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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 20 Issue 31 - May 21, 1998

Three Public Service Programs staff members, along with nine other planners, developers, and municipal officials from four states recently participated in an intensive two-day workshop, Economic Impact Analysis II: A Method for Measuring Economic Impacts.
Sherri Thrift, community-planning project manager for the Economic Development Assistance Center (EDAC), provides technical and research assistance to improve southwest Virginia's communities. Both Ellen Agee Miller and Charlotte Reed are economic-development specialists for Public Service Programs. Miller specializes in domestic economic development while Reed focuses primarily on researching and applying emerging technologies to the travel and tourism industry.
Sponsored by the EDAC, the workshop was held in April at the Washington Dulles Airport Marriott Hotel.
"Our Economic Development Assistance Center is continuing its tradition of providing high-quality educational opportunities for professionals throughout our commonwealth as well as across the country," said J. Douglas McAlister, executive director for Public Service Programs.
R. Gregory Clark, valuation services manager for Arthur Andersen, taught the intensive instructional program.
"The workshop taught the theory of economic-impact analysis, key methodologies for measuring impacts and how to organize and maintain key local data," said Michael Hensley, direct of the EDAC. "Participants learned to interpret and explain the results of an economic impact analysis to their community and how to determine which investments in companies will make sense for their community."
The workshop was endorsed by Arthur Andersen and the American Economic Development Council. It was co-sponsored by the United States Economic Development Administration and Virginia Tech's Public Service Programs and Division of Continuing Education, both units of the university's Outreach Division.
Jon Poole, a faculty member in the health and physical education program area in the College of Human Resources and Education, has been selected Virginia Tech's Outstanding Service Learning Educator for 1998. Poole brings physical education majors together with special-needs youth in the Cool Kids after-school recreation program. Tech students design and carry out the weekly programs, in which fourth through eighth graders from Elliston-Lafayette Elementary School and Shawsville Middle School participate in roller-blading, group sports, swimming, tennis, karate, and other recreational activities not otherwise available to them. Participants are targeted for the Cool Kids program by school guidance counselors. In addition to weekly activities at Elliston-Lafayette School, the children also come to the Tech campus to watch football practices, swim in the War Memorial pool, tour the campus, and meet student-athletes. "It is a wonderful project for everyone," said Michele James-Deramo, director of the Service-Learning Center at Virginia Tech. "Tech students gain valuable teaching and community service experience and the children feel as though they belong to an exclusive club." The Cool Kids program was established in 1995 to address the needs of youngsters in an under-served community.
Daisy Stewart, associate professor of vocational and technical education in the Department of Teaching and Learning in the College of Human Resources and Education, has been appointed to serve on the executive board of the American Business and Education Partnership. The partnership, comprised of 80 business and educational organizations, is a national organization committed to transforming the nation's educational system to assure that its graduates possess the solid academic and technical skills required for success in today's job market. The partnership grew out of a coalition of business and education leaders formed in 1996 by the American Vocational Association, the nation's largest organization of vocational-technical educators, career guidance counselors and school administrators dedicated to the preparation of students for high-skill, high-wage careers.
The spring 1998 edition of Education by Design, an international publication for CAD (computer assisted design) educators, featured computer modeling work by interior design students from the Advanced CAD course taught by Joan McLain-Kark, an Interior Design faculty member in the Department of Near Environments in the College of Human Resources and Education. The article also discussed McLain-Kark's research done in Virginia Tech's CAVE (Cave Automatic Virtual Environment).
Tom Hohenshil, professor in the Department of Educational Leadership and Policy Studies in the College of Human Resources and Education, recently received the Outstanding Alumnus Award from Kent State University for his contributions to the counseling profession. The award was presented at a KSU reception held at the national convention of the American Counseling Association in Indianapolis. Hohenshil earned his undergraduate degree in business education at Kent State and went on to earn a master's degree in school psychology and a doctorate in counselor education. A member of the Virginia Tech faculty since 1972, Hohenshil has published and presented papers on counseling persons with disabilities and has done research in job satisfaction of school counselors and school psychologists.
