Academic News (News2Note) — January 2018

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

ASPECT doctoral student Jordan Laney published a review of Goodbye, Knott Central titled “Listening to the Knott Country Patriot: Appalachian Hip-Hop and Digital Possibilities,” Journal of Appalachian Studies 23.2 (Fall 2017): 278–80.

Carol Mullen, a professor in the School of Education, published “What’s Ethics Got to Do With It? Pedagogical Support for Ethical Student Learning in a Principal Preparation Program,” Journal of Research on Leadership Education 12.3 (2017): 239–72.

The following students in the College of Liberal Arts and Human Sciences accepted the invitation to become members of Phi Beta Kappa last semester: Anna Boutwell, Literature and Language; Kaitlyn Burton, Literature and Language and Creative Writing; Michael Carter, Literature and Language; Megan Koch, Public Relations; Morgan Long, Spanish and Literature and Language; Robin Marx, Public Relations and Political Science; and Taylor Mosier, Political Science. The initiation took place on December 20.

Sociology doctoral students Stacey Clifton and Leanna Ireland presented “The Quality of Mixed Methods Research in the Policing Field” at the American Society of Criminology Annual Meeting, which was held November 15–18 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.

Anisa Zvonkovic, head of the Department of Human Development and Family Science, began a two-year term as president of the Board of Directors of the National Council on Family Relations. The council is the oldest nonprofit, nonpartisan, multidisciplinary professional association in the United States focused solely on family research, practice, and education. She assumed her position at the council’s annual national conference, which was held November 15–18 in Orlando, Florida.

Leanna Ireland, a doctoral student in the Department of Sociology, presented “Orwell Goes to School: Privacy Awareness and Parental Support for Technological Security Measures” at the American Society of Criminology Annual Meeting, which was held November 15–18 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.

ASPECT doctoral student Emma Stamm published “Immortal Techniques,” The New Inquiry 66 (December 2017), online.

Daniel Thorp, an associate professor of History and associate dean for Undergraduate Academic Affairs, published Facing Freedom: An African American Community in Virginia from Reconstruction to Jim Crow, American South Series (Charlottesville, Virginia: University of Virginia Press, 2017).


Upstream, a composition for electric violin and jazz band by Charles Nichols, an assistant professor in the School of Performing Arts, received its premiere on December 1. The work, along with Nichols’s piece Chicken and Grits, was performed by the Washington and Jefferson Jazz Ensemble at the Olin Fine Arts Center at Washington and Jefferson College in Washington, Pennsylvania.

Adult Day Services celebrated its 25th anniversary last month. The program provides eldercare on weekdays; currently it serves on average 18 participants each day, most of whom are over the age of 80. Virginia Tech students, especially students in the Department of Human Development and Family Science, have the opportunity for field study, internships, part-time employment, and research through the program. Ila Schepisi, Human Development and Family Science, has been affiliated with Adult Day Services for 15 years and has served as Director since 2012. An exhibit celebrating the anniversary is on display in the Wallace Hall Gallery through January 18.

Esther Bauer, an associate professor in the Department of Modern and Classical Languages and Literatures, published “Not So Happily Ever After: Romantic Love in Novels by Alain Claude Sulzer,” Edinburgh German Yearbook 11 (2017), a special issue titled “Love, Eros, and Desire in Contemporary German-Language Literature and Culture”: 25–46.

Joseph Eska, a professor in the Department of English, published “Phonological Contrasts and Character Reduction in the Alphabet of Lugano,” Zeitschrift für celtische Philologie 64 (2017): 59–80.

Amy Azano, an assistant professor in the School of Education, published “Perceptions of Teachers and Parents on the Educational Experiences of Students with Autism in a Remote Rural Community,” The Rural Educator 38.3 (2017): 39–54, with alumna Mary Tackett; and “The CLEAR Curriculum Model,” Fundamentals of Gifted Education: Considering Multiple Perspectives, ed. Carolyn Callahan and Holly Hertberg-Davis, 2nd edition (New York, New York: Routledge, 2017), pp. 293–309, with alumna Mary Tackett, Tracy Missett, and Carolyn Callahan.

Three departments underwent name changes last semester: the Department of Foreign Languages and Literatures, the Department of Human Development, and the Department of Science and Technology in Society were renamed the Department of Modern and Classical Languages and Literatures, the Department of Human Development and Family Science, and the Department of Science, Technology, and Society respectively. The changes became official with the approval by the State Council of Higher Education for Virginia (SCHEV) at its October meeting.

ASPECT doctoral student Mary Ryan published the poems “Regeneration,” “You’re Always Late,” and “Candy,” Draw Write Here, ed. Helene Fischman, Volume 5 (Milwaukee, Wisconsin: The Longhand Project and Ka-Blam Printing, 2017), pp. 32–35, 61–62, and 88–89 respectively.

