Clare Dannenberg, Karl Precoda, and Peter Wallenstein received the 2005 Virginia Tech Diggs Teaching Scholars Awards.

Three Diggs Teaching Scholars are selected annually from among all instructional faculty at Virginia Tech to recognize exceptional contributions to the teaching program and learning environment. The program is sponsored by the Academy of Teaching Excellence; funding for the award is provided by the Diggs Endowed Professorships, the provost's office, and the Center for Excellence in Undergraduate Teaching.

Clare Dannenberg, of Blacksburg, is an assistant professor of English in the College of Liberal Arts and Human Sciences (CLAHS) at Virginia Tech, and specializes in linguistics, a highly technical subject that covers the dialects of people's spoken language. Dannenberg teaches, to faculty and students, Dialect Awareness and American Englishes. The program debunks myths about language use, structure, and history through hands-on experimentation with varieties of English, including African American Vernacular English, Appalachian English, and Native American Englishes. Such examination of dialects helps erase language-based discrimination. Dannenberg is a member of the American Dialect Society, the Appalachian Studies Association, and the Linguistic Society of America. She received a master's at North Carolina State and a doctorate at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.

Karl Precoda, of Blacksburg, a visiting assistant professor of humanities and interdisciplinary studies in the Department of Interdisciplinary Studies (IDST), teaches American Studies, Appalachian Studies, Humanities and the Arts, including Film and Popular Culture, Interdisciplinary Studies, and Religious Studies. Precoda received Virginia Tech's Certificate of Teaching Excellence from CLAHS, the IDST Commendation for Teaching Excellence, and the Residential Leadership Community Outstanding Faculty award. He is a member of the Association of Integrative Studies and the Appalachian Studies Association. He earned a B.A. at the University of California-Los Angeles, an M.A. from Humboldt State University, and a Ph.D. from the University of Virginia.

Peter Wallenstein, of Blacksburg, a professor of history in the CLAHS, sees teaching and research as vitally related to one another. He believes even first-year students should become familiar with what historians call primary sources and that undergraduate as well as graduate courses should stress, to some degree, original research--the creation of new knowledge. He has taught on the undergraduate and graduate levels, taking on new courses regularly. He has written seven books, including one about the history of Virginia Tech in the Marshall Hahn years.

Wallenstein earned his undergraduate degree from Columbia University and the Ph.D. from Johns Hopkins. He came to Virginia Tech in 1983 after teaching at a small private college in New York, a large public university in Canada, and a program at military bases in Northeast Asia with the University of Maryland. He is a life member of the Southern Historical Association and the Organization of American Historians. He has won the Scholar Award in History from the Virginia Social Science Association, the Sturm Award from Phi Beta Kappa at Virginia Tech, and various awards for individual publications.

The College of Liberal Arts and Human Sciences embraces the arts, humanities, social and human sciences, and education. The college nurtures intellect and spirit, enlightens decision-making, inspires positive change, and improves the quality of life for people of all ages. It is home to the departments of apparel, housing and resource management, communication, educational leadership and policy studies, English, foreign languages and literatures, history; human development, interdisciplinary studies, music, philosophy, political science, ROTC, science and technology in society, sociology, teaching and learning, and theatre arts.

Founded in 1872 as a land-grant college, Virginia Tech has grown to become among the largest universities in the Commonwealth of Virginia. Today, Virginia Tech's eight colleges are dedicated to putting knowledge to work through teaching, research, and outreach activities and to fulfilling its vision to be among the top research universities in the nation. At its 2,600-acre main campus located in Blacksburg and other campus centers in Northern Virginia, Southwest Virginia, Hampton Roads, Richmond, and Roanoke, Virginia Tech enrolls more than 28,000 full- and part-time undergraduate and graduate students from all 50 states and more than 100 countries in 180 academic degree programs.


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