John Boyer of Blacksburg, Va., an instructor in the Department of Geography in the College of Natural Resources at Virginia Tech, received the Students’ Choice Award for Faculty Member of the Year. The Student Alumni Associates (SAA) of the Virginia Tech Alumni Association (SAA) sponsors this award.

Boyer has taught the World Regions course since 1998; a university core-course that typically enrolls more than 500 students. He has created an on-line "accompanying text" and a highly popular, weekly international film series "Geography Night at the Movies" to reinforce themes covered in class. He uses music videos, live web interaction, and slide shows to enhance learning.

The award is presented each year in conjunction with the Student Alumni Association’s annual Faculty Appreciation Day celebration. All Virginia Tech graduate and undergraduate students have the opportunity to vote at stations throughout campus.

The Students' Choice Award was established in 1995 by Kent Picklesimer, then president of the SAA, to augment the university’s Founder's Day awards to faculty with an award based solely on student input. "The emphasis of this award is on teaching, how the professor relates to students, and how he or she helps the students learn," said Jen MacDonald, student programs coordinator for the Virginia Tech Alumni Association.

Boyer received his bachelor’s degree and master’s degree from Virginia Tech.

The College of Natural Resources at Virginia Tech consistently ranks among the top five programs of its kind in the nation. Faculty members stress both the technical and human elements of natural resources and instill in students a sense of stewardship and land-use ethics. Areas of studies include environmental resource management, fisheries and wildlife sciences, forestry, geospatial and environmental analysis, natural resource recreation, urban forestry, wood science and forest products, geography, and international development.