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A non-profit publication of the Office of the University Relations of Virginia Tech,
including The Conductor, a special section of the Spectrum printed 4 times a year


Spectrum Volume 19 Issue 14 - December 5, 1996

Gerald L. "Skip" Jubb Jr., associate director of the Virginia Agricultural Experiment Station, is to receive the Herb T. Streu Meritorious Service Award from the Eastern Branch of the Entomological Society of America. The award is to be presented at the group's annual meeting in February to a member of the group "who has consistently and selflessly served the needs of the branch and our parent society." Jubb's service to the branch includes work as secretary-treasurer, representative to the governing board, and president. In addition to the elected office, he has served on numerous committees. Jubb has been an active member of the society for 31 years.

Timothy J. Larson, professor of biochemistry, has been named to the Physiological Chemistry Study Section of the National Institutes of Health's division of research grants. The study section reviews grant applications submitted to the NIH, makes recommendations on the applications, and surveys the status of research in the field of physiological chemistry. Members are selected based on their demonstrated competence and achievement in their disciplines, publications in scientific journals, and other significant scientific activities, achievements and honors. Larson's major research at Virginia Tech is directed toward understanding the processes by which glycerol 3-phosphate (glycerol-P) is used by Escherichia coli.

Norman G. Marriott, professor of food science and technology, organized and conducted a Hazard Analysis Critical Control Points short course for food-processing concerns in Smithfield. Speakers included Marriott, Cameron Hackney, and Susan Sumner, all faculty members of food science and technology. Marriott also participated with the planning and presented part of the topics at a HACCP short course conducted in Hartford, Conn.

Susan Duncan, associate professor of food science and technology, was the invited guest speaker at the 63rd Annual National Ice Cream and Yogurt Retailers Association Convention in Williamsburg, where she was a judge for the annual ice-cream clinic. She provided a review of ice-cream quality characteristics to convention attendees. Duncan was the principal sensory evaluator of vanilla and chocolate ice creams manufactured by members of the association and identified winning ice-cream samples in the annual clinic held at the convention. Duncan is the coach of the Virginia Tech Dairy Products Evaluation Team and teaches courses in dairy-product processing and sensory evaluation. Her research is focused on dairy-product quality and processing.

Walter Hartman and Harriet Williams, technical staff members in food science and technology, completed chemical and microbiological analyses on the samples and played a role in determining the best ice creams.

Norman S. Eiss Jr., the George R. Goodson professor of mechanical engineering (ME), and Jorge Hanchi, a research associate in ME, received the Captain Alfred E. Hunt Award for the best paper written by members of the Society of Tribologists and Lubrication Engineers (STLE) and published in the STLE journal from June 1994 to May 1995. The award was presented at the American Society of Mechanical Engineers/STLE Tribology Conference in San Francisco in October. The award-winning paper, "The Tribological Behavior of Blends of PEEK and PEI at Elevated Temperatures," was based on Hanchi's Ph.D. dissertation at Virginia Tech, where he was awarded his doctoral degree in May 1995. Also during the conference, Hanchi presented a paper co-authored with Eiss, "Synergistic Friction and Wear of Ternary Blends of Polyetheretherketone, Polyetherimide, and a Thermotropic Liquid Crystalline Polymers at Elevated Temperatures."

Carol Burger, assistant professor of women's studies in the Center for Interdisciplinary Studies, was one of two people invited to represent the United States at the Wissenschaftsrat's international hearing on the role of women in science and research on November 27 and 28 in Cologne. Along with Linda Skidmore from the National Research Council, Burger joined representatives from Great Britain, the Netherlands, France, Italy, Spain, Sweden, and Germany. She then traveled to Bonn to meet with the minister of science and technology. Information from these meetings will be used to advise the federal and state governments of Germany on matters of higher education and research policy.

Joyce Williams-Green, director of black studies at Virginia Tech, presented the following papers: with Delia Grenville, John Muffo and Glen Holmes, "Black Studies Course Assessment on the Internet," presented at the Virginia Assessment Group Conference in Fairfax; with Holmes and Thomas Sherman, "Information Technologies and Black Studies Classes," an Invited paper presented at Visions of the Future: The Information Revolution & People of Color Conference at the University of Maryland College Park; with Sherman and Holmes, "Information Technology in Black Studies," presented at the Association for the Study Of Afro-American Life and History Conference, Charleston, S.C.; with Sherman, "Culture as A Decision Variable for Designing Computer Software," presented at The Association For The Study Of Afro-American Life and History Conference, Charleston, S.C.

