Edgar Virguez, a PhD candidate in Environment, was recently honored with the K. Patricia Cross Future Leaders Award from the Association of American Colleges and Universities (AAC&U). He is the first Bass Digital Education Fellow with Learning Innovation to receive this award.
The award is named in honor of K. Patricia Cross, professor of higher education, emerita, at the University of California, Berkeley. Virguez received the award at the Association of American Colleges and Universities (AAC&U) 2020 Annual Meeting, Shaping the Future of Higher Education: An Invitation to Lead, attended by more than 2,000 senior leaders from the higher education sector.
According to AAC&U, the Cross Award recognizes “graduate students who show exemplary promise as future leaders of higher education and who demonstrate a commitment to developing academic and civic responsibility in themselves and in others.”
At the conference Virguez led a panel session on “Voices of Changemakers: How Commitments to Learning, Community, and Equity Shape Future Faculty” with the other Cross Scholars.
Read below to learn more about his experience with the Bass Digital Education Fellowship and the program’s impact to graduate student education.
As part of his fellowship experience, Virguez is leading a project to integrate digital technologies and increase student engagement for Voices of the Environment, a course with Cultures and Languages Across the Curriculum (and taught in Spanish) under the guidance of Deb Reisinger, PhD, Associate Professor of the Practice of Romance Studies.
A benefit of the fellowship is being exposed to such a rich environment connecting graduate students to both pedagogy and digital technologies at the beginning of the year; this is important for every student who comes to Duke.Edgar Virguez, Bass Digital Education Fellow
The fellowship project combines teaching pedagogy and digital learning to increase the participation of the course’s service-learning partner, Fundacion Ayuda por Colombia. Virguez hopes the experience of being a Bass Digital Education Fellow will allow him to “have a great impact in my community and empower Duke students to do the same within their own communities.”
Prior to beginning the fellowship project, he enrolled in GS762: Digital Pedagogy with other fellows in his cohort. This graduate school course included guest speakers from Academic Media Services and Duke Web Services (OIT), Data Visualization, and the Digital Humanities Initiative. Virguez reflects on his learning experience:
The discussion about the value of education has gained more prominence recently; it is common that during lunches with my peers we discuss our future and inevitably gravitate towards a philosophical conversation about the value proposition of higher education. As part of the discussions we held during GS762: Digital Pedagogy, I confirmed the importance of promoting classroom environments where students are able to re-conceive their worldview perspective.
The Bass Digital Education Fellowship Program is a partnership between the Duke Graduate School and Learning Innovation. Read about Duke’s inaugural Fellows cohort and the digital projects they will contribute to.
To learn more about AACU and the K. Patricia Cross Future Leaders Award visit www.aacu.org.