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Scoggins recognized for teaching excellence in the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences


BLACKSBURG, Va., May 22, 2007 – Holly Scoggins of Blacksburg, Va. was awarded the 2007 Certificate of Teaching Excellence from the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences at Virginia Tech.

Scoggins, an associate professor of horticulture, uses a combination of enthusiasm, a complete learning experience, new technologies, and traditional settings, along with a love for learning, to engage and inspire her students.

Scoggins teaches six horticulture classes each year, including Herbaceous Landscape Plants, Public Gardens Maintenance and Management, and Greenhouse Management. But according to her peers and students, her teaching and passion for horticulture go far beyond the time spent in class.

“In the classes that she teaches, in her expert administration of our outdoor teaching lab, and in her unselfish desire to do what is best for our students, she has distinguished herself in the eyes of our students and her peers as an invaluable member of our teaching team,” said Robert McDuffie, a landscape architect and associate professor of horticulture. “Without her, things really would be quite different.”

Outside of the classroom, Scoggins has served as a faculty advisor for several student organizations, including Pi Alpha Xi, Horticulture Club, and PLANET (Professional Landscaping Network). As an advisor of Horticulture Club, she has helped students plan and organize a highly successful fall bulb sale. “When our students are involved in extracurricular activities, you will usually find Holly there,” said Jerzy Nowak, professor and head of the Department of Horticulture.

Scoggins has received the G. Burke Johnston Teaching Award and the National Association of College Teachers of Agriculture Teaching Award of Merit. She was instrumental in the development of an undergraduate recruitment brochure that was used as a prototype for other departments. She has also helped to implement the new online Masters in Agriculture and Life Sciences degree program.

“What sets Professor Scoggins apart is her dedication to the students and the ways in which she is fully immersed in her field and in the university,” said Jeff Burr, a recent horticulture graduate. “She is a teacher, advisor, researcher, author, director, and worker in the Virginia Tech Horticulture Gardens. I have been inspired, motivated, satisfied, and seen a passionate example of what majoring in horticulture is all about.”

About the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences

Nationally ranked among the top research institutions of its kind, Virginia Tech’s College of Agriculture and Life Sciences focuses on the science and business of living systems through learning, discovery, and engagement. The college’s comprehensive curriculum gives more than 2,200 students in a dozen academic departments a balanced education that ranges from food and fiber production to economics to human health. Students learn from the world’s leading agricultural scientists, who bring the latest science and technology into the classroom.