Marc Zaldivar: Inventing the Future of Education

Marc Zaldivar began his adventure as a Hokie in 1987 as an undergraduate student. Throughout his years of service at Virginia Tech, Marc has filled various roles ranging from student to instructor to director. In these various fields Marc has revealed his passions for technology, education, and how those two fields of study intersect.

“To any student, what’s your interest? What’s your passion? How do we connect it together so that every experience you have is pushing you to the next step? That is transformative education.”Marc Zaldivar

After completing his undergraduate career and receiving a Masters degree in English, Marc began teaching First Year Writing courses at Virginia Tech. He thoroughly enjoyed teaching these courses and found a comfortable home as an educator. He believes the key to a quality education for any student, regardless of major, is engaging with a student’s passions and interests.

“All of these different people fit together. The people in Chemistry are not that different than the folks in English, they just have different interests.”Marc Zaldivar

When Marc began searching for Ph.D. programs at Virginia Tech, he held to his strong ties to not only academia but to education. Receiving his Instructional Design Ph.D. in 2007, Dr. Zaldivar hit the ground running and began Virginia Tech’s first portfolio initiative. ePortfolio gives students and faculty the opportunity to document their growth and change over their academic career.
One major aspect of portfolios that is appealing to Dr. Zaldivar is their uniqueness. Students can customize their portfolio to demonstrate what they are learning, what they are interested in, and how those two categories intersect.

Dr. Zaldivar’s field requires him to continually push boundaries in educational technologies. Dr. Zaldivar has watched Virginia Tech evolve and change since he first began as a Hokie 30 years ago.

“There has been this transformation of a community that has started to happen
here and I think that’s a really powerful notion.”Marc Zaldivar

In the future, Dr. Zaldivar hopes to see a system in place at Virginia Tech that serves the educational needs of every student at Virginia Tech while also being engaging, relevant, and technologically forward. As excited he is about new educational technologies such as ePortfolio, Dr. Zaldivar loves the classroom setting, and hopes to soon begin teaching more freshmen level
English courses.

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Full transcript and audio coming soon!

About this Story

Date Recorded: April 5, 2017

Interviewer: Garrett Whitlock

Date Posted: October 6, 2017

Editor: Garrett Whitlock

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