Emily Satterwhite, an associate professor in the Department of Religion and Culture, and Rebecca Hester, an associate professor in the Department of Science, Technology, and Society, both in the College of Liberal Arts and Human Sciences, have received the university’s 2018 Diggs Teaching Scholar Award.

Sponsored by the Center for Excellence in Teaching and Learning, the Diggs Teaching Scholars Award was established in 1992 and is presented annually to up to three Virginia Tech faculty members to recognize exceptional contributions to the teaching program and learning environment. Diggs Teaching Scholars are invited to lead the Diggs Roundtable, a series of presentations and a discussion of their innovative teaching.

Satterwhite and Hester were awarded a New Program Development Grant by the Global Education Office in 2015. They traveled together to the Dominican Republic in order to explore study abroad options. In addition, they received the Curriculum Globalization Grant to develop a course, Societal Health in Local and Global Contexts. Satterwhite and Hester have challenged students to consider how health and well-being are influenced by cultural norms, social structures and hierarchies, and inequity and injustice in the United States and Latin America.

“Hester and Satterwhite’s proposal to incorporate biosocial theory as a unifying lens has the potential to transform the way that our students prepare to confront contemporary health challenges in the U.S. and globally,” wrote Brian Britt, professor and chair of the Department of Religious and Culture, and Daniel Breslau, associate professor and chair of the Department of Science, Technology, and Society, in a letter of nomination. “The project will actively reach across disciplines and colleges, to build a university-wide culture that treats issues of health as inseparable from questions of inclusion and social justice. While its relevance for students planning to pursue careers in the health professions is clear, the approach, when integrated in curricula, will help empower all students to approach health as an issue for civic engagement.”

Satterwhite is affiliated with ASPECT, the Alliance for Social, Political, Ethical, and Cultural Thought, also in the College of Liberal Arts and Human Sciences. She has won both a Certificate of Teaching Excellence in 2012 and a Teacher Recognition Award selected by the Steger Poetry Prize winner in 2009.

Hester is also affiliated with ASPECT. Her research and teaching focus on the politics of health, biomedicine, and the body.

Written by Lindsey Grooms, a public relations major and member of the Class of 2019