Academic News (News2Note) — January 2017

News2Note, the academic newsletter of the College of Liberal Arts and Human Sciences, is published monthly during the academic year by Debra Stoudt, associate dean for academic policies and procedures. Academic news can be submitted to her directly at

Academic News

Ten students from the College of Liberal Arts and Human Sciences were among the 16 who were awarded a Global Education Scholarship for study abroad in Summer I or II:  Geoffrey Blough, Communication Studies, International Perspectives on Communication; Kenneth Corbett, Communication Studies and International Relations, International Perspectives on Communication; AnnRea Fowler, Professional and Technical Writing, Family and Consumer Sciences, and Theatre, London Calling; Madeline Fowler, Public Relations, International Perspectives on Communication; Shelby Jones, International Studies, Spanish, and Criminology, VT Camino; Eric Luu, Multimedia Journalism, International Perspectives on Communication; Eliana Marrs, Human Development, VT Camino; Sarah McCliment, Creative Writing, Professional and Technical Writing, and Language and Literature, London Calling; Brooke Souders, Human Development, Teaching and Learning in Malawi; Zachary Weeks, Classical Studies and Religion and Culture, VT in Rome.

Fifteen of the scholarship recipients received funding for a program led by a faculty member in the College of Liberal Arts and Human Sciences.

ASPECT doctoral student Claire Gogan presented “The Last Klezmer? Authenticity, Community, and Intergenerational Connections in the Life and Music of Peter Sokolow” at the Northeast Popular/American Culture Association Conference, which was held October 21–22 at Keene State College in Keene, New Hampshire.

Among the 12 university individuals who completed the 2015-2016 Virginia Tech Executive Development Institute were Julie Walters Steele, ASPECT doctoral student and director of the Reynolds Homestead, and Anisa Zvonkovic, a professor and head of the Department of Human Development and Family Science.  The program, which began in January 2016 and met twice monthly, was designed to develop core leadership practices using an action team approach with participant groups focusing on issues in higher education. The cohort completed the program on November 17.

Joseph Eska, a professor in the Department of English, published “TeuoχTonion! And Related Matters,“ Historische Sprachforschung 128 (2015 [2016]):  28–41.

ASPECT doctoral student Mary Ryan presented “Surveillance, Sovereignty, and Civics:  Broadening Governance in the 21st Century” at the Association for Moral Education 2016 Conference, which was held December 11 at Harvard University. Ryan’s participation was supported by a travel grant from the Association for Moral Education.

VT Stories, an oral history initiative supported by the Offices of the President and Provost, formally launched for the public on November 12. Katrina Powell, the director of the Center for Rhetoric in Society, is the Principal Investigator and David Cline, an associate professor in the Department of History, and Quinn Warnick, TLOS, are the co-PIs. The project had its origins in classes and research projects initiated by Warnick and Cline and together with Special Collections in Newman Library.

The goal of VT Stories is to use “the power of storytelling to really get at what it means to be a Hokie, and for allowing our community to have a better sense of its own history.”  In addition to Powell, Cline, and Warnick, the team includes the following students from the College of Liberal Arts and Human Sciences:  Tarryn Abrahams, a doctoral student in Science and Technology StudiesEllen Boggs, a master’s student in HistoryRen Harman, a doctoral candidate in the School of Education, who serves as the project manager; Jessie Rogers, a junior majoring in Literature and Language; and Ashley Stant, a senior majoring in Professional and Technical Writing.

ASPECT doctoral student Judson Abraham published “Marcuse, Foucault, and The Purge: Film Review,” SPECTRA: The ASPECT Journal 5.2 (December 2016).

Patti Fisher, an associate professor in the Department of Apparel, Housing, and Resource Management, published “Differences in Credit Card Use between White and Hispanic Households,” Journal of Financial Counseling and Planning 27.2 (2016): 199–214; and “Which U.S. Households Use Education Loans?” in the Journal of Student Financial Aid 46.3 (2016), Article 5, with Chungwen (Grace) Hsu.

The local chapter of the Theta Alpha Kappa Honor Society, sponsored by the Department of Religion and Culture, conducted its annual induction ceremony on December 1.  Officers Caitlin Van Wicklin, Madiera Dennison, and Michaela Shea Ankers, all Religion and Culture majors, presided.  The following students, all Religion and Culture majors, were inducted: Amanda Ihrig, Timothy Miles, Austin Owen, Michaela Podolny, and Rachel Sutphin. Professor Brian Britt serves as the faculty sponsor. This was the second annual induction ceremony for the Alpha Mu Pi chapter of Theta Alpha Kappa, which was chartered in 2015.

Rhiannon Hasenauer, a senior Human Development major, was the recipient of the November 2016 Aspire! Ut Prosim Award for embracing the University’s motto as a way of life. As president of Virginia Tech’s chapter of Students Helping Honduras, Hasenauer has traveled to Honduras four times in the past three years to assist with the building of a school there.

In addition, she currently is an intern with Train for Change, which assists in training the teachers who will serve in the school and others like it in Honduras.

Danille Christensen, an assistant professor in the Department of Religion and Culture, was featured in a report on the revival in arts of food preservation that was broadcast on WVTF, the local National Public Radio affiliate, on December 14. Christensen’s research focuses on the meaning of canning in American culture.

Melanie Kiechle, an assistant professor in the Department of History, co-edited “Counting on Nature,” a special issue of Science as Culture, 26.1. (2017), with Kristoffer Whitney.  Kiechle’s own contribution to the issue was the introduction, pp. 1–10, also with Whitney.

