Gary Downey honored with emeritus status
December 14, 2022
Gary Downey, Alumni Distinguished Professor of Science, Technology, and Society in the College of Liberal Arts and Human Sciences at Virginia Tech, has been conferred the title of Alumni Distinguished Professor Emeritus by the Virginia Tech Board of Visitors.
The emeritus title may be conferred on retired professors, associate professors, and administrative officers who are specially recommended to the board by Virginia Tech President Tim Sands in recognition of exemplary service to the university. Nominated individuals who are approved by the board receive a copy of the resolution and a certificate of appreciation.
A member of the Virginia Tech community since 1983, Downey has an international reputation as an innovator and leader in the field of science and technology studies for his scholarship, pedagogy, and mentorship. He co-founded the sub-discipline of engineering studies and the Making and Doing movement in the field, and he was elected president of the Society for the Social Studies of Science in 2012.
Throughout his career, Downey has published five books, 55 peer-reviewed articles and chapters, and has given more than 150 presentations, including numerous keynote addresses. In the classroom, he taught a wide variety of undergraduate and graduate courses including the long-standing and highly successful Engineering Cultures curriculum. He chaired 18 Ph.D. student committees and 31 master’s degree student committees, and he has served on 42 additional graduate student committees, helping all these students to establish successful academic and non- academic careers.
In 2011, Downey received Virginia’s Outstanding Faculty Award, the commonwealth’s highest honor for faculty. He is a fellow of the American Anthropological Association and received the American Society for Engineering Education’s Sterling Omsted Award, recognizing “distinguished contributions to liberal education in engineering education.”
At Virginia Tech, he received the William E. Wine Award in 2004 for career excellence in teaching. He also received the XCaliber Award for Excellence in Teaching with Technology, the Graduate School award for best dissertation advisor, and the Edward S. Diggs Teaching Scholars Award for innovative scholarship in teaching.
Downey received two bachelor’s degrees from Lehigh University and a master’s degree and Ph.D. from the University of Chicago.