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Nevin R. Frantz Jr., 60

By Sandy Broughton

Spectrum Volume 19 Issue 32 - June 5, 1997

Nevin R. Frantz Jr., a professor of Vocational and Technical Education in the College of Human Resources and Education, died Thursday, May 29, at his home in Blacksburg. He was 60.
Frantz, a member of the Virginia Tech faculty since 1979, was division director for Vocational and Technical Education for 14 years. Under his leadership, the program was recognized as one of the most innovative and comprehensive programs of its kind. It was recently ranked fourth in the country by U.S. News and World Report.
A native of Lancaster, Pa., Frantz began his career in education as a graduate of Millersville State Teachers College in 1959. He received both his master's degree and a doctorate in education from the University of Maryland. He was an associate professor of industry and technology at Northern Illinois University from 1967 to 1970, an associate professor of vocational education at the University of Georgia from 1970 to 1974, and a professor of occupational education at the University of Delaware from 1974 to 1979.
In 1979 he joined the faculty at Virginia Tech as professor and director of the Division of Vocational and Technical Education, a post he held for 14 years. During that time, the Vocational Technical Education program grew and gained an international reputation for student selectivity, faculty research, and comprehensive course offerings. It drew students from across the United State as well as Finland, Greece, Taiwan, Malaysia, Belize, China, South Africa, Nigeria, and other countries.
Frantz also became a noted leader in the field of vocational and technical education world-wide, made numerous presentations to professional organizations, and was widely published. He worked with the U.S. Department of Education, the National Center for Research in Vocational Education, and businesses and community colleges throughout Virginia.
In 1987 he was named ambassador with the People to Peoples Program to the People's Republic of China. In 1993 he returned to teaching. He was one of four Tech faculty members who collaborated on a program for Southwest Virginia educators to promote cooperation between vocational, academic, and special educators, and to better prepare students for employment and further education.
In 1994 he was selected as a Fulbright scholar by the Council for International Exchange of Scholars and the Finland U.S. Educational Exchange Commission and spent a two-month period at the Institute for Educational Research at the University of Jyvaskyla in Finland. While there, Frantz researched the restructuring of vocational education in public schools to integrate job skills programs with preparation for further learning.
Frantz was executive director of Omicron Tau Theta, a graduate honorary professional society. He also served as treasurer of the National Association of Industrial and Technical Teacher Educators. In 1994 Frantz was chosen recipient of the Outstanding Service Award by the American Vocational Association. The award is given to educators in recognition of meritorious contributions to the improvement, promotion, development, and progress of vocational/technical education.
A memorial service will be held Saturday, June 7, at 11 a.m. at Luther Memorial Lutheran Church in Blacksburg. In lieu of flowers, contributions may be made to the Nevin Richards Frantz Jr. Outstanding Graduate Student Award Fund, care of Omicron Tau Theta, Room 119 Wallace Hall, Virginia Tech, Blacksburg, VA, 24061-1467.