Anne M. Brown, assistant professor in research and informatics in University Libraries and an adjunct professor in the Department of Biochemistry in the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences, and Elizabeth J. Grant, associate professor of architecture and design in the College of Architecture and Urban Studies, are the recipients of the 2019 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.

Brown joined Virginia Tech in the summer of 2016 as a data and informatics consultant in University Libraries. She currently holds positions as an adjunct faculty in the Department of Biochemistry and assistant professor, science informatics consultant, and health analytics coordinator for research and informatics in University Libraries.

Brown’s expertise in using high-performance computing for molecular dynamics simulations and virtual screening focuses on molecular mechanisms, protein structure-function relationships, and drug design. She is also involved in the training and mentorship of undergraduate research students in these areas and collaborates with faculty and students on the integration of computational thinking and discipline-specific computational tools into their research or classroom. In addition, Brown consults on and helps researchers with data analysis, data publishing, and data visualization.

Continually looking for ways to engage students in authentic, experiential work, Brown strives to enhance their skills in regards to workforce development, highlight and celebrate their achievements, and connect research experiences to the basic best practices in pedagogy. Going forward, Brown seeks to include broader implementation of these frameworks, determination of best delivery and assessment methods for these types of experiences, and work on university-wide programs to celebrate undergraduate research.

As an associate professor in the School of Architecture + Design and associate director for the Center for High Performance Environments, Grant’s pedagogical focus is on the intersection of building science and architecture. More specifically, concentrates on the means by which students become fluent and competent in designing building assemblies and systems while engaging wider disciplinary questions.

Grant’s design experience includes health care, civic, and educational work, and her ongoing research, teaching, and outreach interests focus on environmental design, the building envelope, and building systems integration. She values making and creating as the purest form of education and encourages students to engage in free exploration across multiple, fluid media, including hand and digital drawing, model building, photography, and writing. Grant also considers the research process to be an important component of architectural education, including both the study of precedents and the conducting of experiments.

Grant said she prefers to place students in control of their education and requires them to largely guide their own inquiry. They are held responsible for seeking out the knowledge they require in an organic, evolving process spurred by the development of their work. Through many hours of contact time with her students, Grant delivers content through lectures and seminars, but also acts as guide and critic, inspiring and encouraging them to produce and evaluate their own work in an iterative design process.

Brown and Grant were recognized at the CETL’s Recognition of Teaching Excellence Reception on April 24 at Jamerson Athletic Center. Each awardee will receive a plaque commemorating the award and a $500 prize.

The scholarship of teaching and learning involves the rigorous examination and investigation of higher education teaching and learning. It uses a research-based, scientific and scholarly lens to examine questions in higher education pedagogy, making the results public for examination and critique.

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 teaching.vt.edu.