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Past Winners of the Teacher of the Week

Elizabeth Grant


The Center for Instructional Development and Educational Research (CIDER) recognizes Elizabeth Grant, assistant professor of Architecture + Design, for her commitment to teaching in a way that focuses on integrating building performance with architectural design.

Elizabeth Grant teaches a range of undergraduate courses in architecture, including design laboratories and a lecture course in Environmental Building Systems. Through these courses, she helps students understand and integrate design and building science concepts in their work in the design laboratory. Along with her colleague Mario Cortes, she has introduced third-year students to state and regional practitioners through their participation in the Virginia Educational Facility Planners Student Design Competition for five years. In this competition program, students benefit from the mentorship of practicing architects and from site visits to schools designed by these architects.

Dr. Grant has also involved the students in design interventions for the Town of Pulaski, which led to a public exhibition of their work in April 2014. Additionally, she teaches a graduate Environmental Design Research class and has served on numerous graduate student committees in Architecture, Landscape Architecture, and Interior Design. She has also served as an advisor to students in other disciplines who are interested in her expertise with vegetated roof systems.

Dr. Grant participated in the New Faculty/Early Career Teaching Certificate program offered by CIDER in Spring 2014. During a course observation undertaken during this program, a peer made the following comments after attending Grant’s required lecture course in Environmental Building Systems, “The class was professional, engaging, lively, and delivered with mastery….I was highly impressed with the professional delivery of the lesson and with the excellent lesson design that included student participation, personal engagement, application of theoretical knowledge to real-world problems, and demonstration of intelligent and inspiring solutions to encourage students to develop their own.”

A student in this lecture class commented on a SPOT evaluation, “She was super excited about what she was talking about and genuine about her thoughts about each topic…she made the class entertaining with new interactive activities that keep you pumped for the class.” Regarding her teaching in the design laboratory, one of Grant’s third-year students commented that she “provided in-depth projects to enable self-discovery and development in both design and representational skills” and a fifth-year thesis student wrote on a Thank-a-Teacher letter that she “guided me through thesis and challenged me to work harder than I ever have before. All the support [she] gave me through third year studio, Europe travel and most importantly thesis, helped me to get to where I am today [sic].”

Her authentic interactions with graduate students led to the following observation on a Thank-a-Teacher letter, “She gives students the ability to show their talents, gain experience, and become successful….I appreciate her ability to trust and teach her students.”

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Teacher of the Week

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A list of the past winners is available.