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Past Winners of the Teacher of the Week

George Simmons


The Center for Instructional Development and Educational Research (CIDER) recognizes George Simmons, Alumni Distinguished Professor Emeritus of Biological Sciences, for his caring and empowering approach to teaching first-year students.

Dr. Simmons began his teaching career on the Virginia Tech in 1971, and has taught Freshman Biology to non-science majors for over 30 years. In addition, Dr. Simmons has also taught Limnology, Aquatic Ecology, Marine Biology, and Freshman Seminar. Dr. Simmons pays special attention to the needs of his freshman students in his courses by including more than the transmission of the material. He also works to strengthen the temperament and skills they will need to succeed at the college level. He encourages and inspires.

Although Dr. Simmons has won numerous teaching awards, including the Sporn Award (1979), perhaps the best evidence of his contribution as an excellent teacher comes from the students themselves:

“Professor Simmons, I wanted to thank you so much for all the help you have provided me with my first semester here at Virginia Tech. You expanded my hunger for knowledge and you truly helped me get involved in the Virginia Tech community. Thank you so much for everything you have done for me.”

“Thank you so much for your enthusiasm for biology and teaching. You genuinely inspire students to work hard and love science. I personally requested your class for this semester for the second part of Principles of Biology. It is very encouraging to enter a classroom where the professor enjoys teaching as much as I love learning. You engage the audience which guarantees that we stay alert and interested in the lectures. Thank you for all that you do, it is truly appreciated!”

“Dr. Simmons, Thank you for making my freshman year Biology experience great. As a rising junior, Biology 1105 and 1106 still remain my favorite courses because of your outstanding teaching capabilities.”

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Teacher of the Week

The goal of the Teacher of the Week program is to recognize effective, engaged, and dynamic teachers. Please consider nominating a teacher; the process is clear and concise (no dossiers; see nomination page).

View Past Winners

A list of the past winners is available.