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Summer's top news stories

Spectrum Volume 19 Issue 01 - August 29, 1996

The university remained busy during the summer months. Here are highlights of a few newsworthy events. For the full text of an article, visit Spectrum's gopher site on the World Wide Web (http://scholar.lib.vt.edu/vtpubs/spectrum/). Publication dates are in parentheses after each subhead.

Tech, industry to revolutionize information exchange (7-25)

The university has formed a landmark partnership with the state's telecommunications industry and state and local governments to connect every corner of the commonwealth. Dubbed Access Virginia, the state-wide, high-speed, multimedia network will be capable of simultaneously transmitting two-way integrated voice, data, and video images over the Internet from thousands of sites across Virginia. In time, the network will connect every state and private university and college, community college, and secondary school in the state.

FAA includes Tech in aviation-safety `dream team' (8-8)

Virginia Tech will join the University of California at Berkeley, MIT, and the University of Maryland to comprise the new FAA Air Transportation Center of Excellence in Operations Research. The center will work collectively on safety, business, and operational issues in the aviation industry.

The initial grant is for $1.5 million among the four universities. Matching money will come from industry as well as from the transportation departments of the four respective states. Additionally, the FAA will also be able to award up to $10 million for specific deliverables.

At Virginia Tech, Antonio Trani of the civil engineering department and Hanif Sharali of ISE are the lead faculty members.

Fulton selected vice provost (6-27)

John D. Fulton, dean of the University of Missouri-Rolla's College of Arts and Sciences, was named vice provost for academic affairs. He has been dean at Missouri-Rolla since 1991.

Fulton previously served for three years as dean of the College of Arts and Sciences at the University of West Florida

He holds undergraduate and master's degrees and a Ph.D. from North Carolina State University in Raleigh. He began his academic career at Clemson University, where he first taught mathematics and, in 1978, became head of the mathematical sciences department, a position he held for 10 years.

Johnson selected to lead CHRE (7-11)

Janet M. Johnson, interim dean of the College of Human Resources, was appointed dean of the newly formed College of Human Resources and Education. She assumed her duties July 1, the date on which the two colleges officially merged.

A graduate of Purdue University, Johnson earned master's and doctoral degrees in foods and nutrition from Cornell University. She joined the Department of Human Nutrition and Foods at Virginia Tech in 1972, taking leave from 1977-1983 to raise a family. She returned to Virginia Tech in 1983, and, in 1992, became acting associate provost for research at the university.

Jones named director of Extension (7-11)

C. Clark Jones was selected as director of Virginia Cooperative Extension. A member of Cooperative Extension for nearly 20 years, Jones served the past year as interim director. During that period, he oversaw a major restructuring effort within the organization.

Jones, who also will serve as associate dean of the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences, came to Tech in 1971 as an instructor in the Center for Continuing Education. In 1977, he became a Cooperative Extension program leader in community-resource development.

He later became district director for Extension's East Central District. In 1991, he was selected to head the formation of the Institute for Leadership development. Later that year, he was named assistant to the director of VCE.

Reifsnider new associate provost (6-13)

In June, Kenneth L. Reifsnider, Alexander Giacco professor of engineering science and mechanics, director of the Virginia Institute for Material Systems, and director of the Virginia Tech Center for Composite Materials and Structures, was named associate provost for interdisciplinary programs in Research and Graduate Studies. He will retain his faculty position in ESM and will devote half of his time to the provost position.

Reifsnider came to Virginia Tech in 1968. He is co-founder of the Center for Composite Materials and Structures, Institute for Material Systems, the Materials Response Group, and the NSF Science and Technology Center for High Performance Polymeric Adhesives and Composites. For 19 years, he chaired the Materials Engineering Science Doctoral Program, which draws on the faculties of three colleges.

Casali named ISE department head (5-30)

Following a nation-wide search, John G. Casali was appointed head of the Industrial and Systems Engineering Department in late May. Casali joined the Virginia Tech faculty in 1982 and established the university's Auditory Systems Laboratory in 1983.

