Michael Kevin Hamed
Dr. Kevin Hamed
serves as professor of biology at Virginia Highlands Community College, where he has taught more than 100 classes since joining the faculty in 2003. He is widely respected as a leading expert on Appalachian salamanders and celebrated on the VHCC campus for getting students out of classrooms and into nature.
By combining classroom lectures with research assignments in the region’s forest and wetlands he provides students with experience collecting and recording data. Together they have studied a variety of amphibians, fish and mammals; the resulting data have been used to facilitate change by the Tennessee Valley Authority, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, the Virginia Department of Game and Inland Fisheries, and other state, federal and local organizations charged with making land-management decisions.
In 2006 Dr. Hamed spearheaded an effort to create an honors course in coastal ecology. The class includes an intense weeklong study at the University of Southern Mississippi’s Gulf Coast Research Laboratory during spring break. VHCC is the nation’s only community college that offers a program there and many past participants have continued their studies in marine biology as a result of the experience.
In the community, he has led hikes and presented programs for a wide variety of organizations including the Blue Ridge Discovery Center, the Boy Scouts of America, the Virginia Highlands Festival, Warriors Path State Park and the Blue Ridge Science Fair. Additionally, his findings have been published in a wide variety of scientific journals and shared with the general public through numerous other publications.
He is a past recipient of the Chancellor’s Faculty Fellowship from Virginia’s Community Colleges, the VHCC Outstanding Faculty Award in Teaching, the VHCC Faculty Award for Professional Excellence and the 2009 Virginia Professor of the Year from the Council for the Advancement and Support of Education.
Dr. Hamed holds a bachelor’s degree in biology from Tennessee Technological University, a master’s in biology from East Tennessee State University, and a Ph.D. in natural resources from the University of Tennessee.
He and his wife, Misty, have one daughter, Madeline, and live in Bristol, Virginia.