BLACKSBURG, Va., May 13, 2010 – Patricia G. Amateis, associate professor and director of general chemistry in the College of Science at Virginia Tech, received the university's 2010 William E. Wine Award.
The William E. Wine Achievement Awards were established in 1957 by the Alumni Association in memory of William E. Wine of the Class of 1904, a former rector of the board of visitors and Alumni Association president. Following a college-level selection process of candidates nominated by students, faculty, and alumni, each college may put forth one nominee. Three faculty members are selected to receive this teaching award by a committee representing all eight colleges at the university. Each Wine Award winner receives $2,000 and automatic induction into the Academy of Teaching Excellence.
In winning the award, Amateis was cited for her development of the General Chemistry curriculum, including the lab program, recitation-lecture instruction, and the Chemistry Learning Center; and for her long track record of consistently superior course evaluations from students.
"Professor Amateis is the heart and soul of one of the largest and arguably most important educational programs on our campus – the General Chemistry program," said Joe Merola, professor and chair of the Department of Chemistry. "Each year, this program involves over 2,000 students each of the academic semesters, a number which has been growing over the last several years and now stands at around 2,500. Professor Amateis oversees all the graduate teaching assistants for the course and coordinates all of the lectures while being directly responsible for several of those lectures herself. She is also responsible for the large number of laboratory sections that accompany the lecture course. This is a huge task and Patricia's oversight of the program has made it a first class one."
"Patricia Amateis is a superb instructor — without a doubt one of the best I have ever seen — who conveys the subject of chemistry to her students with admirable clarity," added T. Daniel Crawford, professor of chemistry. "We are extremely fortunate to have her on our faculty"
In addition to serving as director of General Chemistry, Amateis also conducts freshman orientation for the department. She has written a comprehensive laboratory manual published by Hayden-McNeil which provides students with a high quality lab manual/notebook.
Amateis has served on numerous committees including Pre-Med/Dent Interview, Faculty Climate Panel, Common Book, and Academic Support. She has taught in the Academic Summer Program Introducing Resources for Engineers (ASPIRE)/Student Transition Engineering Program (STEP) summer program.
In addition to this year's Wine Award, Amateis received the university's Sporn Award for Excellence in Teaching Introductory Subjects in 1994. She received the Alumni Award for Teaching Excellence in 2002 and was a finalist in the Diggs Teaching Scholar Program in 2000. Amateis was a recipient of the Student Alumni Associates Students' Choice Award in 2004 and 2005, and she was named an Office of Residence Life Student Program Divisions Favorite Faculty in 2006, 2007, and 2009.
Amateis received her bachelor's degree from Concord College and a Ph.D. from Virginia Tech.