Swiger is a 1954 OSU graduate in animal husbandry. After earning his Ph.D. from Iowa State University and working as a geneticist for the U.S. Department of Agriculture, he returned to OSU in 1965 and established a comprehensive research program in animal genetics. He joined the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences faculty at Virginia Tech in 1980 and was named dean in 1992.
Swiger has received a number of awards during his career, including
the Rockefeller Prentice Memorial Award, one of the highest awards available to
animal scientists. The American Society of Animal Science presented the award to
him in 1984 in recognition of his research to develop methods for breeders to
increase the rate of genetic improvement of farm animals..
The Virginia Board of Education has selected Virginia Tech to conduct a Governor's School for Agriculture next summer. Instruction will be provided by professors from the Colleges of Agriculture and Life Sciences, Natural Resources, Human Resources and Education, and the Virginia-Maryland Regional College of Veterinary Medicine.
Faculty members from other state institutions and agricultural education teachers from school divisions around the state will be members of the school's faculty as well.
The school is being funded by a $150,000 appropriation by the General Assembly, matching funds from participating school districts, and Virginia Tech. There will be no cost to students. Information is available at the school's website.
Michael Hughes, professor of sociology, has been appointed editor of the
Journal of Health and Social Behavior, a
major sociological journal published by the American Sociological Society. The
journal publishes articles in medical sociology and is carried by medical-school
and social-science libraries. It is known for its articles on the causes and
consequences of social stress as well as articles on
social factors in physical health, the organization of health care, and health policy.
The board of visitors has renamed the Industrial and Systems Engineering Department in honor of John Grado (industrial engineering and operations research '51). It will now be called the Grado Department of Industrial and Systems Engineering. In addition to a series of other major contributions, Grado recently endowed the ISE department with an irrevocable trust.
Grado has previously been
recognized by his alma mater with the Virginia
Tech Distinguished Alumni Award, the Industrial and Systems Engineering Agee
Distinguished Alumni Award, and induction
into the College of Engineering's
Academy of Engineering Excellence. He continues to serve as an active member of the
College of Engineering's Committee of 100 and the ISE Advisory Board, and he is
also an inductee of Virginia Tech's elite Ut
The Virginia Tech Chapter of the American Fisheries Society (AFS) recently received the Chapter of the Year award from the American Fisheries Society. The award was shared with the Oregon Chapter and ranks Virginia Tech at the top of more than 50 chapters that belong to the parent society.
The Tech chapter, composed primarily of students, competed with chapters composed primarily of faculty members and professionals in their field.
The chapter participates in a
variety of activities, including environmental education for children, advocacy
through resolutions to the parent society and letters to the House of Representatives,
and continuing education for members.
The Virginia Tech Mobile & Portable Radio Research Group (MPRG) is collaborating with Massachusetts-based Raytheon Company, a world-wide leader in electronics for defense and information systems, on a $15-million contract with the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA).
MPRG will work with Raytheon on a phase of the project called Airborne Communications Node (ACN), to be used in military-communications strategies. The ACN payload will act as a surrogate satellite, relaying voice and data communications among ground forces, enabling them to communicate well beyond line-of-sight.
Along with MPRG's Brian
Woerner, lead investigator for the project, Jeff
Reed and Bill Tranter, both MPRG associates, and Warren Stutzman of Virginia
Tech's Antenna Group will focus on advanced-technology development in the areas
of re-configurable antennas, signal-processing techniques, mobile-networking
innovations, optical networks, and several other enabling technologies.
Members of the Virginia Tech Corps of Cadets march along part of the
route taken by the university's first student, William Addison "Add" Caldwell,
who walked up to 28 miles from his Craig County home to register at Virginia
Tech, then known as Virginia Agricultural and Mechanical College. The 13-mile trek
by the corps on Oct. 14 served as the capstone exercise signifying the end of
the toughest phase of training for 210 first-year cadets. The cadets, joined by
90 upperclass members of the corps, started their march at Caldwell Fields in
the Washington and Jefferson National Forest and walked across Brush
Mountain before ending their journey on the Tech campus. At the conclusion of the
march, the freshmen were awarded the rank of cadet private and considered fully
initiated as members of the Cadet Regiment. According to Ed Schwabe,
deputy commandant of cadets, the Addison Caldwell March was the first in what
will become an annual event.
