Virginia Tech Professors Brian R. Murphy and James M. Dubinsky received this year's Scholarship of Teaching and Learning Award in recognition of their continued commitment to scholarship addressing higher education teaching and learning.

Murphy and Dubinsky both utilize research-based, scientific, and scholarly lenses to examine questions in higher education teaching and learning and to pursue the public examination and critique of their work.

The Scholarship of Teaching and Learning Award is presented annually by Virginia Tech’s Center for Excellence in Undergraduate Teaching. The award recognizes faculty members that have dedicated themselves to rigorous examination and investigation of higher education teaching and learning.

Brian R. Murphy, a professor in the Department of Fisheries and Wildlife Sciences in the College of Natural Resources has focused his teaching towards the development of students’ writing and critical thinking skills by using Case Studies as his foremost instructional strategy. Murphy says he believes that “case study-learning is an effective way for students to learn to analyze critical issues and conflicts in [the] field.” Employers of Murphy’s former students observe that the students are “able to hit the ground running.”

Murphy has authored specific case studies that are used worldwide by nearly 40 universities, created a graduate level course at Virginia Tech that examines best practices for teaching in the natural resources sciences, and partnered with colleagues at Virginia Tech and South Dakota State to publish a critical text about Case Study instruction.

Murphy graduated from Virginia Tech in 1981with a Ph.D. in fisheries science, and after teaching at Texas A&M, he returned to Virginia Tech in 1999. Murphy is currently a professor of fisheries science in the Department of Fisheries and Wildlife Sciences, and director of the Conservation Management Institute.

James M. Dubinsky, an associate professor of English in the College of Liberal Arts and Human Sciences, is a leading voice in “strategies that engage students and prepare them to be more effective communicators and citizens.” Dubinsky successfully integrates service-learning and reflective practice to engage students as partners in a “two-way, collaborative campus-community” relationship. Dubinsky’s scholarship demonstrates that “service-learning helps students become more reflective, enables them to make practical and ethical judgments while acting for the public good and gives them opportunities to apply the key concepts, strategies, and skills they learn.”

Dubinsky is the author of a variety of scholarly publications that focus on the inclusion of service-learning and community partnerships as instructional strategies. Dubinsky is currently the director for Virginia Tech’s Center for Student Engagement and Community Partnerships.

Dubinsky joined the Department of English in 1998 and was the Director of the Department’s Professional Writing Program from 1999-08. In 2008, he became the director of the Center for Student Engagement and Community Partnerships.

  • To find out more about the Scholarship of Teaching and Learning Award or the Center for Excellence in Undergraduate Education contact Jonathan McCloud, faculty development fellow at (540) 231-7568.

Written by Peter Doolittle.