Matthew McAllister of the communication-studies department has been elected chair of the Popular Communication Interest Group of the International Communication Association for a two-year term. In 1998, he will become chair of the group.

The Virginia Tech chapter of the Public Relations Student Society of America (PRSSA) was named the national chapter of the year at the annual national conference of PRSSA in St. Louis. Fourteen members of the chapter attended the conference. The group was awarded a plaque and $500.

John Carroll, head of the computer-science department, attended the Association for Computing Machinery (ACM) Conference on Computer Supported Work at Cambridge, Mass. At the conference, Carroll presented a tutorial on "Community Networks" with Carmen Sears of Telequent Communications and participated in a workshop on "Distributed Learning Through Computer-Supported Cooperative Learning."

Judith L. Shrum, associate professor of Spanish, was recently recognized by the Foreign Language Association of Virginia (FLAVA) as the recipient of its annual Award for Distinguished Service to Foreign Language Education. Membership in FLAVA consists of Virginia foreign-language teachers from all academic levels--grades K-12 and college/university. The award is given annually to the teacher or administrator who has rendered meritorious service to the field of foreign-language education at the local, state, and national levels. Since 1981, Shrum has held a joint faculty appointment in the College of Arts and Sciences and the College of Human Resources and Education. She is a member of the Virginia Tech Academy of Teaching Excellence, a recipient of the William E. Wine Award for Excellence in Teaching, and a recipient of the Dean's Award for Teaching Excellence in the College of Education.

Justo C. Ulloa, professor of Spanish and Spanish American literature at Virginia Tech, has been elected to the executive committee of the South Atlantic Modern Language Association (SAMLA), a professional organization of teachers and scholars dedicated in general to the cause of humanities and in particular to the advancement of scholarship and teaching in English and modern foreign languages and literatures. Ulloa has been an active SAMLA member since presenting one of his first professional papers at the Atlanta convention in 1975, among other things helping to form the new Spanish IV section on Contemporary Spanish American Literature.

Richard Rich, head of the political-science department at Virginia Tech, made a presentation in Indianapolis, Ind., to the Indiana Emergency Management Association on the role of risk communication in responding to environmental emergencies.

Humberto Rodriguez-Camilloni, director of the Henry H. Wiss Center for Theory and History of Art and Architecture, and Francis Ventre, CAUS professor emeritus, are contributing authors on Spanish Colonial art and architecture and building technology, respectively, in the recently published multi-volume work The Dictionary of Art. This work, consisting of 34 volumes, contains contributions by 6,700 authors from around the world. Contributors are authorities in their field who devoted 14 years to the production of these volumes. The CAUS art and architecture library recently received a set of this work.

Michael O'Brien, architecture professor and co-chair of the graduate architecture program, will be a guest professor at the Royal Academy of Fine Arts in Copenhagen, Denmark, for two weeks in February. He will lecture, teach design, and prepare an exhibition of student work.

The Center for Housing Research, headed by Director Theodore Koebel, was recognized in October in Richmond, by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development for its participation in the Virginia Homeownership Partnership. John Ritchie, director of the Virginia Housing Development Authority presented the center a poster signed by HUD Secretary Henry Cisnero recognizing the contributions of the Virginia Homeownership Partnership to the national homeownership strategy.

Diane Zahm of urban affairs and planning spoke at the Attorney General's Summit on "Protecting Virginia's Places of Worship From Arson and Vandalism." The event was sponsored by Attorney General James Gilmore at Virginia Union University and was taped by the Richmond PBS station. Zahm's topic was titled, "Effectively Addressing Crime with Proven Crime Prevention Techniques."

R. Sivanandan, assistant professor of civil engineering and assistant director of research at the Center for Transportation Research (CTR), presented a paper, "The I-81 Corridor in Virginia: Rural Transportation Issues and ITS Opportunities," at the recent National Rural Intelligent Transportation Systems (ITS) Conference in Spokane, Washington. The paper was co-authored with former research associate Do Nam, former graduate student Mike Sawyer, and CTR associate director Ray Pethtel. The paper, which examined potential benefits of ITS applications, was prepared as part of a major research initiative addressing transportation issues in the I-81 Corridor.

