Center for Instructional Development and Educational Research

Diggs Teaching Scholars

This award was established in 1992 under the auspices of the University's Faculty Rewards Project. Sponsors of this program are the Diggs Endowed Professorship Fund and the Center for Instructional Development and Educational Research (CIDER). Individuals teaching at all instructional levels at Virginia Tech (i.e., named and full professors, associate and assistant professors, adjunct faculty, instructors, and graduate teaching assistants) are eligible for nomination.

Call for Nominations

Nominations are due on Monday, January 22, 2018. Submission details are available here.

Recent Diggs Events

The Fall 2017 Diggs Roundtable will welcome the winners of the Diggs Teaching Scholar Award. Mark Barrow, professor and chair of the Department of History, will present “The Book Project: Engaging Undergraduate Students through Collaborative Research and Publication.”  Christine Labuski, assistant professor of women’s and gender studies, will present “Unmaking Assumptions: Employing 'Universal Precautions' In and Out of the Classroom.”  The 2017 Diggs Roundtable reception will take place on Monday, November 13 from 4:30-7 p.m. at the Hahn Horticulture Garden Pavilion.  Register for the Diggs Roundtable here:

Mark V. Barrow, Jr. is Professor and Chair of the Department of History, and Affiliated Faculty Member of the ASPECT Doctoral Program and the Department of Science and Technology Studies.  Working at the intersection of the history of biology, environmental history, and American history, he is author of two award-winning books: A Passion for Birds: American Ornithology after Audubon and Nature’s Ghosts: Confronting Extinction from the Age of Jefferson to the Age of Ecology.  Since coming to Virginia Tech in 1992, he has created and offered nine new courses, and he has received three Certificates of Teaching Excellence, two XCaliber Awards for Technology-Assisted Teaching and Learning, a CLAHS Undergraduate Research Mentoring Award, two History Graduate Association Faculty Excellence Awards, and an Alumni Teaching Award.  Developed in conjunction with colleagues in the Department of History, his Teaching Enhancement Project involves sharing his experiences organizing courses around the production of a class book, published at the end of the semester using an online print-on-demand service.  Asking students to work collaboratively to create an edited volume helps them develop a sense of professional identity, it builds vital research and writing competencies, and it creates a tangible product that survives beyond the confines of a particular class. It also offers a clearly sequenced structure for completing the work, with due dates of each step spread appropriately across the semester; it greatly enhances student engagement; it fosters the acquisition of collaboration skills; it encourages students to consider how to reach an audience beyond the instructor; and it transforms them from consumers into producers of knowledge.

Christine Labuski is an Assistant Professor of Women’s and Gender Studies. Before earning her PhD in cultural anthropology, she earned Bachelor’s and Master’s degrees in nursing, and worked as a nurse and nurse practitioner for almost 20 years. This unique background informs Dr. Labuski’s research and teaching programs, both of which focus on the medical and bodily aspects of sex, gender, and sexuality. Her courses (which include Gender and Science; Gender, Bodies & Technology; and Sexual Medicine) provide students with the opportunity to rethink their core assumptions about how sex and gender are lived. Dr. Labuski learned early that she could trust her students to meaningfully work her course material into their lives. Though she knows that this might not occur until years after they leave her classroom, she strives to always teach from this perspective. Her project, “Unmaking Assumptions: Employing ‘Universal Precautions’ In and Out of the Classroom,” reflects one way that her clinical training found its way into her classrooms. “Universal Precautions” (UP) refers to clinicians’ use of personal protective equipment (such as latex gloves) for all patients, not just those who “look like” they might harbor an infectious disease. In the classroom, UP refers to a perspective that students can adopt toward their classmates and the course material – treating everyone and every topic as if it might be present in the room. The UP perspective is designed to provide students with the capacity to discuss potentially sensitive issues frankly and in the most inclusive ways possible. By discussing topics as if the person sitting next to them might have had that experience, students can expand the contours of what categories—of people and experiences—can mean to them. By interviewing former students, her project will develop a set of UP 'best practices' in order to disseminate them to the wider VT community.