AROUND THE DRILLFIELDAutomated information phoneline a SNAP
A new phone system, accessible by anyone with a touch-tone phone, is providing information about events and departments at Virginia Tech seven days a week, 24 hours a day. The system, originally the idea of student affairs Vice President Tom Goodale, provides callers with faster access to information and cuts down on the number of inquiries departments must handle.
Known as the Student News Automated Phoneline (SNAP), the system was developed by Tele-Works Inc., a Blacksburg company composed mostly of Virginia Tech graduates. Under the system, callers who dial 231-4800 hear an introductory message and then can enter a three-digit code for either a category directory of messages or one of 300 specific messages. Information messages are available from the admissions office (125), the alumni association (151), placement services (600), Newman library (525), sports information (750), and the university calendar (250), among many others. The system does not yet include all campus organizations but it can be expanded.
Virginia Tech clamps down on crime
Virginia Tech was one of four state schools honored recently with a 1991 Governor's Community Crime Prevention Recognition Award—the second time in three years the university won the award.
Leigh Collins, Virginia Tech's crime prevention and community relations officer, accepted the award at a luncheon in Richmond. "The most important result of our programs is that we are heightening the awareness of the community," Collins says. "We strive to get people to take steps to prevent a crime before it actually happens. The best way is through education."
Crime is attacked in a variety of ways. The Virginia Tech Police Department Crime Prevention unit conducts forums and seminars on issues such as personal and property safety, and also coordinates training for student employees, such as resident advisors and night monitors.
Virginia Tech also has instituted a safety escort service, a dorm watch program, and the Sexual Assault Victim Education and Support Program, which uses peer counselors for education and staffs a 24-hour support and crisis hotline. The university also installed 55 direct-dial telephones across campus that connect to the police department as soon as the receiver is lifted.
670 graduate at Fall Commencement
The growing need for a Fall Commencement was underscored Dec. 14, when 670 Virginia Tech graduates, a 65 percent increase over the number who attended the first ceremony in 1990, showed up at Cassell Coliseum to accept their degrees. About 485 students received undergraduate degrees; another 120 earned their masters; and 65 accepted their doctorates. The response this year was so large, the ceremony had to be moved from Burruss auditorium to Cassell.
W. Ann Reynolds, the chancellor of the City University of New York, was the commencement speaker.
USA Today honors engineering student
Susan K. Cox, a senior aerospace engineering student with a 3.8 grade average, was one of 20 students nationwide chosen by USA Today for the 1992 All-USA Academic First Team. As a result, she was featured in the Jan. 31 edition of the newspaper and received a trophy and a check for $2,500.
The 20 finalists were chosen from among 1,200 undergraduates nominated by colleges and universities across the country. The selections were based on an evaluation of the students' academic records, service, and leadership. The key element considered was outstanding original academic or intellectual production by the student. Cox is a member of the Honors Program and of the Sigma Gamma Tau National Honor Society in aerospace engineering. She also serves as secretary of the Wesley Foundation and was a finalist for a Rhodes Scholarship. She has been a co-op student working with NASA at Wallops Flight Facility since 1989.
CRC success breeds expansion
Virginia Tech's Corporate Research Center is expanding to capitalize on the success of the nearly 6-year-old endeavor. Ground was broken last fall on Research Building III, a $3- million, 35,000-square-foot multi-use development and research facility that will be the largest in the park.
CRC Director Fred Meade says this facility will be unique because it will have multiple entrances for multiple tenants and will allow for changing space needs. The building, which will be able to house anything from high-visibility offices to protected research laboratories, will benefit from an external marketing campaign to corporations and government agencies both inside and outside the state.
The Corporate Research Center was established as a private subsidiary of the Virginia Tech Foundation Inc. to foster relationships among business, government, and Virginia Tech. Since then, CRC has constructed four buildings. Tech's CRC is one of only a few such operations in the nation that has been initially successful and has continued to expand, Meade says.
Virginia Tech Magazine, Volume 14, Number 3, Spring 1992