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University researchers being recognized on WVTF this semester

By Susan Trulove

Spectrum Volume 20 Issue 20 - February 12, 1998

The names of 18 additional Virginia Tech researchers have been submitted to WVTF as part of a public-recognition program sponsored by Research and Graduate Studies.
Week-long recognition of a specific faculty member for his or her outstanding research takes the form of 14 20-word announcements. The first 12 individuals were selected from among university and alumni distinguished professors. The second group of 18 individuals was nominated by department heads with the ADP/UDP group and Len Peters, vice provost for research and dean of the Graduate School, making the final selections. A third group will be submitted in April from among remaining department nominations.
"We are focusing on research achievements that can be described succinctly in a way that will allow people to realize the impact of the work, possibly on their own lives," said Peters, whose idea the program was.
Scholarship as well as applied research results will be recognized. "People should be able to understand that scholarship has resulted in increased understanding or enjoyment of our world," says Peters.
Fifty individuals will be recognized. The program began on October 26. During the two weeks of fundraising, a general announcement of support will be read: "Support for WVTF is provided by Research and Graduate Studies at Virginia Tech. Research is vital to Virginia Tech's mission to seek, teach, and share creative solutions to problems."
"Of course, there are limitations to this format," Peters said. "It is a challenge to describe an individual's research and its contribution in 20 or fewer words. Still, this is an opportunity to tell people what we are doing and to recognize the people who are doing it."
Individuals who will be recognized are: Week beginning January 26--Art Professor Ray Kass, founder of the Mountain Lake Workshop to expand the creativity of artists through collaboration; February 2--Science and Technology Studies Professor Doris Zallen for exploring genetic testing in her book: Does It Run in the Family? February 9--Finance Professor Vijay Singal, whose research on airline finances and safety offers new ways to make airline regulation more efficient; February 16--Geological Sciences Professor Robert Bodnar for research on the important role fluids play in the evolution of the Earth and other planets; February 23--History Professor Peter Wallenstein, who writes about Virginia Tech, Virginia, and the South --from Civil War to civil rights; March 2--Marketing Professor Kent Nakamoto, for consumer-behavior research that helps businesses shape marketing strategies for long-term competitiveness; March 9--Music Professor Vernon Burnsed, who studies the effects of expressive performance on student response and achievement in music education; March 16--Forestry Professor Harold Burkhart for developing forest models used to increase production and economic returns for Virginia landowners; March 23--Psychology Professor Richard Winett for research implementing different social interventions for the prevention of cancer, heart disease, and HIV; March 30--Philosophy Professor Roger Ariew, an expert on the 17th century focusing on the philosophy of Rene Descartes; April 6--Kriton Hatzios, who researches how herbicides work and how they can be used safely in our environment; April 13--Electrical Engineering Professor Ted Rappaport for developing new engineering techniques for the deployment of wireless-communication systems; April 20--Plant Scientist Larry Foy, whose research on the biology and control of weeds has helped save food crops world-wide; April 27--Philosophy Professor Deborah Mayo, for work developing a philosophy of science and reasoning in the face of uncertainty and error; May 4--Fisheries and Wildlife Professor Jim Fraser, whose eagle-habitat research helped remove the eagle from the Endangered Species List; May 11--Coal and Energy Research Center Director Malcolm McPherson for pioneering mine ventilation research to make underground mines safer; May 18--Carole Cramer, for pioneering the use of transgenic tobacco as a viable bioproduction system of low-cost human pharmaceuticals; and May 25--Dick Neves, who researches the recovery of endangered freshwater mussels because they help to monitor national water quality.