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News2Note, the academic newsletter of the College of Liberal Arts and Human Sciences, is published monthly during the academic year.

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 policy and faculty affairs. Academic news can be submitted to her directly at

May Issue

Two of Virginia Tech’s four 2024 Advising Award winners are from the College of Liberal Arts and Human Sciences.  Kayla Goodwin, professional advisor for the School of Communication, was recognized with the Outstanding New Advisor Award.  Dawn Knight, professional advisor for the Department of English, received the Award for Excellence in Career Advising.  More information about the awardees

History major Macie Alford was an invited participant in the plenary panel “Holding Up a Mirror to Higher Education:  Student Perspectives on the Undergraduate Experience” at the American Association of Colleges and Universities General Education, Pedagogy, and Assessment Conference, which took place April 11–13 virtually and in Providence, Rhode Island.

The following ASPECT doctoral students presented papers at the International Studies Association Conference, which took place April 3–6 in San Francisco, California:  Sam Beckenhauer, “Cybernetic Control and the Politics of Conspiracy Theory”; Hannah Gignoux, “The Contentious Role of Money in Marxian Political Economy”; Elhom Gosink, “Land Grabbing Land Grants:  Studying the Financialization of Land via the University’s Endowment”; Sabrina Harris, “Developing Gender, Developing Capable Statehood:  A Critical Exploration of the UN’s Capacity-Building Agenda”; Luther McPherson, “Cultivating Security:  On the Nexus of Prussian Military Education, Romanticist Discourses, and Bureaucratic Subjectivities in the 19th Century,” and “Pacification as a Theory of Violence in International Political Thought” with Political Science faculty member Desirée Poets; and Shah Shajahan, “Piety and Piracy:  Traditions of Spatial Organization in Beemapalli.”

Amy Price Azano, Education and Director of the Center for Rural Education, published Reading and Writing Place:  Connecting Rural Schools and Communities (Lanham, Maryland:  Rowman & Littlefield, 2024), with 2019 Education alumna Erika Bass.

The following individuals in the College of Liberal Arts and Human Sciences are among those recognized during 2023–2024 with an Aspire! Award:  faculty member Joanna Culligan, Therapeutic Program Manager for the Engagement Center for Creative Aging and Instructor in the Department of Human Development and Family Science; and students:  Caleb Dankwa, International Relations; Nicole Fess, English Language Arts Education; Jack Leff, Science, Technology, and Society doctoral student; Sarah Ogden, Political Science; Preeti Pandey, Philosophy, Politics, and Economics and Political Science; and Grace Purvis, English.  

ASPECT doctoral student Casey Anne Brimmer presented “Creating a Pedagogy of the Full Self:  Being and Inviting Full Selves Into Academia” at the Women’s and Gender Studies Consortium Conference, which was held April 11–13 in Madison, Wisconsin.

Ralph Buehler, Public and International Affairs, published “Factors Influencing Bikeshare Service and Usage in a Rural College Town:  A Case Study of Montgomery County, VA,” International Journal of Sustainable Transportation 18.4 (2024):  291–300,  with Master of Urban and Regional Planning alumna Cat Woodson et al.

Glenn Bugh, History, was invited by the Department of Classics at Washington and Lee University to serve as the 2024 Herman Ward Taylor, Jr., Lecturer.  In this capacity he presented “Venetians in Greece” on April 3 on the Washington and Lee campus.  

María del Carmen Caña Jiménez, Modern and Classical Languages and Literatures, published “De tablaos a tableaux:  ecos saurianos en Rosalía” (From Tablaos to Tableaux:  Echoes of Saura in Rosalía), Romance Notes 63.2 (2023):  281–93. 

Chase Catalano, Education, published “‘More Than Lip Service’:  LGBTQ+ Social Justice Educational Interventions as Institutional Benign Neglect,” The Review of Higher Education 47.3 (2024):  373–400, with Daniel Tillapaugh, Roman Christiaens, and Sy Simms; and “Gender as Spectacle:  Safe Zone Facilitation Experiences of Non-Binary/Trans Educators,” Journal of Women and Gender in Higher Education 17.1 (2024):  63–78, with Rachel Wagner.

The College of Liberal Arts and Human Sciences recognized the following faculty and staff members with 2023–2024 awards in teaching, diversity, advising, outreach, research and creative scholarship, and employee excellence:  Certificate of Teaching Excellence recipients were:  Tim Becker, English; Katie Carmichael, English; Catheryn Foster, Education; Sharon Johnson, Modern and Classical Languages and Literatures; Brittany Presson, Sociology; and Michael Sguerri, Modern and Classical Languages and Literatures.  Diversity Award winners were Silas Cassinelli, English, and Jody Russon, Human Development and Family Science.  An Excellence in Advising Award was presented to Kayla Goodwin, Communication, Rebecca Hester, Science, Technology, and Society, and Hannah Wildman-Short, Philosophy.  Excellence in Outreach and International Initiatives Award recipients were Aaron Brantly, Political Science, and Thomas Dearden, Sociology.  James Collier, Science, Technology, and Society, Dina Smith-Glaviana, Apparel, Housing, and Resource Management, and Rose Wesche, Human Development and Family Science, received Excellence in Research and Creative Scholarship Awards.  Katrina Powell, English and Director of the Center for Refugee, Migrant, and Displacement Studies, and Emily Satterwhite, Religion and Culture, were the recipients of the Land Grant Scholar Award.  The College’s Staff Employee of the Year Award was presented to Ashley Snider, Office Manager in the Department of Science, Technology, and Society.  The recognition ceremony took place in the Graduate Life Center Multipurpose Room on April 19 as well as via Zoom.  Associate Dean for Graduate Studies and Research Tom Ewing served as emcee, Dean Laura Belmonte provided words of welcome, and five award winners – Brantly, Hester, Johnson, Satterwhite, and Smith-Glaviana – were the guest speakers.

