Last updated: March 21, 2013
U.S. News & World Report's “America's Best Colleges 2013” (fall 2012)
The university’s undergraduate landscape architecture program in the College of Architecture and Urban Studies’ School of Architecture + Design was ranked second in the nation in the 2013 America’s Best Architecture & Design Schools study conducted by the journal DesignIntelligence. The school’s program in industrial design ranked third, the interior design program was sixth, and the architecture program was seventh.
Tech’s apparel program was ranked 15th in the world by Fashion-Schools.org, based on the quality of programs offered, job and internship placements, industry reputation, teaching facilities, and tuition costs.
The Princeton Review ranked Tech second in the nation for Best Campus Food, third for Their Students Love These Colleges, fourth for Town-Gown Relationships are Great, and sixth for Best Quality of Life.
Kiplinger's Personal Finance magazine ranked Virginia Tech among the 100 public colleges and universities that offer a first-class educational experience at a bargain price.
Virginia Tech, with an average starting salary of $51,600 for graduates, ranked fifth in the nation in 2011 in that metric among NCAA Football Bowl Subdivision (FBS) schools, behind Stanford, Duke, Georgia Tech, and Notre Dame, according to the website Payscale.com. The ACC ranked first among all FBS conferences. Virginia Tech also ranked in the top 20 nationally for mid-career salaries of graduates of FBS schools. At 14th, Virginia Tech graduates bring in an average mid-career salary of $91,500.
U.S. News & World Report's “America's Best Graduate Schools 2014” (spring 2013)
DesignIntelligence ranked the graduate landscape architecture program second in the nation, and the graduate architecture program was 18th.
With more than 23,700 undergraduate students, about 6,800 graduate students, and more than 3,300 faculty members and researchers, Virginia Tech offers more degree programs and awards more diplomas than any other university in the Commonwealth of Virginia.
Virginia Tech's fully computerized library contains more than 2.3 million volumes, an array of specialized collections, and numerous electronic databases.
Virginia Tech consistently ranks among the top 15 schools in the nation in number of patents received.
Virginia Tech is one of only three public universities in the United States to support both a military and a nonmilitary student lifestyle (the others are Texas A&M and North Georgia College and State University). Membership in the corps of cadets was mandatory for all able-bodied males until 1964, when it became optional. The corps preceded the federal service academies by first admitting women in 1973.
The Center for Digital Government named Blacksburg the sixth-most technologically advanced town in the nation among urban areas with a population of 30,000 to 74,999.
In 2011, Bloomberg's Businessweek ranked Blacksburg as the Best Place in the U.S. to Raise Kids. Educational and economic information, crime rates, amenities, air quality, and diversity were factors considered in the nationwide ranking.
In May 2012, the “Blacksburg-Christiansburg-Radford” area made Forbes’ list of the best small cities to find employment. The list was developed using statistical data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics.
In 2011, Southern Living listed Blacksburg among its Best College Towns in the South.
For fiscal year 2011, Virginia Tech ranked 41sth in the nation with total research and development expenditures of $450,058,000, according to the National Science Foundation (NSF).
Each year, the university receives significant external support from an ever-expanding base of sponsors for research, instruction, and outreach projects. In fiscal year 2012, the university received more than $260.9 million to conduct research.
Seven research institutes have been created to draw upon established strengths and build resources:
Fralin Life Science Institute
Institute for Creativity, Arts, and Technology
Institute for Critical Technology and Applied Science
Institute for Society, Culture, and Environment
Virginia Bioinformatics Institute
Virginia Tech Carilion Research Institute
Virginia Tech Transportation Institute
The largest research institutes at the university are the Virginia Bioinformatics Institute and the Virginia Tech Transportation Institute.
The Virginia Tech Transportation Institute (VTTI), with almost 300 employees and $104 million in active research awards, has a mission to save lives, time, and money for the transportation industry. Facilities include the 2.2-mile, two-lane, fully instrumented “Smart Road” and more than 51,000 square feet of office and specialized laboratory space – such as an asphalt lab, fully equipped garages, instrumentation bays, and a machine shop for working on VTTI’s vehicle fleet.
The Virginia Bioinformatics Institute (VBI), with more than 200 people and $109 million in active research awards, combines information technology, medicine, and biology to solve problems in the biomedical, environmental, and agricultural sciences. VBI research has contributed to public health and national safety.
The Fralin Life Science Institute is dedicated to increasing the quality, quantity, and competitiveness of life science research, education, and outreach at Virginia Tech by coalescing resources around existing and emerging strengths within the life science community. Institute researchers investigate vector-borne disease, infectious disease, obesity, molecular plant sciences, and cancer biology.
Sitting at the nexus of the arts, design, engineering, and science, the Institute for Creativity, Arts, and Technology is forging a pathway between transdisciplinary research and art, educational innovation, and scientific and commercial discovery. Uniquely partnered with the Center for the Arts at Virginia Tech, the institute works to foster the creative process to create new possibilities for exploration and expression through learning, discovery, and engagement. This includes preparing students in kindergarten through 12th grade and higher education environments to succeed in a world that demands teamwork and collaboration of science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) disciplines; promoting new research domains that transcend institutionalized boundaries; and participating with people of all ages in the process of co-creation.
The Institute for Critical Technology and Applied Science is building capacity at the intersection of engineering, science, biology, and the humanities. Thrust areas include nanoscale science and engineering, nano-bio interface, sustainable energy, safe and sustainable water, national security, cognition and communication systems, renewable materials, and emerging technologies. Researchers from across the university are taking advantage of the Nanoscale Characterization and Fabrication Laboratory and building collegial partnerships as they use the resources of two new buildings — one in the university’s engineering corridor and one in the life sciences corridor.
The Institute for Society, Culture, and Environment is strengthening the university’s competitive position in the social sciences, humanities, and the arts. The institute provides organizational, technical, and financial support for targeted creative, interactive, multidisciplinary, and interdisciplinary research endeavors that address issues of social and individual transformation. The Global Issues Initiative is researching trade policies and poverty in Pakistan and the Philippines and the implications of agricultural subsidies in eight countries, among other issues. A Center for Public Health Practice and Research has been established to foster interdisciplinary, collaborative public health practice and research activities at Virginia Tech and among external public health agencies, organizations, practitioners, and researchers.
The Virginia Tech Carilion Research Institute was created in 2009 to make major scientific advances in understanding and addressing the fundamental processes of human health and disease with development of new approaches to diagnosis, treatments, prevention, and cures. The mission is to become a premier institute of interdisciplinary and translational research within the medical sciences, to facilitate research-based medical education, and to improve patient care through discovery and partnerships with clinicians. The first faculty members’ research emphasis areas are: brain function of children and adults in health as well as in neurological and psychiatric disorders; molecular studies of cancer and heart development; infectious diseases in children; addiction and substance abuse; development of novel neurorehabilitation strategies for traumatic brain injury, PTSD, depression, and seizure disorders; and early life educational interventions for children at risk.
Other areas of research achievement and ongoing investigation throughout the university include high-performance computing; advanced materials; wireless telecommunication; housing; human and animal health; cognition, development, and behavior; the environment; and energy, including power electronics, biofuels, fuel cells, and solar-powered building structures. In the social sciences, scholarship and creative work include cultural expression and literature; interactions between ideas, technology, and people; and performing arts.
The university is affiliated with two human medical schools, each with a significant research component. The Virginia Tech–Wake Forest University School of Biomedical Engineering and Sciences integrates the capabilities of the Virginia Tech College of Engineering, Wake Forest University School of Medicine, and the Virginia-Maryland Regional College of Veterinary Medicine. Virginia Tech’s research includes biomechanics, cellular transport, computational modeling, biomaterials, bioheat and mass transfer, biofluid mechanics, instrumentation, ergonomics, and tissue engineering.
