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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 15 - December 12, 1996

J.C. Gordon, associate director of program development and David Waterman, assistant director of program development in the Division of Continuing Education were invited to conduct a session at the Art and Science of Conferencing in an Academic Environment: Teaming for Dynamic Programming Conference sponsored by University Continuing Education Association's Division of Conferences and Institutes and hosted by Western Michigan University in Chicago, Illinois. The presentation was on the successful collaboration between the Division of Continuing Education at Virginia Tech and a sister institution in Russia that resulted in a non-credit, year-long international exchange program.

Merle D. Pierson, professor of food science and technology, has been elected by the 220 member Council of the of the Institute of Food Technologists (IFT) as one of the final two candidates for IFT president. Final selection is expected after the first of the year. Pierson is an IFT fellow and he has provided leadership to IFT through his service as chairman of the Food Microbiology Division, chairman of the Basic Symposium Committee, Executive Committee, and numerous other committees.

He is recognized internationally for his work on food safety and he serves as a member of the USDA/FDA/DoC/DoD National Advisory Committee on Microbiological Criteria for Foods. Pierson has published more than 100 papers and five books on food safety and quality. IFT is the world's leading society for food science and technology. IFT has more than 28,000 members from industry, government and academia from throughout the world. The mission of IFT is to support improvement of the food supply and its use through science, technology, and education. The activities of IFT are carried out through its 23 divisions, 55 regional sections, 57 student chapters, 22 affiliate organizations, 19 committees, annual meeting, and scientific publications.

Sue A. Tolin, professor of plant pathology, was presented the Distinguished Service Award by the Potomac Division of the American Phytopathological Society at its meeting in October. The award was made for her outstanding contributions to the science of plant pathology and particularly to activities of the Potomac Division, which is comprised of plant pathologists in Virginia, Maryland, Delaware, West Virginia, and the District of Columbia. Tolin served as president of the parent society in 1994-1995 and was named an APS fellow in 1984.

She currently serves as a member of the APS National Plant Pathology Board which addresses national issues, and represents APS on the Coalition for Funding Agricultural Research Missions and on the newly formed Coalition for Research on Plant Systems.

Also at the meeting, David B. Langston, a graduate student in the Department of Plant Pathology, Physiology, and Weed Science, received a first-place award for his research paper titled "Importance of host growth and environment in timing fungicide sprays for control of Sclerotinia blight of peanut." Co-authors were. P.M. Phipps and R.J. Stipes.

Jonathan Flora, another graduate student, received a second-place award for his research paper titled "Heat shock does not alter resistance response of the soybean Rsv1 gene to soybean mosaic virus." His paper was co-authored by Tolin.

Anton B. Baudoin, associate professor of plant pathology, was elected secretary-treasurer for the Potomac Division.

Tolin also attended the 14th meeting of the International Working Group on Legume Viruses (IWGLV), held in Cairo, Egypt, in August 1996. At the meeting she presented two papers and chaired a contributed paper session. One of her papers was an invited presentation titled "A Review of the Cucumoviruses Infecting Legumes" in the symposium "Major Virus Groups Affecting Legumes: Listing, Taxonomy, Ecology, Detection Methodology and Control". The second paper, co-authored by M.A. Saghai-Maroof and G.R. Buss, professors of crop and soil environmental sciences, was titled "Understanding the Mechanism and Genetics of Response of Soybeans to Soybean Mosaic Potyvirus".

Tolin was elected executive secretary of the IWGLV for a three-year term beginning in 1997. The group was established in 1961 and is one of the oldest active international groups of crop-oriented plant virologists. It facilitates communication and exchange of research materials among members, who are now from 41 different countries.

Haven R. Cook Jr., laboratory technician senior in the Department of Crop and Soil Environmental Sciences, has been awarded the November College of Agriculture and Life Sciences' Employee Recognition Award. Cook has just completed his 40th year with the department. The award is part of CALS's ongoing program to recognize the contributions of classified staff employees to the college's success. It is presented to a college staff member who has made exceptional contributions to his or her department and to the college.

