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TV family

The longest 15 minutes:
A closer look at so-called reality television

Since 2000, reality television shows have dominated both the airwaves and the ratings. Although critics keep predicting the genre's imminent demise, it keeps on ticking. We take a closer look at reality television with the help of three Virginia Tech experts and two reality show alumnae.

Love letters written by Civil War soldiers, vintage photographs of Norfolk & Western railcars, audio recordings from the Apollo XI lunar landing mission--can these items possibly have anything in common? Indeed, they're all part of Virginia Tech’s Special Collections maintained by the University Libraries.

Wright glider

Re-creating the Wrights

Two alumni were instrumental in the recent 100th anniversary celebration of Orville and Wilbur Wright's first flights. Read their accounts of the hard work it took to build the reproduction 1903 flyer and then learn to pilot it--and the enormous respect they gained for the Wrights along the way.


Enter the disease detective

As one of the Center for Disease Control's elite "disease detectives," alumna Jennifer McQuiston has drawn blood from goats in rural Bosnia-Herzegovina, set up polio vaccination clinics in Ghana, and scoured the English countryside to research foot-and-mouth disease. To her, last-minute calls to head overseas are all in a day's work.

Cover: This 1930 photo of a Class K3 Steam Engine 201 is part of the Norfolk and Western Historical Photograph Collection in University Libraries’ Special Collections.