Kusum Singh, a faculty member in educational leadership and policy studies, has been awarded a fellowship by the Japan Society for the Promotion of Science to travel and conduct research in Japan. The JSPS Invitational Fellowship program is part of the National Science Foundation's international programs. Singh was a 1995 recipient of the NSF's prestigious Faculty Early Career Development (CAREER) Award for her research of the family, student, and school factors affecting mathematics and science achievement in secondary-school students. The JSPS fellowship will give Singh the opportunity to visit math/science programs in secondary schools in Japan and meet with researchers and scholars in the field of education.
Joyce A. Arditti, a faculty member in the Department of Family and Child Development in the College of Human Resources and Education, was recently awarded a grant by the Virginia Tech Center for Excellence in Undergraduate Teaching for her proposal "Building Applied Experience into the Graduate Family Studies Curriculum." Arditti has been awarded $2,000 grant by CEUT to assist in the transformation of a graduate-level family studies course to include opportunities "out in the field" emphasizing family policies.
Eric Wiedegreen, associate professor of interior design in the Department of Near Environments, has been accepted into the juried design exhibition of the Interior Design Educators Council 1998 International Conference held in New York for his redesign of the Virginia Tech president/provost's suite in Burruss Hall. Also accepted "with special merit" was the design of the Wallace Hall exhibit, "The History of Study," which documented the evolution of learning environments at Virginia Tech during its 125-year history. It was co-curated by Wiedegreen and Anna Marshall-Baker, associate professor of interior design.
Rosemary C. Goss, Residential Property Management Advisory Board named professor in the Department of Near Environments in the College of Human Resources and Education, has been named outstanding alumnus of the College of Human Sciences at Florida State University. Goss has been instrumental in the development of the RPM program at Virginia Tech and has worked with other schools across the country to help them establish similar programs in this growing field. Goss holds a Ph.D. from Florida State University with a specialty in housing.
Vandana Shah, doctoral candidate in the Department of Near Environments in the College of Human Resources and Education, and Eluned Jones, associate professor in agriculture and applied economics, were presenters at the 1998 National Beltwide Cotton Conference Series in San Diego. The presentation was titled "The Long-Run Influence of Narrowing Cotton-Fabric margins on the Cotton Industry, Particularly the Virginia Industry." There was also a poster presentation related to the same subject.
Shelley M. Blumenthal, associate director for freshman admissions in the Office of Undergraduate Admissions, presented a paper on "Processing the Admissions Packet" at the annual conference of the Potomac and Chesapeake Association for College Admission Counseling in April.
Associate Professor Mehdi Setareh and Visiting Assistant Professor Ralph E. Hammann of the College of Architecture and Urban Studies received one of two nationally given grants from The Metal Building Manufacturers Association's Architectural Development Subcommittee. The $10,000 grant will be used to further develop the B-SMARTT (Building Systems Modeling, Assembly, Research and Teaching Tool) for which presently a patent application is under revision by the Virginia Tech Office for Intellectual Properties.
Dan Dolan, associate professor of wood science and forest products, has been appointed to a three-year term as chair of the Wood Construction Technical Subcommittee for the Building Seismic Safety Committee. This committee writes the National Earthquake Reduction Programs' (NEHRP) Provisions for Seismic Building Code Regulations. The provisions form the basis for the drafting regulations for the International Building Code, the new model building code for the United States.
Dolan has also been appointed to a two-year term on the Code Development Resource Committee, which is responsible for drafting the Building Code change proposals based on the NEHRP Provisions. This committee serves as an interpretation resource to the Technical Committee for the 2000 International Building Code. The Building Code Committee can request that the Code Development Resource Committee provide information on the impact of various changes to the building code that other organizations make.
Dolan will receive the Markwadt Award from the Forest Products Society in June. The award is given to the authors of the paper judged to be the best paper in Timber Engineering over a two-year window.
Karen Torgersen, director of undergraduate admissions, presented a talk entitled "Open New Markets? Where?" in March at the Carnegie Conference on Geodemographic Research, sponsored by Carnegie Market Research. She was also invited to speak at the IBM Higher Education Executive Forum in March on "The Partnering of Virginia Tech and CollegeNET."