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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 28 - April 17, 1997

J. Thomas Brown, assistant dean of students and director of orientation programs, has been appointed regional coordinator for the National Orientation Directors Association (NODA). He will oversee the professional development and training needs of orientation directors in Delaware, New Hersey, Pennsylvania, Maryland, Virginia, West Virginia, and the District of Columbia. He also will serve as the liaison from the national board of directors to facilitate communication among NODA members in his region.

Ali H. Nayfeh, university distinguished professor of engineering science and mechanics, has been selected by the American Society of Mechanical Engineers Design Engineering Division to receive the J.P. Den Hartog Award for 1997. The award will be presented to Nayfeh in recognition of his lifetime contributions to the teaching and practice of vibration engineering. He will accept the honor during the 1997 Vibrations Conference, September 14-17 in Sacramento, Calif.

C. William Smith, alumni distinguished professor emeritus of engineering science and mechanics, has been named a fellow of ASME International (American Society of Mechanical Engineers). The status of fellow is conferred upon ASME members with at least 10 years of active engineering practice who have made significant contributions to their profession.

Jim Brown, associate professor of marketing, will receive the 1996 Harold H. Maynard Award together with Journal of Marketing editor Robert Lusch for an article they co-authored, "Interdependency, Contracting, and Relational Behavior in Marketing Channels." The article, published in the October 1996 issue of Journal of Marketing, was selected by the journal's editorial review board as one "that has made the most significant contribution to marketing theory and thought." It tied for the award with another article in the journal.

Laura Poppo, assistant professor of management, and a faculty member from McGill University were awarded a $10,000 grant from the Center for Creative Leadership at the University of North Carolina-Greensboro for the proposal, "Learning to Learn: Individual Learning Styles, Organizational Cultures, and Information Exchange in Organizational Settings." The project will study how people learn, communicate with each other, and make decisions within organizations. It will investigate organizations and individuals, and examine whether managers can design an organization that is more capable of facilitating learning across the organization.

Don Chance, finance professor, presented a paper, "The Effect of Dividend Uncertainty on the Pricing of Stock Index Futures and Options," at the University of Tennessee and at the Enron research seminar at Rice University. He also organized a panel session on risk management for the Chicago Board of Trade.

George Morgan, finance professor, and Sam Hicks, associate professor of accounting, received fellowships from the university's Center for Organization and Technology Advancement. COTA fellowships are awarded on a competitive basis to faculty members to create continuing education courses or workshops to be held primarily at the Hotel Roanoke and Conference Center.

Morgan received $60,000 to design, develop, and implement a series of multidisciplinary workshops for business people in wireless telecommunications. The first "Wireless Entrepreneurs' Workshop" will be held this October, with others to follow during the next two years. A highlight of this fall's workshop will be the presentation of the "Wireless Entrepreneur of the Year in Virginia" award to Mark Warner, chairman and chief executive officer of Columbia Capital. The workshop will focus on the business opportunities emerging in wireless markets and the marketing, financial, and entrepreneurial strategies that companies can use.

Hicks received almost $80,000 to develop and present, over a two-year period, 11 courses on tax and technology that would help small businesses. He is also developing, with other faculty members, courses for both the tax adviser and the taxpayer.

Carroll Stephens, assistant professor of management, has been named special senior editor of Organization Science.

Terry Rakes, professor of management science and information technology, was named president-elect of the Decision Sciences Institute for 1997-98. He will serve as president in 1998-99.

Christopher Neck, assistant professor of management, co-authored For Team Members Only: Making Your Workplace Team Productive and Hassle-Free, recently published by Amacom Press. The book is designed to help employees develop skills for individual success while working within a team to accomplish team goals.

SEED, the student group that is managing $2 million of the university's $240 million-plus endowment, achieved a 25.9-percent return during 1996, beating the S&P and NASDAQ. SEED finished in third place for the year among Virginia Tech's five domestic equity managers. During the first three quarters, it outperformed the four professional managers, including Wall Street firms Jennison Associates and Lynch and Mayer. SEED's portfolio has reached a value of $2.9 million. It is the third largest student-run investment program in the nation and the largest student-managed endowment that is managed entirely as a voluntary extracurricular activity (members receive no class credit).

Barry O'Donnell, associate director for the Pamplin College of Business MBA Program, presented a career planning and marketing model at a workshop last fall on interviewing techniques. The workshop, held at Washington and Lee University, was attended by more than 40 members of the Virginia Association of Colleges and Employers. O'Donnell developed his model, "Success-Related Observable Behaviors," to help both job seekers and recruiting professionals improve their effectiveness in the recruiting process.

Ted Settle, director of Continuing Education, recently presented a program titled "Strategies for Developing Successful Partnerships" at the 5th Annual Marketing Seminar for the University Continuing Education Association.

