and Learning
  • Undergraduate Research Institute
2007 Developing and sustaining innovative and effective departmental approaches to advising at the undergraduate and/or graduate levels.
  • Industrial and Systems Engineering
  • Apparel, Housing, and Resource Management
  • University Academic Advising Center
2006 Developing and sustaining innovative and effective departmental approaches to introductory courses at the undergraduate and graduate levels.
  • Communication
  • Engineering Education
2005 Enhancing global diversity by effectively increasing the numbers of culturally diverse faculty, staff and students, and/or promoting and supporting international and multicultural perspectives to support the missions of the university.
  • Cranwell International Center
  • Human Development
2004 Managing faculty resources of time and talent effectively and creatively to fulfill stated departmental or program missions.
  • Biological Systems Engineering
  • History
  • Theatre Arts
2003 Working collaboratively across departmental boundaries to fulfill common or complementary goals.
  • Electrical and Computer Engineering, Materials Sciences & Engineering, and Physics
  • Foreign Languages and Literatures and Pamplin College of Business
  • Graduate and International Programs
  • Graduate Program in Science and Technology Studies
2002 Maintaining a high quality of advising both at the graduate and undergraduate levels.
  • Biology
  • Animal and Poultry Sciences
  • Mining and Minerals Engineering
2001 Developing and sustaining innovative and effective departmental approaches to introductory courses at the graduate or undergraduate levels.
  • Forestry
  • Marriage and Family Therapy Program (Northern Virginia)
  • Residential Leadership Community
2000 Effectively increasing diversity of faculty, staff, and students, and/or enhancing multicultural perspectives in teaching, research, and outreach programs.
  • Educational Leadership and Policy Studies
  • Industrial and Systems Engineering
  • Dean of Students' Office
1999 Effectively linking research and scholarship with teaching, with particular concentration on innovative undergraduate programs.
  • Aeorspace and Ocean Engineering
  • Psychology
  • Physics
1998 Working collaboratively across departmental boundaries to fulfill common or complementary goals.
  • Urban Affairs and Planning
  • Materials Sciences and Engineering
  • Building Construction
  • Civil and Environmental Engineering
1997 Maintaining a high quality of advising both at the graduate and undergraduate levels.
  • Mining and Minerals Engineering
  • Animal and Poultry Sciences
  • Agriculture and Applied Economics
1996 Developing and sustaining innovative and effective departmental approaches to introductory courses at the graduate or undergraduate levels.
  • Mathematics
  • Geological Sciences
  • Engineering Fundamentals
1995 Managing faculty resources of time and talent effectively and creatively to fulfill stated departmental or program missions.
  • Women's Studies
  • Communication Studies
  • English
1994 Effectively linking research and scholarship with teaching, with particular concentration on innovative undergraduate programs.
  • Biochemistry
  • Electrical Engineering
  • Mechanical Engineering