Virginia Tech Magazine
Alumni Shorts
Spring 2010
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Accountant leads by example
Lynne Martin Doughtie '85
Lynne Martin Doughtie '85

Lynne Martin Doughtie (accounting '85) had already earned accolades for her work from Diversity Journal and Accounting Today when she learned in December that she was one of only eight women being named to Consulting magazine's 2009 Women Leaders in Consulting. To Doughtie, though, the award had broader meaning.

"I am honored to be selected as a Woman Leader in Consulting, but the real value in this award is to encourage other women to step into leadership roles and realize the contribution they can make to their firms and the profession," she says. In addition to her work with clients, Consulting recognized Doughtie for her leadership role within KPMG, where she serves as a mentor for young professionals.

Doughtie has spent her entire career at KPMG, an audit, tax, and consulting firm. She started out as an auditor but after 10 years moved to the information technology advisory side. She's now a national managing partner and recently became the firm's global clients leader, where she helps develop strategy and manage operations for KPMG's consulting business.

The Richmond native was originally drawn to Virginia Tech because when she visited friends who were Hokies, she felt a "deep sense of community" on campus. It was a perfect fit.

"My experience at Tech helped me in two important ways," Doughtie says. "First, I received an excellent education. Second, I have learned that the benefits of college extend beyond what was learned in the classroom. Since graduating, I have increasingly appreciated the value of developing broad relationships and honing your interpersonal skills." She also met her future husband, Ben Doughtie (agricultural and applied economics '82, M.S. '84), at Tech, and their son, Schuyler, is a member of the Class of 2012.

Doughtie has remained connected to her alma mater. She serves on the Pamplin College of Business advisory council and the Department of Accounting and Information Systems advisory board. In 2007, she received the Pamplin College of Business Distinguished Alumnus Award.

"I formed lasting relationships with so many people at Tech—students, members of the faculty and the administration, and others—who have continued to play a vital role in my personal and professional life," Doughtie says.

Teacher receives a different kind of "Oscar"

On Dec. 9, 2009, Ann Lam Wong (biology '94) and virtually everybody else at West Springfield High School in Fairfax County, Va., thought they were attending a hastily called assembly to hear a guest speaker. They were—sort of.

Wong was "shocked and thrilled" when the speaker, Jane Foley, senior vice president of the Milken Family Foundation Educator Awards, announced that the biology teacher and coordinator of West Springfield's Advanced Placement (AP) program had won the "Oscar" of teaching, the Milken Educator Award.

"I had no idea this was coming," Wong says. "I broke down into tears but had to compose myself pretty quickly when they told me they wanted me to share a few words."

Ann Lam Wong '94
Ann Lam Wong '94

The Milken recognized Wong for firing up excitement about biology and AP courses at West Springfield. In the past two years, 100 percent of her students passed the Virginia Standard of Learning for biology, and 75 percent of her AP students scored a 3 or better on the AP examination (3 is the minimum score that students need to be eligible for college credit for the AP course).

Wong also mentors students struggling with the transition to high school, and she set up an AP summer academy.

"Teaching is my passion," Wong says. "Teachers I had growing up were my role models, along with my parents, and I wanted to be that role model for others. I truly believe teachers make a difference and help guide and motivate young adults."

"In her classroom, Ann creates an environment of excitement and the expectation of working hard," says West Springfield Principal Paul Wardinski.

Wong grew up in Falls Church, Va., and became hooked on Virginia Tech when she visited an older sister who was already a Tech student. While at the university, she served as color guard captain in the Marching Virginians and met her future husband, Ryan Wong (interior design '96). She's been teaching at West Springfield for 16 years.

"Tech offered so much and opened my eyes to many possibilities and helped me realize that teaching was my calling," Wong says.

As for the $25,000 that goes with the award, Wong says much of it will go into college savings for her three young boys, with the rest going to the high school's science department.

To learn more the Milken Educator Awards, go to

Donation to fight polio honors teacher for decades of service
Henry Higgins '39
Henry Higgins '39

After polio damaged Henry Higgins' left arm when he was just 7 years old, his mother, Della Hampton Higgins, told him he would eventually need to earn a college degree because his injury wouldn't allow him to follow his father into farming.

Higgins (agricultural education '39) took that sage advice and turned it into a 47-year teaching career at Amherst (Va.) High School after earning his bachelor's degree from Virginia Tech. In late 2009, the Amherst Rotary Club honored Higgins' long years of mentoring students by making a $2,000 donation in his name to Rotary International as part of an effort to eradicate polio worldwide.

"It really hit me hard," Higgins says when asked about the recognition. "I was very much impressed and very much pleased."

Higgins grew up in Grayson County, Va., where he graduated from tiny Coal Creek High School. He decided to continue his education at Virginia Tech because he knew people who had gone into vocational agriculture after earning their agricultural education degree there. He might not be able to run a farm because of his arm, but he could still work in agriculture.

During his college days, he met his future wife, Thelma Cox, who attended Radford College.

After graduation, Higgins taught for a couple of years in Sparta, N.C., before moving to his wife's hometown of Amherst, where he knew there was an opening for a vocational agriculture teacher. He became a fixture there. He was also devoted to Future Farmers of America and, later, to Rotary.

"Mr. Higgins was an outstanding person and a great teacher," says Amherst High Principal Ernie Guill. "He was like a father figure to many of his students."

"I was doing something I enjoyed, and I was working with some people I was crazy about—young men," says Higgins, who adds that one of his biggest joys is to run into his former students.

Higgins is 92 now, and his ability to get out of the house is limited, but, he says, "I was a die-hard Hokie as long as I could be." He spent 47 years honoring Ut Prosim (That I May Serve). Now, his community has honored him with a donation in his name.

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