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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 21 Issue 11 - November 5, 1998

Ruth Ann Smith, associate professor of marketing, was selected chair-elect of the Teaching Special Interest Group (SIG) of the American Marketing Association. With about 425 members, the Teaching SIG is the largest of the 20 SIG's comprising the educators' division of the AMA. Smith will begin her one-year term as chair in August. She will coordinate all the Teaching SIG's' activities, including organizing mini-conferences, special sessions, and major projects (one being considered for the summer of 2000 is a faculty consortium on teaching). Smith will also work with the AMA's academic council to develop the SIG's' long-range plan and budget.
The Virginia Tech chapter of the Public Relations Student Society of America (PRSSA) won the 1998 Teahan Award for Outstanding Community/University Service at the annual PRSSA conference held last week in Boston.
This is the second national award presented to the chapter in the last three years. It recognizes the chapter's publicity campaign for the New River Valley AIDS Walk as the best community or university service project in national competition.
Louis Gwin has served as faculty advisor of the chapter the last two years. The Blue Ridge PRSA is the group's sponsoring PRSA chapter.
Several members of the Political Science department faculty of Virginia Tech participated in the annual meeting of the American Political Science Association in Boston. Timothy Luke presented a paper titled "From Nationality to Nodality: How the Politics of Being Digital Transforms Globalization" and chaired a panel on Environmental Practices and Political Values. Wayne Moore presented a paper titled "Communities of Popular Discourse Surrounding the Founding of the Fourteenth Amendment" and was a discussant on a panel on Original Understanding and Transformations of the Constitution. Charles Walcott and Karen Hult presented a paper titled "White House Staff Size: Explanations and Implications." Stephen White presented a paper titled "Being in Trouble: Ontology and Politics in Judith Butler" and chaired a panel on Toleration, Reason and Justice. Charles Taylor participated in a roundtable panel on Measuring Contentious Politics: Current Projects, Problems and Solutions. Jeff Corntassel was a discussant on a panel dealing with Power, Culture and Political Institutions: Manipulating the Paths that Conflicts Take and a panel on Race and Ethnicity in International Politics and American Foreign Policy. Craig Brians was a discussant on a panel on Negative Advertising: Minimal Effects or Divergent Research?
Jeannie Underwood, graduate student in political science, won the 1998 Davis Award for Undergraduate Research from the West Virginia Political Science Association. The paper, "Race to the Golden Dome: An Analysis of the Effects of Campaign Contributions, Incumbency and Party Affiliation on State House of Delegates Elections in West Virginia" was written while Underwood was a senior at Concord College. She presented the paper to the West Virginia Political Science Association in Charleston in October and participated in a roundtable discussion of campaign finance.
John Cairns of the biology department has been elected a fellow of Eco-Ethics International Union devoted to developing ethical values that will insure a habitable planet for our descendants. Cairns also has been appointed to the editorial board of the International Journal of Sustainable Development and World Ecology--a different organization with similar goals.
The on-line Introduction to Comparative Politics class taught by Rebecca H. Davis in the Department of Political Science has recently received both local and international recognition. At the first plenary session of the European Thematics Network in Paris, Richard Topf of London Guildhall University gave a live demonstration of Davis's class, arguing that it is an example of good practices in on-line instruction. Davis's work online also was recognized on campus when she received an award for exemplary achievement in writing-assignment design by Virginia Tech's University Writing Program.

Forestry professor John R. Seiler and research associate John Peterson, and others have released their dendrology CD to Virginia Tech's Intellectual Properties. It is now being distributed nationally by Kendall/Hunt Publishing. Penn State and University of Georgia were project partners.
Tree identification is essential to many natural resource professions. The researchers designed the CD to teach and test students on woody plant identification and the basic nomenclature associated with plant parts. Going into more depth than a textbook, the CD gives the students many examples and allows them to get a sense of all the different leaf bark and bud shapes.
The CD covers morphology (leaf, fruit, and twig parts), hardwoods, and conifer trees. An updated version already will hit the market next year and contain a database of 3,000 images. For more information or to experiment with the software of "Woody Plant ID," visit http://www.fw.vt.edu/dendro/dendrology/woodyid/woodyid.htm.
Seiler currently uses the program in his forestry dendrology course. He and his team have also developed a dendrology web page (http://www.fw.vt.edu/dendro/dendrology/dendro.htm), where students can download fact sheets for more than 180 species of trees. Seiler has also received funding for a multimedia textbook for use in forest biology classes. He has authored or co-authored 55 articles in refereed scientific journals and serves on the editorial board of Tree Physiology.
The Wildlife Society has honored Roy Kirkpatrick, professor and associate dean for undergraduates in the College of Forestry and Wildlife Resources, at its annual meeting. Kirkpatrick was presented with a Special Recognition Service Award at the fall meeting in Buffalo, N.Y.
"[Kirkpatrick] has done an exceptional job both as editor for the journal and in the profession as a whole," said Harry Hodgdon, executive director of the Wildlife Society.
Kirkpatrick has served as the editor for Wildlife Monographs, a national publication of The Wildlife Society since 1980. His wife, Thelma Kirkpatrick, received an Award of Appreciation also from the Wildlife Society for editorial assisting.
In his 32 years at Virginia Tech, Kirkpatrick not only has received two outstanding teacher awards from the college, but also the Outstanding Wildlife Professional in Virginia Award from the state chapter of The Wildlife Society in 1993. He has written over 140 journal articles and several textbook chapters for the fisheries and wildlife industry. Awarded the T. H. Jones Professorship of Fisheries and Wildlife in 1989, Kirkpatrick has co-chaired the university's committee to rewrite academic eligibility standards.
At the recent Buffalo meeting, Kirkpatrick jointly organized and taught a four-hour workshop on "Writing and Publishing in Scientific Literature" with a colleague. This was the second time in four years that Kirkpatrick spoke to The Wildlife Society on how to publish academic articles. He also co-authored three papers presented by Virginia Tech graduate students at the meeting.