The Virginia Tech Carilion School of Medicine welcomed its first class in August 2010. Curriculum value domains are basic sciences, clinical sciences, research, and interprofessionalism. Students and clinicians will be partners in the research enterprise.
Virginia Tech Intellectual Properties Inc. (VTIP) was established as a nonprofit corporation in 1985 to support the research mission of the university by protecting and licensing intellectual properties that result from research performed by Virginia Tech faculty and staff members and students. During fiscal year 2012, 17 U.S. patents and 6 foreign patents were awarded to VTIP, and 32 license and option agreements were signed.
The Virginia Tech Applied Research Corporation (VT-ARC), a private nonprofit corporation affiliated with Virginia Tech, was established in fall 2010. With offices in Northern Virginia and Blacksburg, VT-ARC will foster applied research and development, and management of large contract research projects. It will apply Virginia Tech's basic and scholarly research achievements, expertise, and collaborations across multiple disciplines to solve complex national challenges in intelligence, cyber and information technology, national security, energy, and health.
The College of Agriculture and Life Sciences and Virginia Cooperative Extension are part of a consortium that released the “Virginia Farm to Table Plan: A Strategic Plan for Strengthening Virginia’s Food System and Economic Future.” This entrepreneurial initiative contains 38 distinct recommendations related to business and production management, market development, food system planning, management and policy, food security, food safety, diet and health, and implementation.
U.S. News & World Report’s America’s Best Graduate Schools 2013 survey ranked the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences’ Department of Biological Systems Engineering seventh among biological and agricultural programs in the country.
The College of Agriculture and Life Sciences is the first college at Virginia Tech to provide publications in an e-book format. Virginia Cooperative Extension’s free publications are available for iPads, iPhones, and iPod touch.
Ground was broken for the new Human and Agricultural Biosciences Building 1, a 93,860-square-foot facility that will house the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences’ departments of Biological Systems Engineering and Food Science and Technology. The state-of-the-art building will have open-plan laboratories, pilot plant research space, a sensory/flavor-testing suite, prep kitchens, and more. It is scheduled to open in late 2013. It is the first building in the new Biosciences Precinct, which will have more than 400,000 square feet of research facilities.
The college established the Virginia Agriculture Leaders Obtaining Results, or VALOR, program — a new adult leadership development program that aims to prepare leaders to meet future challenges in Virginia’s agricultural community, create collaborative solutions, and promote agriculture throughout the state.
In fiscal year 2012, the college had record research expenditures of $41,830,830 — an increase of 8.6 percent over the previous year. Several departments also set records for their amount of research awards. The college received 585 awards for a total of more than $44 million.
Researchers in the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences made a discovery that will help lead to the understanding of how mosquitoes spread diseases, such as West Nile virus and dengue fever. Kevin Myles and Zach Adelman, both associate professors of entomology, identified a novel antiviral pathway in the immune system of mosquitoes.
The college and Virginia Cooperative Extension are part of three-year study to develop, implement, and evaluate a food security strategy to enhance the resilience of the Southern Appalachian region, with a special focus on local food access and affordability for low-income populations.
Researchers in the Department of Horticulture were part of a team of international scientists who successfully sequenced the genome of the potato, the world's third-most-important crop. The concept for the project was based on the doctoral work of Richard Veilleux, the Julian and Margaret Gary Professor of Horticulture.
Carl E. Zipper, associate professor and Virginia Cooperative Extension specialist for crop and soil environmental sciences, received Virginia Tech’s 2012 Alumni Award for Outreach Excellence.
Pablo Sobrado, assistant professor of biochemistry, was awarded Costa Rica’s 2011 National Technology Prize for his significant contribution to the diagnosis and treatment of infectious and tropical diseases. Sobrado researches issues related to Chagas disease, tuberculosis, and fungal infections that infect more than 20 million people worldwide.
Dini Miller, associate professor of entomology, received the university’s 2012 Alumni Award for Excellence in Extension. She is an urban pest management specialist for Virginia Cooperative Extension.
An international research team led in part by Associate Professor Boris Vinatzer in the Department of Plant Pathology, Physiology, and Weed Science used the latest DNA sequencing to track a pathogen that is devastating the international kiwifruit back to its likely origin in China.
Department of Entomology assistant professor and Virginia Cooperative Extension specialist Chris Bergh prepared the application for a new pesticide to fight off the stinkbug in Virginia, which has been causing problems for growers and homeowners alike.
Susan D. Day, assistant professor of urban forestry in the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences and the College of Natural Resources and Environment, helped develop the nation’s most comprehensive system for rating the sustainable design, construction, and maintenance of built landscapes.
Scott Jessee, Russell County agriculture and natural resources agent for Virginia Cooperative Extension, received Virginia Tech’s 2012 Alumni Award for Excellence in Extension.
Professor John M. McDowell, in the Department of Plant Pathology, Physiology, and Weed Science, published a paper demonstrating how a protein called enhanced disease susceptibility 1 activates different components of the plant immune system. The discovery will help scientists enhance disease resistance in crops.
Paul Siegel, whose decades-long career has contributed to international research on animal genetics, received an honorary doctorate from the Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences in Uppsala, Sweden. Siegel is a Distinguished Professor Emeritus of Animal and Poultry Sciences in the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences.
Jeffrey Derr, professor of plant pathology, physiology, and weed science at the Hampton Roads Agricultural Research and Extension Center in Virginia Beach, was named a Weed Science Society of America (WSSA) Fellow in recognition of his meritorious contributions to weed science and the WSSA.
Shawn Askew, associate professor of plant pathology, physiology, and weed science, and turfgrass weed science Extension specialist, received the Weed Science Society of America Outstanding Early Career Weed Scientist Award.
Janet Rankin, in the Department of Human Nutrition, Foods, and Exercise, was elected the next president of the American College of Sports Medicine, the largest organization of its kind in the world.
The 4-H Livestock Judging Team placed third overall at the 2011 National 4-H Livestock Judging Competition.
A team of eight Virginia Tech graduate students from the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences and the College of Natural Resources and Environment won the national GeoLeague Challenge at the American Society for Photogrammetry and Remote Sensing conference. The society is one of the leading professional organizations devoted to advancing research and applications of geospatial data.
The Virginia Tech Soil Judging Team finished first out of 21 teams and more than 125 contestants at the National Collegiate Soil Judging Championship. This win marks the fourth time that Virginia Tech has taken home the prestigious trophy.
Catherine Larochelle, a doctoral student in agricultural and applied economics, received an Outstanding Dissertation Award from Virginia Tech’s Graduate School. Larochell won the social sciences category.
A team from the Department of Food Science and Technology finished in second place in the Developing Solutions for Developing Countries competition in which the students invented a mango-based product that addresses common nutrient deficiencies in Kenya.
Students from the Department of Dairy Sciences took second place at the National Intercollegiate Dairy Cattle Judging Contest at the World Dairy Expo.
Lumenhaus, Virginia Tech’s entry in the Solar Decathlon Europe, was declared the most-efficient structure in the decathlon, beating out 16 other solar houses from seven countries on three continents. Lumenhaus placed in almost all of the 10 judging categories, including tying for first in architecture, taking second in communication and social awareness, and placing third in industrialization and market viability and in lighting. The American Institute of Architects (AIA) also selected it as one of only nine recipients of the 2012 AIA Institute Honor Awards for Architecture and the first university team to receive the honor.
The Myers-Lawson School of Construction is partnering with the Pamplin College of Business to offer a new simultaneous degree option at the master’s level. Students now have the opportunity to earn an M.B.A. alongside an M.S. in either construction engineering management or building construction in two years.