The National Science Foundation (NSF) has awarded $2.55 million to Virginia Tech to establish a novel education and research program aimed at making the Internet a more accessible global-communications infrastructure.
The university will provide matching funds for the Integrated Research and Education in Advanced Networking (IREN) program, which will sponsor fellowships for engineering, computer science, economics, and business graduate students on the Blacksburg campus and at the university's Alexandria Research Institute.
Working with technology developers and users from industry and government, the IREN fellows will conduct multi-disciplinary research on several advanced networking topics, including broadband wireless access, mobile access to Internet resources, Internet appliances, network security, quality of service, and management of large-scale networks.
NSF is providing funding through its Integrative Graduate Education and Research Training (IGERT) in Advanced Networking program, initiated in 1997 to help educate Ph.D. scientists and engineers with interdisciplinary skills needed for the jobs of the future. The agency awarded grants to 19 universities in 2000. This is the first IGERT grant presented to Virginia Tech. More information is available at www.irean.vt.edu.
Researchers at Tech's Center for Human-Computer Interaction have won a two-year, $458,165 grant from the National Science Foundation to investigate the use and social impacts of the Blacksburg Electronic Village (BEV), one of the prominent American community networking projects of the 1990s. The principal investigators for the project are John M. Carroll and Mary Beth Rosson, professors of computer science. Carroll is also the center director.
The project, titled
"Interdisciplinary Views of the Blacksburg Electronic
Village," includes faculty investigators from Stanford University, the University of
Illinois, the Open University in the United Kingdom, Blacksburg Electronic
Village, and Carnegie Mellon University, as well as Virginia Tech.
The U.S. Department of Agriculture has awarded a $90,000 grant to a multidisciplinary informatics research group working in the Virginia-Maryland Regional College of Veterinary Medicine (VMRCVM) to further develop a software learning tool originally designed for veterinary students. The web-based auto-tutorial helps students improve deductive reasoning skills as they learn the art and science of diagnosing diseases.
Currently being beta-tested by second-year students in the VMRCVM, the software is the brainchild of veterinary clinical pathologist Holly Bender and a 16-member team of faculty members and graduate students.
Under the USDA grant, the group will develop a diagnostic training module for food animal disease using the software technology.
The U.S. secretary of agriculture has appointed Greg Brown, dean of the College of Natural Resources, to a three-year term on the 18-member Forestry Research Advisory Council. The council includes representatives from federal and state agencies, forest industries, forestry colleges and other institutions, and volunteer public groups interested in forests and related natural resources.
Brown is a past chair of the Board
on Natural Resources of the National Association of State Universities and
Land-Grant Colleges. He currently serves on the larger association's Board on
Agriculture Budget Committee and on the
Partnership Task Forces with the U.S. Geological
Survey and the EPA. He also chairs the Powell River Project Board of Directors,
where Virginia Tech is successfully applying new technologies to reclaim
surface-mined coal fields.
Naren Ramakrishnan, assistant professor of computer science, has received the first NSF CAREER Award made by the Next Generation Software (NGS) program of the National Science Foundation. The award emphasizes research that fosters collaboration among diverse computer science sub-disciplines such as scientific computing, artificial intelligence, and data management.
Ramakrishnan's project will
include complex application design and support systems for computational science.
The educational component focuses on the pedagogical implications of using
such recommender systems in the classroom.
Charles S. Johnson, professor of plant pathology, was selected by Tobacco Science magazine to receive the 2000 Philip Morris USA Award for Distinguished Achievement in Tobacco Science.
The award recognizes his significant contributions to reducing tobacco disease problems. Johnson developed a comprehensive disease control strategy for
tobacco cyst nematodes using host
resistance, crop rotation, and chemical control. This work serves as a benchmark for
other nematologists studying cyst nematodes and is significant for its
comprehensive scope and attention to detail.