Three students in the College of Liberal Arts and Human Sciences were among the 15 recipients of a Fralin Undergraduate Research Fellowship award for 2018–2019.

The college’s recipients were: Thomas Hale, a senior in political science; Kelsey McMahon, a junior sociology major, and Sophia Textoria, a junior in human development and family science.

Each Fellow received $1,000 to conduct research with a Virginia Tech faculty mentor over the course of one academic year.

Natasha Cox, a doctoral student in the Department of Human Development and Family Science, received the 2018 Jessie Bernard Outstanding Research Proposal from a Feminist Perspective Award for her dissertation proposal, “Becoming a Black Man: A Qualitative Examination of Identity Management, Sense of Belonging, and Informal Support Systems of Black Transmen.” The competitive award is sponsored by the Feminism and Family Studies section of the National Council on Family Relations (NCFR); it includes a cash prize, a plaque, conference registration funding, travel allowance, and complimentary books. Cox will present her research findings at the 2019 NCFR Annual Conference.

Karen Roberto, University Distinguished Professor in the Department of Human Development and Family Science and director of the Institute for Society, Culture and Environment, published Community Resources for Older Adults: Programs and Services in an Era of Change, fifth edition (Thousand Oaks, California: Sage Publications, 2019), with Robbyn Wacker. Roberto and Wacker also received the 2018 Cornerstone Author award from Sage, which honors first-rate scholarship, quality writing, and lasting impact of the work.

Megan Dolbin-MacNab, an associate professor in the Department of Human Development and Family Science, was elected by the Gerontological Society of America as a fellow in its Behavioral and Social Sciences Section. Fellows are nominated by peers for work advancing the study of aging through research, administration, and teaching. MacNab’s research focuses on grandparents who have to raise their grandchildren because of the impact of the opioid addiction epidemic. She will be recognized as a new fellow at the society’s 2018 Annual Scientific Meeting in Boston in November.

The college is pleased to announce the following tenure and promotion decisions by the Virginia Tech Board of Visitors at its June 6 meeting.

Promoted to associate professor with tenure were: Danna Agmon, History and ASPECT Core Faculty; Amy Azano, School of Education; María del Carmen Caña Jiménez, Modern and Classical Languages and Literatures; Jason Crafton, School of Performing Arts; Erika Grafsky, Human Development and Family Science; Stefanie Hofer, Modern and Classical Languages and Literatures; Eunju Hwang, Apparel, Housing, and Resource Management; Benjamin Jantzen, Philosophy; Melanie Kiechle, History; Christine Labuski, Sociology; Philip Olsen, Science, Technology, and Society; Dustin Read, Apparel, Housing, and Resource Management; Nadine Sinno, Modern and Classical Languages and Literatures; Trevor Stewart, School of Education; Catherine Ulrich, School of Education; LaDale Winling, History; and Haiyan Zhu, Sociology.

Promoted to the rank of professor in the past academic year were: Janet Abbate, Science, Technology, and Society; April Few-Demo, Human Development and Family Science; Matthew Gabriele, Religion and Culture; James Ivory, Communication; Gerard Lawson, School of Education; Heidi Anne Mesmer, School of Education; Lydia Patton, Philosophy; Tina Savla, Human Development and Family Science; and John Wells, School of Education.

Also recognized with promotion were the following: Joseph Scallorns, English, to senior instructor; Matthew Goodrum, Science, Technology, and Society, to collegiate associate professor; and Peggy Quesenberry, Apparel, Housing, and Resource Management, to collegiate assistant professor.

Pamela Teaster, director of the Center for Gerontology and a professor in the Department of Human Development and Family Science, was the recipient of the Isabella Horton Grant Guardianship Award. Sponsored by the Rutter Group and administered by the National College of Probate Judges, the “Isabella”is given in recognition of individual achievements in the field of guardianships of adults and/or minors based on activities such as innovative programs leading to improvements in guardianship laws; articles, treatises, books, or other  publications of unusual quality and impact on guardianship issues; and leadership roles or other activities in organizations that have led to significant improvements in the laws, administration, or practices in the guardianship field.

Teaster received the award at the Spring Conference of the National College of Probate Judges, which was held May 2–5 in San Diego.

The College notes with sadness the death of Kathleen Wright Wampler on June 20.  Wampler was an extension specialist and faculty member in Family and Child Development.  She dedicated her life to serving children and families and even after retiring from Virginia Tech in 1983 continued to volunteer two mornings each week at the Virginia Tech Child Development Center for Learning and Research.

Six students in the College of Liberal Arts and Human Sciences were among the 17 students in the 2018 cohort of Aspirations Fellows. Honored were: Julia Billingsley, a senior Political Science and Public and Urban Affairs major; sophomore Public Relations and Political Science major Haley Burnell; Katarzyna Goebel, a senior Literature and Language major; Lauren Hughes, a junior Human Development major; Ali Mayer, a graduate student in Higher Education and Student Affairs; and junior Publication Relations, Public and Urban Affairs, and Diversity and Community Engagement major Jordi Shelton.

The following faculty members were recognized as 2018–2019 Institute for Society, Culture, and Environment Scholars: co-principal investigator Katherine Allen, Human Development and Family Science, co-principal investigator France Belanger, and consultant Jill Kiecolt, Sociology, “An Interdisciplinary Study of Intelligent Home Assistants’ Invasiveness in Family Units”; co-investigator Ben Katz, Human Development and Family Science, co-investigator Tina Savla, Human Development and Family Science and Center for Gerontology, principal investigator Brenda Davy, and co-investigator Kevin Davy, “Premeal Water and Weight Loss: Cognitive, Behavioral, and Physiological Aspects”; and principal investigator Eunju Hwang, Apparel, Housing, and Resource Management, co-principal investigator Nancy Brossoie, Center for Gerontology, and co-investigators Max Stephenson and Sophie Wenzel, “An Interdisciplinary Team Approach to Study Age Friendly Community Initiatives and Policies.”

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