The following faculty members were awarded a research grant from the College of Liberal Arts and Human Sciences during the 2023–2024 academic year:  John Aggrey, Science, Technology, and Society; Danna Agmon, History; Catalina Andrango-Walker, Modern and Classical Languages and Literatures; Esther Bauer, Modern and Classical Languages and Literatures; David Brunsma, Sociology; Stephanie Davis, Public and International Affairs; Lillian Frost, Political Science; Liora Goldensher, Sociology; Erika Grafsky, Human Development and Family Science; Dennis Halpin, History; Erin Hopkins, Apparel, Housing, and Resource Management; Javiera Jaque Hidalgo, Modern and Classical Languages and Literatures; Marcus Johnson, Education; Melanie Kiechle, History; Karin Kitchens, Political Science; Chad Levinson, Public and International Affairs; Shalini Misra, Public and International Affairs; Scott Nelson, Political Science; Su Fang Ng, English; Katalin Parti, Sociology; TeKisha Rice, Human Development and Family Science; Max Stephenson, Public and International Affairs; Clara Suong, Political Science; Jessica Taylor, History; Ming Chew Teo, Modern and Classical Languages and Literatures; Lisa Tucker, Apparel, Housing, and Resource Management; Paroma Wagle, Public and International Affairs; Abby Walker, English; Brandi Watkins, Communication; Marcus Weaver-Hightower, English; Fabian Wendt, Political Science; Matthew Wisnioski, Science, Technology, and Society; Philip Yaure, Philosophy; Laura Zanotti, Political Science; Yang Zhang, Public and International Affairs; and Tingting Zhao, Modern and Classical Languages and Literatures.

Carolyn Commer, English, published “(Re)Locating the Rhetorical Commonplaces of Failure and Risk-Taking,” Rhetoric Review 43.1 (2024), 78–94, with Ana Cooke, Justin Mando, and Alexis Teagarden.

Ashley Costello, a doctoral student in Higher Education, gave a poster presentation titled “Cyberbullying Impacts on Pell-Eligible Students” with Virginia Byrne at the American College Personnel Association Conference, which took place March 18–21 in Chicago, Illinois.

Julie Deacon, a junior Creative Writing major, was elected to the National Humanities Center Leadership Council, one of 32 university students nationwide selected for this honor in 2023–2024.  Housed in the National Humanities Center at Research Triangle Park, North Carolina, the council helps prepare elected students with humanities-based leadership skills.  Under the auspices of the council, students undertake a semester-long research project; Deacon’s project examines the extent to which journalism is justifiable in war zones.

Amanda Demmer, History, was recognized in the Federal History Journal of the Society for History in the Federal Government as its 2024 featured interview, for which one scholar is chosen annually:  “An Interview with Amanda C. Demmer” by Alexander Poster appears in Federal History 16 (2024):  115–27.

The following students in the College of Liberal Arts and Human Sciences participated in the 2024 Dennis Dean Undergraduate Research and Creative Scholarship Conference, which took place April 26; only CLAHS faculty mentors are noted.  Raaj Aggarwal, History and Social Sciences Education, Eavan Driscoll, International Relations, Shannon Hutchens, International Relations, Alden Koupal, International Studies, and Vicky Sobot, National Security and Foreign Affairs, presented “Barriers to Education in the Kakuma Refugee Camp”; their faculty mentor was Brett Shadle, History.  Chris Bujorneau, Smart and Sustainable Cities, et al., presented “TEAM-Malawi Hydroponics Implementation Plan.”  Nya Davis, Multimedia Journalism, presented “Toxic Drinking Culture at Virginia Tech”; Katie Thomas, Communication, served as faculty mentor.  Emelia Delaporte, Professional and Technical Writing and Multimedia Journalism, presented “Developing Evidence-based Messages to Strategically Reduce Human Disturbance of Shorebirds.”  Human Development students Holly Durham, Lauren Mazanek, and Ava Regehr, along with Devin Wang, presented “Gesture and Learning in Young Children”; their faculty mentor was Isabel Bradburn, Human Development and Family Science.  Human Development students Chloe Guenette, Haley Johnson, and Ziyu Zhang, along with Georgia Katsappis, presented “Lifestyle Factors and Physical Biomarkers That Predict Cognitive Outcomes in Later Life”; Human Development and Family Science faculty members Benjamin Katz and Elayna Seago served as faculty mentors.  John Hajdo, German, presented “Phonological Stability of /r/ in Namdeutsch:  A Corpus-Based Study”; his faculty mentor was Katie Carmichael, English.  Caleigh Hampton, Human Development, presented “‘I Would Like a Diet Sprite’:  /ay/ Monophthongization in Southwest Virginia”; Katie Carmichael served as the faculty mentor.  Michael Himlin, English, presented “Answering Jay McInerney’s Question:  The Loss of an Illusion vs. Living a Life of Illusion”; Geovani Ramírez, English, served as the faculty mentor.  Alethia Holstein, Human Development, et al., presented “The Impact of AI on Preschoolers’ Math Language Learning”; Human Development and Family Sciences faculty members Koeun Choi, Caroline Hornburg, and Shannon Mury served as faculty mentors.  Andres Lopez, International Studies, presented “Investigating Merger of Marginally Contrastive Conditioned Vowels:  Perception and Production of  Pre-Lateral FOOT and STRUT Class Words” and “Formalizing Coronal Nasal-Obstruent Cluster Reduction in American English; his faculty advisors were Abby Walker and Katie Carmichael, respectively.  Caroline Maso, Political Science, presented “Evolutionary Ethics – Analyzing Morality Through the Lens of Natural Selection”; Justin Horn, Philosophy, was the faculty mentor.  Human Development students Mayzie McCall, Annabelle Smith, and Faith Turner presented “The Role of Parent Emotion Coaching and Emotion Dismissing in Child Emotion Regulation”; Human Development and Family Science faculty members Meredith Atanasio and Cindy Smith served as faculty mentors.  Human Development students Charlotte Menke and Lillian Zaccaria presented “The Role of Parent Emotion Regulation, Parent Emotion Expressivity, and Child Emotion Regulation in Parent-Child Dyadic Conflict”; Meredith Atanasio and Cindy Smith served as faculty mentors.  Ebony Myers, Sociology, presented “Endocrine Disruption or Cytotoxicity?  Deciphering the Effects of PFOS on Amphibian Brain.”  Alyssa Nazigian, English Literature, presented “An American English Variant:  Indefinite Determiner Variation in American Englishes”; Charlie Farrington, English, served as faculty mentor.  Audry Rush, Criminology and Psychology, Jada Theodore, Sociology and Psychology, Charlotte Cunningham, and Karina Daniel presented “Practical Interventions to Decrease the Use of Plastic Bags:  Behavioral Observations at Two Large Grocery Stores.”  Daniela Sanchez, Philosophy, Politics and Economics, presented “Community Engagement Research.”  Vicky Sobot, National Security and Foreign Affairs, Jackson Lawrence, et al., presented “Team Malawi Team-Science:  Drone/GIS.”  Keara Sosa-Ton, International Relations, Charlotte Cullen, and Bella O’Brien-Gonzalez presented “Climate Action Living Laboratory Framework at Virginia Tech:  Community-Engaged Service.”  Katelyn Steide, Criminology and International Relations, presented “Building a Brighter Future in Haiti.”  Madelyn Swartz, Communication, presented “Closing the (Thigh) Gap:  Properly Representing Women Through the Introduction of a New Barbie Body Type”; Katie Thomas served as faculty mentor.  Adyn Teta, Criminology, and Anastasia Semenova presented “A Student-to-Teacher ‘Thank You’:  Effects of Expressing Gratitude on Subjective Well-Being.”  Markius Thomas, Public Relations, presented “The Ethical Implications of Generative AI in Strategic Communications.”  Walker Wood, Political Science, and Caleigh Hampton, Human Development, presented “Bidialectal Brains:  Profiles of Event Related Potentials in a Cross-dialectal Listening Task in Southern US English Speakers”; Abby Walker was the faculty mentor.  Students' abstracts

