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James Dustin receives 2011 President's Award for Excellence


James Dustin James Dustin

BLACKSBURG, Va., April 29, 2011 – James Dustin, operations coordinator for the Innovation Space in Learning Technologies at Virginia Tech, received the university's 2011 President's Award for Excellence.

The President's Award for Excellence is presented annually to up to five Virginia Tech staff employees who have made extraordinary contributions by consistent excellence in the performance of their job or a single incident, contribution, or heroic act. Each recipient is awarded a $2,000 cash prize.

Dustin came to Virginia Tech in 1995 as an undergraduate student and has remained since. He oversees the day to day operations of the InnovationSpace, a multimedia computer lab open to Virginia Tech students, faculty, and staff and the general public with the mission of providing assistance through free and open access to software, hardware, and specially trained staff. Last year, more than 17,000 people utilized the InnovationSpace located in Torgersen Hall.

“James’ unwavering dedication to outstanding customer service, innovative problem solving, seeing a vision to completion, and service far beyond the call of duty characterize his work,” said Jennifer Sparrow, director of emerging technologies and new ventures in Learning Technologies. “He will often work far beyond his regular schedule to complete projects or to limit the impact of his projects on the daily operations of the InnovationSpace.”

One recent project Dustin led was the development and delivery of SpaceCamp, a series of workshops created and organized by students to help other students learn skills and software for using digital media.

He also supports the operations of the Faculty Development Institute and Learning Technologies. Sparrow noted that he goes out of his way to ensure that the lab and classroom are in outstanding condition for all who use them.

“He approaches all that he does with a great sense of humor, patience, and a commitment to excellence,” Sparrow said. “His work is truly exemplary.”

Dedicated to its motto, Ut Prosim (That I May Serve), Virginia Tech takes a hands-on, engaging approach to education, preparing scholars to be leaders in their fields and communities. As the commonwealth’s most comprehensive university and its leading research institution, Virginia Tech offers 240 undergraduate and graduate degree programs to more than 31,000 students and manages a research portfolio of $513 million. The university fulfills its land-grant mission of transforming knowledge to practice through technological leadership and by fueling economic growth and job creation locally, regionally, and across Virginia.