Mitzi Vernon, associate professor of industrial design in the College of Architecture and Urban Studies at Virginia Tech, recently received the university's 2009 Edward S. Diggs Teaching Scholars Award.

Sponsored by the Virginia Tech Academy of Teaching Excellence, the Diggs Teaching Scholars Award was established in 1992 and is presented annually to three Virginia Tech faculty members to recognize exceptional contributions to the teaching program and learning environment. A cash award is given to each recipient and their academic department. Diggs Teaching Scholars are invited to lead the Diggs Roundtable -- a series of presentations and a discussion of their innovative teaching -- a year after receiving the award.

The award is supported by an endowed fund from an estate gift by the late Edward S. and Hattie Wilson Diggs. Mr. Diggs was a 1914 graduate of Virginia Tech.

Vernon joined the Virginia Tech faculty in 1995. She holds a master of science in engineering in product design from Stanford University and a master of architecture degree from Virginia Tech. Prior teaching experience includes the California College of Arts, the University of Southern California, and Arizona State University.

She has been recipient of several patents and grants (including three from the National Science Foundation) supporting her gender-equity research in using design to teach science to children. Vernon is the 2007 recipient of the Diversity Award from the College of Architecture and Urban Studies. She is a past president of the Faculty Senate and the current chair of the Committee on Faculty Ethics.

She has extensive experience with sponsored collaborative studio projects involving computer science, engineering, physics, industrial design, and architecture topics and students. She is a recipient of the 2008 Dell ReGeneration International Design Educator Awards.

The working title for her Diggs presentation is “The Thinking Notebook.”

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