The following CLAHS faculty were awarded a Departmental Diversity Grant for 2023–2024:  Aaron Ansell, Religion and Culture, “Receptivity:  Building a Better Public Sphere”; Tom Ewing, History, “Epidemic Orientalism:  Visiting Lecture and Research Colloquium”; and Catheryn Foster, Education, “Devin Walker Professional Development Event.”

The College notes with sadness the death of Larkin Dudley, Professor Emerita in the Center for Public Administration and Policy, who joined the Virginia Tech community in 1991 and retired in 2010.  She made significant contributions in research on citizen participation, governance, and organizational challenge, authoring more than 40 publications and directing numerous sponsored research projects.  Dudley was instrumental in the creation and implementation of the Master of Public Administration degree program and chaired the program in Public Administration and Policy.  Additional information can be found in the funeral home obituary.

Megan Duncan, Communication, was named one of two Emerging Scholars for 2023 by the Association for Education in Journalism and Mass Communication.  The Emerging Scholar Grants Program develops and nurtures the association’s most promising emerging scholars by providing funding for research or teaching projects.  Duncan received the award and spoke in a panel about her research at the annual meeting of the association, which took place August 7–10, 2023, in Washington, D.C.

School of Education doctoral students Karin Kaerwer, Josh Thompson, and Clint Whitten published “‘It’s the Commonwealth’s Attempt to Censor . . . What We Teach’:  Anti-LGBTQIA2S+ Educational Policy Influences on Rural Secondary ELA Teacher Practices,” Virginia English Journal 71.2 (2024):  1–21. 

School of Education doctoral students Josh Thompson and Clint Whitten presented “Illuminating, Complicating, and Celebrating Place Through Rural Queer Poetry” at the Appalachian Studies Association Conference, which was held March 7–9 in Cullowhee, North Carolina; and “Queer Literacy Practices in ELA Classrooms” at the Journal of Literacy Innovation Virtual Conference, which took place March 9.

School of Education doctoral student Clint Whitten and faculty member Amy Price Azano presented “Rural Gifted Learners Experiences With a Critical, Place-Based Curriculum Summer Enrichment Program” with Hannah Scherer; and “Exploring Rural Middle School Students’ Ability to Identify Food-Energy-Water (FEW) Nexus Systems Within Their Local Communities” with Scherer and Kendrick Spencer.  Both presentations took place at the Annual Meeting of the American Educational Research Association, which was held April 11–14 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.

