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Past Winners of the Teacher of the Week

Eric Wiseman


The Center for Instructional Development and Educational Research (CIDER) recognizes Eric Wiseman, associate professor of Forest Resources and Environmental Conservation, for improving education for Virginia Tech students by developing specialized, engaging, and authentic curriculum for first-year, undergraduate, and graduate students in Urban Forestry.

Dr. Wiseman teaches NR 1114 First-Year Experience in Natural Resources and Environment, FOR 2254 Aboriculture Field Skills, FOR 3354 Urban Forestry and Aboriculture, FOR 3454 Urban Forestry Field Study, and FOR 4454/5454G Urban Forest Management and Policy. He firmly professes the importance of science-based solutions to modern forestry problems. Dr. Wiseman effectively engages students in authentic learning activities that are appropriate to their individual levels of preparation. He is known for fair, rigorous, consistent, and challenging assignments in all his teaching, and demonstrates a contagious passion for his subject area.

Dr. Wiseman has been instrumental in contributing to campus sustainability through VT designation as Tree Campus USA. In addition, he has been honored with the 2012 Early-Career Scientist Award from the International Society of Arboriculture, the 2009 Forestry Merit Award from the New River – Highlands Resource Conservation and Development Council, and an Award of Merit in 2008 from the Mid-Atlantic Chapter of the International Society of Aboriculture. Dr. Wiseman also serves as coordinator for the Virginia Big Tree Program.

Dr. Wiseman’s students and colleagues have commented on his teaching: "Dr. Wiseman's passion for teaching is incredible and his emphasis on experiential learning is contagious. He actively engages his students in a variety of ‘hands-on and boots on the ground’ activities so that they see the linkages between the theory and practical applications. (Janaki Alavalapati, Department Head).

Another colleague noted, "Eric is a wonderful teacher! He's able to successfully mix the seriousness of the class requirements with a quiet gentleness that is very approachable for the students. He also allows his passion for his work to show through during his lessons. I participated with him in a lesson about the discussion of where to put the new indoor football practice facility. In that lecture, his love for his work in urban forestry and the Stadium Woods patch of trees, as well as the Virginia Tech community and Hokie football was apparent. His desire to do good, conscientious work with an end-goal of benefitting the entire community was of utmost importance. He takes his job seriously, is very dedicated to his field and his students, and he is also able to have fun while doing it.”

One of Dr. Wiseman’s students who collaborated with him in teaching explained, “Having worked with him on CNRE's First Year Experience course, I can attest to the fact that Eric is well-organized, engaged, honest, hardworking . . . and just a pleasure to work with” (Kim Cowgill, PhD Candidate).


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