Faculty members Brett Jones, a professor in the School of Education, and Alexa Gardner, an associate professor in the Department of Human Development, published “Examining the Reggio Emilia Approach: Keys to Understanding Why It Motivates Students,” Electronic Journal of Research in Educational Psychology 14.3 (2016): 602–25.

The college notes with sadness the death of Paul Antonie “Tony” Distler, Alumni Distinguished Professor Emeritus of Theatre. Distler joined the Virginia Tech community in 1967; in the subsequent decade he was instrumental in the development of the BA and MFA degree programs in Theatre Arts as well as the BA in Music and in Communications.  He also created the Theatre 101 course, which he taught for 18 years, and was honored with the William E. Wine Award for Teaching Excellence in 1971. Distler served as Director of the School of the Arts from 1996, when it was approved by the Board of Visitors, until his retirement in 2004.  He played a key role in the creation of The Marching Virginians and served as the band’s announcer, “The Voice,” for 40 years.  The Virginia Tech “In memoriam” can be found here and the obituary published in the Roanoke Times here.

Anthony Peguero, the Department of Sociology, published “Preventing Violence and Victimization among Racial/Ethnic Minority and Immigrant Youth in the United States:  Looking beyond the Individual Factors,” Cambridge Handbook of International Prevention Science, ed. Moshe Israelashvili and John Romano (New York: Cambridge University Press, 2017), 255–86, with Jun Sung Hong, Dorothy Espelage, and Paula Allen-Meares.

Erika Meitner, an associate professor in the Department of English, published the following poems in anthologies: “Items my sons left scattered on the floor of Flat #1, 5-7 Fitzwilliam Street, Belfast, Northern Ireland,” Still Life With Poem: Contemporary Natures Mortes in Verse, ed. Jehanne Dubrow and Lindsay Lusby (Chestertown, Maryland: The Literary House Press, 2016), 36–38; “Conflict Tourism,” “Drawing by Visitor,” “Ghost Eden,” and “Non-Lieux,” On the Grass When I Arrive: An Anthology of New Writing from Northern Ireland on Place, Home, and Belonging, ed. Leon Litvack (Derry, United Kingdom: Guildhall Press, 2016): 12–13, 16–17, 28–29, and 63–65; and “By Other Means,” Read America(s): An Anthology, ed. Hari Alluri, Garrett Bryant, and Amanda Fuller (Locked Horn Press, 2016): 126.

Meitner also published poems and an essay in the Fall 2016 issue, 92.4, of the Virginia Quarterly Review, titled “Street Life,” which were part of a collaboration with photographer Ryan Spencer Reed in which Meitner and Reed traveled to the Republican National Convention in Cleveland to report on the city in verse and photo: “Make America Safe Again,” “Make America One Again,” “Make America Work Again,” and “Make America First Again,” pp. 130–53, and “RNC CLE,” pp. 126–30.

Appearing in print in journals were the following poems by Meitner: “Dollar General,” Oxford American (Fall 2016): 46–48; “Gun Show Loophole,” “HolyMoleyLand,” and “Told on the Mountain,” The Yellow Nib 11 (Spring 2016): 45–54; and “We Swallowed Everything, Even Distance” and “We Had Pierced the Veneer of Outside Things and Scattered into a Diaspora,” Lumina 15 (2016): 129–32.

ASPECT doctoral student Claudio D’Amato published “A Non-Liberal Account of Development,” SPECTRA: The ASPECT Journal 5.2 (December 2016).

Aarnes Gudmestad, an associate professor in the Department of Foreign Languages and Literatures, published “Variable future-time reference in French: A comparison of learners in a study-abroad and a foreign-language context,” Canadian Journal of Linguistics 61.3 (2016): 259–85, with Amanda Edmonds.

Dawn Knight, pre-education advising program coordinator in the School of Education, was recognized as the December 2016 Advisor of the Month by the Office of Undergraduate Advising. The Advisor of the Month program recognizes outstanding academic advisors based on evidence of qualities and practices such as quality of information and advice, strong interpersonal communication skills, implementation of a “support and challenge” environment, and accessibility.

Michael Hughes, a professor in the Department of Sociology, published “Challenges to the Empirical Investigation of Mass Shootings,” Handbook of the Psychology of Mass Shootings, ed. Laura C. Wilson (Hoboken, New Jersey: John Wiley & Sons, 2016), 3–19, with Andrew J. Smith.

Doris Zallen, a Professor Emerita of in the Department of Science and Technology Studies and Humanities, published “Evaluation of a Web-based Decision Aid for People Considering the APOE Genetic Test for Alzheimer Risk,” Genetics in Medicine, November 3, 2016, online, with Michael Ekstract, Golde Holtzman, Kye Kim, and Susan Willis.

David Cline, an assistant professor in the Department of History, published “Strange Bedfellows: Surprising Allies in the Struggle over Abortion and Birth Control in 1960s Massachusetts,” Wenn die Chemie stimmt: Geschlechterbeziehungen und Geburtenkontrolle im Zeitalter der “Pille”/Gender Relations and Birth Control in the Age of the “Pill,” ed. Lutz Niethammer and Silke Satjukow (Göttingen:  Wallstein Verlag, 2016), 136–58.

Charlene Eska, an associate professor in the Department of English, published “The Abbreviation S.D. and Patterns of Ascription in the Corpus Iuris Hibernici,” Études Celtiques 42 (2016): 161–84.