During my time at Virginia Tech, I floated through many majors and interacted with a wide array of professors from many departments. Tom is, and remains to be, the most supportive, impactful, and intentional professor that I’ve ever had the honor of learning from. While some professors solely focus on personal pursuits, Tom takes his role as an educator seriously, whether by helping a student with an assignment or test or as a personal or professional mentor.
While I had no interest in law and initially elected to take his course because it was a requirement, it quickly became my favorite course while at Virginia Tech. While teaching, Tom went out of his way to make sure that he established a connection with each student and that every student felt valued. Beyond that, Tom took the course material seriously and made sure to employ various teaching styles to make sure that every student understood it regardless of its complexity.
What sets Tom apart from any other professor that I’ve had, is his patience and dedication to helping me figure out my professional goals.
University Excellence in Teaching Award (2020)
Virginia Tech Academy of Teaching Excellence
One competitively selected from each college; dossier included formal letters of support from graduate and undergraduate students
Faculty Adviser to National Finalist team (2019)
HUD Innovations in Affordable Housing Graduate Student Design and Planning Competition
One of four national finalist teams; first from Virginia Tech and from Virginia
Check out the team's work in the gallery below!
Commitment to Diversity Recognition Award (2019)
Virginia Tech College of Architecture and Urban Studies
“for development and mentorship of undergraduate research and graduate extracurricular opportunities for students traditionally underrepresented in the academy”
Finalist, Virginia Tech Alumni Award for Excellence in Graduate Advising (2017)
nominated by team of 21 students/alumni in Urban Affairs & Planning
Selected student testimonials from letters of support
I was grateful that he took the time to genuinely encourage everyone to participate and share their perspectives, thus creating a culture of mutual respect and trust in the classroom. Professor Skuzinski emphasized essential, often underrepresented topics in planning while still promoting a comfortable, welcoming discussion. This course further solidified my ability to keep an open mind, prioritize and understand other backgrounds and points of view, as well as increase my willingness to have a change of heart.
My experience with Professor Skuzinski as a research mentor continued to prove his passion for cultivating a platform for diverse backgrounds. As a participant in his Decision Sciences for Resilient Communities project, I was truly grateful to walk in to our first meeting and see two fellow women, both with strong STEM backgrounds. In a world where women are often the minority in STEM and policy related research, this experience truly helped me find the confidence to assert myself in the real world as an equal candidate– worthy of challenge and a platform to speak just like anybody else.
He demonstrated creativity in the way he had designed his curriculum. He drew on current literature, his research and experiences and took multiple approaches to deliver his instruction. He was available at all hours of the night and truly cared about students understanding the content and applying it correctly when acting as a planner in the future. To
this day, his class has been my favorite for the reason that I felt like I learned and absorbed the information he taught. I felt as though his motivation pushed me to go beyond my usual efforts and have a more well-rounded understanding that would continuously help me succeed throughout my career. His encouragement and class structure would lead me to take initiative for my learning and made me want to excel.