Settle recently presented a program titled "Offering Continuing Education Programs to Improve Services to Your Members" at the monthly meeting of the Virginia Society of Association Executives. He also presented a program titled "Applying the Lessons of Experience to Developing Engineers" at a TOOLS/ Benchmarks Users conference sponsored by the Center for Creative Leadership in Greensboro.

Roy S. Jones, associate director for Program Development in the Division of Continuing Education, recently chaired the "Marketing the Humanities" session of the 13th Annual University Continuing Education Association Humanities, Arts and Sciences Divisional Conference. He also moderated a session on "Strategies for the Year 2000."

Jones recently served on a panel discussing "The Elderhostel Site Coordinator-The Secret to Program Success" at the Virginia Elderhostel Coordinators meeting. He also has been appointed to the National Tuition Committee of Elderhostel International.

He also recently served on the host committee for the Montgomery County Career Day in Blacksburg and served as a judge in the 1997 Virginia FHA-HERO competition at Bluefield College.

Andy Honaker and Charlotte Reed, economic-development specialists in Public Service Programs, recently presented a program titled "Marketing Your Event on VISIT Virginia" at the Joint Annual Conference of the Virginia and Baltimore-Washington Festival and Events Associations.

Reed recently provided leadership for three strategic visioning session for Franklin county. She also has been appointed co-chair of the Economy Committee for the New Century Council for 1997.

Michael Hensley, director of Tech's Economic Development Assistance Center, has been elected to the Board of Directors of the Technical Education Division of the American Vocational Association. Hensley also has been appointed a Samuel M. Walton fellow by the Students In Free Enterprise Foundation, which supports establishment and growth of collegiate clubs that provide entrepreneurial skills and experiences for undergraduates.

Joe Adams, economic-development specialist in Public Service Programs, has received the 1996 Governor's Award for Excellence for outstanding work in the Virginia Economic Development Partnership's International Market Planning program. Adams led a team of graduate students on a marketing project for Ingersoll-Rand Company in Roanoke.

Peggy Arnold, fiscal technician in the Department of Biochemistry, was recognized this week by her peers for her contributions to university. Andy Swiger, dean of the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences, presented a plaque to Arnold on behalf of an informal association of university bookkeepers she helped found four years ago.

The group, called the "Fiscal Bunch for Lunch," quickly evolved from a social group to an organization promoting the interests of bookkeepers and providing professional development. The organization recognized Arnold's leadership role in the growth of the group, which now numbers more than 70 members from departments across the university.

Arnold has arranged for speakers to address the group on a variety of issues to improve their professional skills. In addition, she has represented bookkeepers in a number of university committees, giving them a voice in the development and implementation of policies.

Dan Brann, Extension agronomist in the Department of Crop and Soil Environmental Sciences, has been chosen Man of the Year by Progressive Farmer Magazine. His involvement in forming the Virginia Corn Growers Association, the Virginia Small Grains Association, and his cooperative work in helping farmers grow profitable small-grain crops, especially higher yields and quality of wheat, earned him the honor. His contributions have also earned him state and national awards, including the Virginia Tech Alumni Award for Extension Excellence

Gamma Sigma Delta, the honor society of agriculture, presented awards to faculty members of the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences in March recognizing their contributions to agriculture. The awards were:

Faculty Extension award to Charles C. Stallings, Extension dairy scientist in the Department of Dairy Science; faculty teaching to Dan Eversole, associate professor of animal and poultry science; and faculty research to Ken Webb, professor of animal and poultry science.

Two awards for distinguished service to agriculture were given. One award went to Reggie Nelson IV, a Henrico County farmer, a member of Virginia Tech Board of Visitors, and a university alumnus who serves on the Leadership Council for the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences. The other award winner was L.T. Kok, professor of entomology, for his work which included thistle control.

The Soil and Water Conservation Society selected faculty and staff members in the Department of Biological Systems Engineering to receive the society's 1997 Merit Award. The national award is in recognition of the team's outstanding research, teaching, and outreach contributions, and it will be presented at the 52nd Annual Meeting of the Society in Toronto, Canada, this summer. The members of the team are: Jan Carr, Eldridge Collins, Dexter Davis, Theo Dillaha, Conrad Heatwole, Philip McClellan, Saied Mostaghimi, John Perumpral, Blake Ross, Vernon Shanholtz, and Mary Leigh Wolfe.

Glen Heuberger, director of the Tidewater Agricultural Research and Extension Center in Suffolk, received the Virginia Soybean Association's "Research and Education Award" in recognition of support to the association and for educational programs that have benefited Virginia Soybean Farmers.

Donald Sowers, research specialist in the Horticulture Department, has been named the March 1997 recipient of the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences' Employee Recognition Award. Sowers has served the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences for 30 years.