The 2024 English Undergraduate Excellence Conference took place April 18–19 in Shanks Hall. The following students presented papers or poems:  Sofie Anderson, Creative Writing, “Entartete Kunst”; Kayla Combs, Creative Writing, “Goodnight Fox”; Grace Daniels, English Literature, Professional and Technical Writing, and Creative Writing, “Visual into Verse:  The Ekphrastic Poetry of Williams and Auden on Landscape with the Fall of Icarus”; Caroline Foltz, English Literature and Creative Writing, “Raptor” and “Complementary Chaos at the Center of ‘The Second Coming’”; Brittany James, Public Health, “Appalachian AAE:  What Makes it Special?”; Alyssa Nazigian, English Literature and Creative Writing, “Language Revitalization, Views of Success, and Culture in a Language Curriculum”; Divine Tsasa Nzita, Political Science, “Preserving Heritage Languages and Fostering Cultural Diversity:  Practices and Strategies of African Immigrant Communities in the United States”; Anjali Pamulapati, Systems Biology, “Finders, Keepers:  The Appropriation of African American Vernacular English in Gen Z Slang”; Emily Paquette, Animal and Poultry Sciences, “Jarfly”; August Reynolds, English Literature, Professional and Technical Writing, and Creative Writing, “burn, burn, burn,” “​Eve Ate Daffodils,” “Poem Ten – friend,” and “kdbp xw cqn yxalq”; Amanda Roberson, English Literature and Creative Writing, “A Series of Self-Portraits” and “Inside the Room:  Five Interpretations of the Room as a Manifestation of David’s Queerness in Giovanni’s Room”; Kayla Roberts, English Literature, “Galahad:  A Story Through Swords”; Katie Sommardahl, Creative Writing and Professional and Technical Writing, “A Mother Lends Her Bones”; En Villarroel, Creative Writing, “Como vos”; and Sam Wallace, Cinema and Theatre Arts, “The Cat Doesn’t Die (I Promise).” Presenting in the panel titled “Tackling Digital Literacy by Creating User Documentation” were:  Andrew Bergmann, Computer Science; Layla Scott, Computer Science; Riley Vinluan, Professional and Technical Writing and Creative Writing; and Christeana Williams, Multimedia Journalism alumna.  Presenting in the panel titled “Beyond Words:  Merging Student Projects and Visual Rhetoric and Document Design” were:  Phoebe Hayashi, Professional and Technical Writing; Sarah Leberknight, English Literature, Professional and Technical Writing, and Creative Writing; Lucy Somervill, Chemical Engineering; Kate Stanko, Professional and Technical Writing and Communication; and Riley Vinluan, Professional and Technical Writing and Creative Writing.  The following students were recognized with awards:  Grace Daniels, literature; Alyssa Nazigian, language sciences; Amanda Roberson and En Villarroel, creative writing; Riley Vinluan, professional and technical writing; and Christeana Williams, panel presentation.

Educational Psychology doctoral student Hande Fenerci and School of Education faculty member Brett Jones published “Motivational Climate Predicts Effort and Achievement in a Large Computer Science Course:  Examining Differences Across Sexes, Races/Ethnicities, and Academic Majors,” International Journal of STEM Education 10 (2023), Article 65, with Margaret Ellis and Fei Gu.

Lillian Frost, Political Science, published “Ambiguous Citizenship Policies:  Examining Implementation Gaps Across Levels of Legislation in Jordan,” Comparative Migration Studies 12 (2024), Article 23.

Jim Garrison, Professor Emeritus of Education, was the winner of the 2023 Herbert Schneider Award from the Society for the Advancement of American Philosophy, which recognizes a career-long achievement of distinguished contributions to the understanding of American Philosophy.

Fourteen undergraduate finalists from four colleges were recognized during this year’s 2024 Giovanni-Steger Poetry Prize Ceremony, which took place April 10 in the Moss Arts Center.  The finalists were:  Ayah Ali, General Engineering; Tayler Butters, English; Samantha Cho, Creative Writing; Victoria Cross, Experimental Neuroscience; Aaidin Finefield, History; Caroline Foltz, Literature and Creative Writing; Kayleigh Kalagher, English; Emily Paquette, Animal and Poultry Sciences; August Reynolds, English; and Lillie Tynch, English.  Honorable mentions were:  Victoria Lee Feigert, History; Molleigh Judd, Creative Writing; Rose Puschnik, Neuroscience; and Aimee Straka, Biomedical Engineering.  Winners of the 2024 Giovanni-Steger Poetry Prizes were:  Ali, who was awarded first prize, $1,500, for her poem, “The Ephemerality of Incense.”  Paquette received the second-place prize of $800 for “Swallow Song.”  Third-place honors went to Foltz for “Sailor Eyes,” who received a prize of $500.  All three winners received The Steger trophy, a piece of art crafted by Virginia Tech students at the Kroehling Advanced Materials Foundry on campus.  The competition was founded in 2006 by University Distinguished Professor Emerita of English Nikki Giovanni and named in part for its first benefactor and late Virginia Tech President Charles W. Steger.  Additional information about the event is available here, and the ceremony is online here.

ASPECT doctoral student Hannah Glasson presented “How Ecological Metaphors Shaped Utopian Technological Claims” at the Western Political Science Association meeting, which was held March 27–30 in Vancouver, Canada.

Global Partnership Project Grants from the College of Liberal Arts and Human Sciences were awarded to the following faculty during 2023–2024:  Toni Calasanti and Neal King, Sociology, “Aging and Ageism in Finland and the US”; Charlene Eska, English, “The Juvencus Dry-Point Glosses”; Eunju Hwang, Apparel, Housing, and Resource Management, “Global Partnership for Advanced Age Friendly Communities”; and Fernanda Rosa, Science, Technology, and Society, and Shaddi Hansen, “Indigenous Knowledges and Technology Appropriation in Latin America.” 

Glossolalia, the student-led literary festival, took place on April 18 in conjunction with the 2024 English Undergraduate Excellence Conference.  Undergraduate presenters were:  Gray Campbell, Criminology, “Late Night at Sea”; Mark Postovalov, Economics, “young and dumb”; and Aimee Straka, Biomedical Engineering, “My Body.”  Graduate student Xander Gershberg, Creative Writing, presented “Grandpa David told me...” and was recognized with the graduate student honor.  Alyssa Nazigian, English, chaired the event.