In addition, Ryan served as a respondent in the “Emerging Theories for Understanding the Human Condition” session at the Advancing the Human Condition Symposium, which was held November 28–30 at the Inn at Virginia Tech.

Timothy Luke, a University Distinguished Professor in the Department of Political Science, published “What Must Be Done: Sustaining New Political Science after America’s Decades of Decline,” New Political Science 39.4 (2017): 487–510.

In addition, Luke presented “Late Holocene or Early Anthropocene: Care, Conservation, and Curation in Times of Ecological Survival” as the opening keynote address of the conference titled “Remaking the Museum: Curation, Conservation, and Care in Times of Ecological Upheaval,” which was held December 6–7 at the Moesgaard Museum and Center for Environmental Humanities at Aarhus University in Aarhus, Denmark.

Paul Steger, a professor of theatre and director of the School of Performing Arts, was elected to the Board of Trustees of the National Theatre Conference. The National Theatre Conference is composed of distinguished members of the American Theatre Community who represent both professional and academic theatre institutions as well as independent artists.

The Virginia Tech Board of Visitors recently conferred the emeritus title on the following faculty members in the College of Liberal Arts and Human Sciences:

Frederic Baumgartner, a professor of  History, is a leading scholar of early modern France, military history, and the Reformation. His publications included nine books, one of which was recognized with the Charles Smith Book Prize from the Southern Historical Association, and he received numerous grants, fellowships, and awards for his research. In recognition of his teaching and research, the Virginia Social Sciences Association named Baumgartner Historian of the Year in 2002. A member of the Virginia Tech community since 1976, he served on many committees and commissions at the university and was active in numerous professional organizations as well. Baumgartner earned his undergraduate degree from Mount Saint Paul College in Waukesha, Wisconsin, and his Ph.D. from the University of Wisconsin, Madison.

Eric McCollum, a professor of Human Development, was recognized for his impact on the field of Marriage and Family Therapy through scholarship, clinical work, and teaching related to substance abuse, domestic violence, and mindfulness meditation; he was awarded grants and contracts for the implementation and assessment of intervention programs in the first two areas. He joined the Virginia Tech community in Falls Church in 1992 and served as clinical director and program director of the Marriage and Family Therapy master’s program in the National Capital Region. He was recognized with the American Association for Marriage and Family Therapy Training Award for his clinical work. McCollum earned his baccalaureate and master’s degree from the University of Iowa and a Ph.D. from Kansas State University.

Marjorie Norton, a professor of Apparel, Housing, and Resource Management and a professor of Agricultural and Applied Economics, promoted the understanding of clothing and textiles through research on economic and trade policies, consumer economics, manufacturing, and merchandising as well as through service to professional organizations and journals in her field. She frequently provided expert testimony on apparel safety. Her teaching of undergraduate and graduate courses garnered her the William E. Wine Award for Teaching Excellence, and during her tenure at Virginia Tech, which began in 1980, she advised hundreds of undergraduates and dozens of graduate students. Norton earned her bachelor’s degree from Cornell University and a Ph.D. from the University of Minnesota.

Marlene Preston, an associate professor of Communication, made significant contributions to the field of teaching communication and was recognized as an authority in instructional development and innovation in oral and written communication. A member of the Virginia Tech community since 1993, she served the Department of Communication in numerous administrative capacities, including Assistant Department Head. For her teaching, advising, and service she received awards at Virginia Tech, such as the XCaliber Award for Technology in 2015, as well as from professional organizations, including two Communication Centers Section Service Awards from the National Communication Association. Preston earned her bachelor’s as well as master’s degree from Bowling Green State University and a Ph.D. from Virginia Tech.

Barbara Ellen Smith, a professor of Women’s and Gender Studies, was honored for her contributions to Women’s and Gender Studies, sociology, geography, and Appalachian Studies; she was the author of four books and numerous articles and book chapters. She served as director of the Women’s and Gender Studies Program and played an important role in the transition of the program to the Department of Sociology. She taught a variety of courses at the undergraduate and graduate level, garnering a Department of Sociology award for her undergraduate teaching as well as awards from ASPECT and Sociology for her work with graduate students. Smith earned her bachelor’s degree from Antioch College and a master’s degree as well as a Ph.D. from Brandeis University.

A project carried out during the fall semester by students in History of Modern Genocide, taught by Bradley Nichols, a visiting assistant professor in the Department of History, was highlighted in the Roanoke Times on December 24. Students transcribed some 7,000 German archival records related to the Holocaust for the World Memory Project, an initiative of the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum and


Michael Hughes, a professor in the Department of Sociology, published “Urbanism and Tolerance Revisited: Racial Attitudes in the United States,” Re-Imagining the City: Municipality and Urbanity Today from a Sociological Perspective, ed. Marta Smagacz-Poziemska, Krzysztof Frysztacki, and Andrzej Bukowski (Krakow, Poland: Jagiellonian University Press, 2017), pp. 155–66, with Steven Tuch.