Gary Long of Christiansburg, associate professor of chemistry in the College of Science at Virginia Tech, received Virginia Tech’s 2005 W.E. Wine Award for Excellence in Teaching.

Three Wine Awards for Excellence in Teaching are made possible by a gift from the Alumni Association that honors William E. Wine, a former rector of the board of visitors and Alumni Association president. Students, alumni, and faculty nominate possible recipients of the award. In each of the academic colleges, a Wine Award Committee composed of previous winners selects one or two candidates from those nominated. The names are sent to the Wine Award Committee for the entire university, which selects and recommends the three recipients.

Long's research is in the area of environmental analytical chemistry and chemical education. He said he got his fascination with science by watching the scientists fix every problem that came up with the Mercury, Gemini, and Apollo space programs. But some of the laboratory courses he took lacked the "joy of discovery" he had felt about the space program. When he came to Virginia Tech in 1983, he decided to restructure his courses so that lab experiences would be times of "discovery" for the students. He developed four courses and also made it his goal to get up-to-date equipment for the labs. Some of his doctoral students now teach at other universities.

He is developing hypermedia tutorials and aids for undergraduate Analytical Chemistry and mathematic tutorials for General Chemistry. During his term as project director of the Mobile Chemistry Laboratory, Long worked with more than 60 chemistry teachers at 42 high schools in Southwestern and Southside Virginia and inner-city Richmond. He and his team trained teachers and took the essential lab equipment to the schools, helping improve the scores in the chemistry Standards of Learning for those students. Also, much to his delight, he helped the teachers bring back the joy of learning in their chemistry classes. Long received a B.S. from Wake Forest and the Ph.D. from North Carolina State University. He did postdoctoral research at the University of Florida and was a Fulbright Research Scholar at the Weizmann Institute of Science. He has served as a program director for the National Science Foundation.

The College of Science at Virginia Tech gives students a comprehensive foundation in the scientific method. Outstanding faculty members teach courses and conduct research in biology, chemistry, economics, geosciences, mathematics, physics, psychology, and statistics. The college is dedicated to fostering a research intensive environment and offers programs in nano-scale and biological sciences, information theory and science, and supports research centers--in areas such as biomedical and public health sciences, and critical technology and applied science--that encompass other colleges at the university. The College of Science also houses programs in pre-medicine and scientific law.

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.


Share this story