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Researchers to be recognized on WVTF

By Susan Trulove

Spectrum Volume 21 Issue 09 - October 22, 1998

The names of 25 Virginia Tech researchers have been submitted to WVTF, beginning the second year of a public recognition program sponsored by Research and Graduate Studies.
Week-long recognition of a specific faculty member for his or her outstanding research takes the form of 14 20-word announcements. Researchers are nominated by department heads, with university and alumni distinguished professors and Len Peters, vice provost for Research and dean of the Graduate School, making the final selections.
"We are focusing on research achievements that can be described succinctly in a way that will allow people to realize the impact of the work, possibly on their own lives," Peters said. "And we want to recognized individuals who have made a contribution to a body of knowledge or provided leadership in an area of research."
Scholarship as well as applied research results will be recognized. "People should be able to understand that scholarship has resulted in increased understanding or enjoyment of our world," Peters said.
"Of course, there are limitations to this format It is a challenge to describe an individual's research and its contribution in 20 or fewer words. Still, this is an opportunity to tell people what we are doing and to recognize the people who are doing it," Peters said.
The spots begin with the words: "Support for WVTF is provided by Research and Graduate Studies at Virginia Tech, recognizing...." Being recognized beginning November 1 is Veterinary College Professor Spencer Johnston, whose research in arthritis and pain management is helping to relieve animal suffering.
Those being recognized and the air dates are:
November 8: Forestry Professor Dave Smith for long-term studies assessing how tree harvesting strategies impact wildlife habitat.
November 15: biology Professor Richard Walker, who is studying cellular motor
proteins essential for normal human development, growth and reproduction.
November 22: chemistry Professor Karen Brewer for research to design new chemicals to convert sunlight into useful energy sources.
November 29: plant scientist Elizabeth Grabau for engineering soybeans with improved phosphorus availability so that livestock waste will not pollute waterways.
December 6: Veterinary College Professor Bernie Jortner for his internationally regarded research concerning the toxic effects of chemicals on the nervous system.
December 13: Chemical Engineer William Velander for pioneering work using animals to produce therapeutic proteins in their milk to treat humans.
December 20: English Professor Peter Graham, whose research on Lord Byron has helped scholars better understand this important British Romantic poet.
December 27: forest-products Professor George Stern, who introduced composite wood panels and initiated the world's only pallet research laboratory.
January 3: chemical engineering Professor Donald Baird for developing lightweight, strong, recyclable polymer composites for replacing metal, such as in automobiles.
January 10: soil scientist Lee Daniels for research restoring surface-mined lands across Virginia and the world.
January 17: English Professor Michael Squires, an internationally known expert on British novelist D.H. Lawrence.
January 24: Veterinary College Professor Ed Monroe, whose research with diabetes and insulin is helping improve treatments for diabetic pets.
January 31: biology Professor Tom Jenssen, whose studies of sexual selection in lizards find roots to understanding our own reproductive systems.
February 7: conservation scientist Ronald Morse, who has developed innovative equipment and techniques for no-tillage production of vegetable crops.
February 14: English Professor Ernest Sullivan, internationally known expert on writers of the English Renaissance, especially John Donne and Abraham Cowley.
February 21 entomologist LT. Kok for safe, ecological, permanent thistle control, saving Virginia millions of dollars annually without using pesticides.
February 28: Equine Medical Center Professor Michael Murray, who has determined that stomach ulcers are a major health problem in horses.
March 7: forest-products Professor Marshall White, who studies material-handling efficiency and has developed wood pallet designs used world wide.
March 21: horticulture Professor Robert Wright for developing the Virginia Tech Liquid Fertilizer System for Container-Grown Plants, used by nurseries nation wide.
March 28: landscape architecture Professor Dean Bork, whose research has improved access for people with disabilities to public recreation sites.
April 4: Professor John Browder whose environmental design and planning research curbs deforestation, helps rebuild tropical forests, and promotes sustainable development.
April 11: veterinary researcher Mitzi Nagarkatti who provided immuno-therapists with novel ways to attack tumors, and prevent some cancers.
April 18: Veterinary College Professor Steven Holladay, who is examining the effect environmental contaminants have on the immune system.
April 25: horticulturist Diane Relf for her work in the use of horticulture as a therapeutic tool in many different settings.
May 2: landscape architecture Professor Benjamin Johnson for his research on reducing the environmental impact of public utilities.
During the two weeks of fundraising, a general announcement of support will be read: "Support for WVTF is provided by Research and Graduate Studies at Virginia Tech. Research is vital to Virginia Tech's mission to seek, teach, and share creative solutions to problems."