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Roy will leave CAS Dean's Office in December

By Sally Harris

Spectrum Volume 19 Issue 13 - November 21, 1996

Lucinda Roy, associate dean for outreach, curriculum, and diversity in the College of Arts and Sciences, will leave the Dean's Office December 6 to focus on teaching, scholarship, and writing.

Roy's second book of poetry, The Humming Birds, was published last year, and her first novel, Lady Moses, will be published by Harper Collins next fall. She is writing a second novel, which also has been accepted for publication, and will do a reading tour of the United States and Great Britain after the publication of Lady Moses.

"Lucinda feels the need to pursue things that have come into their prime that she cannot pass up," said Robert Bates, dean of the college. "She has provided a tremendous amount of broad service and assistance over the years, and this move will allow her to pursue her scholarly efforts with more focus; but we will miss her zest for life and infectious enthusiasm for innovative ideas."

"While we are sorry to see Lucinda leave the Dean's Office, we have to be pleased to see her commit more of her considerable talent to her students and her writings," said President Paul Torgersen. "The programs she has helped initiate through the College of Arts and Sciences have been of tremendous benefit to the university, and the university and community will continue to reap the rewards of her hard work. However, Lucinda has remained a dedicated teacher even while carrying out her administrative work, and she will devote to teaching and writing the energy she has used to bring such programs as ACCESS and Service-Learning to Virginia Tech. We are proud, also, of her accomplishments in the literary world and wish her well in the next phase of her work."

Besides working with the college's Cultural Diversity Committee and serving on the university's Academic Council for Outreach, as well as on several instructional-technology task forces, Roy has helped initiate several new programs using technology to benefit students and faculty members. Cyberschool, developed with Information Systems, is a series of on-line courses; ACCESS, set up with a Sloan Foundation grant, uses asynchronous learning to help students succeed in their course work; VTOPS (Virginia Tech Outreach Project for Schools) links Virginia Tech students and students in public schools to help ensure academic success for the younger students; Service-Learning allows Virginia Tech students to earn credits for community volunteerism; Project CI is promoting the preservation of the Christiansburg Institute as a cultural and education center; Swap '94, coordinated with Elizabeth Creamer, was a project to get women and minority members involved in grant writing; and `A'-Tech is a program allowing traveling athletes to keep up with their courses using an interactive on-line classroom and laptop computers they will take with them on the road.

"Not only has she had a vision for the future in these areas," Bates said of Roy, "but she has been very effective in developing the projects and involving both faculty and staff members in significant ways so that the projects become both established and self-perpetuating."

"I hope the projects are going to continue," Roy said. In addition, because her work with the dean's office has been so beneficial to her, she hopes Virginia Tech will find a way to recruit more women and minority members, especially in upper-administrative positions.

"One of the great things I learned from this job," Roy said, "and one of the reasons I enjoyed it so much, was how to do things such as initiate projects and work in close collaboration with people from other units whom I never would have met otherwise." The job gave her an opportunity to appreciate the diversity of people's interests at Virginia Tech, she said.

"Dean Bates has demonstrated his commitment to issues of diversity, to instructional technology, and to outreach," Roy said. "I think a strong tradition has been established in the college for those kinds of activities. Bob has not been afraid to tackle hard issues and move forward aggressively on things that can prove beneficial to the college in the long run."

One of the most thrilling parts of the associate dean's job, Roy said, was becoming involved with the Service-Learning program, which now has Michele James-Deramo as full-time director. "It didn't exist at Virginia Tech two years ago," Roy said.

Service-Learning is a good example of Roy's major strengths, Bates said. "Lucinda is a project-oriented, innovative person who is able to get things moving and develop effective groups that work together well to carry the projects on," he said. "I had a vision of having students connected with each other and the larger community, and Service-Learning was the project she proposed. It runs on its own now, with good leadership."

Roy will continue her work as the Gloria D. Smith professor of black studies, a position that terminates in the summer of 1997. She also will continue to hold her position as associate professor of English.

"Lucinda has been an enormously creative administrator who never let red tape bog down her good ideas," said Provost Peggy Meszaros, who said Roy's leadership for technology helped the university leap ahead in that arena. "She is resourceful, energetic, and successful and will be sorely missed in this key leadership role. I expect to see her creativity continue, and certainly her good work for the university will not stop-it will simply be channeled in other ways. Lucinda serves as a wonderful faculty model for what excellent, results-oriented leadership `looks like.'"