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Engineering associate deans selected

By Liz Crumbley

Spectrum Volume 19 Issue 31 - May 22, 1997

F. William Stephenson, dean of the College of Engineering, has announced the appointments of Malcolm J. McPherson, professor and eminent scholar of mining and minerals engineering (MinE), and Bevlee A. Watford, associate professor of industrial and systems engineering and director of Minority Engineering Programs (MEP), as associate deans for the college.

McPherson, the Massey professor of MinE, will assume the position of associate dean for research and graduate studies on August 15. McPherson came to Virginia Tech in 1992 from the University of California at Berkeley. Since 1993, he has led a successful campaign to institute a green-engineering program, making the Tech engineering college one of the first schools in the nation to aggressively incorporate the principles of environmentally conscious engineering in the curriculum.

Stephenson said McPherson, as associate dean, "will play a major role in developing new opportunities for off-campus and interdisciplinary research initiatives, which are so important to the future of the college."

McPherson replaces Michael C. Vorster, a professor of civil engineering who became associate dean in 1993. Vorster will return full-time to teaching and research.

On August 1, Watford will become associate dean for academic affairs. A Virginia Tech alumna, Watford returned as a faculty member in 1992 after earning tenure at Clemson University. As MEP director, she has established numerous education and mentoring programs that have substantially increased the college's recruitment and retention of minority students. Watford will continue to direct the MEP.

"Dr. Watford's vision and pro-active style will play a significant role in further developing the advising, recruiting, and mentoring activities in the college," Stephenson said.

Watford replaces Hayden Griffin, associate dean since 1993, who will become director of the college's Division of Engineering Fundamentals.