Milestone: Peninsula College professor Brock picked for ‘Thinkerer’ honor

For making an impact in both the real and virtual worlds, Renne Emiko Brock was honored in late March for being a standout “Thinkerer.”

The Virtual Worlds Best Practices in Education Organizational Committee recently honored Brock, a Peninsula College professor and Multimedia Communications Program Coordinator, with the 2020 “Thinkerer Award” — an award first instituted in 2014 to recognize someone who has provided outstanding service to both the field of education and the virtual world community at large.

The “Thinkerer Award” is presented to an individual whose deeds and actions have shown consistent, selfless service towards the promotion of learning, community, educational practices, and who exemplifies “the spirit of cooperative development within immersive environments.”

The award got its name from Dr. Selby Evans’ avatar, named Thinkerer.

“You must have courage to encourage; I am grateful that I teach at a college that embraces innovation,” Brock said in her acceptance speech on March 28 at the virtual awards ceremony.

“Peninsula College has been supportive of me teaching in virtual worlds for over 11 years,” she said. “I love my students, who are true trailblazers.”

Brock is an artist and instructor, and has actively taught college level fine art and digital media since 1997.

She began teaching virtual world use in 2008 at Peninsula College.

She earned her bachelor of science degree in art at Lewis & Clark College, and her master of fine arts degree in visual art at Vermont College of Fine Arts at Norwich University.

In 2009, she graduated from the University of Washington’s inaugural Virtual Worlds Program and returned as a lecturer and mentor.

Virtual worlds provided a perfect medium for her research, art practice and educational installations, Brock said. She hosts and develops community activities as board co-chair of the Nonprofit Commons and as a faculty member at Peninsula College, University of Washington Virtual Worlds Program, Virtual Worlds MOOC, Rockcliffe University Consortium, Virtual Ability, Brain Energy Support Team, Virtual Community Library and more.

View the 2020 Thinkerer Award presentation at