The undergraduate program in architecture in the School of Architecture + Design was ranked seventh in the 2013 America’s Best Architecture & Design Schools study conducted by the journal DesignIntelligence. The school’s undergraduate program in interior design ranked sixth. The undergraduate and graduate landscape architecture programs, offered in both Blacksburg and in the National Capital Region, ranked second.
Following several years of careful planning, Tech's government and international affairs program is partnering with the University of Kent campuses in Brussels and in Canterbury to offer Virginia Tech and Kent students a dual master’s degree in public and international affairs and in international studies.
Professor Laurel McSherry was named one of five Research Award winners in the 2011-12 William Turnbull Competition, sponsored by the California Architectural Foundation. The five projects, all dealing with “Drylands Design,” were awarded research grants of $10,000 each from the Arid Lands Institute at Woodbury University.
Joseph Schilling, research assistant professor and associate director of the Metropolitan Institute at Virginia Tech, and Brookings Institution Senior Fellow Alan Mallach coauthored "Cities in Transition: A Guide for Practicing Planners," published by the American Planning Association (APA). The two authors presented the report at the 2012 Virginia APA Conference.
Keith and Marie Zawistowski, both assistant professors of practice, received the Grand Prize from the National Council of Architectural Registration Boards (NCARB) for their practice curriculum, described by the prize committee as “engaging students in the often ‘mundane’ subject of professional practice by introducing it as a design problem – an innovative means to make the subject relevant to students.”
NCARB also awarded Joseph Wheeler, Robert Dunay, Robert Schubert, and David Clark a 2011 NCARB prize for their work on Lumenhaus.
Robert Dunay, the T.A. Carter Professor of Architecture in the School of Architecture + Design, was named one of the 30 Most Admired Educators of 2013 by DesignIntelligence. This is the fourth time that Dunay, who is also the director of the Center for Design Research, has received this recognition from the magazine.
ACSA also recognized James Bassett with the ACSA/AIAS New Faculty Teaching Award, given jointly by ACSA and the American Institute of Architecture Students. This award recognizes demonstrated excellence in performance during the formative years of an architectural teaching career.
Derek Hyra, of the School of Public and International Affairs, was named to the U.S. Small Business Administration's Advisory Council on Underserved Communities.
Anne Khademian, a professor with the Center for Public Administration and Policy in the School of Public and International Affairs, was elected a National Academy of Public Administration Fellow.
Four professors from the School of Architecture + Design were among 25 faculty members in North America named Most Admired Educators of 2010 in the 11th annual America’s Best Architecture and Design Schools study by DesignIntelligence. They were Brian Katen, Ronald Kemnitzer, Patrick Miller, and Lisa Tucker.
A group of industrial design and architecture students led by Prof. Akshay Sharma is working to see how design can improve the everyday lives of people in poor communities. The program, entitled “Designing Empowerment,” focuses on the technical and social factors that define life for the world’s poorest and attempts to create practical tools to assist them. Two projects undertaken by this group received international recognition: “Immune,” a cell phone-based vaccination solution, was named the winner of the 2012 Design for All Foundation Award; “laXmi,” a financial literacy system for illiterate women, was named a finalist for the 2012 World Design Impact Prize. Both projects were selected as Bronze Award winners in the prestigious International Design Excellence Awards program from the Industrial Designers Society of America.
Two interior design students received top honors in the annual student design competition sponsored by the American Society of Interior Designers. Hannah Chessman was awarded first place and Jennifer Boyd received an honorable mention. This is the third year in a row that a Virginia Tech interior design student has won one of the two national competitions for students of interior design.
A team of five Virginia Tech students from the colleges of Architecture and Urban Studies and Engineering won first place in the Associated Schools of Construction/Associated General Contractors Region II Heavy-Civil competition. The student teams were given a construction problem statement at 7 a.m. on the day of the competition and had until 8 p.m. that same day to develop a solution, an estimate, and construction schedule. The teams had to consider concrete placement, traffic control, structural steel erection, bridge construction, and conventional concrete in their solution for the fictional Port Everglades Bridge project in Fort Lauderdale, Fla.
Virginia Tech is the home of the commonwealth's leading College of Engineering, known in Virginia and throughout the nation for the excellence of its programs in engineering education, research, and public service.
Virginia Tech educates0 almost half of all the engineering graduates produced in Virginia, and it is among the top five providers of engineering baccalaureates in the U.S. Recruiters named the college as one of the top five places to hire new graduates, according to an independent Wall Street Journal survey.
Among the many highlights of 2011-12, the College of Engineering brought in more than $205 million, or approximately one fifth of the overall university’s capital campaign goal of $1 billion. The college raised $50 million more than its target of $155 million.
In addition to the Signature Engineering Building entering year two of its construction, two new engineering research buildings are underway. Space@VT will occupy most of the first floor of the first building in the new Phase II expansion of the Corporate Research Center. Aerospace and ocean engineering will have space on the first and third floors of the new Technology Research and Innovation Center in Hampton Roads. An aerobiology building and the VT Propulsion Lab are in planning stages.
In U.S. News & World Report’s “America’s Best Colleges 2013” survey, released in September 2012, the college’s undergraduate program ranked 16th among all accredited engineering schools, and sixth among public universities.
The magazine’s “America’s Best Graduate Schools 2013” survey, released in April 2012, ranked the college’s graduate program 24th among the nation’s engineering schools. The Charles E. Via Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering ranked eighth among civil engineering programs and seventh among environmental engineering programs; the Grado Department of Industrial and Systems ranked third for industrial/manufacturing programs; and the biological systems department ranked seventh among biological/agricultural programs.
In the college’s annual accounting to the American Society of Engineering Education, it reported $152.7 million in research expenditures for fiscal year 2011. This is a college record, and was up 13 percent from $134.8 million in fiscal year 2010. The National Science Foundation (NSF) ranked the college 10th in the nation for research in fiscal year 2008 (released in April 2010 and not yet updated). Overall, the college is a quarter-of-a-billion dollar annual enterprise with approximately one-half of that money raised each year through direct research dollars generated by the faculty.
The School of Biomedical Engineering and Sciences’ research is growing exponentially. From its birth in 2000 with almost no research spending, the numbers climbed to more than $16 million by 2011 (latest reported number). In just about a decade, it rose from unranked to 37th in the nation. A new undergraduate minor starts in fall 2012.
In March 2012, with funding from the NSF, the Center for Tire Research, or CenTIRe, was established. It focuses on developing new tire materials, as well as the manufacturing, modeling and simulation, and testing of tires. Saied Taheri, associate professor of mechanical engineering, serves as the director. The group already has 12 tire and auto companies as members, including Goodyear Tire and Rubber Co., Michelin North America Inc., Bridgestone Firestone North American Holdings Ltd., Ford Motor Co., and Nissan Motor Co. Ltd.
Virginia Tech opened its new Brüel & Kjær Laboratory for Aerospace Vibration and Acoustics. The laboratory is part of Virginia Tech's National Institute of Aerospace (NIA) Research and Innovation Laboratories in Hampton, Va. It contains instrumentation and equipment for measuring and analyzing vibration and sound, and is sponsored by Brüel & Kjær. NIA's labs are directed by Christopher R. Fuller, who is Virginia Tech's Samuel Langley Distinguished Professor of Engineering.
Twelve current, adjunct, or emeritus faculty members are also members of the prestigious National Academy of Engineering. Eleven current or emeritus faculty members are University Distinguished Professors; four are Alumni Distinguished Professors; one is a McArthur Genius award recipient; and two have received the Benjamin Franklin Medal.
The 2012 National Association of Multicultural Engineering Program Advocates Presidents Award recipient is Bevlee Watford, the college’s engineering associate dean for academic affairs and the director of the Center for the Enhancement of Engineering Diversity. Watford was cited for her support for the science, technology, engineering, and mathematics educational program.
