Industrial Design Assistant Professor Akshay Sharma has received the 2012 Alumni Award for Excellence in International Outreach. Sponsored by the Virginia Tech Alumni Association, the Alumni Award for Excellence in International Outreach is presented annually to a faculty or staff member who has had a significant impact on international outreach at Virginia Tech. Sharma’s international outreach work, Designing Empowerment, employs design as a powerful way to creatively address some of the most critical issues being faced by societies around the world, especially for those below the poverty level.
Industrial Design Professor Mitzi Vernon has received the university’s highest teaching honor, the 2012 William E. Wine Award. The William E. Wine Achievement Awards were established in 1957 by the Virginia Tech Alumni Association in memory of William E. Wine, Class of 1904, who was a former rector of the board of visitors and alumni association president, to honor faculty with “a history of university teaching excellence.”
Industrial Design Profs. Ron Kemnitzer and Ed Dorsa were part of an interdisciplinary team that received the University’s 2012 XCaliber Award for excellence as a group involved with technology-assisted teaching. Kemnitzer and Dorsa, along with Eloise Coupey, associate professor of marketing, Pamplin College of Business, Thomas Martin, associate professor of electrical and computer engineering, College of Engineering, and Lisa McNair, associate professor of engineering education, College of Engineering, received a grant from the National Science Foundation to establish the Interdisciplinary Product Development Studio, a team-based experience in pervasive computing, where smart devices blend seamlessly, both physically and cognitively, with the user’s environment.