Patricia Raun, a professor of performance and voice in the School of Performing Arts, delivered the keynote address for the national conference of the Educational Theatre Association, which was held September 14–17 in Nashville, Tennessee. The conference theme was The Rise of STEAM: Real World Theatre Education for the 21st Century, and Raun’s talk was titled “Where Our Great Joy Meets the World’s Great Needs.”  The Educational Theatre Association is a national nonprofit organization with approximately 120,000 members.


Underlying Space, for recorded processed electric violin, a composition and performance by Charles Nichols, an assistant professor of composition and creative technologies in the School of Performing Arts, that accompanies the 30×30 art installation by Paola Zellner Bassett, a collegiate associate professor in the School of Architecture and Design, premiered September 14 at the American Institute of Architects (AIA) Women in Leadership Summit. This was held at the AIA National Headquarters in Washington, D.C., and September 11 to December 20 at the Kibel Gallery in the School of Architecture, Planning, and Preservation at the University of Maryland in College Park, Maryland.

Charles Dye, an assistant professor in the School of Performing Arts, and Jaime Jacobsen received $3,000 in funding from MontanaPBS to support the production of a 360 documentary titled The Lentil Underground 360 (LU360). The LU360 is a participatory web experience that encourages dialogue across Montana’s sometimes polarized agro-economic aisle and deals with an unheralded group of Montana farmers who launched a uniquely sustainable food movement

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.

Faculty members Richard Cole, a professor in the Department of Music in the School of Performing Arts, and Joseph Pitt, a professor in the Department of Philosophy, were recognized for 45 years of dedicated service to Virginia Tech and commitment to upholding the university’s mission. A complete list of employees recognized this year for 10 or more years of service (in five-year increments) can be found here.

The following College of Liberal Arts and Human Sciences students accepted the invitation to become members of Phi Beta Kappa this semester: Caroline Amodeo, Music and Spanish; Karina Bakhshi-Azar, Political Science and Public Relations; Caroline Buscaglia, Political Science; Kelly Cooper, History; Kirsten Corbman, Literature and Language and Creative Writing; Jessica Craig, Professional and Technical Writing and Literature and Language; Samantha DiBiaso, Public Relations and Religion and Culture; Amelia Dirks, Creative Writing and Literature and Language; Kelsi Faley, Literature and Language and Creative Writing; Casey Foley, Political Science; Madeleine Gallo, Literature and Language and Creative Writing; Kayleigh Green, Professional and Technical Writing, Creative Writing, and Literature and Language; Kirsten Jersild, Literature and Language and Creative Writing; Benjamin Kodres-O’Brien, Philosophy; Katherine Leal, Political Science; James Lineberry, Political Science; Jessica Lull, Literature and Language; Timothy Maloney, Spanish and Finance; Robert Morrison, Political Science; Jenna Mortweet, International Studies; Skyler Mueller, Literature and Language; Rachel Palermo, International Studies and Spanish; William Patton, Political Science and Economics; Jared Rogers, History; Mollison Ryan, Creative Writing and Professional and Technical Writing; Jessica Savage, History; Andrew Snell, Political Science; Katelyn Toms, Classical Studies; Paul Wasel, Professional and Technical Writing and Literature and Language; Hannah Winston, Spanish and Human Nutrition, Foods, and Exercise; Bonnie Woodward, Criminology and Sociology; and John Wright, Philosophy. The initiation took place on May 11.

Five students from the College of Liberal Arts and Human Sciences were among the 16 selected for the 2017–2018 Graduate School Diversity Scholars cohort. The students are: Melissa Faircloth, a doctoral student in Sociology; Jameson Jones, a doctoral student in Education Curriculum and Instruction; Elizabeth McKagen, a doctoral student in ASPECT; Thomas Murray, an MFA student in Directing and Public Dialogue; and Emma Stamm, a doctoral student in ASPECT. The students presented their Diversity Scholars projects on May 4 at the Graduate Life Center.

Jason Crafton, an assistant professor, gave the U.S. premiere of Starfish, a composition by Eric Lyon, an associate professor, for trumpet and computer, at Spectrum in New York City on April 22. Both are from the Department of Music in the School of Performing Arts.

School of Performing Arts faculty members Dwight Bigler and David McKee, from the Department of Music, in collaboration with the Virginia Choral Directors Association and the Virginia Music Educators Association, hosted the 2017 High School All-Virginia Chorus and Middle School Honor Choir concerts in the Moss Arts Center. Three hundred middle school singers and 384 high school singers from across the state participated in the festival, which took place April 27–29. The Thursday evening concert also featured a performance by the Virginia Tech Choirs, under the direction of faculty members Dwight Bigler, Hyesoo Yoo, and Taylor Baldwin.


Charles Nichols, an assistant professor in the School of Performing Arts/Music, presented Epimetheus Gift, for amplified bassoon, computer, and Ambisonics, with bassoonist Steve Vacchi, at the 2017 Society of Electroacoustic Music in the United States National Conference, held April 20–22 at St. Cloud State University in Minnesota, and at the Birmingham Electroacoustic Sound Theatre Festival, held April 27–29 in Birmingham, England, United Kingdom.

In addition, Eulogy (Risset), for computer music and processed video, a collaboration between Nichols and video artist Jay Bruns was presented May 5 at the Echofluxx Festival of New Media, Music, and Art, which was held at Paralelní Polis, in Prague, Czech Republic.