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Sanborn '01 Wins VMI Teaching Award

Howard Sanborn, a member of Washington and Lee’s Class of 2001, has been recognized for outstanding teaching at Virginia Military Institute, which awarded him the Thomas Jefferson Teaching Award.

Howard is an assistant professor of international studies and political science at VMI. He holds his M.A. and Ph.D. in political science from the University of Iowa. Howard’s research focuses on the development and support of democratic institutions in East Asia, specifically China and Taiwan.

In the current issue of VMI’s Institute Report (page 7), Col. Jim Hentz, head of the VMI international studies department, described Howard’s work with cadets outside the classroom as “quickly becoming legend.” Col. Hentz went on to note that Howard “has taken cadets on day trips to the State Department, the Brookings Institution, the CIA, Capitol Hill and the Smithsonian.”

Howard has also taken VMI cadets on trips to China, and said “it was almost like taking kids to Disney World. They’re discovering a lot of different aspects of the Chinese culture and government for the first time.”

He told the Institute Report that he models his teaching on his own experiences as a W&L undergraduate: “I remember really responding to the classes where the professor was very passionate, we were reading really challenging stuff, and we were pushed a lot. I try to do a lot of that in my classes.  They’re reading cutting edge research and they’re doing a lot of hands-on site visits.”