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Summer 2012

    CNRE Newsmagazine Summer 2012 Cover

CNRE Newsmagazine Summer 2012 (PDF | 2MB)

Table of Contents: Summer 2012

From the Dean's Perspective

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.

College News

Fellowships Offer Diverse Opportunities for Graduate Students

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.

Awards and Honors

Alumni Award of Achievement

Virginia Secretary of Natural Resources Doug Domenech (’78 B.S. in forestry and wildlife) received the Alumni Award of Achievement.

Friend of the College

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.

Outstanding Recent Alumni

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.

Outstanding Graduates

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.

Faculty Briefs

Stern Selected as Clemson Scholar

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.

Hindman New Editor of Wood Design Focus

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.

Schwarz Honorary Ambassador for Jeju

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.

Promotions and Tenure

The Virginia Tech Board of Visitors has granted several college faculty promotions and approvals for tenure.


Call It Sustainable Biomaterials!

The wood science and forest products department has been renamed the Department of Sustainable Biomaterials to reflect its widening scope of education and research.

College Continues Collaborative Research with China on Mussels

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.

Student Notes

Shugart-Schmidt Named Graduate Woman of the Year

Katelin Shugart-Schmidt, a master’s student in fisheries and wildlife sciences, was named Virginia Tech’s 2012 Graduate Woman of the Year.

Daiqiang Xu Wins Prestigious Graduate Student Award

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.

Graduate Student Team Wins GeoLeague Challenge

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.

Wansley Selected for STEP Program

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).

National Geographic Highlights Scat Studies

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.

Bass Fishing Teams Place in National and Regional Competitions

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.

Williams Named Presidential Management Fellowship Finalist

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.

Meteorology Club Promotes Major

The Virginia Tech Meteorology Club has recently become a chapter of the National Weather Association and the American Meteorological Society.

Alumni Corner

Speaks Named National Forest Supervisor

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.

Alumni Profile: George Bumann

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.

Jones Receives Cross Alumni Leadership Award

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.

Seiler Goes West

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.

University Honors Hukill With Pylon Dedication

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.

25th Anniversary

Celebrating 25 Years

    1992 through 2017, 25 years

Join us Sept. 15-16 to visit campus and reconnect with alumni, faculty, staff, and friends.

Celebrate with Us

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