Dean Stauffer, professor in the Department of Fish and Wildlife Conservation in the College of Natural Resources and Environment, has received the university’s 2017 William E. Wine Award.
The William E. Wine 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. From this group, three faculty members are selected annually. Each Wine Award winner receives $2,000 and automatic induction into the Academy of Teaching Excellence.
Stauffer has been with Virginia Tech for 33 years and in his time has developed four undergraduate and two graduate courses, mentored 19 master’s and nine Ph.D. students, as well as served on 74 master’s and 33 Ph.D. advisory committees.
A founding member of the College and University Working Group of the Wildlife Society, Stauffer is now the chair-elect. From 1990 to 2005, Stauffer taught 26 one-week workshops on Habitat Evaluation Procedures across the nation, including a two-week workshop in Kenya.
“Dean was conscious of the full spectrum of ‘student engagement’ within his courses, which varied both among students and across the course content. His teaching and facilitation drew students from across these spectra into the discussion. Dean’s enthusiasm for teaching, for his students, and for the actual subject matter was always remarkable.” wrote Peter N. Laver, Claude Leon Postdoctoral Fellow at the University of Cape Town, South Africa, in a letter of nomination.
Stauffer explains that the foundation of his teaching philosophy is remembering that “each student is an individual of great worth, each with their own story, and deserving of my respect and best effort.” As such, he provides opportunities for students to give regular feedback throughout his course in order to assist in the continuous improvement of his curriculum.
Stauffer received the 2016 Outstanding Advisor award in the College of Natural Resources and Environment, and was the first recipient in the new College of Forestry and Wildlife of the Certificate of Teaching Excellence in 1994.