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Kurstedt appointed to NVGC position

By Liz Crumbley

Spectrum Volume 18 Issue 22 - February 29, 1996

"I believe we should invest more of the college resources in Northern Virginia by the year 2000," said Virginia Tech College of Engineering Dean F. William Stephenson, announcing the appointment of Assistant Dean for Enrichment and International Programs Pamela Kurstedt as director of engineering programs at Tech's Northern Virginia Graduate Center (NVGC).

Stephenson said Kurstedt's duties at NVGC will include management of engineering resources, development of industrial affiliates through extensive work with organizations in Northern Virginia and the District of Columbia, development and execution of a strategic plan for expansion of outreach and continuing education, and liaison between the Blacksburg and NVGC campuses "to produce results that benefit both locations."

Kurstedt, who has been a member of the dean of engineering's staff for 19 years, brings to her new position experience that includes establishment of several novel and successful programs for undergraduates through partnerships with other universities and corporations world-wide.

Kurstedt has worked for the past year with engineering faculty members at Tech and NVGC to initiate a strategic plan, Stephenson said. "Based on this experience, she brings great respect and enthusiasm for the college's potential to serve the Northern Virginia and capitol region. While considering this appointment, I've found strong support and enthusiasm from engineering department heads, university leaders, and the director of NVGC, Judith Pearson," Stephenson said.

"As the state's land-grant university, we have significant opportunities to serve the commonwealth's economic development in Northern Virginia," Kurstedt said. "I'm excited about working with our faculty members, students, alumni and corporate friends to build mutually beneficial partnerships in that region."

Stephenson also thanked Associate Professor Ken Harmon for serving as administrative director of NVGC engineering programs for five years. "I am extremely grateful for his excellent work in leading our programs there," Stephenson said, noting that Harmon will "devote full time to directing the efforts of the Industrial and Systems Engineering Department at NVGC."

Tech established the NVGC engineering program in 1970, and the enrollment has grown steadily to 865 students during the 1994-95 academic year, when the program had the largest number of graduates since its inception.

The program awards graduate degrees in civil/environmental engineering, civil infrastructure engineering, electrical engineering, engineering administration, management systems, operations research, and systems engineering. NVGC engineering students typically are working professionals who attend evening classes, Harmon said.

Increases in the number of students and demands for NVGC services have led to expansion of the center. A new building is being constructed on land adjacent to the West Falls Church Metro station. Virginia Tech, the Virginia General Assembly, and Northern Virginia officials and industry leaders cooperated in making the new facility possible. Aside from the engineering programs, NVGC offers degrees in computer science, business, education, economics, family and child development, and public administration.