A.L. (Tom) Hammett, professor of wood science and forest products in the College of Natural Resources at Virginia Tech, received the university's 2010 Alumni Award for Excellence in International Education.
Sponsored by the Virginia Tech Alumni Association, the Alumni Award for Excellence in International Education is presented annually to a Virginia Tech faculty or staff member who has had a significant impact on international education at the university. Selection is based upon contributions to the internationalization of Virginia Tech, the impact on students, the impact on the campus and community, the significance of the initiative, and the sustainability of the initiative. Awardees receive $2,000.
Hammett received the award in recognition of his diligence and energy in leading many efforts to internationalize the Virginia Tech campus. He has served as coordinator of international programs for the College of Natural Resources, during which time he greatly increased the number of education abroad opportunities and included students from the Northern Virginia and Richmond campuses.
Over the past 10 years, Hammett introduced new and popular overseas courses in a variety of locations, such as Nicaragua, New Zealand, India, Panama, Australia, Fiji, and Antarctica. He has also taught courses in countries such as Cuba, Belize, and the Dominican Republic. He has also recruited and mentored other faculty to lead courses abroad.
His dedication to developing international programs includes sustainability components that have impacts far beyond the classroom.
Hammett has hosted and organized training on campus for educators from Albania, Nepal, and India, and was presented a Scholar in Excellence award by the European Union. He was named director of the Memorial Center of Excellence at the Institute of Forestry in Nepal, a U.S. Agency for International Development-funded project that honors 24 natural resource conservationists killed in a 2006 helicopter crash. Hammett's colleagues speak of his integrity, enthusiasm, and tireless personal effort with which he does his work. They describe him as an individual who can bridge the academic and real worlds while taking the notion of education well beyond traditional settings and students.
Hammett received his bachelor's degree from the University of New Hampshire and a master’s degree and Ph.D. from the University of Georgia.