The Graduate School recognized outstanding master’s and doctoral degree students as well as faculty mentors with awards of excellence during the Graduate Education Week awards reception, which took place March 28.  The outstanding graduate student award winners in the College of Liberal Arts and Human Sciences were master’s student Mahmut Sami Gurdal, Human Development, and doctoral student Kulyash Zhumadilova, Science, Technology, and Society.  Roan Parrish, Science, Technology, and Society, was named Graduate Student of the Year; the award recognizes graduate students for their character, service, outstanding contributions, and academic achievements.  Recognized with a Graduate Teaching Assistant Instructor of Record Excellence Award was ASPECT doctoral student Reed BygRebecca Hester, Science, Technology, and Society, was recognized as the College of Liberal Arts and Human Sciences Outstanding Mentor. 

Chloe Guenette, a Human Development major and Disabilities Studies minor, was selected as the College of Liberal Arts and Human Sciences recipient of the 2024 Phi Kappa Phi National Honor Society Senior Medallion.  She is a member of Phi Kappa Phi and currently Undergraduate Vice President of the Virginia Tech chapter of the honor society; in addition, she is enrolled in the Honors College, where she is a Peer Educator.  Guenette served as an undergraduate intern in the Family Therapy Center of Virginia Tech and currently volunteers with the RAFT crisis hotline.  She is a research assistant for both the Alliance for the Study of Suicide Prevention and Intervention through Relationship Enrichment Lab as well as the Cognitive Aging and Translational Science Lab.  She also was a participant in College Mentors for Kids and currently is a participant in the Inspiring Women in Lifelong Leadership Institute.

Tammy Guynn, Fiscal Technician for the School of Education, was one of five university-wide recipients of the 2024 President’s Award for Excellence.  Guynn was honored for the leadership she displays, the excellence in the quality of her work, and her work ethic.  Her attention to detail, knowledge of university policies and procedures, and willingness to assist beyond the normal eight-hour business day make her the “go-to” person in the School regarding matters concerning  spending, policies, and procedures.  The award was initiated in 1990 to recognize outstanding contributions and consistently excellent performance of full-time staff employees, as well as certain administrative and professional faculty personnel.  Fifteen employees were nominated this year; all were recognized during a ceremony on April 2.  Each winner received a letter of commendation from President Tim Sands, a certificate, and a $2,000 pre-tax award.

Dennis Halpin, History, published “‘All Manner of Cruelty and Slavery’:  A Long History of Black Labor and White Violence on Navassa Island, 1857–1898,” The Journal of African American History 109.1 (Winter 2024):  2–29.

Anthony Kwame Harrison, Edward S. Diggs Professor in Humanities and Professor of Sociology, was named Alumni Distinguished Professor.  The honor is given to faculty who demonstrate extraordinary accomplishments and academic work across teaching, research or creative activity, and engagement.  A member of the Virginia Tech faculty since 2003, Harrison has written books and co-edited chapters and articles on topics such as hip-hop music, race, and social space.  He is the recipient of numerous university teaching awards, including the university’s Alumni Award for Excellence in Teaching in 2015.  In 2019 he was named Edward S. Diggs Professor in Humanities, and that same year he served as a visiting professor at the Université Paris – Dauphine.  Harrison is one of three Virginia Tech faculty to receive the 10-year appointment this year.  He earned his bachelor’s degree from the University of Massachusetts and a master’s degree and doctorate from Syracuse University.

Matthew Heaton, History, published “History of Nigeria,” Oxford Research Encyclopedia of African History, ed. Thomas Spear (Oxford, United Kingdom:  Oxford University Press, 2024), online; and “Rethinking Brain Fag Syndrome:  Students, Symptoms, and a Late Colonial Survey in Nigeria,” Psychiatric Contours:  New African Histories of Madness, ed. Nancy Rose Hunt and Hubertus Büschel (Durham, North Carolina:  Duke University Press, 2024), pp. 179–205.

Jason Higgins, History and University Libraries, published Prisoners After War:  Veterans in the Age of Mass Incarceration (Amherst and Boston, Massachusetts:  University of Massachusetts Press, 2024).  The book is available via open access.

Three CLAHS faculty were among Principal Investigators and team members recognized by the 2024–2025 Institute for Society, Culture, and Environment (ISCE) Scholars program.  Named as one of the five 2024–2025 ISCE Scholar Award recipients was TeKisha Rice, Human Development and Family Science, as Principal Investigator for “Couples and Race-Related Stress.”  In addition, Jody Russon, Human Development and Family Science, is serving as a member of the “Leveraging Community-Centered Research to Expand Access to Youth Mental Health Knowledge and Services” team; and Yang Zhang, Public and International Affairs, is part of the “Fusing Disaster Equity into Community Resilience Assessment:  Paving the Way for Equitable Resilience Planning” team.  Both of these research projects were selected for ISCE funding as well.

Brett Jones, Education, published “Predicting Undergraduate Student Evaluations of Teaching Using Probabilistic Machine Learning:  The Importance of Motivational Climate,” Studies in Educational Evaluation 81 (2024), Article 101353, with Educational Evaluation and Research alumna Sumeyra Sahbaz and Kazim Topuz.

ASPECT doctoral student Andreza Jorge was awarded a 2024 Mellon/ACLS Dissertation Innovation Fellowship for her project “Escrevivência corporal:  Performance as Resistance and Collective Memory of Amefrican Women at Carnival in Latin America.”  Launched in 2023, the Mellon/ACLS Dissertation Innovation Fellowship Program advances a vision for doctoral education that prioritizes openness to new methods and sources, underrepresented voices and perspectives, and scholarly experimentation; the awards are designed to accelerate change in the norms of humanistic scholarship by recognizing those who take risks in the modes, methods, and subjects of their research.  This year’s cohort includes 45 doctoral students in the humanities and interpretive social sciences. 