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/her department and to the college.

Sowers has most recently worked with the Virginia Tree Fruit Research Program. When the program lost a technician three years ago, Sowers' responsibilities increased as he unofficially began working for two supervisors. Duties include supervising the collection of data in tree fruit experiments, applying treatments, and designing and building research equipment. His dedication is evident as he works weekends and nights, works through lunch hour, takes work home with him, and starts work early during the busy harvest season.

Sowers has taken a number of courses to develop skills that he uses in his work. He also attends fruit Extension meetings each year to keep up-to-date with modern fruit-production techniques and proper use of agricultural chemicals. Outside of his specified duties, Sowers contributes in many ways that benefit his department: maintaining departmental trucks, repairing equipment, and assisting in undergraduate club projects.

In the words of one of his nominators, "Donnie Sowers exhibits a can-do, positive attitude that helps us all. He has a positive effect on those who work with him and exemplifies the best that the employees of Virginia Tech have to offer."

Charles C. Stallings, professor and Extension dairy scientist, recently traveled to Turkey to present seminars on the use of soybean products in the diets of dairy cattle. While there, he made presentations in Denizli, Selcuk, and Gonen. In addition, he provided consultation to feed companies and local consultants on techniques for feed analysis and ration formulation.

Karen Roberto, director of the Virginia Tech Center for Gerontology and a Family and Child Development faculty member in the College of Human Resources and Education, and Rosemary Blieszner, associate director of the Center for Gerontology and a Family and Child Development faculty member, have been named 1996-97 AGHE fellows in Gerontology and Geriatric Education by the Association for Gerontology in Higher Education. AGHE fellow status recognizes outstanding leadership in gerontology and geriatric education by established scholars and educators. Fellows are selected on the basis of outstanding achievement in teaching, scholarship, and research on educational issues; influential research publication or theoretical contributions used in gerontology and geriatric education and training; or leadership in administration and funding of gerontology and geriatric educational programs, including development of new programs.

Phyllis Greenberg, doctoral candidate in adult development and aging in the department of Family and Child Development, has been appointed to the Task Force on Women of the Gerontological Society of America. The Task Force is charged with working on ways to increase research on and knowledge about older women, increase the use of research on older women in policy and program development, and expand leadership opportunities for scholars, educators, and policy makers who work to benefit older women.

Eric Wiedegreen and Anna Marshall-Baker of the interior design faculty received a First Place Regional Chairs' Award for their poster presentation "Using Universal Design as a Core College Issue" at the 1997 Interior Design Educators Council International Conference, held in Cincinnati in March. Joan McLain-Kark, associate professor in the department of Housing, Interior Design, and Resource Management, and Pat Lindsey, Ph.D. '96, received the "best paper" award (out of 31 presented) at the conference. Their paper was titled "Comparison of Virtual Reality and Real Observations for Perception of NASA's Marshall Space Flight Center." Interior design junior Hansoo Kim received a Best in Show award for the IDEC student international design competition. In addition to the $750 cash award for Kim, his sponsoring faculty members, Wiedegreen and Marshall-Baker, will receive an all-expense paid trip to the BASF Design Conference.

M.W. Hyer, professor of engineering science and mechanics, presented an invited lecture, "The Mechanics of Composite Materials and Structures," at the Gordon Research Conference for Composites in Ventura, Calif., in January. The Gordon conference brings together leading experts from academia, industry, and government to discuss the latest developments in particular research fields.

Walter O'Brien, head of the Department of Mechanical Engineering, has been appointed to the Technical Area Review and Assessment (TARA) Team for U.S. Department of Defense (DOD) Science and Technology Programs. Anita Jones, director of DOD's Office of Defense Research and Engineering, invited O'Brien to join the team. The team's reviews, Jones said, will assist the DOD in planning, programming, and budgeting science and technology efforts. TARA team members represent several institutions and industries, including Lockheed Martin Corp., U.S. Air Force Academy, McDonnell Douglas Aerospace, and Boeing Defense & Space Group. In March, the team met at Wright Patterson Air Force Base in Ohio to assess DOD air platform research and development.

Hanif D. Sherali, the Charles O. Gordon professor of industrial and systems engineering, has been selected to receive the Albert G. Holzman Distinguished Educator Award from the Institute of Industrial Engineers. The award recognizes outstanding educators who have contributed significantly to industrial engineering through teaching, research, publication, extension, innovation, or administration in an academic environment. The award, which is endowed by H.B. Maynard and Co., is presented in honor of Albert G. Holzman, late chairman of the school of industrial engineering at the University of Pittsburgh. Sherali will receive the award during the Industrial Engineering Solutions '97 Conference and Expo in Miami Beach, Florida.