Linda Plaut, professor of humanities in the Center for Interdisciplinary Studies at Virginia Tech, presented papers at two national conferences, the Fourth Festival of Women Composers International and the Sonneck Society for American Music. Plaut was a member of the panel chosen for the final plenary session and performance at the Virginia Women's Studies Association conference on "Racialization, Gender, and the Academy" held at the Hotel Roanoke.

Plaut and Doris Zallen of the Center for the Study of Science in Society received summer faculty fellowships from the Center for Excellence in Undergraduate Teaching, funding their joint project, "Creating Instructional Materials for Interdisciplinary Courses." They are using the materials this fall in two courses, and Plaut will continue their use in another course in the spring. Plaut has also received a grant from the Women and Minority Artist and Scholars Lecture Series, funding the visit of British pianist and scholar Katharine Boyes in March.

Mary Beth Rosson, associate professor of computer science, attended HCI'96 (Human-Computer Interaction) in London, where she presented a paper titled "A Web Storybase." She also had a paper on "The human factor in software development" published in ACM (Association for Computing Machinery) Computing Surveys and, with John M. Carroll, had a paper on "Scaffolded examples" published in the Communications of the ACM and one on "Reuse of Examples in Smalltalk Programming" in ACM Transactions on Computer-Human Interaction. Rosson attended OOPSLA'96 (Object-Oriented Programming Systems, Languages, and Applications) in San Jose, Cal., where she chaired a session on Visual Systems. She also gave an invited talk to the Research Triangle Park Chapter of the ACM on "Grassroots Technology: The Blacksburg Electronic Village."

Jim Collier and David Toomey of the English department have had their book Scientific and Technical Communication: Theory, Practice, and Policy published by Sage Publications.

Jeff Mann of the English department has had his poem "Gay Pride Day" published in Poet Lore. Mann's poems "Behind the Waterfall," "Dunkleheit," "Humus of History," and "Pie Holler" were published in Bohemian Bridge.

Christine Kiebuzinska of the English department has had her article "Theater and Theory" published in Sucasnist. She also gave a paper tiled "Elfriede Jelinek's Totenauberg: There's No Place Like Heimat" at the Southern Comparative Literature Conference in Columbia, S.C.

J.D. Stahl of the English department has had his article "Mark Twain's `Slovenly Peter' in the Context of Twain and German Culture" published in The Lion and the Unicorn.

Edward Tucker of the English department has had three articles published: "References in Longfellow's Journals (1856-1882) to Charles Dickens" in Dickens Annual Studies; "Darley's Model for Roger Chillingworth" in Nathaniel Hawthorne Review; and "James and Charles Dickens" in The Henry James Review.

Several members of the English faculty were on the program of the South Atlantic Modern Language Association Convention in Savannah, Ga.: Stephen Mooney chaired the Appalachian Literature section; Paul Heilker read a paper, "Composition and Visually Informative Texts: the Return of the Canon of Delivery"; Linda Anderson read a paper, "`A Losing Office': Shakespeare's Use of Messengers"; Hilbert Campbell read a paper, "Heathcliff in Hoot Owl Holler: Lee Smith and the Bronte Sisters."

Andrew S. Becker, associate professor of classics, was selected as a faculty member for the fourth time for the Governor's Latin Academy held at Hollins College. He also delivered a paper on the teaching of Latin literature in undergraduate language classes at the meeting of the Classical Association of the Middle West and South in Savannah, Ga. Becker also conducted a workshop on Beyond Translation: Word Order, Expectations, and Pleasure in Latin Literature at the Foreign Language Association of Virginia. Becker served as director of the Classical Essay Contest for the Classical Association of Virginia and is a member of the association's board of directors.

William E. Newton, head of the Department of Biochemistry, has been named a fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science. The AAAS is the world's largest federation of scientists, with more than 144,000 members. Founded in 1848, the association is widely known for its weekly, peer-reviewed journal, Science. Newton joins an impressive list of scholars named fellows since the AAAS established the honor in 1874. He will be recognized at the association's annual meeting in Seattle in February. Newton has edited or co-edited 13 books, authored about 200 papers, and has been invited to lecture and conduct seminars world-wide. His research at Virginia Tech centers on the enzyme nitrogenase and determining how it goes about fixing nitrogen. An understanding of the molecular mechanism of nitrogen fixation should prove invaluable in developing environmentally sound fertilizer systems.