In December of 2011, the Brain Trauma Foundation honored the Virginia Tech – Wake Forest University biomedical program with its 2011 Brain Trauma Foundation Award. Stefan Duma, professor and head of the biomedical engineering program for Virginia Tech and Wake Forest, accepted the award in New York, saying the research advancements made by the biomedical engineering program will help reduce the risk of traumatic brain injuries in both automobile accidents and on the football field.
Duma, who holds the Harry Wyatt Professorship in Engineering, oversaw research published in February 2012 that prompted Pop Warner – which has more than 285,000 children ages 5 to 15 in its leagues – to issue rules changes to limit concussions. Duma’s study, the first of its kind for participants that young, placed sensors in the helmets of seven youth football players ages 6 to 8 during their 2011 season. Duma’s research has shown that the damage from concussions can be cumulative, and that the brains of younger athletes may be particularly susceptible.
Panos Diplas, professor of civil and environmental engineering, is the 2012 recipient of the Hans Albert Einstein Award, presented by the American Society of Civil Engineers. He is also a member of a team receiving the 2012 Karl Emil Hilgard Hydraulic Award, presented by the same society. Diplas’ Einstein honor is the result of “his significant contributions in river and sediment transport, macroscopic relations for bed load transport, riverbed sediment sampling, self-formed channels, ecohydraulics, and the microscopic study of sediment transport and its relation to turbulence,” according to the award citation.
Charli, the robotic Hokie, was featured in Time magazine's issue on the greatest inventions of 2011. Also, Charli and his creator, Dennis Hong, associate professor of mechanical engineering, and his engineering students from the RoMeLa Laboratory, were the subject of a cover story in the Washington Post Magazine. Charli is the first untethered, autonomous, full-sized, walking, humanoid robot with four moving limbs and a head built in the United States.
Wu Feng, of the computer science department, unveiled the supercomputer HokieSpeed, built for $1.4 million, just one-tenth of a percent of the cost of the Top500’s current No. 1 supercomputer, the K Computer from Japan. The majority of funding for HokieSpeed came from a $2 million National Science Foundation Major Research Instrumentation grant. HokieSpeed has enough computational capability to place it at No. 96 on the most recent Top500 List, the industry-standard ranking of the world’s 500 fastest supercomputers. But more intriguing is HokieSpeed’s energy efficiency, which ranks it at No. 11 in the world on the November 2011 Green500 List, a compilation of supercomputers that excel at using less energy to do more. On the Green500 List, HokieSpeed is the highest-ranked commodity supercomputer in the United States.
Five faculty members won National Science Foundation CAREER awards in 2012. They are Rafaella DeVita and Shane Ross, of engineering science and mechanics; Joseph Baker and Chao Wang, of electrical and computer engineering; and Holly Matusovich, of engineering education. Four new faculty members brought their CAREER awards with them. Sixty-nine current engineering faculty have received this prestigious honor.
The engineering students at Virginia Tech were chosen as the most philanthropic in the country for 2012, as well operating the nation’s best Student Engineers’ Council, according to the results of the recent annual competition hosted by the National Association of Engineering Student Councils at Purdue University. The council was cited for its donation of more than $100,000 to the college during the year, as well as more than $1 million in the past 10 years. This money was used for various engineering projects.
Tech’s Robotics and Mechanisms Laboratory team dominated RoboCup’s 2012 international humanoid robot soccer competition for the second year in a row, once again wining the adult- and kid-sized humanoid soccer robot competitions.
Senior design team BOLT placed second at the TTXGP eGrand PrixRace at the Portland International Raceway in summer 2012. TTXGP is the world’s first zero-emissions motorcycle race series, and Virginia Tech’s entry, BOLT, stands for Battery Operated Land Transportation. The team received funding for the design of BOLT from the Virginia Tech Student Engineers’ Council, Boeing, General Motors, FFR Trikes, Areva, Plastics One, Kollmorgen, and Solutia.
For the third consecutive year, a team of doctoral students from the Department of Computer Science and Center for Human-Computer Interaction won first place in the 3-D User Interfaces contest. The 2012 competition required students to build a computer application that allowed two users to navigate through a complicated 3-D environment without any direct verbal communication.
The apparel program in the Department of Apparel, Housing, and Resource Management was ranked No. 15 in the world by FashionSchools.org. The program was cited for its focus on new technologies and consumer-centric industry information, as well as its internship program.
The M.F.A. program in creative writing in the Department of English was again recognized by Poets & Writers Magazine. In 2012, the program improved its ranking to No. 23 among 400 M.F.A. programs nationally, moving up nine positions since 2011. The program continues to enjoy excellent rankings in other areas as well: 16th in poetry and 29th in fiction.
Mark V. Barrow Jr., professor and chair of the Department of History, was selected as the winner of the 2011 Susan Elizabeth Abrams Prize, awarded biennially for the best book in the history of science published by the University of Chicago Press. Barrow received the recognition for “Nature's Ghosts: Confronting Extinction from the Age of Jefferson to the Age of Ecology.”
Co-edited by Robert E. Denton Jr., chair of the Department of Communication, and John Hendricks, “Communicator-in-Chief: How Barack Obama Used New Media Technology to Win the White House” won the 2011 Distinguished Book Award from the Applied Communication Division of the National Communication Association.
University Distinguished Professor and Department of Political Science Chair Timothy W. Luke was honored at the combined Western Political Science Association annual meetings and the 10th anniversary celebrations for the Environmental Political Theory Workshop. The event's concluding roundtable, “Great Works in Environmental Political Thought,” featured Luke’s “Ecocritique: Contesting the Politics of Nature, Economy, and Culture,” as one of three benchmark works that continue to anchor and orient contemporary scholarship in this area of political thought.
Erika Meitner, associate professor of English, won the 2012 Emily Clark Prize for Poetry from the Virginia Quarterly Review. She was selected for her series of poems, titled “This Is Not a Requiem for Detroit," published in spring 2011. Annually, the quarterly recognizes the best work in each literary genre published in the previous year's issues.
Fred Piercy, professor of human development, was appointed editor of the Journal of Marital and Family Therapy, the flagship journal of the American Association for Marriage and Family Therapy and the largest family therapy journal in the world.
The National Council on Family Relations conferred its prestigious Fellow status on Joyce Arditti, associate professor in the Department of Human Development. Arditti is known nationally and internationally for her disciplined study of marginalized groups (e.g. prisoners and the families of prisoners), including issues of poverty, diversity, and social justice, and the intersection of families and social policy.
Benjamin Sax, assistant professor in the Department of Religion and Culture, was named faculty principal of the residential college at West Ambler Johnston. Jennifer Quijano Sax, assistant program director for education abroad in the Office of International Research, Education, and Development, accepted the role of Senior Fellow. They live in the faculty apartment of the residential college, which houses more than 800 students and just opened this fall after extensive renovations. Three other CLAHS faculty members are serving as associate faculty principals: Sheila Carter-Tod, an associate professor of English; Matthew Gabriele, an associate professor in religion and culture; and Erika Meitner, an associate professor of English.
Nicole Faut, an interdisciplinary studies major in the Department of Religion and Culture who also has minors in history and medieval and early modern studies, received a 2012-13 Fulbright award. Faut’s experience with creative expression paved the way to India, where she will work on her project, titled “Bhiti Chitra: The History and Applications of Murals in South India.” Faut also received a Critical Language Enhancement Award and will spend three months taking advanced classes in Hindi in an immersion experience.
Robyn Jones, a master’s candidate in educational leadership and policy studies in the School of Education, was selected as the 2012-13 graduate student representative to the Virginia Tech Board of Visitors. Jones earned her bachelor’s degree in pre-law and public policy from Virginia Tech in 2005. As an undergraduate, she was elected class president in 2002 and served as a senator and executive director in the Student Government Association and as a resident advisor.
