Robert P. Stephens, associate professor of history at Virginia Tech, has been named associate dean for undergraduate academic affairs in the university's College of Liberal Arts and Human Sciences. 

Stephens replaces Rachel Holloway, who was recently named vice provost for undergraduate academic affairs at Virginia Tech.

"Rob Stephens brings a strong background in undergraduate education and a deep commitment to student success," said Sue Ott Rowlands, dean of the college.

Stephens, who won the Edward S. Diggs Teaching Scholar Award in 2010, routinely earns praise from his students for his knowledge, enthusiasm, and commitment to helping them develop the critical reading and writing skills.

“I look forward to my new role in the College of Liberal Arts and Human Sciences and to helping our exceptional faculty provide a transformative education for our undergraduates,” Stephens said.

Stephens’ teaching acumen has also been recognized with both a Certificate of Teaching Excellence and an XCaliber Award for Excellence in Technology Assisted Teaching and Learning. He was among a team of faculty who created modules for the Digital History Reader, a multi-year project funded by the National Endowment for the Humanities that emphasized hands-on opportunities to learn history.

In 2011, Stephens and his wife Heather Gumbert were named the first faculty principals of the Honors Residential College. In that position, he has been responsible for setting the vision for the intellectual climate of the residential college by facilitating lectures, social activities, and educational programs to bring faculty and representatives from across the university and wider world into the residential college while building a strong sense of community among residents.

A member of the Virginia Tech community since 2001, Stephens' research focuses on the history of drugs, the history of film, and digital history. In addition to his appointment the Department of History, he serves as affiliated faculty with the Alliance for Social, Political, Ethical, and Cultural Thought and the program in Cinema Studies. He is the founding editor of the Virginia Tech Undergraduate Historical Review.

Previously, Stephens taught at the University of Texas at Austin, where he received a doctoral degree in modern European history. He received his bachelor’s degree from the University of North Texas.