Charles Lowery, Education, published “The Role of Education in The Public and Its Problems:  A Deweyan Perspective on Political Literacy,” Education and Culture 39.1 (2023):  3–34.

Timothy Luke, University Distinguished Professor, Chair of the Department of Political Science, and Interim Director of the School of Public and International Affairs, published “Ecology and Environmental Theory,” Encyclopedia of Critical Political Science, Part I, ed. Clyde W. Barrow (Cheltenham:  Edward Elgar Publishing, 2024), pp. 205–09.  Also included in the volume is an entry about Luke written by Sarah M. Surak, pp. 612–13.

Joseph Mukuni, Education, published Educational Leadership Connecting the World:  Educational Manual for Full-time Students (Kharkiv, Ukraine:  National Technical University “Kharkiv Polytechnic Institute,” 2024), with Yevhen Sokol and Olga Lapuzina.

The following faculty members in the College of Liberal Arts and Human Sciences were awarded funding from the Office of the Provost through the New Faculty Mentoring Grant Program during the 2023–2024 academic year:  John Aggrey, Science, Technology, and Society; David Delgado Lopez, Modern and Classical Languages and Literatures; Liora Goldensher, Sociology; Monamie Haines, Science, Technology, and Society; and Paroma Wagle, Public and International Affairs.

The following students with a primary major in the College of Liberal Arts and Human Sciences accepted the invitation to become members of Phi Beta Kappa in Spring 2024:  Turner Barefoot, National Security and Foreign Affairs; Leah Bengston, Political Science; Sydney Beverly, Sociology; Kelsey Briggs, Professional and Technical Writing; Sterling Bryant, History; Greylin Caddell, History; Nicholas Carlson, Philosophy; Alexandra Childress, English; Paige Coatney, Criminology; Grace Conkey, Multimedia Journalism; Holly Crowley, Sociology; Maddie Dawson, English; Anne Dougherty, Criminology; Anastasia EL-Bogdadi, National Security and Foreign Affairs; Taylor Farris, Sociology; Aaidin Finefield, History; Evelyn Fischer, Sociology; Bryanna Folks, Criminology; Christopher Forrest, Jr., Political Science; Jacob Fortune, Sociology; Kendall Franklin, Political Science; Kyle Gallagher, History; Margaret Garland, Political Science; Zoe Gaucher, English; Magdalene Goebel, Public Relations; John Hajdo, German; Christopher Hall, Political Science; Mackenzie Halterman, Classical Studies; Jordan Hebert, Philosophy, Politics, and Economics; Grayson Honaker, History; Haley Hylton, Creative Writing; Abigail Jordan, National Security and Foreign Affairs; Brian Kirk, Criminology; Katarina Krull, National Security and Foreign Affairs; Alyssa Kuhl, Professional and Technical Writing; Andres Lopez, International Studies; Erin McAndrews, Philosophy, Politics, and Economics; Kelly McArdle, Human Development; Charlotte Menke, Human Development; Kaleigh Miller, Creative Writing; Ryan Miller, Political Science; Brandon Mosier, Political Science; Connor Neal, Political Science; Nanami Nishimoto, International Relations; Savannah Novak, Criminology; Sena Nutekpor, Criminology; Mary Pauly, History; Paula Payne, International Relations; Laci Reed, Political Science; Brennan Rhodes, International Relations; Bailey Richardson, Political Science; Teagan Ross, International Studies; Grace Schillmaier, Criminology; Juan Soto, Criminology; Amanda Sternitzke, Political Science; Kendall Sturgill, Political Science; Mikaela Sullivan, National Security and Foreign Affairs; Safieh Todd, National Security and Foreign Affairs; Sydney Tuller, Criminology; Sam Tully, Criminology; Rachel Turner-Poteet, Religion and Culture; Chandler Wadford, Philosophy; Noah Waller, Philosophy, Politics, and Economics; Emma Yadene, Political Science; and Rebekah Zummo, Classical Studies.  Only the primary major is listed for each student.

Dominique Polanco, Religion and Culture, was awarded a Barbara Thom Postdoctoral Fellowship at the Huntington Library in San Marino, California, for the 2024–2025 academic year.  The fellowship includes a $50,000 grant in addition to a nine-month residency in San Marino.  The topic of Polanco’s research is “Copying the Colony:  The Pintura del gobernadora, alcaldes y regidores de México’s Many Editions Manuscript.”  The project focuses on the ways that Indigenous people who lived in 16th-century New Spain – present-day Mexico – recorded their lives.  Additional details regarding the project are available here.

Edward Polanco, History, published “The Baller and the Court:  Hernando Ruiz de Alarcón’s Battle with Ololiuhqui and His Courtship of the Mexican Inquisition in Seventeenth Century Mexico,” Ethnohistory 71.2 (2024):  195–225.  He also posted “Digital Textual Resources at the Archivo General de la Nación in Mexico” on the blog of the H-Net Network on Latin American History’s “Research Corner” on April 21.

Fernanda Rosa, Science, Technology, and Society, was awarded a National Endowment for the Humanities Dangers and Opportunities of Technology:  Perspectives from the Humanities grant for her project titled “Digital Inequalities in Latin America:  The Effects of Code and Infrastructure in Indigenous Access to the Internet.”  Her research focuses on the development of an open access monograph analyzing internet infrastructure and digital access in Central and South American Indigenous communities.  Details about this project and related research by Rosa.

