Academic News (News2Note)

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

During its November meeting the Virginia Tech Board of Visitors conferred the emerita title on Rosemary Carucci Goss, Residential Property Management Advisory Board Professor of Apparel, Housing, and Resource Management.

Goss contributed to housing research, especially housing choice and affordability, multifamily housing, and property management through her scholarship, teaching, and service. She served as President of the Housing Education and Research Association and established the Property Management program at Virginia Tech. She received numerous awards from professional organizations in her field as well as the Virginia Tech Alumni Award for Excellence in Undergraduate Academic Advising.

Goss earned her bachelor’s degree from Concord University, a master’s degree from Virginia Tech, and a Ph.D. from Florida State University.

Shannon Bell, an associate professor in the Department of Sociology, published “Energy Transitions or Additions? Why a Transition from Fossil Fuels Requires More than the Growth of Renewable Energy,” Energy Research and Social Science 51 (2019): 40–43, with Richard York.

David Alexander, a professor in the School of Education, published American Public School Law, ninth edition (St. Paul, Minnesota: West Academic, 2019), with Kern Alexander.

Sharon Johnson, an associate professor of French and Francophone Studies from the Department of Modern and Classical Languages and Literatures and director of the Women’s and Gender Studies program, published “Battles Waged and Won: The Apprenticeship of Antoinette Lemire,” Nineteenth-Century Contexts: An Interdisciplinary Journal 40,5 (2019): 1–21.

Brett Jones, a professor in the School of Education, published “A Person-centered Investigation of Patterns in College Students’ Perceptions of Motivation in a Course,” Learning and Individual Differences 69 (2019): 94–107, with School of Education alumna Jessica Chittum (Ph.D., 2015) and Devin Carter.

Bettina Koch, an associate professor in the Department of Political Science, edited Inventing Modernity in Medieval European Thought, ca. 1100–ca. 1550, Studies in Medieval and Early Modern Culture 51 (Kalamazoo, Michigan: Medieval Institute Publications, 2018), with Cary Nederman.

Koch’s individual contributions to the volume were “Introduction: Inventing Modernity,” pp. 1–14, with Nederman, and “Defensor Pacis Transformed: Marsilian Ideas in Sixteenth Century Politics,” pp. 115–34.

Erika Meitner, an associate professor from the Department of Englishwas awarded a 2018 National Jewish Book Award for Holy Moly Carry Me (Rochester, New York: BOA Editions, 2018). She received the Berru Award in Memory of Ruth and Bernie Weinflash in the Poetry category.

In addition, the book has been shortlisted for the National Book Critics Circle Award in poetry.

Megan Nanney, a doctoral student in the Department of Sociology, was awarded a Sociology Program Doctoral Dissertation Research Improvement (DDRI) award for her proposal titled “Transgender Admissions Policies and Women’s Colleges as Gendered Organizations.”

The DDRI program is administered by the Directorate for Social, Behavioral, and Economic Sciences in the Division of Social and Economic Sciences of the National Science Foundation. Nanney’s proposal was one of only 15 awarded support in the Fall 2018 competition; the award of $15,979 will be used for Nanney’s living costs while in the field, archival reproduction, research assistants, and participant compensation.

Sarah Ovink, an associate professor in the Department of Sociology, serves as Nanney’s dissertation advisor.

Corinne Noirot, an associate professor of French in the Department of Modern and Classical Languages and Literatures, published “Marot en ses premières êpîtres, ou comment l’esprit vient aux adolescents” [Marot’s First Published Epistles, or: How to (Re)gain One’s Spirit(s)], Op. cit., Revue des littératures et des arts, “Agrégation 2019” 9 (Fall 2018), online.

ASPECT doctoral student Emma Stamm was interviewed by Wesley Thoricatha of The Psychedelic Times for the article, “Psychedelic Science, Ontological Mystery, and Political Ideology: A Conversation with Emma Stamm,” which was published online December 17, 2018.

Peter Wallenstein, a professor from the Department of History, published “The Morrill Land-Grant College Act of 1862: Seedbed of the American System of Public Universities,” Civil War Congress and the Creation of Modern America: A Revolution on the Home Front, ed. Paul Finkelman and Donald Kennon (Athens, Ohio: Ohio University Press, 2018), pp. 82–117.

Richard Masters, an assistant professor in the School of Performing Arts, published “For the Love of the Voice: Toward a New Generation of Coaches,” Singing: The Timeless Muse. Essays on the Human Voice, Singing, and Spirituality, compiled by Darlene Wiley (Gahanna, Ohio: Inside View Press, 2019), pp. 159–67.

Janell Watson, professor of French and chair of the Department of Modern and Classical Languages and Literatures, published “The Transversal Campus: Open Black Box?” in Principles of Transversality in Globalisation and Education, ed. David R. Cole and Joff P. N. Bradley (Singapore: Springer, 2018), pp. 19–30; and “Afterword: Post-Media Singularities” in The Reinvention of Social Practices by Gary Genosko (London: Rowman and Littlefield, 2018), pp. 215–20.

