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Charles Poland Receives Outstanding Faculty Award

Longtime history professor at Northern Virginia Community College

Dr. Charles Poland of Northern Virginia Community College (NOVA) has received the 2012 Outstanding Faculty Award, administered by the State Council of Higher Education for Virginia and sponsored by Dominion.

Poland is one of 12 faculty members from Virginia’s public and private colleges and universities who received the award, the highest honor bestowed upon faculty in the Commonwealth of Virginia. The award recognizes excellence in teaching, research, knowledge integration, and public service. 

“On behalf of the NOVA community, we would like to express our congratulations to Dr. Poland for being selected as a recipient of this prestigious award,” said NOVA President Robert G. Templin Jr. “Dr. Poland has touched the lives of thousands of students since he began at the College in 1967. Students have embraced and praised his hands-on approach in directly engaging history and its artifacts. This is evidenced by the mobile Civil War museum now installed at NOVA that includes hundreds of historical documents and objects.”

Poland teaches courses in U.S. and local history, Western civilization, and the Civil War at NOVA’s Annandale Campus. His teaching career spans more than five decades. Since 1977, he has conducted celebrated field-trip courses to major and minor battlefields of the Civil War. He has traveled more than 120,000 miles to battlefields from Alexandria to the Ohio River and from Gettysburg to Appomattox, giving hundreds of lectures to students varying in age from teenagers to senior citizens.

He has received awards for teaching excellence including the “Most Outstanding Faculty Member” and the NOVA Alumni Federation Faculty of the Year.

Poland has a deep appreciation for local history, which is due in part to having ancestors that trace back to the colonial period in Loudoun County. His published work on the subject includes “From Frontier to Suburbia: One of America’s Fastest Growing Counties,” “A Loudoun County Story” and “The Lure of Loudoun: Centuries of Changes in Virginia’s Emerald County.”

As a scholar of the Civil War, he has placed special emphasis in his publications on little known military activities and now forgotten heroes who dominated public opinion in 1861. His writing reveals citizen soldiers’ romanticized expectations of glory and their dreams shattered by cruel realities of war.

Poland holds a doctorate in American history from Western Colorado University. He and his wife live in Loudoun County and have two daughters.

Northern Virginia Community College is the largest institution of higher education in the Commonwealth of Virginia and one of America's largest community colleges. NOVA enrolls more than 75,000 students at its six campuses in Alexandria, Annandale, Loudoun, Manassas, Springfield and Woodbridge, and through the Extended Learning Institute. For more information about NOVA and its programs or services, call 703-323-3000 or visit the College's Web site, www.nvcc.edu.