Jillian Sasso, a History and Political Science major, was named the 2024 Outstanding Senior in the College of Liberal Arts and Human Sciences.  Sasso worked part-time as an outreach assistant for the Virginia Center for Civil War Studies; the Center sponsored her 2023 historical and interpretation internship with the Fredericksburg and Spotsylvania National Military Park, and she participated in the Center’s Traveling Trunk of Civil War History program.  She also has played clarinet in the Marching Virginians for four years and is the band’s service officer; as such, she organized service events such as canned food drives and community concerts.  Her service with the Marching Virginians garnered her the James R. Sochinski Spirit of Tech Award, which recognizes a four-year band member who demonstrates outstanding citizenship, excellence, and dedication, as well as the Stackin’ Up the Service Ryan Clark Outstanding Service Award, which honors a Marching Virginian who embodies selfless service and commitment to others.  After graduation Sasso will continue interning with the Virginia Center for Civil War Studies and preparing for a career in federal government.

Andy Scerri, Political Science, was awarded a Fulbright US Scholar Program grant for the Netherlands for his project titled “American Political Realism:  Power, Purpose, Partisanship and Democratic (In)Stability.”  Scerri will travel to the Netherlands this fall and engage in research collaboration with Janosch Prinz at Maastricht University; the collaboration builds on existing research into democratic instability in the context of the climate emergency.  In addition, he published “Green Republicanism and the ‘Crises of Democracy,’” Environmental Politics 33.3 (2024):  465–85.

As part of the 2024 Service Recognition Program, College of Liberal Arts and Human Sciences faculty member Shoshana Milgram Knapp, English, was recognized for 45 years of dedicated service to Virginia Tech and commitment to upholding the university’s mission.  Peter Wallenstein, History, was recognized for 40 years of service.  Complete list of employees recognized this year for 10 or more years of service (in five-year increments)

Department of Sociology faculty member Shannon Bell, Professor Emeritus Michael Hughes, doctoral students Cameron Baller and Danielle Mullins, 2022 alumnus Stephen Gerus, 2021 Rhetoric and Writing alumna Kelly Scarff, along with coauthors Russell Chisholm et al. published “Pipelines and Power:  Psychological Distress, Political Alienation, and the Breakdown of Environmental Justice in Government Agencies’ Public Participation Processes,” Energy Research & Social Science 109 (2024):  103406.

ASPECT doctoral student Hannah Steinhauer presented “Where Is the Feminist Internet?  Queering Information Technologies Through Algorithms of Care” at the WGS South Conference, which took place March 28–30 in Spartanburg, South Carolina.

Susan Stinson, Communication, and students in her Communication and Issues of Diversity (COMM 2094) class developed a project highlighting the complexities of mental health issues and substance abuse.  With support from a Pathways to Service Learning grant that Stinson was awarded, she and her students launched podcasts intended to combat stigmas related to mental health and substance abuse issues.  The podcasts are posted on the Foundations Podcast YouTube channel, which is hosted by Virginia Tech Student Affairs.

Sophia Terazawa, English, published four poems:  “Suppose a Lute” and “[‘Xa Xa Xa Lắm’],” Shō Poetry Journal 4 (January 2024):  36–37; and “Plan-séquence” and “This Graphic Is an Apricot,” In Parentheses 8.2 (January 2024):  26–27.

Grant support for undergraduate research in 2023–2024 was provided by the College of Liberal Arts and Human Sciences Undergraduate Academic Affairs Office to the following CLAHS students for conference presentations:  Caleigh Hampton, Human Development, “Your Brain on Accents:  Profiles of Event-related Potentials in Cross-dialectal Listening in the US English Context,” Southeastern Conference on Linguistics (SECOL) 91/Language Variation in the South (LAVIS) 5; Andres Lopez, International Studies, “‘In My Real Voice?’  The Role of Elicitation Task on the Speech of American and British Transatlantic Migrants,” New Ways of Analyzing Variation 51, and “Investigating Mergers Without Minimal Pairs:  The Pre-Lateral FOOT-STRUT Distinction,” SECOL 91/LAVIS 5; Alyssa Nazigian, English, “Indefinite Article Variation in Appalachian and African American Englishes,” SECOL 91/LAVIS 5; and Eliza Quesenberry, Professional and Technical Writing, “The Impact of Voice Assistant Accent on User Experience,” SECOL 91/LAVIS 5.

The following students were recipients of 2023–2024 Travel Grant Awards from the Virginia Tech Office of Undergraduate Research:  Andres Lopez, International Studies, New Ways of Analyzing Variation 51, and October 13–15, 2023, Abby Walker, English, as faculty mentor; lymonie Martin, Political Science and Psychology, and Vincent Parente, Communication, 34th Annual Theodore Clevenger Jr., Undergraduate Honors Conference – Southern States Communication Association, April 3–7, Jim Kuypers, Communication, as faculty mentor for both students; Riley Petersen, Public Relations, National Association of Communication Centers 23rd Annual Excellence at the Center Conference, April 12–13, Zack Sowder, Communication, as faculty mentor; and Gwen Roman, Childhood Pre-Education, National Conference on Family Relations, November 8–11, 2023, Jody Russon, Human Development and Family Science as faculty mentor.

The following faculty and staff members in the College of Liberal Arts and Human Sciences were winners of a 2024 University Faculty/Staff Award:

Jenna Booth, Program Assistant at Adult Day Services, a program offered through the Engagement Center for Creative Aging, was recognized with a McComas Staff Leadership Award.

Katie Carmichael, Associate Professor in the Department of English, garnered a University Award for Excellence in Teaching.

Heidi Williams, Collegiate Assistant Professor in the Department of Sociology, received the Diggs Teaching Scholar Award.

