Elizabeth Struthers Malbon, professor of religion and culture in the College of Liberal Arts and Human Sciences at Virginia Tech, has received the university's 2014 William E. Wine Award.
The William E. Wine Achievement Award was established in 1957 by the Virginia Tech Alumni Association in memory of William E. Wine, Class of 1904, who was a former rector of the board of visitors and alumni association president. Following a college-level selection process of candidates nominated by students, faculty, and alumni, each college may put forth one nominee. Three faculty members are selected annually to receive this award by a committee representing all eight colleges at the university. Each Wine Award winner receives $2,000 and automatic induction into the Academy of Teaching Excellence.
Malbon has taught 22 different courses since joining the Virginia Tech community in 1980. Her teaching focuses on early Christian literature, with classes on the New Testament as a whole, Jesus and the Gospels, and Paul and his Interpreters.
“Her entire career has reflected her commitment to successful and creative student-centered learning,” wrote Michael Saffle and Brian Britt, professors of religion and culture at Virginia Tech in their letter of nomination. “She has worked hard to make teaching seem easy, and her students are encouraged both to engage with complex material and to evaluate it for themselves because her goals are clear and her teaching is skillfully conceived and enthusiastically implemented.”
Malbon consistently receives among the highest student evaluations in her department, including her New Testament course, which has enrolled as many as 120 students.
“The academic study of religion, especially of the New Testament ... presents unique challenges to which Elizabeth has always responded creatively and resourcefully,” wrote Saffle and Britt. “She brings both passion and precision to every pedagogical encounter in the academic field of religious studies.”
“Dr. Malbon gains the respect of her students not by force or fear but through relating to them,” wrote Morgan Coyner, a senior majoring in religion and culture at Virginia Tech. “She uses anecdotes from her own life in order to get certain points across. This is why so many of her students remember concepts from her classes long after the class ends.”
Malbon was instrumental in the creation of Virginia Tech’s new undergraduate degree in religion and culture that was launched in 2013.
Malbon is nationally and internationally known for her literary studies of the Gospel of Mark. She is the author of five books and has edited or co-edited five additional books. In addition, Malbon has written 23 journal articles, 16 book chapters, and 29 dictionary or encyclopedia entries.
She is an active member of the Society of Biblical Literature, serving as regional president, member of the national program committee and nominating committee, and chair or co-chair of two national program units and steering committee member of two others. She is an elected member of the international Studiorum Novi Testamenti Societas (Society for New Testament Study).
Malbon received her bachelor’s degree, master’s degree, and Ph.D. from Florida State University.
Dedicated to its motto, Ut Prosim (That I May Serve), Virginia Tech takes a hands-on, engaging approach to education, preparing scholars to be leaders in their fields and communities. As the commonwealth’s most comprehensive university and its leading research institution, Virginia Tech offers 240 undergraduate and graduate degree programs to more than 31,000 students and manages a research portfolio of $513 million. The university fulfills its land-grant mission of transforming knowledge to practice through technological leadership and by fueling economic growth and job creation locally, regionally, and across Virginia.