We finished the academic year with one of the largest graduating classes in recent times, and we head into the fall semester with more students enrolled than in spring. Clearly, students are passionate about our disciplines and they aspire to make a difference in this world.
The Department of Forest Resources and Environmental Conservation recently received two National Needs Fellowship grants from the U.S. Department of Agriculture; each grant funds four fellowships. The fellowships are designed to increase the number of underrepresented groups — particularly minorities, women, and first-generation college students — with higher degrees in agriculture and natural resources.
Virginia Secretary of Natural Resources Doug Domenech (’78 B.S. in forestry and wildlife) received the Alumni Award of Achievement.
Brooks M. Whitehurst (’51 B.S. in chemical engineering) was honored as the 2011-12 Friend of the College. He has been generous in his financial and personal support of the Wood Enterprise Institute.
Erica Santana (’05 B.S. in wildlife science) of Opelika, Ala., received this year’s Outstanding Recent Alumna Award – Undergraduate Degree. Guillermo Trincado (‘06 Ph.D. in forest biometrics) received this year’s Outstanding Recent Alumnus Award – Graduate Degree.
Cari Lynn Squibb (Graduating Senior), Beth Stein (Master's Student), and Baojuan Zheng (Ph.D. Student) were honored for their exceptional work as natural resources students.
Associate Professor Marc Stern of the Department of Forest Resources and Environmental Conservation was selected as Scholar of the Clemson University Institute for Parks, one of the largest concentrations of park researchers in any U.S. academic institution.
Associate Professor Daniel Hindman of the Department of Sustainable Biomaterials was recently named the editor of Wood Design Focus, a journal produced by the Forest Products Society that features articles on various aspects of wood engineering.
Michael Schwarz, an adjunct assistant professor in the Department of Fish and Wildlife Conservation, was recently presented with a letter of entrustment from the Jeju Special Self-Governing Province of South Korea, naming him an honorary ambassador for the island.
The Virginia Tech Board of Visitors has granted several college faculty promotions and approvals for tenure.
The wood science and forest products department has been renamed the Department of Sustainable Biomaterials to reflect its widening scope of education and research.
Eric Hallerman, Richard Neves, Jess Jones, and Dan Hua of the Department of Fish and Wildlife Conservation — all of whom are heavily involved with freshwater mussel research in North America — traveled to China last summer to visit several research institutes, aquaculture facilities, and commercial farms dedicated to studying the propagation and cultivation of freshwater mussels.
Katelin Shugart-Schmidt, a master’s student in fisheries and wildlife sciences, was named Virginia Tech’s 2012 Graduate Woman of the Year.
Doctoral student Daiqiang Xu of Beijing, China, received the 2012 Eastman Graduate Student Award from the Cellulose and Renewable Materials Division (CELL) of the American Chemical Society.
A team of eight graduate students won the 2012 national GeoLeague Challenge at the American Society for Photogrammetry and Remote Sensing conference in Sacramento, Ca.
Senior wildlife science major Jarrett Wansley of Richmond, Va., was selected for a competitive STEP (Student Temporary Employment Program) position with the Appalachian Mountain Joint Venture, housed in the college’s Conservation Management Institute (CMI).
Wildlife science graduate student Claudia Wultsch and her scat detector dog Bruiser have once again garnered international attention by being featured on the National Geographic website.
Wyatt Blevins, a fisheries science major, and Carson Rejzer, a building construction major, earned fifth place in the National Guard FLW College Fishing National Championship. In addition, two Virginia Tech teams placed in the Carhartt College Bass East Super Regional.
Danielle Williams of Falls Church, Va., who received an executive master of natural resources degree in May, has been named a finalist for a Presidential Management Fellowship, a highly competitive two-year post-graduate fellowship with a federal agency.
The Virginia Tech Meteorology Club has recently become a chapter of the National Weather Association and the American Meteorological Society.
Tom Speaks (’79 B.S. in forestry and wildlife) was selected as the new forest supervisor of the George Washington and Jefferson National Forests, headquartered in Roanoke.
George Bumann (’02 M.S. in wildlife science) has made a name for himself with his stunning wildlife artwork. Since earning his degree, he has become a professional sculptor, working out of his studio in Gardiner, Mont., at the northern entrance to Yellowstone National Park.
Edwin Jones (‘79 B.S. and ‘83 Ph.D. in fisheries and wildlife sciences), director of Virginia Cooperative Extension, received the Department of Fish and Wildlife Conservation’s Gerald H. Cross Alumni Leadership Award.
Members of both the Seattle and Portland, Ore., chapters of the Virginia Tech Alumni Association were treated to “An Evening With Alumni Distinguished Professor John Seiler” in June.
The Virginia Tech Corps of Cadets honored U.S. Marine 2nd Lt. Maurice Hukill (’81 B.S. in forestry and wildlife) by engraving his name into one of the pylons at the War Memorial on campus. Hukill was one of 241 American servicemen killed in the terrorist bombing attack on the U.S. Marine Corps barracks in Beirut, Lebanon, on Oct. 23, 1983.