The University’s announcement about the awardsDetails about most awardeesInformation regarding 2024 Advising Award winners Kayla Goodwin, Communication, and Dawn Knight, English.

Emmy Waldman, English, received the Post45 Essay Prize for Contingent Scholars Honorable Mention for “Metamorphoses of the Spiral:  Art Spiegelman’s Portrait of the Artist as a Young %@&*!”  Post45 is a journal that publishes on any aspect of American literature and culture since the mid-20th century; winning articles will be published in a special prize issue of the journal. 

Peter Wallenstein, History, published “Leon M. Bazile of Virginia, Defender of State Sovereignty and White Supremacy – from Racial Integrity to Massive Resistance,” Virginia Social Science Journal 57 (2024):  159–96.  He also gave the keynote address, “Red Land, Black Labor, White Colleges,” at the annual conference of the Virginia Social Science Association, which was held virtually on April 20. 

Clint Whitten, a Curriculum and Instruction doctoral student was one of five Virginia Tech doctoral students selected for induction into the Edward Alexander Bouchet Graduate Honor Society in 2024.  The society was established in 2005 and named for the first African American to earn a doctoral degree in the United States; it “seeks to develop a network of scholars who exemplify academic and personal excellence, foster environments of support, and serve as examples of scholarship, leadership, character, service, and advocacy for students who have been traditionally underrepresented in the academy — exemplifying the spirit and example of Dr. Bouchet.”  Virginia Tech is one of 19 Bouchet Society chapter institutions in the United States.  This year’s Bouchet Graduate Honor Society Scholars were inducted on April 6 during a ceremony that was part of the 20th Annual Yale Bouchet Conference on Diversity and Graduate Education 2024, which took place at Yale University in New Haven, Connecticut.

The following CLAHS students participated in the 2024 Women’s and Gender Studies Undergraduate and Graduate Conference with the theme “Feminism is for EveryBody.”  Presenting papers were:  Cameron Baller, Sociology doctoral student, “Optimism, Pessimism and Queer Hope for a Burning Planet in Don’t Look Up”; Victoria Bechtold, Sociology master’s student, and Nicodemus Bechtold, “Queer Considerations in and of the Journal of Health and Social Behavior”; Jupiter Benbow, English, “The Intersectionality of Race and Gender:  An In-Depth Analysis of the Black Women’s Experience”; Becca Berglie, Sociology, “Silk Chiffon and the Queer Joy Revolution”; Ella Browder Jones, Criminology, Beyond the Bars:  An Application of Theory to Understanding the Experiences of Incarcerated Mothers”; Sean Chambers, ASPECT doctoral student, “To Spank or Not to Spank?  A Dad’s Lament”; Marie-Lys Chambraud, ASPECT doctoral student, “Learning to Be an Excellent Mother or How Feminism Saved Me”; Tara Chen, Philosophy,Understanding Commercial Surrogacy as Worker Exploitation”; Leah Copeland, English and Political Science, “The Aesthetics of Poverty in Appalachia”; Taylor Farris, Sociology, “Barriers to Thriving in Appalachia”; Mackenzie Foltz, Communication, “Portrayals and Explorations of Gender Through Performance Art”; Colin Hahn, Political Science, “Anti-Transgender Legislation:  What It Is, Where It Comes From, Why It Matters, and What We Can Do”; Kaitlynn Harless, History master’s student, “‘Our Strike in West Virginia’:  The Hidden Women’s Army in the Paint Creek-Cabin Creek Strikes, 1912–1913”; Sierra Hensley, Sociology, “How Biased Rhetoric Shapes Trans Reality in the United States and Community as Resistance”; Jennings King, Higher Education master’s student, “The Women Who Made Me”; Meredith Lane, Criminology, “Looking Back on the Influence of Riot Grrrl Movement:  Kudos and Criticisms”; Taffy Ma, English master’s student, who was interviewed by Bonnie Zare, Sociology and Director of Women’s and Gender Studies, in an interview titled “Chinese Roots and American Routes”; Taylor Mcelwain, Sociology doctoral student, “For My Grandmother, I Am a Feminist”; Vasilije Mesarovic, ASPECT doctoral student, “He Was, She Is, They Will Be:  Gender as Transient and Time-sensitive Category”; CJ Nance, Sociology and Psychology, “Gendered Language in the Collegiate Environment”; Audrey Osei-Bonsu, Political Science master’s student, “Are You Sure You Want to Enter Politics?”; Lyss Perez, Philosophy, “The Manic Pixie Dream Girl”; Molly Ryan, Rhetoric and Writing doctoral student, “Making Good Trouble:  A Manifesto for a Queer Feminist Framework of Graduate Mentorship”; Aline de Souza, ASPECT doctoral student, “Art, Aesthetics, Anesthetics, Politics and Social Life in Early Twentieth Century Germany:  Analysis of Two Artworks”; and Rebecca Steele, Higher Education doctoral student, “Aerial Circus Arts:  Inclusive Physical Exercise.”  In addition, de Souza participated in the open mic session.  Chen was the winner of the Barbara Ellen Smith Undergraduate Best Essay; Harless was recognized with the Barbara Ellen Smith Graduate Best Essay; and Steele received the Barbara Ellen Smith Graduate Essay Honorable Mention.  The conference took place April 12 in the Newman Library Goodall Room.

Philip Yaure, Philosophy, published “Hope and Despair in the Political Thought of David Walker,” The Pluralist 19.1 (2024):  14–22.  The essay was awarded the 2023 Joseph L. Blau Prize for the best work on the history of American Philosophy; the award was presented at the Society for the Advancement of American Philosophy 2023 Annual Meeting.

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