Damion Blake, an ASPECT student, was awarded a Latin American Security, Drugs, and Democracy Fellowship. He was among 20 doctoral candidates and junior researchers at top-ranked research universities and Latin American Studies centers to receive this prestigious fellowship. Blake returned to his native Jamaica to study the place and power of the Jamaican don in the country’s inner-city communities.
The Virginia Tech Relay For Life and its 5,500 participants raised more than $600,000 for the American Cancer Society. Virginia Tech was ranked the No. 1 university in terms of online fundraising, according to American Cancer Society reports. The event was directed by Emily Feeney, who graduated with a degree in communication.
Philipp Kotlaba was named the 2012 Outstanding Graduating Senior in the college. A member of the University Honors Program, Kotlaba received his degree with three majors (international studies, German, and psychology). After being accepted at several of the nation’s elite schools, he chose to enter Yale University’s School of Law.
Jennifer McCloud, a doctoral candidate in curriculum and instruction in the School of Education, was awarded the 2011-12 CLAHS Outstanding Doctoral Student award and the CLAHS 2012 Graduate Humanities Fellowship. McCloud specializes in English as a second language and multicultural education.
The National Science Foundation has ranked the university’s agricultural science and natural resources research program in the top five among the nation’s universities and colleges since 2007. This ranking includes figures from the colleges of Agricultural and Life Sciences, Natural Resources and Environment, and Veterinary Medicine.
The college’s forestry, fisheries, and wildlife programs have consistently ranked among the top in the nation. In its most recent ranking of doctoral programs, the National Research Council rated Virginia Tech’s graduate program in forestry as one of the country’s best.
A new bachelor of science degree in meteorology, the first in the commonwealth, was initiated in spring 2012. The degree program, which resides in the Department of Geography, prepares students for careers in meteorology and weather forecasting with a significant focus on geospatial information technology, and unites data from both the natural and human environments. Enrollment numbers easily surpassed expectations.
The college’s Leadership Institute develops leadership abilities in some of its top undergraduate students to prepare them for managing natural resources for sustainability and biodiversity. In this two-semester special study sequence, select students with demonstrated leadership skills and academic ability strengthen their talents through in-class discussion and hands-on leadership projects.
Faculty and students in the Department of Fish and Wildlife Conservation are collaborating with researchers across the globe to help save tigers, one of the world’s most endangered species, from extinction. In the mountains of Nepal, researchers are using genetic sampling to identify individual tigers and track their movements. A study in Sumatra is the first of its kind to systematically investigate the use of different land cover types for tiger habitat. The study’s use of geographic information system technology was featured in a cover story in GeoWorld magazine.
The college renamed its wood science and forest products department the Department of Sustainable Biomaterials to more accurately reflect the wide scope of education and research being conducted. In recent years, faculty expertise has diversified to include education and research activities in nanomaterials, drug delivery, adhesion science, advanced composites, nontimber forest products, biofuels, aseptic packaging, and sustainable biomaterials.
The college’s urban forestry program collaborated with state and nonprofit partners to develop a specialty license plate to raise awareness of the value of community trees. Proceeds from the “Virginia Loves Trees” plate will benefit Virginia Tech’s urban forestry program and its partner, Trees Virginia, the state’s Urban Forestry Council.
The college took the lead in organizing three interdisciplinary events on campus. The International Year of Forests celebration highlighted the life and legacy of Aldo Leopold, father of the American conservation and wildlife management movement. The Showcase of Female Scientists, which examined the challenges facing graduate students, faculty, and staff in the sciences, included noteworthy speakers and a panel on work and life balance. The Mid-Atlantic Chapter of the Ecological Society of America’s annual conference, one of the largest ever held by the chapter, offered students a valuable opportunity to network with experts from across the region.
The college collaborated with Primland, a 12,000-acre sporting resort near Meadows of Dan, Va., on a field guide for the property as well as a geocache trail, which were unveiled at a weekend event that also celebrated Primland’s new tree house accommodations. The college continues to partner with Primland on a number of ongoing projects at the site, including a cultural plant survey, water quality work, golden eagle research, and naturalist courses for guests and employees.
The Department of Fish and Wildlife Conservation worked with the Virginia Department of Game and Inland Fisheries on a statewide management plan for more than 200,000 acres of land on 39 wildlife management areas. A two-year study, in which more than 4,000 wildlife management area users were surveyed for their input on the agency’s management techniques, was one of the first in the country to solicit user input.
Associate Professor Kathleen Alexander continues to stay at the forefront of research on the human-wildlife interface. She received a National Science Foundation grant to investigate the links between humans' and animals' influence on water quality and, in turn, how water quality affects their health. She is leading a team to study the management and control of water-borne diseases through a National Institutes of Health grant. And she found evidence that buffalo may be an important species in the transmission and persistence of the brucellosis pathogen in Botswana.
Geography instructor John Boyer, known for his Plaid Avenger alter ego and his unorthodox teaching methods, has embraced social media in a way unmatched by few other faculty members. Not only does he use social media to communicate with the 3,000 students in his oversized World Regions course, his online campaigns have brought noteworthy guests to campus, including a visit by Martin Sheen and Emilio Estevez to promote their film “The Way.” His class participated in an exclusive online interview with Burmese political activist and Nobel Peace Prize winner Aung San Suu Kyi in what EdTech Digest called “the best use of Skype ever.”
Post-doctoral researcher John “J.D.” Willson co-authored a study on the impact of invasive Burmese pythons on mammal populations in the Everglades. His collaborative research, which attracted national attention, found that the huge snakes — probably descended from escaped or released pets — appear to be wiping out the area’s populations of raccoons, opossums, bobcats, and other small mammals. The findings suggest that the pythons will have dramatic effects on the overall ecosystem of the Everglades.
Janaki Alavalapati, professor and head of the Department of Forest Resources and Environmental Conservation, was named a 2011 Senior Fellow in the U.S. State Department’s Energy and Climate Partnership of the Americas program.
Sarah Karpanty, associate professor of wildlife, was elected to serve as president of the Faculty Senate for 2012-13.
Brian Murphy, professor of fisheries, is president of the Southern Division of the American Fisheries Society.
Marc Stern, associate professor of natural resources education and communication, has been selected as a Scholar of the Clemson University Institute for Parks, one of the largest concentrations of park researchers in any U.S. academic institution.
Daniel Hindman, associate professor of wood engineering, has been named editor of Wood Design Focus, a journal produced by the Forest Products Society.
Michael Schwarz, an adjunct assistant professor and an aquaculture specialist at the Virginia Seafood Agricultural Research and Extension Center, was presented with a letter of entrustment from the Jeju Special Self-Governing Province of South Korea naming him an honorary ambassador for the island. Schwarz is also president-elect of the World Aquaculture Society.
Alan Thornhill, an adjunct faculty member in the college’s National Capital Region graduate program, was selected as the first chief environmental officer of the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management, a unit of the U.S. Department of the Interior.
Robert “Bob” Smith, associate dean of engagement, was appointed by the U.S. secretary of agriculture to the Forestry Research Advisory Council, representing the interest area of forestry schools and state agricultural experiment stations.
Three Extension educators received Gold Awards from the Association of Natural Resource Extension Professionals: Scott Barrett for the Virginia SHARP Logger Program, Jennifer Gagnon for the Virginia Forest Landowner Update newsletter, and Adam Downing for the "Four Minutes to a Better Backyard" video.
Danielle Williams, who received an executive master of natural resources degree, was named a finalist for a Presidential Management Fellowship, a highly competitive two-year post-graduate fellowship with a federal agency. Fewer than 10 percent of the 9,000 applicants become finalists.
