The College of Liberal Arts and Human Sciences will welcome 26 new tenure-track and tenured professors in the fall of 2017.

Joining the college as assistant professors are Aaron Brantly, Political Science; Cara Daggett, Political Science; Matthew Fullen, School of Education; Edward Gitre, History; Katherine Haenschen, Communication; Benjamin Katz, Human Development; Karin Kitchens, Political Science; Ashley Landers, Human Development; Evan Lavender-Smith, English; Christopher Lindgren, English; Gonzalo Montero, Foreign Languages and Literatures; Shaily Patel, Religion and Culture; Ashley Reichelmann, Sociology; Patrick Ridge, Foreign Languages and Literatures; Micah Roos, Sociology; Donna Sedgwick, Sociology; Eonyou Shin, Apparel, Housing, and Resource Management; Lee Vinsel, Science and Technology in Society; and Chelsea Woods, Communication.

Hired as tenured faculty at the rank of associate professor are Shannon Bell, Sociology; Su Fang Ng, Cutchins Chair in the Department of English; and Bonnie Zare, Sociology.

Joining the college at the rank of professor are Kenneth Hodges, English; Sylvester Johnson, Religion and Culture (as well as director of the Center for the Humanities and assistant vice provost for humanities); Carmen Giménez Smith, English; and Paul Steger, director of the School of Performing Arts.

The following doctoral students in Human Development received awards at the Center for Gerontology Recognition Ceremony, which was held on April 25. Aaron Ogletree received the Center for Gerontology Futures Board Scholarship and the Peggy Lavery Gerontology Research and Professional Development Award; Emma Potter received the Vetra R. Mancini and Jay A. Mancini Research Prize; and Yuxin Zhao, a master’s student in Sociology, received the AARP Memorial Fund Scholarship.

The College notes with sadness the death of Peggy Meszaros, William E. Lavery Professor Emerita of Human Development and Provost Emerita, on April 18. Meszaros joined Virginia Tech in 1993 as Professor of Family and Child Development and Dean of the College of Human Resources. In 1995 she became Senior Vice President and Provost of the university, the first and only woman to date to hold the position of provost. During her tenure, a strategic plan for Virginia Tech was developed and interdisciplinary and international initiatives were pursued. From 2000 to 2015 Meszaros was the founding director of the Center for Information Technology Impacts on Children, Youth, and Families, which reflected her passion for outreach initiatives that was evident throughout her career. Meszaros earned her bachelor’s degree from Austin Peay State University, a master’s degree from the University of Kentucky, and a doctorate from the University of Maryland. A memorial service will be held May 13 in Hopkinsville, Kentucky.  Additional information can be found in the VT News In memoriam as well as the funeral memorial page.

The College awarded Diversity Departmental Grants to the following projects during the 2016–2017 academic year: María del Carmen Caña Jiménez, an assistant professor of Spanish, and Vinodh Venkatesh, an associate professor of Spanish, in the Department of Modern and Classical Languages and Literatures, for arts and foreign languages session for Explore VT; Tom Ewing, History and Associate Dean, for session on Virginians and VPI in World War I for Explore VT; Dennis Halpin, an assistant professor, and Paul Quigley, the James I. Robertson, Jr. Associate Professor of Civil War Studies in the Department of History, for Legacies of Reconstruction; Bertranna Muruthi, an assistant professor in the Department of Human Development and Family Science, for psychoeducational therapy for Latino families; and Daniel Wodak, an assistant professor in the Department of Philosophy, for the Diversity Speaker Series in the Department of Philosophy.

 

The following college faculty members were recipients of an Incentive Grant during the 2016–2017 academic year:  Danna Agmon, an assistant professor in the Department of History; Toni Calasanti, a professor in the Department of Sociology; Eunju Hwang, an assistant professor in the Department of Apparel, Housing, and Resource Management; Jeffrey Jackson, an assistant professor in the Department of Human Development and Family Science; Sarah Ovink, an assistant professor in the Department of Sociology; Ashley Shew, in the Department of Science and Technology in Society; Carolyn Shivers, an assistant professor in the Department of Human Development and Family Science; and John Wells, an associate profeesor in the School of Education.

Human Development and Center for Gerontology Core Faculty members Tina Savla and Karen Roberto, who also serves as Director of the Institute for Society, Culture, and Environment, were awarded a two-year NIH R21 grant titled “Families in Appalachia Caring for Elders with Alzheimer’s Disease (FACES-AD)” as Principal Investigators. The amount is $418,001, and the grant began April 1, 2017. Other team members include Human Development and Center for Gerontology Core Faculty members Rosemary Blieszner, Interim Dean, and Nancy Brossoie, along with Aubrey Knight and community partner Mountain Empire Older Citizen, Inc.

 

The following faculty members were recognized as Institute for Society, Culture, and Environment Scholars: Principal Investigator James Hawdon, the director of the Center for Peace Studies and Violence Prevention, and Co-Principal Investigator John Ryan, the chair and a professor in the Department of Sociology, “Online Extremism in a Cross-National Context: Risk Exposure, and Participation,” $29,654; Co-Principal Investigator Cynthia Smith, an associate professor in the Department of Human Development and Family Science, with Richard Ashley, Principal Investigator Martha Ann Bell, Julie Dunsmore, and Angela Scarpa, for “Parent-child Behavioral and Physiological Synchrony: Foundation for Children’s Developing Self-Regulation,” $30,000; and Principal Investigator Abby Walker, an assistant professor in the Department of English, and Mike Bowers, “The Neuropsychology of Cross-Dialectal Communication,” $30,000.

The following students were awarded scholarships from the College of Liberal Arts and Human Sciences in support of study abroad participation. For Summer 2017 Session I: Patricia Blackmon, Human Development, Spain; William Chenault, Spanish and Economics, Spain; Rachel Dougherty, Spanish and Psychology, Spain; Abigail Dunn, Multimedia Journalism, Switzerland; Alison Inderrieden, Human Development, Spain; Kate Karau, History and Political Science, France; Gabrielle Lozama, Public Relations, Spain; Eric Luu, Multimedia Journalism, Switzerland; Aubrey Medina, International Studies, Oman; Caroline Ritchey, National Security and Foreign Affairs and History, France; Megan Sharifi, International Studies and Spanish, Spain; and Emily Webb, Multimedia Journalism, Switzerland.

For Summer Session II: Garrett Whitlock, History, China. For Fall 2017: Jessica King, Communication Studies and International Studies, Germany; Tara Lackey, Human Development and Psychology, Switzerland; Ira Long, Political Science, Switzerland; Molly Maurin, Human Development and Psychology, Switzerland; Danielle Ratliff, Theatre Arts, Switzerland; Meagan Stacy, Political Science and Philosophy, Japan; Madison Sweezy, Literature and Language and Professional and Technical Writing, Switzerland; and Lauren Wong, Human Development, Switzerland.

The following faculty members were recipients of a 2017 Institute for Society, Culture, and Environment Summer Scholar Award: Principal Investigator Eric Jardine, an assistant professor in the Department of Political Science, France Belanger, and David Raymond, for “Context Matters: How an End User’s Incentives Shapes their Online Behavior;” and Principal Investigator Carolyn Shivers and Jeffrey Jackson, both Department of Human Development faculty members, for “Adolescent Siblings of Individuals with Autism Spectrum Disorder: Stress, the Sibling Relationship, and Overall Functioning.”

 

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