Brenda Husser, an office manager and chief academic advisor in the Department of Sociology, was a recipient of the 2019 Inspire Integrity Award from the National Society of Collegiate Scholars.

The award, the only national student-nominated faculty and administration award program, is presented to full-time university faculty and administration who have, through their lessons and actions, made a significant impact on the lives of their students and instilled a high degree of personal and academic integrity. Husser was awarded a $1,000 professional development award.

Jenna Bender, a sophomore Criminology major, submitted the nomination; she received a $1,000 scholarship.

Andrew Allegretta, from the Department of Communication, was named 2018 Virginia Sportscaster of the Year by the National Sports Media Association. Allegretta is the assistant director of broadcasting at Virginia Tech and teaches sports journalism. He provides the radio play-by-play for women’s basketball and baseball on the Virginia Tech IMG Sports Network.

Anthony Peguero, an associate professor in the Department of Sociology, published “School Disorder and Dropping Out: The Intersection of Gender, Race, and Ethnicity,” Youth & Society 51.2 (2019): 193–218, with Gabriel Merrin, Jun Sung Hong, and Kecia Johnson.

Carlos Evia, an associate professor in the Department of Communication, published Creating Intelligent Content with Lightweight DITA (New York, New York: Routledge, 2018).

In addition, Evia served as the lead author of “Lightweight DITA: An Introduction,” a committee note published by the Organization for the Advancement of Structured Information Standards.

Anthony “Kwame” Harrison, a professor in the Department of Sociology, was reappointed the Gloria D. Smith Professor of Black Studies by Virginia Tech President Timothy Sands and Executive Vice President and Executive Vice President and Provost Cyril Clarke.

The professorship, in honor of the late Gloria D. Smith, a counselor and advocate of minority students on campus before her retirement, is awarded for a period of two years to an outstanding faculty member who contributes significantly to the growth and development of minority students, student athletes, and scholarly pursuits.

Harrison has held the title since 2014. A member of the Virginia Tech community since 2003, Harrison’s research in popular music studies and ethnography has enhanced the visibility of the Africana Studies program at Virginia Tech. His engagement with students garnered him the university’s Alumni Award for Excellence in Teaching in 2015, and he has demonstrated a deep commitment to recruitment and mentoring of students.

Harrison earned his bachelor’s degree from the University of Massachusetts, and a master’s degree and Ph.D. from Syracuse University.

School of Education faculty member Brett Jones and doctoral student Tiffany LaCroix published “Assessing High School Students’ Motivation in the Mathematics Classroom,” Virginia Mathematics Teacher 45.1 (2018): 33–40, with School of Education alumna Karlin Triggs (M.A.E., 2016).

Matthew Gabriele, professor and chair of the Department of Religion and Culture, edited A Cultural History of Western Empires in the Middle Ages (800–1450), volume 2 of A Cultural History of Western Empires (London and New York: Bloomsbury Academic, 2018). Gabriele’s individual contribution to the volume was the “Introduction,” pp. 1–20.

In addition, Gabriele gave the keynote address, “All Shall Be Well, and All Shall Be Well, and All Manner of Thing Shall Be Well: The Future of Medieval Studies,” at the University of Kent History Festival, which took place February 13, in Canterbury, England.

At Kent, he also led a graduate seminar on the topic of “Teaching the Middle Ages against White Supremacy.”

Katie Carmichael, an assistant professor in the Department of English, and Aarnes Gudmestad, an associate professor of Spanish from the Department of Modern and Classical Languages and Literatures, published “Language Death and Subject Expression: First-person-singular Subjects in a Declining Dialect of Louisiana French,” Journal of French Language Studies 29 (2019): 67–91.

Cadet Brett Smith was named one of two national Navy Federal Credit Union ROTC All-American Scholarship winners who tied for Student of the YearHe received a $6,500 scholarship and Virginia Tech’s ROTC programs received $7,500.

Smith, a senior physics major, was recognized at the Military Bowl on December 31. In Spring 2019 he will serve as cadet wing commander for the Air Force ROTC, the highest position a student can hold.

The Virginia Tech String Project, under the direction of Molly Wilkens-Reed, an instructor in the School of Performing Arts, was awarded two grants: a Chamber Music Workshop Grant from the Associated Chamber Music Players to conduct a seven-week Adult String Chamber Music Intensive Program in 2019, and a Special Projects Grant from the Virginia Chapter of the American String Teachers Association to hold a World Beat Drumming Workshop for Virginia Tech String Project students.

ASPECT doctoral student Emma Stamm published “On Elephant Skin: Critical Data Studies and Political Economy” on the Virginia Tech graduate student commentary blog, RE: Reflections and Explorations, on December 6.