Katelin Shugart-Schmidt, a master’s student in fisheries and wildlife sciences, was named Virginia Tech’s 2012 Graduate Woman of the Year for her contributions to the Virginia Tech graduate community.
The Hokies for Wetlands Team took first place in the American Society for Photogrammetry and Remote Sensing’s 2012 GeoLeague Challenge. The winning paper, prepared by the team of eight master’s and doctoral students, appeared in the June 2012 issue of the journal Photogrammetric Engineering & Remote Sensing.
Baojuan Zheng, a graduate student in geography, received the William A. Fischer Memorial Scholarship from the American Society for Photogrammetry and Remote Sensing.
Geography student Kathryn Prociv is challenging the belief that tornadoes break up as they hit mountain ridges. Prociv was interviewed as the Storm Chase team prepared for its first trip of the 2012 season.
The student team of Wyatt Blevins (wildlife science) and Carson Rejzer (building construction) took fifth place and a $5,000 prize in the National Guard FLW College Fishing National Championship.
Wildlife sciences graduate student Claudia Wultsch and her conservation dog Bruiser were featured in a National Geographic homepage segment on scat studies.
Matt Hillman, a wildlife sciences master’s student conducting research on the North Carolina coast, saved the life of a woman drowning in a rip tide. He was nominated for the U.S. Coast Guard Lifesaving Award.
Clark DeHart, a wildlife science major, is a cast member of the award-winning television program “Aqua Kids,” which shows young people the importance of preserving and protecting marine and aquatic environments.
U.S. News & World Report ranked the Pamplin College of Business undergraduate program 40th overall among the nation’s undergraduate business programs and 24th among public institutions. Pamplin’s ranking places it in the top 10 percent of the 445 U.S. undergraduate programs accredited by AACSB International (Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business).
Other notable rankings:
• The undergraduate program ranked No. 52 overall, No. 37 by employers, according to Bloomberg Businessweek.
• The M.B.A. program ranked No. 84, while the evening M.B.A. program ranked No. 37, U.S. News & World Report.
• The masters of information technology program ranked fourth in the nation for teaching practices and student engagement, 10th for faculty credentials and training, and 16th for student services and technology, U.S. News & World Report.
• Accounting and information systems was among the top 25 undergraduate programs in accounting, Public Accounting Report 29th Annual Professor’s Survey, 2010.
• Management and marketing had two faculty members among the world’s top 25 business ethics scholars, Journal of Business Ethics, 2010.
• Hospitality and tourism management: four faculty members among world’s top 50 tourism scholars, Tourism Management, 2009.
The college developed an innovative program to help alleviate the critical national shortage of business school faculty. Pamplin is among four U.S. business schools that have launched the first post-doctoral “bridge-to-business” programs approved by AACSB International. The programs are designed to prepare individuals with doctorates in nonbusiness, but related, disciplines for new careers as business faculty members.
Six Pamplin majors are routinely in the 10 majors most sought after by recruiters visiting campus.
Faculty members who have received Fulbright awards are hospitality and tourism management Associate Professor Vince Magnini, business law Professor Janine Hiller, management Professor Richard Wokutch, accounting and information systems Professor France Belanger, hospitality and tourism management Professor Mahmood Khan, and management Professor Larry French.
Business information technology Assistant Professor Alan Abrahams won the Decision Sciences Institute’s 2011 Instructional Innovation Award for his pilot study on using “expeditionary learning,” an educational approach used in the natural sciences, to teach e-commerce technologies.
Management Assistant Professor Steve Gove and his co‐authors received the 2011 Sage Publications/Robert McDonald Advancement of Organization Research Methodology Award by the Academy of Management’s research methods division. The award recognized the scholarly contributions of their two 2005 Strategic Management Journal articles addressing measurement error in the management literature.
Management Associate Professor Jeffrey Arthur and his co‐authors received the 2011 Best Paper Award of the Academy of Management’s human resources division for their paper, “How a climate for incivility affects business unit performance: testing a linkage model."
The world’s top hospitality and tourism scholars include Pamplin’s Vince Magnini, Ken McCleary, and Zvi Schwartz, according to a study in the August 2011 issue of the Journal of Hospitality & Tourism Research.
Management Professor Richard Wokutch and marketing Professor Joseph Sirgy are listed among the most productive researchers in business ethics, according to a study in the Journal of Business Ethics, which ranked Virginia Tech 15th among the top 25 academic institutions in this field.
Anthony T. (Terry) Cobb, associate professor of management, received the university’s 2011 Edward S. Diggs Teaching Scholars Award, presented annually to three Virginia Tech faculty members to recognize exceptional contributions to the teaching program and learning environment. Cobb developed a unique pedagogy of using self-managed student teams in his classes to address complex projects. His textbook, “Leading Project Teams: An Introduction to the Basics of Project Management and Project Team Leadership,” is designed for instructors in professional programs for use in class as well as in the workplace.
Pamplin faculty members are tackling major issues in industry, finance, management practice, and information technology, to name a few areas. Their research has contributed to greater understanding of business issues, has been cited in government hearings and court testimony, and has played a role in policymaking. Though sponsored research is not a central aspect of the research programs of business schools, several Pamplin faculty members have attracted national funding for their research while working as members of interdisciplinary teams. Based on publication in the leading academic journals in their fields, the college's departments are also regularly ranked among the nation's or world's top programs for scholarly productivity.
Pamplin’s senior faculty members teach many of the required courses, and students learn from the professors who win teaching and research awards, write the books used in classrooms everywhere, serve as consultants to companies, or have worked in business and industry. The college has had 22 winners of the university’s Wine Award for teaching excellence since the award was established in 1957.
Through two student-run investing groups, Pamplin students manage about $10 million of Virginia Tech's endowment. SEED (Student-managed Endowment for Educational Development) manages about $5 million through stock investments and is believed to be the nation's largest student-run portfolio that is managed as an extracurricular activity. BASIS (Bond And Securities Investing by Students) manages about $5 million in bonds and other fixed-income securities and is one of a handful of bond-only student-investor programs in the nation. SEED's faculty advisors are finance professors John Pinkerton and Mike Kender; BASIS is advised by professors George Morgan and Derek Klock.
Pamplin students are overseeing and advancing the college’s social media activities through a newly established organization, PRISM (Pamplin Reinventing Social Media), under the guidance of marketing instructor and faculty advisor Donna Wertalik.
A team led by Wertalik received the 2012 CASE District III Award of Excellence for the redesigned website and social media platform for the marketing department. CASE is the Council for Advancement and Support of Education.
The college is named in honor of alumni Robert B. Pamplin, the retired CEO of Georgia-Pacific who died in June 2009 at age 97, and businessman and philanthropist Robert B. Pamplin Jr. The college's notable alumni include David Calhoun, chairman and CEO of The Nielsen Company and former vice-chair of GE; Lance Smith, retired U.S. Air Force general and former commander of the U.S. Joint Forces Command; Terry Blevins, executive vice president and chief financial officer of Landmark Media Enterprises; Trish Cox, chief operating officer of Schwab Advisor Services; Lynne Doughtie, national managing partner of KPMG's U.S. advisory services; Shirley Edwards, audit and advisory services partner at Ernst & Young; C.E. Andrews, president and chief operating officer of RSM McGladrey, a subsidiary of H&R Block; Vahan Janjigian, vice president and executive director of the Forbes Investors Advisory Institute, Forbes chief investment strategist, and author of “Even Buffet Isn't Perfect: What You Can and — Can't — Learn from the World's Greatest Investor”; and Denman Zirkle, executive director of the Shenandoah Valley Battlefields Foundation.
The Virginia Tech Center for Drug Discovery is a critical new center committed to interdisciplinary discovery of new drugs, therapies, and delivery mechanisms. The center collects faculty from across the college and serves as a conduit with other colleges.
