Eight Virginia Tech faculty members were selected as 2015 Pathways Faculty Scholars, a role that was initiated last year and remains a vital part of the university's initiative to reinvent its general education curriculum.

The 2015 Pathways Faculty Scholars are:

  • A. Ozzie Abaye, professor of crop soil and environmental science in the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences
  • Tim Baird, assistant professor of geography in the College of Natural Resources and Environment
  • Susan Clark, associate professor of horticulture in the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences
  • Jason Crafton, assistant professor of music in the School of Performing Arts in the College of Liberal Arts and Human Sciences
  • Jeannine Eddleton, advanced instructor of chemistry in the College of Science
  • Matt Eick, professor of crop soil and environmental science in the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences
  • Lisa McNair, associate professor of engineering education in the College of Engineering
  • Bob Oliver, assistant professor of geography in the College of Natural Resources and Environment

Over a two-year term, the scholars will be charged with designing and implementing pilot courses to meet the upcoming Pathways to General Education curriculum requirements. Some will redesign existing courses, while others will create entirely new courses.

“The Pathways to General Education team selected scholars based on their goals for the position, their content areas, and their reputation for prior teaching innovation and excellence,” said Stephen Biscotte, coordinator for General Education.

The eight faculty members that served as the first set of Pathways Scholars this past year will now position themselves as mentors and co-creators with the new set of scholars. The faculty groups may work together on the creation of pilot courses.

“During selection, consideration was given to building cohorts of scholars from across campus,” added Jill Sible, assistant provost for undergraduate education. “The 2015 Pathways Scholars nicely complement the fields of expertise of the inaugural 2014 cohort.”

“Combined with last year's cohort, the Pathways Scholars represent a diverse set of backgrounds, experience, and interests in crafting truly exciting and active courses,” said Biscotte.

Both sets of scholars will meet with the Office of Undergraduate Education team and provide feedback and guidance during their term regarding the newly approved general education curriculum and the development of its implementation plan. Beyond financial support for the pilot course, scholars will receive access to faculty and course development opportunities both on and off campus.

“The Pathways Scholars are willing to take on the challenges of curricular reform,” Rachel Holloway, vice provost for undergraduate academic affairs, said. “We just provide the support for innovation and collaboration to overcome those challenges.”

Pathways to General Education is on track to replace the current Curriculum for Liberal Education, with anticipated implementation to begin for students entering in 2017.