• Spring 2013

    Volume 35, Number 3

    Virginia Tech Magazine, spring 2013

  • Teaching and learning. Research and discovery. Outreach and engagement.

    These are the powerful forces behind Virginia Tech, the elements that inspire Hokies and define the modern-day land-grant institution. This photo essay explores a few of the ways Virginia Tech faculty are fulfilling this mission.


    Spring 2013

    All in the Family: Holistic learning in Virginia Tech's residential colleges

    Picture-perfect: The land-grant today

    Full STEM Ahead: Educating the next generation's brightest minds

  • Go to digital edition   View or download PDF


    The land-grant today

    Photos by Jim Stroup and Logan Wallace

    Humidity up, flu down

    Linsey Marr (center) and Elankumaran Subbiah (left); photo by Jim Stroup

    Researchers have discovered that the flu A virus is most viable when relative humidity is either close to 100 percent or below 50 percent, which may help explain the flu’s seasonality in different regions. Linsey Marr (above center), associate professor of civil and environmental engineering in the College of Engineering, Elankumaran Subbiah (above left), a virologist in the biomedical sciences and pathobiology department of the Virginia-Maryland Regional College of Veterinary Medicine, and doctoral student Wan Yang (not pictured) conducted the study.



    Scott M. Barrett (right) and Bryan Wagner; photo by Jim Stroup

    The SHARP Logger program—short for Sustainable Harvesting and Resource Professional—aims to train the commonwealth's loggers in principles of sustainable forestry, environmental protection, and workplace safety. Since 1996, more than 3,500 have received the training, which is provided by Virginia Tech, Virginia Cooperative Extension, the forest industry, the Virginia Department of Forestry, and others. Program coordinator Scott M. Barrett (right), an Extension associate in the College of Natural Resources and Environment's forest resources and environmental conservation department, is joined by Bryan Wagner, a logger safety trainer with Forestry Mutual Insurance Company.


    Stage presence

    Marie and Keith Zawistowski; photo by Jim Stroup

    In a two-semester design-build laboratory, 16 students worked under Marie and Keith Zawistowski (at right), faculty members in the College of Architecture and Urban Studies, to craft the Masonic Amphitheater in Clifton Forge, Va. In the 2011-12 academic year, the students conducted research and talked with residents and then they designed and built the structure, creating a venue that serves the town's vision of a sprouting artistic community. The amphitheater was named American-Architects Building of the Year 2012, selected from among 50 buildings, many designed by well-known architects and firms.


    A focus on obesity

    Kevin Davy (left) and Paul Estabrooks (standing); photo by Logan Wallace

    With a goal of improving health and quality of life in Virginia and the nation, the university recently established the Fralin Translational Obesity Research Center. The center's approach is unique. Scientists from a variety of backgrounds, including human nutrition, psychology, cancer biology, economics, and pediatrics, will work together to explore collaborative, translational projects with the goal of obtaining large-scale external funding to support obesity research. The center's co-directors are Kevin Davy (left) and Paul Estabrooks (standing), both professors of human nutrition, foods, and exercise in the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences, shown here performing a muscle biopsy. Estabrooks is also a professor of family medicine in the Virginia Tech Carilion School of Medicine.


    Diagnostic breakthrough

    Randy Heflin; photo by Logan Wallace

    Detecting a MRSA (methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus) infection now takes three days. But by coating optical fibers with self-assembling polymer layers, physics Professor Randy Heflin (above), along with Tyler J. and Frances F. Young Professor of Bacteriology Tom Inzana (not pictured), and others have developed a diagnostic test that takes less than an hour. The team is working with a company, Virginia nanoTech, to commercialize the technology, which has the potential to save thousands of lives each year and lead to fewer days of hospitalization and fewer unnecessary antibiotics for MRSA patients.


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