Casali has achieved international recognition as a leader in hearing-protection design and holds two hearing-protector patents. His laboratory is the only university facility to be accredited by the National Institute of Standards and Technology for performing acoustical research and testing services.

Casali served as interim head of the department after the departure of the former head in August 1995.

CHRE appoints administrators (7-25)

Mary Ann Lewis, former assistant dean for professional studies for the College of Education, was appointed interim assistant dean of the College of Human Resources and Education (CHRE). John Burton, a faculty member in CHRE, was named interim director of the Department of Teaching and Learning. Rebecca Powell Lovingood was named chair of the Department of Housing, Interior Design, and Resource Management.

School of the Arts formed (6-13)

A new School of the Arts was established after approval by the Board of Visitors in April. It is composed of the departments of art and art history, music, and theatre arts. The school is designed to allow collaboration among the three departments and to provide students and the community with enhanced, enriched, and expanded programs through the sharing of expertise.

The school also will provide a vehicle for a variety of new initiatives and ventures among the three departments. Among these are such things as "performance-arts" presentations. It also will allow for sharing new technologies.

Communications facility on mall receives approval (6-13)

The Building and Grounds Committee of the Board of Visitors gave architects the go-ahead for further design development on a $25-million facility to be constructed adjacent to and over the Mall to connect with Newman Library.

Construction is expected to begin next summer and to be completed within a two-year period. No disruption of traffic flow or parking in the area is expected until construction begins.

UUSA, rec sports restructuring (5-30)

William W. Campion, formerly associate director of UUSA, has been named director of recreational sports. Clarresa Morton, formerly assistant director of UUSA for event planning, was named associate director.

Campion had served as acting director of recreational sports since May 1995. He came to Virginia Tech in 1980.

Morton had served as assistant director of UUSA since 1989.

Sheep center named for Copenhaver (5-30)

The university's sheep center was named in honor of Jackson S. Copenhaver, a retired professor of animal science whose work helped establish Virginia's sheep industry as one of the largest and most productive in the Eastern United States.

The center currently manages 900 ewes, rams, and lambs. It supports undergraduate and graduate teaching programs in the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences, as well as teaching programs for the VMRCVM.

Copenhaver, a Blacksburg resident, retired in 1985 after 39 years on the faculty. He graduated from Virginia Tech in 1942 and joined the faculty in 1946.

Staff Senate elects officers (5-30)

Spencer Allen, music department technical director, has been elected president of the Staff Senate for 1996-97. Valerie Myers, secretary senior in dairy science and last year's vice president, was elected to a second term. Marge Dellers, executive secretary in public safety, health, and transportation, was elected secretary-treasurer. Delbert Jones, laboratory specialist in the College of Veterinary Medicine, is parliamentarian.

GSA officers elected (5-30 and 7-3)

Delia Grenville, a master's student in industrial systems engineering, has been elected president of the Graduate Student Assembly (GSA). John M. Aughenbaugh, a doctoral student in public administration and policy, is vice president. Janet Wojcik, a doctoral student in exercise science, is secretary. Martha McCollum, a master of science student in animal nutrition, is treasurer.

Pathological Incinerator operation discontinued (7-27)

The Virginia Tech Pathological Incinerator, located north of Prices Fork Road and west of Rt. 460, discontinued operations as of August 1. Animal carcasses should be taken to the Mid-County Landfill for disposal. Pick-up of animal parts from labs will continue as usual. Carcasses must arrive at the Montgomery Regional Solid Waste Authority Landfill by noon to be accepted for disposal. The landfill is open Monday through Saturday.

Torgersen interim director of Admissions (8-8)

Karen Torgersen has been named interim director of Undergraduate Admissions. The one-year appointment became effective August 19.

Torgersen replaced David Bousquet, who left the university to become vice president for enrollment services at Iowa State University.

Torgersen has worked in various positions in the Admissions Office since 1986, most recently as executive associate director for undergraduate admissions.