The College of Science is working in collaboration with the Institute for Arts, Creativity, and Technology by using art to inspire advances in molecular structure and symmetry, and teamed science to provide new means to convey science with novel avenues for effective communication.
The Integrated Science Curriculum is a gateway for science majors and a vehicle to introduce emerging degrees in nanoscience, neuroscience, computational science, and systems biology. A second class of 26 students entered in fall 2012.
The college hosted the International Union of Pure and Applied Chemistry’s MACRO2012 International Congress – 1,400 scientists from 52 countries gathered at Virginia Tech. This prestigious event rotates to the United States every 15 years.
Patricia Dove, C.P. Miles Professor of Science in the Department of Geosciences, was elected a member of the National Academy of Sciences for sustained excellence in original scientific research. She will be inducted in April 2013 during the 150th annual meeting in Washington, D.C.
William H. Woodall, professor of statistics, was given the Box Medal by the European Network of Industrial and Business Statistics. The award recognizes an extraordinary statistician who has made remarkable contributions to the development and application of statistical methods in business and industry.
David G.I. Kingston, University Distinguished Professor of Chemistry, has been named to the National Advisory Council for Complementary and Alternative Medicine.
Thomas H. Ollendick, University Distinguished Professor of Psychology, received an honorary doctorate from Stockholm University and was one of only 10 individuals internationally to receive the honor.
Timothy E. Long, professor of chemistry and associate dean of the College of Science, and member of the Macromolecules and Interfaces Institute at Virginia Tech, was presented with the Pressure Sensitive Tape Council Carl Dahlquist Award for his research relating to adhesive tape technology. He was also named a Mark Scholar by the American Chemical Society, Division of Polymer Chemistry. The award is one of three given annually to leaders in the combined fields of polymer science and engineering.
Jackson R. Webster, professor of ecology, received the 2012 William E. Wine Award. The award is an automatic induction into the Academy of Teaching Excellence.
Yili Hong, assistant professor of statistics, was named a DuPont Young Professor. He was one of only 18 professors given the distinction from 11 U.S. and six international universities.
T. Daniel Crawford, professor of chemistry, received a 2012 Alumni Award for Excellence in Research. The award is presented annually to no more than two university faculty members who have made outstanding research contributions.
Lee Cooper, professor of psychology and director, Psychological Services Center, received the 2011-12 Diggs Teaching Scholar Award.
Vito Scarola, assistant professor of physics, received the 2011 DARPA Young Faculty Award, which identifies and engages rising research stars in junior faculty positions.
Kayvon Izadpanah, of Sterling, Va., and a recent graduate in biological sciences and biochemistry with minors in international studies, medicine and society, and chemistry, and Carly Stephens, of Centreville, Va., a recent graduate in biological sciences with a minor in Spanish, were selected as the 2012 Virginia Tech Man and Woman of the Year.
The Virginia-Maryland Regional College of Veterinary Medicine (VMRCVM), in collaboration with the Virginia Tech Carilion School of Medicine, launched a new master of public health program in response to a critical shortage of trained public health professionals. The program, which offers concentrations in public health education and infectious disease, integrates and expands public health opportunities at the university.
One of the most common causes of lameness in horses — an injury to tendons or ligaments — can now be treated at the Marion duPont Scott Equine Medical Center with platelet rich plasma (PRP). PRP is derived from blood that is drawn from an equine patient and run through a centrifuge, which separates a solution’s less-dense components from its heavier ones.
For the past several years, Dr. Elankumaran Subbiah, assistant professor in the Department of Biomedical Sciences and Pathobiology, and a team of researchers from the college have conducted innovative research to develop a treatment for cancer. The National Institutes of Health (NIH) and the Congressionally Directed Medical Research Program of the Department of Defense have provided major funding for Subbiah’s work, which focuses on creating a cancer therapy from genetically altered Newcastle disease virus. This innovative work will continue thanks to a pledge from Robert Garst in memory of his wife, Maria, who died from cancer. The Maria Garst Memorial Fund for Cancer Research will enable Dr. John Rossmeisl, an associate professor in the Department of Small Animal Clinical Sciences, to take Subbiah’s work on brain tumors from the research laboratory into the clinical setting.
In response to an increased need for qualified veterinarians in North America, particularly those in the public sector, the first-year class size has been increased. In addition, the new Veterinary Medicine Instructional Addition includes a state-of-the-art clinical techniques laboratory, as well as small group teaching spaces and faculty offices.
The Center for Public and Corporate Veterinary Medicine has partnered with the U.S. Animal Health Association to create mentoring, education, and networking opportunities for veterinarians and veterinary students. In response to increased demands for veterinarians in the public sector, the center is working to expand activities in the areas of public health, public policy, international veterinary medicine, organizational leadership, and the One Health Initiative.
Dr. Ansar Ahmed, professor of immunology and head of the Department of Biomedical Sciences and Pathobiology, completed research on a new, nonradioactive alternative to determining the proliferation of lymphocytes. The paper he authored on his research surpassed 500 citations in the citation index ISI Web of Science, a prestigious honor earned by few in the field of life sciences.
Dr. Jennifer Barrett, assistant professor of surgery at the Marion duPont Scott Equine Medical Center, was selected to serve on the Founders' Committee for the North American Regenerative Society.
Dr. Sandra Diaz, assistant professor of dermatology in the Department of Small Animal Clinical Sciences, achieved diplomate status with the American College of Veterinary Dermatology.
Dr. X.J. Meng, a virologist in the Virginia-Maryland Regional College of Veterinary Medicine, was elected a Fellow of the American Academy of Microbiology. Meng, a professor of molecular virology in the Department of Biomedical Sciences and Pathobiology, researches emerging and re-emerging viral diseases that impact veterinary and human public health. Meng developed the first vaccine fully licensed by the U.S. Department of Agriculture to protect against porcine circovirus type 2 infection and its associated diseases, which constitute a major threat to the global swine industry.
Dr. Bonnie Smith, associate professor in the Department of Biomedical Sciences and Pathobiology, was awarded the national Carl J. Norden-Pfizer Distinguished Teaching Award, an honor that celebrates her as the best among the thousands of professors teaching in the nation’s 28 colleges of veterinary medicine.
Dr. Anne Zajac received the Distinguished Service Award from the American Association of Veterinary Parasitologists (AAVP). She also authored a book under the auspices of the organization, the royalties of which have added thousands of dollars to the AAVP student travel fund. Zajac was the first female president of the organization.
Anne Dewar '11, Jenny Miller '12, and Sarah Brauning '12 won the national American Association of Bovine Practitioners (AABP) Quiz Bowl competition. The VMRCVM students beat out 23 teams from the United States and Canada at the AABP Convention.
Dr. Kathryn Simmons, VMRCVM alumna, was selected as a 2010-11 American Veterinary Medical Association Congressional Science Fellow. Simmons graduated with the college's charter class in 1984. This is the second consecutive year that a VMRCVM alumna has been selected for the prestigious fellowship.
Dr. Jean Richards ’06, former student of the Center for Public and Corporate Veterinary Medicine, has been selected as a Fellow for the 2010-11 American Association for the Advancement of Science's Science & Technology Policy Fellowships. The fellowships help to establish and nurture critical links between federal decision-makers and scientific professionals to support public policy that benefits the well-being of the nation and the planet.
Dr. Claire Simeone ’11 was awarded first place in the American Board of Veterinary Practitioners 19th Annual Student Case Report Contest.
There were 24,356 credit eLearning enrollments at the undergraduate and graduate levels representing 823 course offerings during 2011-12.
