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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 31 - May 22, 1997

Edward F.D. Spencer, assistant vice president for Student Affairs and director of Residential and Dining Programs, has recently received two awards in recognition of his work as advisor to the Virginia Tech chapter of the Sigma Chi Fraternity: Interfraternity Council's "Greek Advisor of the Year" Award and the Edwin LeClerg Outstanding Chapter Advisor Award, given by the Sigma Chi International Fraternity to the most outstanding chapter advisor of all of its 230 chapters.

Arati Kamath, a graduate student working in Mitzi Nagarkatti's laboratory in the Virginia-Maryland Regional College of Veterinary Medicine, was selected as a finalist for the Carl C. Smith Graduate Student Awards at the Society of Toxicology national meeting held at Cincinnati in March 1997. She presented evidence for the first time that dioxin, a highly toxic environmental contaminant, destroys immune cells by triggering a unique process called apoptosis involving DNA fragmentation.

John L. Robertson, associate professor, Department of Biomedical Sciences and Pathobiology, VMRCVM, was one of 30 professors from around the world invited to make presentations during the Dubai International Equine Symposium in the United Arab Emirates. Robertson presented "Post mortem examination of the equine respiratory tract" and "Chronic bronochitis/bronchiolitis-the pathologist's viewpoint on obstructive lung disease" during the symposium, which focused on equine respiratory disorders. Sponsored by Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, the prime minister of Dubai, UAE, the meeting was organized to coincide with the Dubai World Cup Horse Race.

During a reception on April 20, the College of Engineering recognized 12 faculty members for "extraordinary performance" in research, service, and teaching. Recipients, who were nominated by engineering department heads, each received a plaque and a $2,000 cash bonus.

Dean of Engineering F. William Stephenson presented the Dean's Awards for Excellence in Research to Romesh Batra, the Clifton C. Garvin professor of engineering science and mechanics; Fred Lee, professor of electrical engineering and the Lewis A. Hester chair of engineering; Saied Mostaghimi, professor of biological systems engineering; and Ted Oyama, professor of chemical engineering.

Dean's Awards for Excellence in Service were presented to Greg Adel, professor of mining and minerals engineering; Bob Mahan, professor of mechanical engineering; Cliff Randall, the Charles P. Lunsford professor of civil engineering; and Tom Walker, associate professor of engineering fundamentals.

Receiving Dean's Awards for Excellence in Teaching were William Devenport, associate professor of aerospace and ocean engineering; Siegfried Holzer, alumni distinguished professor of civil engineering; Ron Kander, associate professor of materials science and engineering; and Doug Nelson, associate professor of mechanical engineering.

Richard Hanowski, a graduate student in industrial and systems engineering and a research assistant at the Center for Transportation Research, was awarded first place in the graduate category of Physical Sciences and Engineering at the 13th Annual Graduate Research Symposium held at Virginia Tech on April 28. Hanowski's poster/presentation was titled "Driver Reaction to Unexpected Situations When Using an In-Vehicle Information System that Integrates an In-Vehicle Signing Information System, an In-Vehicle Routing and Navigation System, and an In-Vehicle Safety Advisory and Warning System."

Steven M. Belz, a graduate student in industrial and systems engineering, placed second in this year's competition for the Paul E. Torgersen Graduate Research Award for master's research within the College of Engineering. His thesis was entitled "A Simulator-Based Investigation of Visual, Auditory, and Mixed-Modality Display of Vehicle Dynamic State Information to Commercial Motor Vehicle Operators."

The Western Virginia Chapter of the Institute of Industrial Engineers (IIE) received a Silver Award in IIE's national chapter recognition program. Garry D. Coleman, visiting assistant professor in the Virginia Tech Industrial and Systems Engineering (ISE) Department, is the chapter's president. Other ISE faculty members who serve as chapter officers are John Kobza, Brian Kleiner, Pat Koelling, and Eileen VanAken.