The Department of Apparel, Housing, and Resource Management has received a 2017 Exemplary Department Award from Virginia Tech. The department was one of three across the university to be recognized for effectively engaging students in hands-on, minds-on instructional environments.

The Department of Apparel, Housing, and Resource Management creates and extends knowledge in the fields of consumer studiesfamily and consumer sciencesfashion merchandising and designproperty management, and residential environments and design.

“Our majors combine deep exploration of their respective fields with a broad understanding of the content from various perspectives, including the sciences, design, humanities, social sciences, and quantitative and computational thinking,” said Julia Beamish, head of the department. “This approach has proved successful again and again in both our program rankings and the remarkable success of our students and alumni.”

The Department of Apparel, Housing, and Resource Management has long held a national reputation for excellence. USA Today has named the program first in the country for the past several years.

The department’s requirement for active learning — including internships, undergraduate research and independent studies, and national and international study tours — highlights its commitment to hands-on, minds-on learning for its students, Beamish added.

The department will share the $40,000 award with the other two winners — the Department of Geosciences in the College of Science and the Department of Sustainable Biomaterials in the College of Natural Resources and Environment. A recognition ceremony will be held February 8 at The Inn at Virginia Tech.

Presented annually since 1994, the University Exemplary Department or Program Award was developed as a part of Virginia Tech’s Faculty Rewards Project, which sought to clarify the expectations of faculty and define appropriate rewards for their accomplishments. The annual awards program is supported by the Office of the Provost and facilitated by the university’s Center for Excellence in Teaching and Learning.

The Department of Apparel, Housing, and Resource Management received recognition as an exemplary department in 2007 as well, for its innovative and effective approaches to advising students.