Cook coordinates the orderly handling of about 30,000 soil samples annually through the Virginia Tech Soil Testing Laboratory. This involves sample setup, preparation for analysis, storage, and disposal. His position also includes some supervision, equipment maintenance, and the initial receipt of a large amount of money each year through the mail.

According to college administrators, while Cook is officially a laboratory technician, he actually functions as a combination mechanic and technician. He has saved the lab many dollars and much down-time due to his dependable nature and innovation. Furthermore, he offers helpful suggestions and shares lessons learned in the past, both of which help the department meet its goals. Finally, his positive attitude helps to improve the morale of those around him.

Representatives of Virginia Tech's Division of Continuing Education took part in the program of the Region III annual meeting of the University Continuing Education Association in Gatlinburg, Tenn. Ted Settle, director, delivered a presentation, "The Academy in Change," on the status of outreach and lessons learned at Virginia Tech. David Waterman and J.C. Gordon, assistant and associate director for program development, respectively, convened a session, "Outreach Across the Seas: Joining Hands in the Global Community," which looked at a continuing-education program with Russian students studying at Virginia Tech for a year.

Sam Easterling, associate professor of civil engineering, received the State-of-the-Art Award in November from the American Society of Civil Engineers during the society's annual conference in Washington, D.C. The award recognized Easterling and five other engineers for their paper, "Guidelines for Design of Joints Between Steel Beams and Reinforced Concrete Columns," which was published in the Journal of Structural Engineering in 1994.

John Burton, chair of the Department of Teaching and Learning in the College of Human Resources and Education, and Andrea Kavanaugh, director of research for the Blacksburg Electronic Village and an affiliated faculty member with the Department of Communication Studies, have received a grant from The National Science Foundation titled "The Impact of Networking on K-12 Education Reform." The purpose of the grant is to evaluate the impact of Internet resources in combination with different-teaching strategies (teacher-centered vs. learner-centered) on student performance, including motivation and interest in subject matter. Four K-12 school districts-Montgomery County, Giles County, Alexandria City, and Goochland County-are participating in the project.

Gary Hardcastle, assistant professor in philosophy and the Center for Interdisciplinary Studies, gave a paper, "Argumentation and the Pursuit of Truth," at Concordia University, Montreal, Canada, and the paper "The Science of Science Discussion Group at Harvard, 1940-1941" to the Center for Philosophy of Science at the University of Pittsburgh.

Roger Ariew, professor in the department of philosophy, published "The Principles and the Summa of Philosophy in Four Parts" and "The Principles in France and Condemnations of Cartesianism" in a book called Decartes Principles of Philosophy (1644-1994), edited by J.R. Armogathe and G. Belgioioso. He has also had an article on the context of Descartes's philosophy translated into Japanese and published in a collection of the top 10 best Anglo-American contributions to Cartesian studies.

Doris T. Zallen, associate professor of science and technology studies, was the keynote speaker at a conference on the ethics of genetic testing held in Indianapolis. She was the concluding speaker in the Virginia Foundation for the Humanities series where she spoke on "Science, Technology, and Community." In addition, she presented a paper on "Gaps in the Provision of Genetic Information by the Medical Community" at the annual meeting of the American Society of Human Genetics in San Francisco.

J.A.N. Lee of the Department of Computer Science received a Certificate of Appreciation from the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers Computer Society (IEEE) "for his outstanding support to the celebration of the 50th Anniversary of the IEEE Computer Society." The award was presented at the Supercomputing Conference 20. Lee is a member of the 50th Anniversary Committee of the History Committee of the IEEE Computer Society and is chair of the History Committee Flying Squad. He also serves as vice president of membership and chair of the Membership Activities Board and currently sits on the Board of Governors for the IEEE Computer Society.

John M. Carroll and Mary Beth Rosson of the Department of Computer Science published an invited article, "Developing the Blacksburg Electronic Village," in the Communications of the Association for Computing Machinery.

Richard Rich, head of the Department of Political Science, served on the Program Committee for the International Conference of the Society for Risk Analysis in New Orleans in December. In addition to helping organize more than 100 panels, Rich chaired two panels and served as a discussant on another.