Diana Bairaktarova, assistant professor of engineering education in the College of Engineering, and Deborah Good, associate professor of human nutrition, foods, and exercise in the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences, are the recipients of the 2018 Scholarship of Teaching and Learning Award.

The award is presented annually by Virginia Tech’s Center for Excellence in Teaching and Learning (CETL) to recognize faculty members who have dedicated themselves to the pursuit of scholarship addressing teaching and learning in higher education. All Virginia Tech instructional and research faculty members (full-time and part-time), and graduate students are eligible for nomination for the award.

Bairaktarova joined the Department of Engineering Education in the fall of 2015 as an assistant professor. Prior to coming to Virginia Tech, she served as an assistant professor of engineering practice at the University of Oklahoma's College of Engineering.

According to her biography, Bairaktarova is dedicated to educating engineering students for the professional world, where they will practice with a sense of social responsibility. She strives to provide a learning environment that engages students in challenging decision-making exercises and build competency in the subject and self-confidence to apply their knowledge in real-world settings.

Through real-world engineering applications, Bairaktarova’s experiential learning research spans from engineering to psychology to learning sciences, uncovering how individual performance and professional decisions are influenced by aptitudes, personal interests, and manipulation of physical and virtual objects.

Since arriving at Virginia Tech in 2006, Good has been invested in providing experiential learning opportunities to students. Experiential learning through undergraduate research is one of the high-impact practices that Good believes helps all students, and especially those from disadvantaged backgrounds, succeed.

Good also believes that one of the most important things faculty can give students is the ability to think critically and independently. She routinely uses current scientific literature in all of her courses and teaches students methods for critically evaluating content of both peer-reviewed and news articles.

Good’s research focuses on molecular and cellular science and the role of bHLH transcription factors in hypothalamic gene expression, especially in the regulation of body weight, exercise, and motivation.

Bairaktarova and Good will be recognized at the CETL’s Recognition of Teaching Excellence Reception on April 25 at The Inn at Virginia Tech and Skelton Conference Center. Each will receive a plaque commemorating the award and a $500 prize.

For more information on the Scholarship of Teaching and Learning Award and a list of past winners, visit the Center for Excellence in Teaching and Learning at www.cider.vt.edu.