Growth continued in undergraduate enrollments with 18,442, equivalent to 614 30-seat classrooms. In 2011-12, the Institute for Distance and Distributed Learning (IDDL) targeted Curriculum for Liberal Education (CLE) courses as a way to enhance undergraduate distance-learning offerings through the delivery of 54 different CLE courses.
Seventy-three percent of first-time, full-term freshmen in the 2008 entering cohort have taken an online course. One hundred percent of the university's academic departments are engaged in developing and/or delivering courses at a distance.
The university’s graduate distance-learning portfolio included 560 courses and 852 course sections.
The graduate certificate in nuclear engineering, developed from within the Department of Mechanical Engineering, successfully went through university governance in FY11 and online course development was conducted during FY12.
IDDL offered professional development opportunities and built partnerships with Nigeria, South Africa, and Senegal in fall 2011. Visiting scholars from Egypt participated in the master online instructor certificate during the spring 2012 semester.
Quality assurance remains a priority while providing design and consultation services utilizing research-based pedagogical practices to improve distance learning at Virginia Tech. To support this commitment, IDDL provided more than $200,919 (Provost Enterprise Fund Course Development Fund) for new course development and $15,000 for research fellowships.
More than 160 faculty members participated in IDDL professional development offerings. Additionally, more than 90 faculty participated in one-on-one instructional design consultation.
Outreach and International Affairs’ Continuing and Professional Education (CPE) continued to provide valuable programs that connected the expertise of Virginia Tech to local, state, national, and global needs of individuals, organizations, and communities. The CPE team successfully delivered 244 programs that were attended by approximately 21,000 participants.
Continuing and Professional Education also is heading up Virginia Tech’s role in a $60 million, five-year grant project funded by the U.S. Army Education Outreach Program. CPE is collaborating with the university’s Office of Academic Assessment and the VT-STEM initiative on the project, which is an effort to nurture students’ interests in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) careers. The project brings together 10 national STEM outreach programs under one umbrella.
CPE’s Center for Organizational and Technological Advancement (COTA) generated more than $1.2 million in gross sales revenue for the Hotel Roanoke & Conference Center in FY 2012. From 2004 to 2012, COTA has generated about $45.5 million in gross sales at the hotel and conference center.
Since 2008, more than $8.5 million worth of renovations have been made at the Hotel Roanoke & Conference Center, including upgrades of all guest rooms and conference facilities. In 2012, the facility received Hilton Hotel’s Best Property Operations-Americas East Award in recognition of long-term effective management.
The Inn at Virginia Tech and Skelton Conference Center recently was named a top-10 meeting destination in a readers’ choice survey by ConventionSouth. Inn and conference guests also can enjoy golf packages at the nearby Pete Dye River Course of Virginia Tech, which was ranked among the 10 Best Campus Courses for 2011 by Golfweek magazine.
The Office of Economic Development is spearheading a $1.7 million, three-year federal grant project aimed at creating new jobs in Southwest Virginia’s transportation equipment manufacturing industry. Because of its track record in activities that help create jobs, the Office of Economic Development also has been awarded a $500,000 University Center grant to further its regional economic development efforts over the next five years. The U.S. Commerce Department's Economic Development Administration chose fewer than two dozen universities to receive the competitive grants.
The Office of International Research, Education, and Development (OIRED) manages research programs focused on sustainable agriculture, resource management, and pest management in more than 25 countries around the world. It also oversees Virginia Tech’s Office of Education Abroad, Women and Gender in International Development, Graduate Certificate in International Research, and Peace Corps programs.
During the past year, OIRED continued to manage a five-year, $28 million grant from the U.S. Agency for International Development to revamp the agriculture curriculum in Senegal’s institutions of higher education. The Education and Research in Agriculture in Senegal project is part of a U.S. government’s Feed the Future Initiative, aimed at ensuring that countries around the world can feed themselves. OIRED also oversees a $9.4 million, five-year project designed to help train the next generation of agriculturalists in post-conflict South Sudan. The project’s focus is establishing agriculture and natural resource management curricula in South Sudan’s universities.
The Upward Bound program at Virginia Tech was recently awarded a five-year grant worth $1.85 million by the U.S. Department of Education Office of Postsecondary Education, TRIO Programs. Upward Bound is one of six federal TRIO Programs designed as educational opportunity outreach programs to assist first-generation college and disabled students in progressing from middle school to post-baccalaureate programs. In 2011 the university’s sister program, Talent Search, received a five-year funding grant of $1.6 million from the Department of Education, renewing its outreach to middle and high school students in Southwest Virginia.
The Virginia Tech Language and Culture Institute offers language-related programs and services for academic and professional development on the Blacksburg campus and at the National Capital Region campus. The Intensive English course series serves 300-400 students each semester. The institute also has provided pre-academic training to about 90 Fulbright scholars from Africa, Asia, Latin America, the Caribbean, Europe, and the Middle East.
During the past year, more than 600 students enrolled in eight different graduate programs at the Virginia Tech Commonwealth Campus centers. The six centers also serve a wider field of clients. For example, the Southwest Center in Abingdon presented a variety of professional development, training, and STEM programs that attracted about 9,600 participants, including K-12 administrators, teachers, and students, as well as members of civic organizations.
Virginia Tech has been named to the President’s Higher Education Community Service Honor Roll as one of the nation's leading colleges in service for the past seven years, and VT Engage: the Community Learning Collaborative is a university leader in implementing service efforts. During the past year, about 2,700 undergraduate and 430 graduate students participated in service-learning and experiential programs that were integrated into 84 courses in more than 28 departments.
Cook Counseling Center is accredited by the International Association of Counseling Services and offers a pre-doctoral internship in professional psychology that is accredited by the American Psychological Association.
The Cranwell International Center, in conjunction with the Council of International Students Organizations, 62 student organizations, and more than 200 volunteers, hosted the 53nd International Street Fair in 2012. With 13,000 attendees, it is the largest and longest-running international street fair at any university in the U.S.
Virginia Tech is one of only three public institutions in the U.S. to offer full-time military and civilian student lifestyles (the others are Texas A&M and North Georgia College and State University). The Corps of Cadets annually commissions approximately 80 percent of its graduates; VMI, the Citadel, and Texas A&M commission 35 to 50 percent.
Four hundred twenty-one cadets entered in fall 2012 for New Cadet Training to push the overall corps to more than 1,065 cadets, the largest regiment since 1968.
Success of the Virginia Tech Corps of Cadets’ leader development effort is demonstrated by the consistent selection of cadets as recipients of the university’s most prestigious student-leadership awards. In 2012, Cadet Amanda McGrath was named the university’s Undergraduate Student Leader of the Year, marking the eighth time in past nine years a cadet has earned this honor. She was also recognized with the Women in Leadership and Philanthropy’s Undergraduate Woman in Leadership Award, the third time in the past four years this award has gone to a cadet.
The Princeton Review consistently ranks Virginia Tech Dining Services as one of the top three in the nation for Best Campus Food.
Dining Services is at the forefront of the sustainability movement nationally, with composting, a university garden, local purchasing, extensive sustainability training, classroom instruction, and creation of a sustainable dining venue.
Virginia Tech is rated a “4 star” (out of five) institution by Campus Pride, the national rating organization for LGBT-friendly campus environments. The recent addition of a campus LGBTQ coordinator will allow the university to expand its collaborative efforts among faculty, student, and community supporters of LGBTQ issues.
Schiffert Health Center is accredited by the Accreditation Association for Ambulatory Health Care.
The Big Event community service project celebrated its 10th anniversary at Virginia Tech in 2011 by holding the second largest event in the nation, involving more than 6,731 volunteers who completed more than 950 service projects for the local community.
Virginia Tech Relay For Life is one of the top collegiate relays in the country.
More than 19,000 students are members of the more than 700 officially registered clubs and organizations at Virginia Tech.