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Diggs Teaching Scholar Awards & Call for Nominations

Nomination Deadline

Applications are due by January 26, 2024
Please email your nomination packet to Brandy Faulkner, President, Diggs Scholar Association.

The Diggs Teaching Scholar Association invites nominations for the Diggs Teaching Scholar Award. Sponsors of this program are the Diggs Endowed Professorship Fund and the Center for Excellence in Teaching and Learning. Established in 1992, the Diggs Teaching Scholar Award highlights and recognizes excellent teachers who model innovative pedagogical practices that advance, challenge, and/or unsettle existing conventions of teaching and learning, with emphasis on critical and inclusive pedagogy. Up to three Diggs Teaching Scholars may be selected annually and are expected to:

  • Share in leading the Diggs Teaching Roundtable during fall semester. The Roundtable is a public event where the new Diggs Teaching Scholars present their innovative teaching practices and facilitate broader discussion of educational issues at Virginia Tech.
  • Actively share their Teaching Enhancement Project with others at Virginia Tech during the first year of their award.
  • Maintain sustained engagement with the community comprised of Diggs Teaching Scholars and participate actively in leadership for at least three years.

Eligibility Requirements

  • The award is open to Virginia Tech instructors at all levels (i.e., named and full professors, associate and assistant professors, collegiate faculty, adjunct faculty, instructors, and graduate teaching assistants). Self-nominations are allowed.
  • We welcome all nominations, however we will prioritize nominations for teaching enhancement projects that align with critical and inclusive pedagogy in all fields at Virginia Tech. This includes teaching enhancement projects that involve socially engaged pedagogy, civic engagement and social justice.
  • For teaching enhancement proposals that focus on critical and inclusive pedagogy, we welcome nominations for individuals or teams of up to 4 people.
  • Nominees should stand out for their contributions as excellent teachers who model forward-looking pedagogical strategies that not only enhance the quality of undergraduate education in their departments, but (potentially) contribute to positioning Virginia Tech as a national leader in higher education instruction.
  • Nominees should indicate a commitment to carrying forward their teaching enhancement project and engagement within the Diggs Teaching Scholar Association for at least three years.


The nomination packet consists of the following:

  1. The committee will review only these materials; submission of an extensive dossier is expressly discouraged. A letter of nomination (up to two single-spaced pages) from someone who is familiar with the nominee's teaching (e.g. a department head, program chair, colleague, etc.). The letter should: 1) provide a description of the nominee's/team’s qualifications and contributions, including any innovative accomplishments, assignments, teaching awards or recognition; 2) include a brief description of the nominee's/team’s teaching experience; 3) describe the nominee’s/team’s impact on teaching at Virginia Tech; and 4) comment on the broader applicability of the nominee’s/team’s teaching enhancement project to the Virginia Tech community, with emphasis on critical and inclusive pedagogy. The nomination letter may also include comments from colleagues or students. 
  2. A Teaching Innovation Statement from the nominee/team (no more than one single-spaced page for either the individual or combined team). The statement should briefly outline and provide examples of the nominee’s philosophy of teaching and learning as it applies to specific pedagogical strategies. These strategies should advance, challenge, and/or unsettle past and present instructional conventions.
  3. Teaching Enhancement Project Proposal (up to two single-spaced pages) from the nominee. The Teaching Enhancement Project is any innovative teaching-related activity, method, or pedagogy developed by the nominee that would be useful in promoting both direct practices and imagined possibilities for teaching and learning to the broader Virginia Tech community. When describing the project, the nominee should also address the applicability of the project to instructors teaching in different fields and/or learning environments. Nominees should also include their plans for sharing it with the Virginia Tech community. Preference will be given to nominations for teaching enhancement proposals that align with critical and inclusive pedagogy in all fields at Virginia Tech. This includes teaching enhancement projects that involve socially engaged pedagogy, civic engagement and social justice.
  4. Program Budget (up to one single-spaced page) outlining expenditures of up to $500 from the Diggs grant to support dissemination of the Teaching Enhancement Project (e.g. program development; support for creation and dissemination of the Project; student support, etc.). If awarded as a team, funds are to be divided among the team.

Review Criteria

Nomination packets will be reviewed based on:

  • The nominee’s commitment and contributions to the teaching and learning enterprise at Virginia Tech, and their potential to carry this forward for three years as a member of the Diggs Teaching Scholar Association, as reflected in the submitted materials.
  • The nominee’s past, present, and potential future contributions to innovative pedagogical practices as described in their Teaching Innovation Statement and Teaching Enhancement Project Proposal.
  • The overall adaptability of the proposed Teaching Enhancement Project to the broader Virginia Tech community and alignment with critical and inclusive pedagogy in all fields at Virginia Tech.


Winners will receive a $1000 award and up to $500 to support the Teaching Enhancement project and dissemination. If awarded as a team, funds are to be divided among the team.