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Department heads named in Arts and Sciences

Spectrum Volume 17 Issue 3 - September 8, 1994

The College of Arts and Sciences has begun the academic year with several new department heads and program directors, announced Dean Robert C. Bates.

Colonel Richard S. "Rock" Roszak joined the college as head of the Air Force ROTC Detachment July 1. Roszak, a 1971 graduate of Virginia Tech, has spent 23 years in the Air Force, logging more than 2,000 flying hours in heavy aircraft and attending a number of professional military schools, including the National War College. His positions at the senior staff level include two years of working strategic aircraft issues with the Senate and House Armed Services Committees. He comes to Tech from the Office of the Secretary of Defense, where he was the lead technical negotiator charged with determining assistance requirements for the former Soviet Union to eliminate their strategic weapons systems.

Joyce Williams-Green was named director of the Black Studies Program August 16 after having served as acting director from September 1993. She served as assistant to the provost for three years and assistant provost and director of summer sessions at Virginia Tech for five years. Her professional activities have focused on student retention and instructional technology, and she has received numerous grants from the State Council of Higher Education for Virginia and from the federal government. She received a Creative and Innovative Award from from the North American Association of Summer Sessions for the most outstanding administrative program. In addition to her administrative responsibilities, Williams-Green will be investigating issues related to African American learning styles.

John M. Carroll is the new head of the Department of Computer Science. He came to the department in January from the IBM Watson Research Center, Yorktown Heights, N.Y., where he had been manager of User Interface Theory and Design. His Ph.D. is from Columbia University, where he studied linguistics and experimental psychology. His research is in the analysis of human learning and problem solving in human-computer interaction contexts, and in the design of methods, tools, and environments for instruction and design. His most recent books include Designing Interaction: Psychology at the Human-Computer Interface, and Scenario-based Design: Envisioning Work and Technology in System Development.

Cahit Coruh, professor of geophysics, was appointed chair of the Department of Geological Sciences August 16. He was a visiting professor at Virginia Tech 1979-1981. After he returned to Turkey, he visited Virginia Tech twice a year to continue group research. He was appointed professor at Virginia Tech in 1985. He specializes in exploration geophysics with special emphasis on seismic data-processing to explore the earth's crust for engineering, hydrocarbon, and academic purposes. He has participated in externally funded interdisciplninary projects and teaches both undergraduate and graduate courses. He is co-author of a leading geophysics textbook used across the country and overseas.

Richard Rich was appointed chair of the political science department August 16. His primary areas of expertise include public policy, especially environmental policy, urban politics, and citizen participation. He recently completed five years of applied research, funded by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, on policies to prevent major hazardous-materials accidents. Rich has received a Kellogg Foundation National Fellowship, a National Association of Schools of Public Administration Fellowship, and the Benjamin Bannaker Professorship of Metropolitan Area Affairs at George Washington University. He has served as series editor of the highly rated State University of New York Press series of books on urban public policy and is a coauthor of the leading textbook in political-science research methods.

Elizabeth Struthers Malbon began serving as director of religious studies effective August 16. A professor of religious studies and a new member of the College of Arts and Sciences Curriculum Committee, she has served on numerous other college and university committees. She is a member and chair of a number of national committees, past president of the regional society, and an elected member of the international Studiorum Novi Testamenti Societas. Her research area is New Testament and early Christianity, and she has written books on the Gospel of Mark and early Christian art and has edited two books of biblical literary criticism. Her current research and writing project is a narrative commentary on the Gospel of Mark.

John N. Edwards was appointed interim head of the Department of Sociology, effective July 1. Edwards joined the Tech faculty in 1969 as an associate professor and attained the rank of professor in 1979. He has been extensively involved in federally funded research, including a current longitudinal project following changes in the marital relations of a nationally representative sample over the life course. Edwards is the editor/coeditor/author of five books and has published more than 60 articles in national and international journals. He serves as associate editor of the Journal of Marriage and the Family.

In the spring, Robert Olin, professor of mathematics, took over duties as head of the mathematics department. Olin has received grants from the National Science Foundation for several years, totaling hundreds of thousands of dollars, to support his mathematical research. His current research is in the area of operator theory/functional analysis, which finds application in mathematical physics, particularly in the area of the study of electrons. Olin has received the Certificate of Teaching Excellence at Virginia Tech and is an honorary faculty member of Sichuan University in the People's Republic of China. He has been named to several "Who's Who" publications--including those for education, emerging leaders in America, and science and technology.