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Past Winners of the Teacher of the Week

Rachel Scott

   

The Center for Instructional Development and Educational Research (CIDER) recognizes Rachel Scott, associate professor of Religion and Culture, for her outstanding teaching of a difficult and sensitive subject for many American students: Islam, both as a religion and as a culture.

After 9/11, Islamic Studies proliferated in the United States, but few native English speakers possess Rachel's knowledge of Arabic, the experience of living in an Arab nation, and the ability to convey the accomplishments and problems of the Islamic world to Tech undergraduates and grad students alike. Through clear expository presentations and probing questions, Rachel manages to convey facts and figures as well as help students think about what that material means—-to the world, and to the students as young men and women.

Religion and Culture nominated Rachel for a 2010 Certificate of Teaching Excellence through the College of Liberal Arts and Human Sciences. She did not win that award, but this has not deterred her in her continued striving after excellence. In addition, the award is especially difficult for many first-time nominees to achieve. She has helped refurbish the Religion and Culture departmental curriculum; an extraordinarily difficult task because the department has changed names twice in the past ten years, and new SCHEV guidelines have forced the department to construct an undergraduate major unlike almost any other at Tech. Furthermore, Rachel teaches with the new PhD ASPECT (Alliance of Social, Political, Ethical, and Cultural Thought) program, where she is currently in the process of formulating a proposal with Bettina Koch of Political Science and Nicole Ni of Religion and Culture to teach "Religion and Conflict." Her colleagues have observed her classes and found her an outstanding addition to Tech's faculty, in addition to admiring her hard work, and her students have written in favor even of her term-paper assignments (see above).

Homepage: http://www.rc.vt.edu/facstaff/Scott.html





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