John Burton, professor of learning sciences and technology in the School of Education in the College of Liberal Arts and Human Sciences at Virginia Tech, received the university's 2010 Alumni Award for Excellence in International Outreach.

Sponsored by the Virginia Tech Alumni Association, the Alumni Award for Excellence in International Outreach is presented annually to a faculty or staff member who has had a significant impact on international outreach at Virginia Tech. Selection is based on contributions to the internationalization of Virginia Tech, global impact, significance of the project, and sustainability of the project. Recipients are awarded $2,000.

Burton received the award in recognition of his contributions to international education and outreach activities that have involved Virginia Tech's School of Education beyond the borders of the United States. He established the Instructional Systems Development Program, a much sought after program by international students, with graduates hailing from China, South Korea, Australia, Japan, Canada, Egypt, Malawi, South Africa, Mexico, and Brazil.

Burton is also the co-founder of Center for Research and Development in International Education, a center that has actively worked to develop the educational infrastructure in many countries, particularly on the African continent. In 2001 a team headed by Burton was awarded a U.S. Agency for International Development project in Malawi to develop instruction technology skills of host country educators. The project led to recognition for Virginia Tech as a leader in the area of distance education for Africa.

In addition to his focus on Africa, Burton has also supported initiatives in Central Asia. He established the Office of Research and Outreach for the School of Education, encouraging other faculty to become involved in international outreach activities.

Burton, who has served the university for 32 years, says he is interested in building human capacity with a particular emphasis on developing distance learning capabilities to reach large numbers of students in the most efficient and effective manner. He is considered an expert in this area and has attracted inquiries from colleagues around the world seeking his collaboration on the use of technology in the teaching and learning process.

Burton is commended by his peers for his advancement of the internationalization of Virginia Tech in compelling and sustainable ways, and for his capacity to build trust that forms the bedrock for successful partnerships.

A member of the Virginia Tech community since 1977, Burton’s teaching and research focuses on instructional technology, including research versus evaluation and hypermedia. He received his bachelor’s degree from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, a master’s degree from Illinois State University, and a Ph.D. from the University of Nebraska.

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